A few months ago at my local writing group, we did a short writing exercise. We each thought up the name of a gadget, writing it on a card. The cards were shuffled and given out randomly to someone else who had to write flash fiction about it.
The gadget I wrote down is a propulsion idea I mentioned in Podcast #6 – a throwable device which can toggle a gravitational field on or off. Here’s a story by Jenn Brown, who picked this suggestion.
Looking For Gravitation In All The Wrong Places
Things were not peaceful at Epic Battlez’ Hero And Villain Consultancy Service.
Thump. Buzz. Thump. Buzz.
Toni inched open the lab door and peeked in. Her boss, Arron – or Doktor Amohrul as he much preferred to be known – was still listlessly, repeatedly, throwing his newest invention at the wall. It would stick, hum as it worked fruitlessly, and then sleep for a quick automated recharge as Aaron leant forward to retrieve it and toss it once more.
“Useless,” he said, continuing his assault on the paintwork. “Useless. Useless fucking loser. Is that coffee?”
Toni nodded timidly, opening the door wider and entering the lab fully to hold out the drink she’d brought him.
“Doctor…um…Aaron…maybe it’s not so bad. I mean, everyone knows she flits from man to man.”
“If I’d just got this right! If this damn thing…”
Toni picked it up from where it lay uselessly in his hands.
“Do you want me to have a go?” she asked. “Maybe you’ve just been working on it too long. A fresh pair of eyes might help. Madam Chaos won’t be here to collect it until tomorrow morning. I can stay late, maybe fix it. Then we’ll get paid, and you’ll impress her, too.”
“Really? Would you?”
Toni smiled sadly, seeing his eyes, which she’d always adored, light up at her offer.
“You understand the problem? According to Madam Chaos’ specifications, it should be anchoring to the surface you throw it at and then putting out a gravitational field to attract the things in front of it within a 150 degree arc. The field’s being emitted in the wrong direction, though, I’ve got it just attracting the bloody wall it’s stuck to.”
“Yeah. Yeah, I get it.”
Aaron leapt up, threw on his coat. “You’re a sweetheart, Toni. Thanks.” He marched out. “Gonna find a good restaurant to take Madam Chaos to.” Toni sighed. “You’re attracted to the wrong thing, eh?” she said to the little sticky bomb. “Aren’t we all?”
Story written by Jenn Brown. Jenn likes to write action adventure stories and fanfic, and is a regular attendee of Derby Scribes.
Another story from this same writing session was “The Peace Button” by Sue Wilson.
Artwork by BlakeZ