Top Three Stories – June 2016

innocent-flower My June favourites:

Your June favourites, according to the stats:

As always, I’d love to hear which June story you liked best.

How to Create the Outcome You Desire

100 words about scare tactic politics
FFfAW photo prompt week 71 (c) Louise

A step-by-step guide:

Define your outcome.

Identify a suitable target.

Highlight areas which lend themselves to maligning.

Do field research: Encourage people to speak their mind, buy them a drink if necessary.

Identify overlap between areas you highlighted and your field research. This is Your Message.

Hone Your Message (tip: if writing copy isn’t your strength, hire a professional – you must get it spot on).

Release Your Message into the world and watch the sheep flock to your side.

Small print: Be advised the Scarecrow Method has side effects, some of which cannot be easily reversed upon reaching your outcome.

Bad Cog

100 words about a dystopian near future scenario where everybody is drugged just to make it through the day
FFfAW week 70 photo prompt (c) Nonnaci 

Fifteen minutes since I swallowed the breakfast pill and I’m still waiting for the comfort of its artificial blanket of docility to envelop me. When it comes, it does a shoddy job. How am I supposed to drift off when my feet are cold?

The drugs want to funnel me down the tunnel to alertness and obedience so I’ll do my job like a good cog. I resist. I need my dose upped but I won’t be eligible for ages. I could plead.

Or I could go with rebellion. Wean myself off. De-cog myself from the machine.

Terrifying, exhilarating idea.

Say No, Maybe

100 words about a Brave New World
photo by Scott Dougall 

Nobody goes near her. She’s a desert island in a sea of commuters.

I admire her bravery. Standing in Government Square wearing that sign – if she’s not brave, she’s mad.

So it’s not I’m not sympathetic to her cause. I wouldn’t risk watching her otherwise. But while I admire her principles, the ways she behaves scares me. She follows her own mind rather than chemically induced, government-prescribed sedation. Why does she seem so unhappy and so angry?

I inspect the pill I didn’t swallow at breakfast and sigh. I hope for greater resolve at lunchtime. Or tomorrow. Or next week.

***

My contribution to Nortina’s Moral Mondays. I’ve been catching up with the latest series of the Beeb’s Dangerous Visions and I suppose Brave New World was on my mind.

Statistically Deviant

100 words about a Kafkaesque dystopian future
photo by Roman Mager

‘Barely average, your numbers. Not good enough.’

I shouldn’t give in to my anger and I know it.

‘With all due respect, sir, my numbers are bang on average.’

The body language of his bodyguards changes – subtle movements, meant not to alarm. One of them will have a hand on his firearm.

‘And average is not good enough. Government policy is government policy.’

A policy that doesn’t make sense. A policy that sets everyone but the best up to fail.

I used to be on board with the official line. But what self-respecting statistician could get behind everyone above average?

***

Story 24 of 31 for Story A Day May – today’s prompt is genre and of course I’ve gone with dystopia.

TLT: Aunt Beth’s Cabin

TLT week 13 photo prompt by Dayne Topkin 

The way Mum put it, Aunt Beth lost it when she moved away from the civilised world, but maybe she’s been saner than any of us; she’s had years to acclimatise.

‘It’s ready but be careful, these get super hot,’ Beth says, pointing to the red enamel cup next to the matching kettle – who knew you didn’t need electricity to make coffee?

Beth’s cabin’s clean, dry and there’s good coffee – beats what’s left of civilisation.