Archive for July 31st, 2011

31st July
2011
written by amber

Pet Fish Funeral

The kids were devastated, Amee especially. Kurt tried to hide his sadness by lashing out against the younger two: “You overfed him! I told you not to give him so much.”

But I knew it was really my fault. I’d told one of the other waitresses at work about Nemo and she said that fish were too much trouble, what with having to keep the tank clean and filtered, and having to let the chlorine and flouride get out of the tap water before you used it.

“Oh, yeah,” I agreed, but this was news to me. I thought you just got water and put the fish in. Ed at the pet store hadn’t said any different. He was too busy trying to look down the front of my blouse. And I’d liked it, the way he flirted with me.

And I’d liked that I was getting a pet for my kids. The last year’s been really hard on them, and it felt like we were getting back to a normal life, what with a pet for them and a job for me, and our apartment, not exactly a palace but it’s ours.

And now Nemo is dead. He’ll never grow to be six inches long like Ed said he would. The kids have painted an old shoe box and we’re going to bury him under the apple tree at my mother’s house.

It was stupid to get a fish. Maybe I could afford all those filters and things and figure out how to make the water safe for a fish, but it’s too much trouble when I’m working and everything. The Animal Shelter is giving away free kittens. If we never let it go outside, the landlord will never know.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story was inspired by the title of a piece of spam that I received.

31st July
2011
written by amber

Telepathic Lip Reading

“Don’t just think blue,” Von reminded me, “concentrate on imagining saying blue.”

For weeks, he’d been mapping what my brain waves do when I talk, now we were seeing if visualizing speech without actually speaking would trigger the same brain waves. Well, I guess he knows that they do. He’s the scientist. I’m just the subject.

The pay is good even if the job is boring, I’d tell people if I could tell anyone. But this is a top secret military experiment, so I have to lie and say that I’m receiving a drug trial for my condition. I’m ‘incommunicado’ for these four months.

Except that I’m communicating plenty. Ten hours a day working with Von. And he often visits me in my room in the evening to talk about the results of the day’s tests and his hopes for the future of this technology. He is so much more than a military contractor. Sure, this will become a means for soldiers to communicate by ‘brain waves,’ but there are many civilian applications too.

It’s a long time since I’ve been around anyone this excited about their work, this optimistic about the future. But I know that at my age that’s exactly the sort of people I should be with – fellow students or co-workers in my first job instead of doctors and therapists and my family, all with their long long faces.

Yes, I know I’m more than half in love with Von, but I’m even more in love with the invention he hopes to develop, the helmet which will allow me to communicate after my lips can no longer form words.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story was inspired by an article in a Discover magazine. Is it science fiction or not?

And I missed publishing it on July 30, as I had to run over to the Black Cat Guest Ranch main lodge for the arrival of some unexpected guests who had been bumped from the hotel they had booked in Hinton.