Following on from my post about the Unicorn, here’s another piece of micro-fiction written for a specific purpose, the 7 banned words theme at New Flash Fiction. I liked the concept of what they were doing – short pieces that contained words recently banned from US government press statements (note: I can’t find the original submission form, but that’s how I remember it).
This was my offering – I’ll let you guess which are the banned words.
‘A transgender fetus? That’s insane. Impossible. That’s ridiculous.’
‘It’s a science-based study sir. It shows we can determine in the womb if Mother Nature has got it wrong.’
‘So, we’re all vulnerable now, are we? Vulnerable to the crazies before we’re even born.’
It’s an entitlement sir and it could save a lot of money; correcting in the womb would be much cheaper.’
‘Nobody has an entitlement to be “corrected” so that’s a stupid argument.’
‘Imagine how all those so-called evidence-based studies would look though. It’d improve the diversity stats without all the legal fuss and bother we have to put up with now.’
‘I won’t allow it. No. Simple. Got it? No.’
‘But, you could have been a woman. Imagine having the sort of body you crave so much. As your own.’
‘Out. Get out.’
The president sat in his office alone, sad and wishing for a different life.
Every now and again I submit something to one of the online magazines that publish very short pieces. It’s partly the challenge of condensing down to so few words, and they’re often a lot of fun too.
Recently, I submitted on the theme of Unicorns. I wasn’t surprised when they turned down the piece as I did stretch the intention behind the theme, quite a bit. But, from their feedback, I’m not sure they got the humour.
Oh well, here it is for your enjoyment…
Reg throws another rock. One rock that joins the many pelting the deniers’ citadel.
Angry mob or legitimate protest; choose your side.
The Unicorn exists and it’s far too dangerous to be kept secret.
We, the protesters, protest and the rocks hail down.
Why was it brought into existence? It’s incomprehensible.
‘No GM. No GM,’ we chant.
A man steps from the glass fortress and is struck on the head by several rocks. The blood is disgusting. And, so is he.
Releasing Unicorn, the genetically modified corn designed to wipe out all other corn is unforgivable.
Reg throws another rock.
photo credit: Madame Licorne photos officielles via photopin (license)
It’s a well-known saying among writers that you have to read to write. I imagine that’s the same for any craft – the more you see of other people’s work the better your own becomes.
I’m in the fortunate position at the moment of being the lead-curator for a series of science fiction events themed around the near-future (links to them are on my future events page). This means that not only do I get to read all the submitted stories and choose the best with my co-curator, I also get to hear the authors read their stories on the night.
And, it may sound like a cliché, but it really is a privilege.
Talking of which, it’s also incredibly pleasing that Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association, has published an article on the thinking behind these Near-Future Fiction events.