Friday Fictioneers: April Fools!/Fragile Species

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo. Click here to play along.

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

Shouldn’t it be Anti-Social Distancing?

I accidentally wrote two this week. Both are brilliant. Cherish them. Or don’t. Either way.

April Fools!

“That is not a phone.”

“Yeah, it is. It’s an old-timey phone.”

“No. Phones look like this. See? Does that thing even have WiFi?”

“No. Old-timey phones didn’t get WiFi.”

“See? It’s not a phone. No WiFi, no phone.”

“I’m telling you, it’s a phone.”

“Mooooooooooooom!”

“What? What’s wrong?”

“Lizzie says that thing’s a phone.”

“You scared the doodliepoops out of me.”

“Lizzie’s making up stories.”

“It is a phone.”

“Haha, April Fools!”

“No, seriously. Before that, phones used a dial, and they had cords.”

Sarah called the authorities, on her actual phone, and had her mom and Lizzie committed.

Fragile Species

This planet was dominated by a species called homo sapiens. They rose to prominence via their intelligence. Somewhere during their evolution, they lost that intelligence or grew arrogant and apathetic.

They were a fragile species. Still, they were violent. They polluted their planet and bodies. They ignored warnings about the spread of disease. The planet retaliated.

Their pollution led to changes in the weather. Viruses mutated and grew stronger. Animal life became more aggressive. Deer attacked their freeways. Rodents, birds, raccoons usurped their edifices.

We have studied them through something called YouTube. They were a horrible species, destined for failure.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Fragile Species” is not about a certain virus, which shall not be named. It was inspired by the bird in the picture and a true story. It is so bizarre that this is the second story I’ve worked it into. The first is here.

The other night, my best friend/roommate went shopping after work. (She works as a medical biller, which, in a time of mass illness, is essential. Really? That’s the most important thing? To make sure sick people pay their bills? That’s more important than her staying home and not getting and spreading the virus? She’s such a good person that she volunteered to make masks for those who have to see patients. Sorry for that mini-rant tangent.) Around 19:00, I got a frantic, incoherent call.

What happened? Did someone get within 6 six feet? Did she find toilet tissue and have it taken from her? Did someone cough in her vicinity?

No!

She eventually calmed down enough to tell me pieces of what happened. She was driving on the nearly empty freeway. When, suddenly, out of somewhere, a deer ran across the freeway and hit her car. Let me say that again. A deer ran across the FREEWAY and HIT her car. He slammed himself into the side of the car going 65ish MPH.

My theory is that deer watch “The Walking Dead” and assume that’s where we’re going, so they’re taking this opportunity to take over the world. Or it’s a revenge hit for all the deer she hit while living in a small coastal town in Northern California.

Friday Auctioneers: Sold!

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo. There’s also a frog involved. This week’s is an odd one. I’m not sure why anybody would see this and feel an undeniable compulsion to photograph it then share it. I’m now very curious about the photo selection process. Rochelle?

PHOTO PROMPT © Ronda Del Boccio

Sold!

The fight began over dishes. It ended with Julia in cuffs.

“Why can’t you soak the dishes?” asked Julia.

“Why are you always nagging?” asked Alex while searching the net via implant.

“It’s easier to clean the dishes if they’re soaking instead of the food drying and hardening on them, which you would know if you ever did dishes.”

The electrocuffs appeared on Julia’s wrists, seemingly from nowhere. She screamed and struggled before giving Alex a look that would kill if it could. “You can’t.”

“I did.”

“Where?”

“Somewhere in Somalia.”

The credits appeared in Alex’s account as Julia dematerialized.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know what you’re thinking. Don’t worry about Alex. He’ll buy someone else to take care of him. The real question is in a world where one can search the internet in one’s mind, sell someone in seconds, and transport them across the world instantly, why can’t we make a dishwasher that actually cleans dishes?

I woke up with this idea in my head, before I even saw the picture, what if we could buy and sell people? Anyone. A friend, relative, random person on the street. What if Capitalism becomes so powerful and human life so cheap, not unrealistic, that it becomes legal to sell each other just so the government can collect the tax? It’s like a duel. The first one to click sell can sell the other. I wanted to build the world and set rules, but there’s not time for that in 100 words.

#FFFC: PT-3,000

This is a new one for me. This is Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #23. I got in a little late. It’s better late than later. I like challenges and the picture that went along with this one. It took me somewhere dark.

d2856ece-1b73-4b67-8863-e6a64f9de91aCourtesy Johannes Plenio@pexels.com

PT-3,000

The sun peeking through the trees caught his attention. It was going into hiding as he made his way in. He was breathing heavily and sweating. He was almost done. A couple more shovels full and whew, done. Only half an hour until he had to be to work. Sleep was overrated. He was still too amped up to sleep, anyway. He had a great night, and the bodies were buried.

He thanked God for the personal teleporter. A night like last would not have been possible without the PT-3,000. If someone saw him walking out of the woods dirty and sweaty with his tools, it could raise some questions. He still had to go home and shower before work. There’s no way he could do that and be to work on time if he had to do something barbaric like drive. The thought made him chuckle. Nobody had driven for years.

He teleported home, showered, synthesized some coffee and made it to work with three minutes to spare. He gave himself an adrenaline injection and was ready to go for the day.

No one suspected a thing. They never did. One would have to be quite dull, indeed, mentally speaking, to get caught doing a crime since the advent of the PT-3,000. If it weren’t for the thrill of the kill, murder would actually be pretty boring.

It finally happened. He slipped up. He got careless. It was too many nights with too little sleep. Coffee and adrenaline injections could only carry one so far.

It didn’t matter. When the cops came knocking, he simply transported out of there. That night, he watched the sunset from a mountain in Fiji. He laughed a shrill cackle of a laugh.

His laughter was muted by the padded walls of his room.

Friday Fictioneers: If…

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields who provides us with a photo prompt. Each week’s challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by said photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

I traded in my goofiness for a little dystopian sci-fi this week. This one borrows a little from the sci-fi world inhabited by The L Squad.

If…

“Remember solar power?”

“I remember reading about it as a theory.”

“Well, yeah. If these things were solar-powered, we could be winning this war.”

“The sun hasn’t permeated the smog for decades.”

“I know. I’m saying if the Gar’roids didn’t have to retreat to a charging station so often, if they could charge as they fought, we could potentially repel this invasion.”

“It’s a little late to redesign our planetary defenses.”

“But if…”

“If ‘ifs’ were butterflies they wouldn’t be extinct. The XaXets are invading Earth, not some fantasy world where our gargantuan battle androids are powered by the sun.”

 

This was written for me, but I’ll share it with you via #TellTaleThursday with Anshu & Priya because I am a gentleman. This week’s prompt is “You find an electronic bug in your home,” which I, of course, took way too literally.

Bugged

“I first noticed the bugs in June. I assumed they were ordinary bugs, cockroaches. I called an exterminator. They came and fumigated my apartment.”

“That sounds like the logical step. Did that take care of your bug problem?”

“I thought it did. A few days later, I started hearing a buzz. I searched for it. I assumed I left a device charging somewhere. I checked all my charging stations, and there was nothing ready. I tried to ignore the buzz, but it got louder. I searched and searched for days. It was making me crazy. Then, I saw it.”

“Saw what?”

“The cockroach. They were still in my apartment.”

“Couldn’t it have been that one survived? Cockroaches are notoriously resilient.”

“They were everywhere. They were hiding from me, spying on me.”

“Spying? You think the cockroaches were spying on you?”

“I know they were. I caught one. They were robotic. I was bugged with bugs.”

“Why would anyone bug you?”

“I was a member of the underground working to overthrow our government. The masses were apathetic, pacified, brainwashed. It was up to us to start the revolution.”

“There was no revolution.”

“Of course not. They bugged us. They knew all our plans and rounded us up before we could put them into action.”

“Thank you, Winston. I’ll have the nurse bring you your medication.”

“Good evening, Dr. O’Brien.”

“Good evening, Julia. We’re going to have to increase Winston’s medication.”

“Oh no! Is it not working?”

“It’s not. He’s remembering.”

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