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Author Topic: Suuper's Short Stories  (Read 328 times)

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Offline Suuper-san

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Suuper's Short Stories
« on: May 20, 2021, 04:22:31 PM »
I will post my short stories here, sort of a writers survival but I'll post when I want ahahaha
Formatting may be a little choppy, not only have I completely forgotten how to format writing but mostly I'll be doing these on my commute from work and so I'm not doing tricky formatting on my phone.

Index:

The Furnace
The Intersection
One Man's Trash
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 02:45:33 PM by Suuper-san »
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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's Short Stories
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2021, 04:26:30 PM »
OK since the only short stories I have read recently are lego's writer survival ones, my writing has taken on a copycat format. I have no opinion on that but it's interesting to see how it's shaped my style.

Not really sure if I'm looking for feedback at this point in time since I'm just so nooby, but if anyone wants to point stuff out, I'm all ears.

This is actually my first completed short story ever (not counting manga one-shots), so, meh :P



(Prompt: Metal, white bag, plant, shoe)

The Furnace

CRASH!
Another shovelful of coal flew into the roaring flames. At times they seemed like They had a mind of their own, at least, it did to Jerry.

Jerry's job was a stoker, along with the 100s of other men to his right and left. They were all stokers. He stopped to wipe his brow.

"Number 247, resume your task".
An emotionless voice echoed through the speakers above his head

"Fine, fine!" He resumed his rhythmic motions as they had been ingrained into him for over 30 years. The furnaces had to be fuelled 24 hours a day without stop. Otherwise, The City would grind to a halt, such was its power consumption.

"I never get a break in this place!" He mumbled to himself.

But as Draconian as the observation over his and the others' work seemed, it wasn't a bad life. Everything you could imagine was available in The City, and everyone was treated equally. But they were expected to work equally hard to remain within its protection. Everyone had a job, one job, and they were expected to fulfil it for their entire lives. Everyone took breaks at the same time, for the same length.

The City was the most efficient running infrastructure designed from the bottom up that the world had ever seen, and it's timely construction arguably saved humanity as the solar flares scorched the earth, aggravated by the solar energy mining being done in near orbit, and the ozone completely destroyed in man's ambition to become something greater. But The City was perhaps the answer man had been looking for. Measuring 500 square miles and housing 250 million people it was man's only remaining home.

It's construction took only 100 years despite the massive protective domes that covered the entire area and the complex infrastructure designed to cater for power supply, waste handling, and a myriad of other "needs" that mankind had slowly accumulated.

"It's fine for machines to be 100% efficient, but it's another thing for humans!", Jerry thought to himself.

It was a hard life, but people's lives depended on him doing his job, just as his life depended on others doing theirs. He was just another gear in the mechanism. Was he happy? Hard to say. Was he unhappy? Probably not.

Jerry mused to himself the other jobs he might have got stuck with and figured he was alright where he was, and shovelled another pile of coal into the furnace

CRASH!



Thoughts:
I would have liked to explored the life of Jerry as he goes from work to home, perhaps his friends and their thoughts etc, as well as exploring The City a little more with it's features, but then I suppose it wouldn't be a short story then would it :P

I didn't like the wording in some places, I think I used the same words a couple times when I could have varied it up a little, need more vocab at the tip of my fingers for that I think.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 02:40:55 PM by Suuper-san »
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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's Short Stories
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2021, 02:40:37 PM »
Ok I'm super not happy with this one but it's done and I move on.



(Prompt: Traffic, leather, mesh, curious)

The Intersection

Janet Singer increased the thrust on her hoverbike. She was late. Her boss had been lecturing her about chasing up problems and leads that go nowhere, but "how should I know if it goes nowhere without following it!" She always retorted. And now she needed to get back on schedule, she had a date with an intersection. Not an amorous one for sure, this was all work.

There were always minor issues with the hoverpod flightways. Miscalculations by computers, rogue radiation affecting sensors, human error, and so on. But the myriad of safety measures prevented any harm from what would be dangerous collisions and accidents. That is, until now. 6:30pm. Friday. Every Friday. Something would always go wrong. Often minor things, but the last few times had been worse, and a fatality had occurred. An office worker on his way home from a late days work, and suddenly he was no more. The wreckage and recovered black box gave no signs of any errors at all. The hoverpod had just, crashed. And Janet was heading there to figure out why. Flightway maintenance was her job after all, and if there was something going wrong, it was her job to fix it.

Janet would never have even noticed the higher frequency of errors if it wasn't for her custom built AI assistant, but even "she" had taken a while to log the correlation. But that wasn't enough to warrant an official investigation into the problem as her boss would always respond "correlation doesn't equal causation", and that would be the end of her request.

"Clara, bring up the flightway tracking map"
"Certainly" the AI responded without a hint of hesitation and a holographic representation of the area to the side of Janet's vision. It seemed like a tiny copy of the city, with all the traffic in the flightway represented with tiny moving models of the vehicles.

Janet's own hoverbike appeared in the centre, and the map moved to show an even area around her.

"Switch view to grid section 6A8F"

The map complied and brought up the offending intersection.

"Everything's still normal" she commented to herself.
"Start recording"
"Recording has started" Clara responded flatly.
Janet didn't want to miss any spec of data that might help in reaching the end of the mystery.

Speeding along above the safe limit she was defined to reach the intersection in time, but it would definitely be close. Weaving in between traffic she gained ever more on the destination. And then with only moments to spare it came into view.

Janet clanced at the time, displayed above the handlebars of her hoverbike.
"It's gonna be close!"
It was very close indeed and Janet started counting down in her head until the fateful time.
"5...4...3...2...1…"
And then the power on her hoverbike cut.

The flightways were installed far above ground level, around 25 metres or so. A fall from that height would most certainly result in serious injuries, if not death. And as Janet began to freefall she suddenly began to ponder her possible fate. Would it be the same the office worker from a couple weeks back?

But with such a safety risk, comes safety measures. Such as the impact jacket Janet was wearing. On sensing her freefall it expanded pockets of fabric, inflating around her in a giant bubble of protection. And not a moment too late as she got the ground less than 2 seconds after starting to fall.

She hit the ground as safely as if she was stepping off the curb, albeit wrapped in a massive cushion of air.

Psssshhhhh!
The air deflated and the jacket repackaged itself over the course of a minute.it would require refuelling to use again but it had definitely saved her life. Never had she considered that an error would happen to her. She considered herself an outsider to the problem, but of course, as long as she was travelling in the flightway, there was just as much of a chance something could happen to her. Her parents had always said she was a risk taker but she felt she understood their concern more clearly this time.

Janet got to her feet and brushed off the dust. Not a single injury. Her hoverbike however didn't fare as well. A few feet from where she had hit the ground, it lay, totalled, twisted into a mangled shape that would fit well in any modern art gallery.

But now to find the cause.
"Clara, replay the last 30 seconds before the crash"



"Clara?"

Nothing but silence came from her headset. And then came the familiar reboot noise.

"Good morning Janet" it chirped cheerfully.

"Clara, replay the recording of the crash just now"

"There are no recordings taken in the last 12 hours"

"What! That's not possible! Open the recordings list"

At her command a screen appeared showing her files and recordings, and sure enough, there were no recordings.

Even if there had been a power surge or electrical failure, the recording up to that point would have been saved on the local hardrive, which, on Janet's person, had suffered no damage.

"Sync error detected. Updating to current time" Clara interjected. Again, another error that wouldn't just happen with a power failure.

Janet could feel her skin tingling. There was someone behind this, she was sure. Those files and even Clara’s memory had been deleted. Meaning - there was something there that was important enough to erase them. But there was always data that couldn't be erased, something that a standard AI wouldn't have built in, but a custom one such as Clara…

"Clara, open the internal logic command log"

A huge list of text appeared. To the average person it would just be a jumble of random letters and numbers.

"Filter by date - Last hour"
The list refreshed. Janet scanned the lines looking for something she didn't expect.

"Filter by type - external input"
The list shortened.

"Filter by command - file access"
"Filter - remove local and internal IP addresses"
And finally there remained one result, a jumble of instructions in AI internal logic code. Janet looked straight to the end. The command to delete the files - it ended with "60.20.222.13"
An external IP address! This was the first clue that would eventually lead to the capture of a leader of a terrorist organisation, far before their plans would be executed.

But that was in the future. For now Janet had a lead, and she would be sure that this one didn't lead nowhere. She opened up her communicator and dialed for a rental transport to take her back to her office. Her boss wasn't going to be happy about the hoverbike.


Thoughts:
I found it hard to write the mystery aspect, I couldn't get the tension when she fell from the air, and I couldn't think of any actual clue that she would find so I went with the IP address, but that felt super weak. I was hoping for a ["found you", she said with a smirk] moment where she solves the issue. So I fobbed that onto the narration, which in turn fobbed it off onto the readers imagination :P

Overall a lot of regrets that I take forward and hopefully make a better story next time.

Also interesting how I managed to churn this out, like just, bleh, on the train. Something in my brain I think has clicked for the first level of writing, finally. Perhaps the writing chapters of manga in my recent project has loosened up my writing muscles.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 02:50:19 PM by Suuper-san »
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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's Short Stories
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2021, 02:44:46 PM »
Well this was a strange one



Prompt: container, trash, sign, committed

One Man's Trash

Gracie scoured the scrapheap in front of her. She knew exactly what she was looking for. But if you asked her, she would find it hard to explain. It would be easier to ask what she was going to do with whatever she had collected. That was easy. "I'm making art!" Would come her enthusiastic reply.

Among the piles of wrecked cars, broken radios, worn down sofas, and almost anything else you could imagine, Gracie would search and find. Pieces of this, pieces of that. Gears and chains were always good. But when you've only got what you can find, sometimes you have to be creative.

It had started when she was young, playing with modelling clay, twisting and stretching it into marvelous fantastical shapes that only her 5 year old self would understand.

It wasn't so much the final form that interested her, but more the state of permanence. once the clay had dried, it couldn't be changed any more. It was almost as if it had chosen out of all the possibilities, that single one, and was set on living it's life as that shape form then onward. Only as she grew older would Gracie see a comparison in her own life, choosing subjects to study at school, on to university and finally settling in a job as an engineer.

She always wondered about all the other possibilities, in another life, she could have been a ballet dancer, a chef, a school teacher, a marine researcher, an astronaut, anything. She sometimes imagined a regret over not following those paths,but only because she had such a vivid imagination and interest in life, fuelled by evening documentary watching.

She didn't always have an interest in sculptures as she went through school, but on learning how to weld at university, she started practicing on scraps of whatever she was allowed to use, eventually adding her own artistic flair to her creations. By the time she left university she had filled her room with so many models it had started to fill out to her roommates' rooms much to their protests. She hated leaving them behind, but her parents,being very tidy by nature, weren't having her piling them up everywhere. She always regretted that,and told herself that once she had enough money, she'd move out and start making sculptures again.

Which she did.


Thoughts:
I wrote this on the train and ran out of time to finish it but the last line was bizzarely ending-ish so I left it there.

I think the content is well written, but there's not actually much story, it's almost all backstory and flashback, so as my mum said, it sounds like a clippet from a longer story and not really standalone on it's own.

Also also, I think I undersand why Lego keeps bringing up artists in his writing - you can't help writing about what you know. I made the main character a sculptor but in my head she was an artist.

I'm just gonna roll with these stories and see how much experience I can gain and how useful these will prove to be.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 02:46:31 PM by Suuper-san »
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