Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest


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Post March 21, 2015, 09:42:12 PM

Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

This month was good, real good!

APHELION FLASH FICTION CONTEST: March 2015
The “Change That Tune- 1980’s Pop Music Version?” Challenge



THE PREMISE: Select a song title from a pop music song that was released from 1980 till the end of 1989. Use the title of the song as the title of your flash fiction story. Write a story based on what the title makes you think of, anything, first thing that comes to mind.

THE CHALLENGE: Write a story starting from a title selected from pop music song titles of 1980’s songs. Use only the title and reimagine a story that shares the title only as inspiration. You must list the song and band that is your inspiration prior to the story. See example.



Mandela Day
(by Simple Minds)




The South Africans (or Afrikaners as part of the people from that old land on Earth still called themselves) were one the last countries that embarked on space exploration and colonization after the new technology of QuantumSpeed was discovered and became available for traveling from star to star.

Many had thought, especially in sci-fi tales of a time gone by, that the day humans achieved interstellar travel it would be thanks to a worldwide organization that would unite all the countries of Earth in order to maximize energy, costs and resources. Everyone assumed that such an alliance would have built a starship that no superpower could build by itself, manned by an international crew that would boldly go together to find a new home, finally spreading Earthlings across the vastness of space.

But things had gone differently, as a matter of fact, and the most powerful countries had quickly taken steps to create their own national settlements on other newly-discovered worlds. So, when the South Africa government raised enough money to follow the others and eventually made its move, their huge vessel left Earth for the first interplanetary travel that country had ever attempted. The spaceship arrived on Biko I, the verdant planet orbiting Lacaille 8760, after only three months of travel. Though it was predictable, the first outpost they built there was named Mandela – after the most revered president in their history, of course.

As green and pleasing as a well-manicured summer meadow, that world was exactly what the colonists needed in order to forget about the deprivations they had undergone back on Earth - suffering that had been due to the continuous depletion of the soil and the desertification of the cultivable lands during the last years of the 22th century.

What they couldn’t have known, however, was that this planet was already of interest to another species, the GHIHHTH, who had positioned automated devices on the surface of the planet meant to survey and collect data. Perhaps they had done all that for a future colonization, although no alien from that species was present on the planet at that time.Anyway, the sudden appearance of the Earthlings made the GHIHHTH hurry up, and in just a matter of six months, the warlike GHIHHTH had showed up - which changed everything. The men and women who had reached the Mandela outpost didn’t want to start a war, for many reasons: they didn’t know exactly how powerful those aliens were; they were very far from Earth and with no reinforcements expected - no troops, technology or food; and they were tired after the long journey and only wanted a new home where they could start a comfortable life.

In a way, hostile events had happened before any negotiations could be attempted, with the Earthlings openly declaring that they were not leaving that world, although some agreements might have been reached to allow both species to live and peacefully prosper on the surface. Anyway, as soon as the delegates sent from Mandela got back to the small outpost, the entire settlement was sealed off by the GHIHHTH using an invisible and impenetrable dome that didn’t allow humans to go outside. Wild beasts, insects, air and water could come and go, but nothing else. The message was clear: if Earthlings wanted to stay on that world – a world that the strong GHIHHTH said was their property - they would have to live in the dome, separated from the rest of the planet. The only other option was for them to finally decide to leave – whether they went back to Earth or journeyed further out into space, to search for another home elsewhere.

To many of the human colonists, this terrible situation reminded them of heartbreaking events which had occurred in South Africa’s history, when their ancestors had suffered greatly because of racial segregation which had been enforced through legislation by the National Party government. Under that system, the rights, associations, and movements of the majority black inhabitants had been curtailed for decades. There was not much they could do, but the humans simply didn’t want to leave, and they refused to surrender!

Though no help came from the other countries of Earth, and although no way was found to escape that forced boundary, the poor colonists resisted and did their best during the following years. Many examples of virtue were displayed by the local population, given the scarcity of resources available, and what some of those humans accomplished using only the few instruments and devices they had at their fingertips was incredible.

It was one of those highly-skilled individuals, a black seventeen-year-old female researcher named Refilwe - a real whiz-kid – that finally changed it all. Her tests on new minerals that were under the site - which were abundant all over the planet - proved to be enough to allow her to succeed at weakening the transparent dome the GHIHHTH had positioned. But that wasn’t enough. She even happened to find out how to strengthen the force field at will, and, most of all, how to reverse its effects! Though it required time, the day came when the machinery she had built was activated and slowly the dome that had long kept the human colonists imprisoned disappeared. Then it began to enclose the rest of the planet – except Mandela- in its grip. So, it was the GHIHHTH who were imprisoned now, and none of their attempts to escape or destroy it had any effect.

The South Africans colonists certainly didn’t plan to cruelly leave the aliens segregated that way forever, of course - although they thought it wouldn’t hurt for those beings to have a taste of their own treatment for a while. As Refilwe had once said, and the population of the Mandela outpost still remembers her words clearly today, “We’ll finally free you, one day or another. But not so easily, not now, not yet…”

THE END



I Melt With You
(Modern English 1982)


“This is Kim Montgomery with the 8 O’clock News. This evening marks the incredible moment when humanity will, for the first time, attempt a long term departure from Earth. The largest rocket ever built will be launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the new specially constructed launch pad designed to withstand the tremendous force that this behemoth of a craft will create. Spectators and protestors have gathered around the launch site and have been warned to stay away from the upcoming blast. National Guard has also gathered to protect the citizens and potentially prevent the riot that many have predicted will occur. Public displeasure has been mounting since the final announcement of those to be included on the journey. What was said to be a lottery has seemed to most more like an elitist selection. While many say that they would have opted to stay at home, others feel that they have been abandoned by their governments, left behind to suffer the fate of a dying Earth. With only a few years left on the countdown until the end, problems will be exacerbated by tonight’s launch. Experts are now saying that with such massive inertial thrust, the revived and beefed up Orion craft will actually alter the Earth’s spin. Launch vehicles take advantage of the Earth’s spin to gain some extra speed towards escape velocity, and we’ve just received information that the enormous craft leaving us, with the one hundred thousand aboard, could possibly push the Earth so hard in the other direction that the planet may slow down and eventually become tidally locked. With the clock ticking for humanity no one is happy about more bad news, nor the possibility of our atmosphere melting away. Some supporters of the mission say that it is a small price to pay for humanity’s second chance, yet still dissidence is growing and it is feared that sabotage may be attempted.”

###

“Stand back I say, no one is to pass this line. It’s for your own safety people.” Thomas tried to shout over the din of the crowd.
“If they were really thinking about our safety then we’d be on that ship with them, and they wouldn’t be stopping the Earth in its tracks.” An angry protester within earshot of Thomas’ remarks shook a cardboard sign, yelling hysterically.
“I’m just doing my job, please stand back. The blast from this thing is going to be enormous, if you don’t back up then you won’t even be around to complain about the Earth stopping, now move.” It pained Thomas to be treating these people this way. He, like everyone else, wished that he had been chosen for the pilgrimage to another world. But he hadn’t, and as a National Guardsman his place was to keep people from interfering with the most important launch in history, the one that just might save the human race.
Thomas felt a shock like being hit with a brick. His vision blackened for a moment before he understood that he had been smacked across the face with a protester’s sign post. For a second he thought that the launch was underway, but the sound he heard was coming from the crowd and was soon joined by gun fire.

###

Clarence and Katy held sweaty hands, both squeezing tight with anxiety. The Captain announced that the countdown was about to start and that everyone should take one last look at their home planet before taking off.
“Oh my god Clarence, it’s horrible, there’s a riot going on out there.” squeaked Katy.
“Look away Katy. The future is wide open to us. Let’s not bring this vision with us as our last memory of Earth. Of course the people staying behind aren’t happy about us leaving, but they should be. We are the last hope, and we need to leave with hope. If we do, you’ll see the difference, it will get better, you’ll see.”

END



“I’m Still Standing” Elton John released 1983



A probe of some kind is jammed into me. A hand, a strong perfumed hand, grabs me. I cannot see. My sight has been cut off. This hand grabs my neck, lifts me up, yanks me back and then rams my face into a metal wall. Then slam-slam-slam –slam-slam.

I keep telling myself, I will not break, I will not break, I will not…slam-slam-slam. My god, that hurts. The shocks run all through me. I could just crack and die. NO!
I’m strong I will not crack, I will not break, no matter. What?

One of them just shoved some metal thing up my… my god what’s wrong with these people?

And again this same hand, I can smell it, grabs my neck, pull and push and slam-slam-slam-slam.

I have no idea where I am. Now it’s cold. I’m on the floor. I can tell it’s concrete, and it is cold. They leave me here, blind and with no protection. Why what have I done?

A different hand grabs me and throws me on a table; some greasy wet instrument is being shoved into me again and again. When will they stop?

I WILL NOT crack. I will not break! I am strong.

It’s so cold.

I must have passed out. It’s that perfumed hand again. She’s grabbing me and what now? I feel warm, no not warm, I feel hot. I want to scream but I can’t.

Someone else jams me up with that probe and rams me against that metal wall. Slam-slam. It’s only two times. What do they think I’ll break? Have they no mercy?

And it stops. They never talk; they just do, and do. I can hear their breathing and their laughter. And I hear the fingers hitting a keyboard.

And… what…wait, they’re gone. I’m expecting more of the same that I didn’t hear them leave. I heard no door open. I’m still blind. I hurt, I’m burned, and I’m dirty and greasy all over from that shit they put on me and into me.

The door opens and I hear her. “That session was a good one. Let’s see if this one will do the job.

Not a fucking chance. I will not break. I’d better never meet you. I’d better never see you or know your name, I’d better…another probe is shoved in me, I’m slammed against the metal wall and it feels like it explodes inside me. I’m going to die, my god. I will not break. I will not crack no matter what they do. I will not…

####

Well Dr. Wells. What do you think of our experiment?

“Mr. K,” says Dr. Wells, “I’m impressed. This metallurgy, the combination of the graphine and chrome moly in this new weapon is stronger and lighter than anything we’ve made or anyone as manufactured before. It won’t jam and it morphs to accept all ammunition including a mix of the NATO and Russian calibers. This should, no it will knock the AK 47 off the bestseller list once we get these out to market. The Board of Directors will be very pleased and more so once we get that export license.

“How long before we can start production?” ask Dr. Wells as she handles the weapon. You said you added some other things to the manufacturing process which makes it more adaptable in all combat situations.

Mr. K responds, “Dr. Wells, regarding production, we already have. The warehouse is full. And as far as your other question goes, all I’m allowed to disclose is that we developed a granular sub atomic artificial intelligence function that’s imbedded into the whole gun that allows the alloy to remember and learn from experience.

“We’re experimenting with the next generation. You’re holding one of the prototypes it in your hands right now. We think we’ve discovered something odd about the AI functions and we’re shipping them to Aberdeen and a DARPA lab for some classified testing tomorrow.

Mr. K adds, “Dr. Wells, if you want to play with it out a bit more we recommend five shots and running a cleaning rod and a few patches through it. This way you maintain the accuracy for testing purposes. In the field it’s not important. The gun will function in any environment. The patches, cleaning rods, jags, cleaning solvent and oil are on the table. Have fun.”

Dr. Wells nods, puts her ear protectors on, grabs the gun, checks the chamber to make sure it’s empty. For some reason there is a shell in the chamber. That’s odd and dangerous, she thinks. She ejects it, picks it off the floor and looks to see if it was a misfire. There is no firing pin hit on the primer. She puts the bullet into her pocket and then stashes a few magazines of different calibers in her shooting bag and heads back to the range. I’ll speak to Mr. K. about this later.

The End




Sweet Dreams

The square room was as stark as Jacquan True remembered it, his orange jumpsuit standing out in contrast against the white walls. The only furniture in the room was two chairs facing each other on either side of a metal table. One chair was filled by a fragile examiner named Forest Delgado, who motioned for Jacquan to take the other seat.

“Do you know why you’re back here?” asked Delgado.

“To play more video poker?” snorted Jacquan, crossing his heavy arms over his solid chest.

“I can see why you might think that…”

“Wait! Wait!” the prisoner interrupted. “It’s something of space, isn’t it? – outer space?”

Delgado looked surprised. “Why would you say that? Who told you that?”

“No one told me,” he said defiantly. “But I’m right, aren’t I?” He shifted in his chair, uneasily. “I dream things, you know. I dream the future.”

“Is that how you scored so well on the card games? – did you dream what would come up next?”

“No, no – when I’m playing poker it’s like the future whispers in my ear, so I can pick out which cards I want to keep.”

“And you win 93% of the time,” said Forest, checking a clipboard.

“That’s what placed me here. I was winning at cards and someone called me a cheater. No one calls Jacquan a cheater and lives! – Que sera, sera.”

“Logically, if you dream the future, why didn’t you change things so you wouldn’t end up here?”

“Well that’s the thing: you can’t change the future; you can only see what is going to happen beforehand…like a 30 second movie.”

“I may be able to get you out of here,” said Delgado.

“How?”

“We’ve sent two flights to Mars, but they both disappeared.”

“Qui, I know.”

“With your ability, you could dream the trip one day at a time, and tell us in advance what is going to happen – so we’ll know how to change things on trip four.”

“Why should Jacquan help?”

“You’re in here for life. If you do survive, you’ll be set-up in modules on Mars for the rest of your life with three other crewmen – all prisoners with unique abilities.”

The inmate picked at his jumpsuit. “Can I wear something besides this obscene orange jumpsuit?”

“Anything you want – just make a list and hand it to the warden.”

“I suppose that anyplace is better than this. You have yourself a physic spaceman.”

“Excellent!” exclaimed the recruiter. “In two weeks you’ll be on your way to Mars. Guards!”
****
May 23, 2023

The next five months proved uneventful as the crew of four convicts floated towards the Red Planet. 1 ½ hours each day was spent on exercising, and there were 3 meals served automatically by the kitchen appliances. This close to Mars, the Earth and Luna appeared as two crescents – the larger one blue and the smaller one white.

Ten minutes a day was set aside for each crew member to report back to Earth. This took place within a soundproof room with glass windows. Jacquan’s dreams were peaceful now and he told this to the camera.

The man who called himself Simon was blind. Eddie was deaf and was teaching Jacquan sign language. The fourth man – Wilson – didn’t have any obvious distinctions, but Jacquan thought he might have a photographic memory because he had been trained to manually land the ship if systems failed.

The computer awoke the physic during REM sleep – and made sure he wrote down what he had been dreaming about each night.

October 5th 10:15

Jacquan sat in the sound proof booth, 20 minutes ahead of his scheduled time. He watched his crewmates walk past, trying to give his report as calmly as possible. “This may well be my final transmission – as an accident will happen in 20 minutes that will kill everyone on board.” Eddie walked past and nodded towards Jacquan, and they nodded to each other. “I saw my fellow crewmates, suited up, helmets on, dead. The alarms were blaring – their tongues hung out of their mouths. As I approached the bridge screen two words were flashing.” Jacquan got out his notebook. “Magnetic Whirlpool. I have no intention of telling my crewmates what I saw because nothing I do will change the future. In my mind, they’re all dead right now – they just don’t know it yet.”

Suddenly Eddie opened the door to the booth, pulling Jacquan out. “I read your lips and saw what you said about all of us being dead! When? When!”

“14 minutes,” replied Jacquan.

“Everyone to the bridge,” screamed Eddie. “Everyone suit up!”

As the others followed procedure, Jacquan went to the common area and got out a bottle of rum they had been saving for the landing. If you had to meet your maker, you might as well meet him hammered. The alarms went off and the lights went out.
****
December 14th

Jacquan slipped into the communications booth of his original ship.

“Jacquan True to Earth, reporting from the surface of Mars. It has taken me 6 weeks to get the booth fixed, and I’ll need to make this short. After a soft landing by the autopilot, I found the modules sent here earlier were in good condition. The three modules are now linked up. Everyone else is dead of course. Protocol says to jump into a suit as soon as the alarm goes off – but don’t do that! – You’ll suffocate because the whirlpool messes up the air inside the helmets. There’s enough air in the ship to last until everything goes back to normal, just wait it out.

“I have lots of food and the greenhouse is going strong. But I’d like someone to play cards with besides the computer –come on up. This is Jacquan True signing off, commander of the Martian base Baton Rouge. I’m off to take a nap now, so sweet dreams my Earth friends, and C’est la vie.”
THE END




To vote, rate these stories using the form below with scores of 0-10 (in whole numbers) and send it to me via PM:

Categories:
1) What overall score would you give the story?
2) How good was the Characterization?
3) How effective (or original) was the plot?
4) How clear was the setting to you?
5) How good was the use of dialog?
6) How well did the story meet or address the challenge as it was given?

NOTE: you must have posted at least one message before you can send a PM. Join in a discussion or just say hi in a thread before voting via PM. If I suspect a voter of being a false identity (i.e. a troll), I won't count their vote.

Author scores for their own entry will not be counted.

Like so for each entry please:

(Title)
1) Overall:
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:


Voting will close on Saturday, April 4th, 2015 at approximately 8 p.m., East Coast Time.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post March 26, 2015, 10:44:19 AM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

My votes are in...later than usual, anyway...eh,eh :D
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Post March 27, 2015, 09:45:45 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

My votes are on the way.
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Post April 05, 2015, 07:33:54 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

And the Winner is ....

Rick Tornello with “ I’m Still Standing” (178)

Our other featured writers this month........

“I Melt With You” J.P. Garnier (136)

“Sweet Dreams” Michele Dutcher (150)

“Mandela Day” Sergio Palumbo (136)
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Post April 05, 2015, 08:09:20 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

WOW, I didn't expect it that's for sure. Thanks,

RT
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Post April 05, 2015, 09:21:30 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

Congrats, Rick!

Here's how I voted, with comments.


Mandela Day
1) Overall: 6
2) Characterization: 1
3) Plot: 6
4) Setting: 5
5) Dialog: 1
6) Challenge: 10

score 29
I found this emotionally inspiring, but in a vague and somewhat distant way. I'd have liked it better if it had given me a personal connection to a character. This story was like seeing a TV news article about something that happened far away.


I Melt With You
1) Overall: 4
2) Characterization: 6
3) Plot: 3
4) Setting: 6
5) Dialog: 4
6) Challenge: 10

score 33
The premise of a rocket affecting Earth's rotation was too much of a strain for my suspension of disbelief. Rockets don't push on the planet; they push against their own exhaust. There are other problems with the science, but that, to me, was the worst.



I’m Still Standing
1) Overall: 4
2) Characterization: 5
3) Plot: 2
4) Setting: 4
5) Dialog: 5
6) Challenge: 8

score 28
I was disappointed at the end with the worn out plot trope.


Sweet Dreams
1) Overall: 6
2) Characterization: 8
3) Plot: 5
4) Setting: 5
5) Dialog: 8
6) Challenge: 9

score 41
This story also strained my suspension of disbelief. A magnetic disturbance would not affect the air in a space helmet any more than it would anywhere else. It would be easier to believe that the disturbance affected the suits' electronics in some fatal manner. Funny that I had no problem accepting precognition for the story's purpose.
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Post April 06, 2015, 09:49:14 AM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

Congrats Richard! Nice one! Congrats!
Thanks Lester for your comment about the spacesuits. I'll rewrite that part to ensure that the reader knows that the electrical mechanics inside of the helmet gets messed up and sends in too much CO2 or some such. That's why I love running these stories past ya'll - the comments do help to better my stories.
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Post April 07, 2015, 05:06:45 AM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

Many and many congratulations to the winner, I simply found that his story was outstanding and the title of the song tied to it was perfect!!! :D
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Post April 07, 2015, 11:33:15 AM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

Ente Thanks I appreciate that.

Lester the NEW SHORTER OED defines TROPE:

a figure of speech consisting in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which it is proper to do, a figurative use of a word, figurative or metaphorical language; a phrase or sentence introduce as a choral embellishment ...; an argument advanced by by a skeptic; the reciprocal of a node on a curve...

Seriously, I'm not sure I understand your comment based upon the above definitions.

RT
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Post April 07, 2015, 12:23:17 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

I'm going to be as brave as Curtis here: these are my scores for the stories turned in.

I’m still standing Richard – a gun being fired and cleaned
1) Overall: 9
2) Characterization: 8
3) Plot: 9
4) Setting: 8
5) Dialog: 5
6) Challenge: 7

Mandella Day Sergio – segregation on new planet
1) Overall: 8
2) Characterization: 7
3) Plot: 9
4) Setting: 7
5) Dialog: 6
6) Challenge:8

I Melt With You Earth people leaving on last spaceship from doomed Earth
1) Overall: 8
2) Characterization: 8
3) Plot: 8
4) Setting:7
5) Dialog: 8
6) Challenge: 8

Sweet Dreams
1) Overall: Mine
2) Characterization:
3) Plot:
4) Setting:
5) Dialog:
6) Challenge:

I thought that Richard's story was the most interesting because it explored how it would feel to be a gun with a knowledge of itself and its surroundings. I tend to score high because it's tough to step up to a challenge idea and produce a story.
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Post April 07, 2015, 02:09:04 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

A literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect[1] such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices,[2] motifs or clichés in creative works.

I think Lester was thinking more on the motif/cliches ideal of the word in the instance of his comment and was referring to you anthropomorphizing a weapon. Not agreeing or disagreeing with his comment just explaining what I think he meant by trope.
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Post April 07, 2015, 03:25:42 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

rick tornello wrote:Ente Thanks I appreciate that.

Lester the NEW SHORTER OED defines TROPE:

a figure of speech consisting in the use of a word or phrase in a sense other than that which it is proper to do, a figurative use of a word, figurative or metaphorical language; a phrase or sentence introduce as a choral embellishment ...; an argument advanced by by a skeptic; the reciprocal of a node on a curve...

Seriously, I'm not sure I understand your comment based upon the above definitions.

RT

Rick,
Sorry for my misuse of the term; my intention is close to the explanation Eddie offered.

Specifically, though, it struck me as an example of the "Jar of Tang" story type, in Part Three, here:

https://w2.eff.org/Misc/Publications/Br ... ng.lexicon

I think this would have worked a whole lot better if you had told us up front that this was a self-aware weapon. Then you could have the humans briefly pondering what it thought about or felt like, concluding with, "Who cares, anyway? We're under contract, and it performs. Continue the testing." Go on from there from the gun's perspective, maybe interspersed with descriptions of the researchers' abuse.

The main character (the gun) has the same job any MC does in any good story: to react to conflict. It's being tortured. It has choices, and some ability to act. What will it do?

Done this way, the reader immediately feels tension and keeps reading to find out how it resolves, instead of scratching his head until the surprise ending.

By the way, since this thing's purpose is to fire bullets, I can't imagine why feeding a round into its chamber would be a source of discomfort. I think satisfaction would be more appropriate (and maybe a little perverse :twisted: ).

Hope this helps,

LC
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Post April 07, 2015, 04:25:25 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

Lester Thanks;

The idea came from two different areas; the first
I was practicing with my AR 15 that I have set for single shot magazine. I considered how the bolt might feel slamming into the chamber time and time again, and in that same though an editorial about the illegal use of torture also came to mind. Both those ideas came back to me when I was thinking about the FLASH and that song happened to come on SIRUS XM. (I love my satellite radio).

Now sure a gun might be happy to do its job, but Just suppose for arguments sake that it wasn't quite yet aware of that business end of thing and it was getting cleaned out after a few shots, as one is supposed to do with high end barrels.

Then I decided to use the torture aspect first, because it was so nasty and I did not want to go to the ending in the beginning. Think of it as an opening scene in a radio play or possibly a movie where the victim is blindfolded so the screen is black. Do you really want to give the story away, a spoiler some would say? (Honestly a few of my friends that I send my stories too to review thought I was having a mental breakdown or some such nonsense. I'm already nuts so it wouldn't matter. I write poetry and science fiction).

The ending, the ending I still wonder if I should have some how infused the bullet left in the chamber with some type of AI bonding with the metal of the gun, and have the primer go off in her pocket. As it is I wonder if anyone considered that aspect.

RT
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Post April 07, 2015, 09:58:45 PM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

Excellent stories this month everyone! Rick, I found yours especially challenging, it was an uncomfortable piece and frankly unpleasant to read, until the discovery that it was written from the weapons perspective. I find that writing outside of the human perspective to be a very difficult thing, I commend your execution.
"Reality is that which does not go away when you stop believing in it." PKD
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Post April 08, 2015, 04:28:11 AM

Re: Poll: Aphelion March 2015 Flash Contest

Mr. Garner, you hit the nail on the head. That's exactly what I wanted. As I mentioned about some of my friends, they didn't even finish the story because it was so raw.

Many of my stories have a social commentary imbedded. This story hurt me to write. I had to pretend it was me. I was exhausted once it was finished, not counting a few revisions.

And yes to see something from outside the human perspective is tough.

Thank you.

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