ConflictPrompt Contest Entry: "My Uncertainty Principle"steemCreated with Sketch.

in conflictprompt •  10 months ago

This story was written for a few reasons. First, it fleshes out a scene captured by @rea in the photograph below of a small tree and a tiny cloud. She took it on a bright day in Heartwood Forest near East Hyde in the UK. Second, it expresses some of the tension I'm feeling for my friends in Florida bracing for Hurricane Irma. Third, it touches on something one Florida friend, @tamaralovelace, is experiencing following her son's car accident. Thankfully, she's able to be by her son's side and his condition continues to improve. Visit her blog and please pray4rodney. Fourth, it allows me to participate in the writing exercise of the PALnet Fiction Workshop's Conflict Prompt contest. The theme for this contest is man/woman vs God or fate. Below is my entry.

"My Uncertainty Principle"

Why would you make a cloud that small? You mocking me? Maybe Einstein was wrong. Maybe, God, you do play dice.

I'm helpless here. The sun shines like nothing's wrong. People mill about, sipping their coffee, poking their phones. For them, it's just another day. Not a cloud in the sky, except that one.

How dare you make a cloud that small? Here, in my heaven? With my son lying there, four thousand miles away?


Einstein didn't know you. He believed in the world's design, and attribution? It wasn't given to you. Wouldn't give you the satisfaction.

Where are you, anyway? Never showing up. Never answering when you're called. You're like a disobedient child, a reckless son... an injured, fragile...

Still. Einstein said you don't play dice. Even he was tempted to euphemize you into some sort of existence.


“Rodney Clemons was admitted early this morning. I'll need some information from you.”

A nurse talked into my ear. I answered the ring, half asleep. Caller ID, Osceola Regional. Where is Osceola?

“Does your son have any known allergies?”

I need to get there. Flights cancelled.

Why? Because you've been playing dice, God. I know my son's position with some precision, but not his velocity.


Heavy rain. Took a curve too fast. “Hurricane Irma, bearing down on the eastern edge of Florida.” The TV tells me. A failed wiper. What was it, a tree? An oncoming truck obeying Newton's laws of motion?

You do play dice. Throw a butterfly into a wave and watch its delicate, dying wings flutter vapors into cloud. A swirling volcano of rain churning over the state that holds my son, whose breathing is assisted.

A wiper, small strip of rubber. Driving rain on a windshield. I've seen the cloud on TV. Circulous, menacing, enormous, beating me down into my own mind's surf, gasping, gurgling foam, drowning here in East Hyde just off the M1.

The crunching of steel jolts me from my drowning. Clanging, twisted, the aching roar of metal bending. I heard it. I think I heard it. I woke up before I got the call. Osceola Regional. “Where are you located, again?”


“His condition is stable for now. The doctor will update you in an hour.”

This small cloud hangs in my sky. A molecule, a whiff of lint. Give me the storm. Why give it to him? I hate your tiny cloud and your weird physics that brought it here.


“Mrs. Clemons? He's breathing on his own.”

The tiny cloud floats away. Only the tree remains, and pointless sunshine.

A pang in my sternum. I need to touch him, feel him pressed against my chest. Osceola Regional.

If you do play dice. If nothing is certain. If what I can know about movement in relation to place is finitely limited, then I'll be my own butterfly, with turbulent, terrible wings. I'll flap them firmly, spawning storms myself.

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Beautiful story, very moving. Love it.

Congratulations! This story has been curated by The SFT. :-) A small SBD reward has been transferred to your wallet.

It has been added to the Literary Reading Room at the SFT Library.


Thank you so much @sft !

Indeed..I'll be my own butterfly!

What a lovely job you've done on this piece, @geke! So, SO full of emotion, just like my existence. I adore this body of work! Thank you for creating and sharing it :)

An extremely moving and tender story with a beautiful reason for producing it in the first place. I definitely do pray for @tamaralovelace and can't believe what a rough time her and her son are going through, though it looks like he is going to be alright. Can't believe how talented you are. I can't see you "not" winning the contest, the way you have written your story so well.

Thank you for using my simple photo as a foundation stone for your work. Good luck with the contest! :)


Thanks @rea... seeing all the great pix you've posted over time, I knew at some point I'd use one as a writing prompt!

God does not play dice.

- Albert Einstein


Normally these bot comments don't get a CommentWealth upvote, but this one seems serendipitously relevant.

man this was intense! love your style. "The sun shines like nothing's wrong" -my favorite line.


Thanks @deltatrek - I liked your entry, too!


Indeed. LOTS of great lines in this story. As a mother, and as one who often shakes her puny fist at God, I totally relate.

Just wow.

This is pretty powerful @geke. Thank you for entering this.

Give me the storm. Why give it to him?
I hate your tiny cloud and your weird physics that brought it here.

Oh, @geke! Were you really messaging me about concerns that you didn't do Deep POV well? My heart broke and healed and swelled in the space of these 500 words.



Well, it's new to me and my novel wasn't the right platform for deep POV apparently. I've been wanting to work with it, though! Thank you for encouraging me. ♥♥♥

You pulled it all together. Well done. I hope your friend's son recovers quickly. I have family in Florida too... Hoping they are safe.


Thanks @jasonbu. We've been glued to the weather channel and wishing we could do something.

Really enjoyed this story @geke.

God - this is amazingly heart-wrenchingly good @geke


thank you @authorofthings! ❤

cool post and keep it up..!
upvote my friend

man this was intense, love your style. "The sun shines like nothing's wrong" My favorite line.

@geke got you a $1.49 @minnowbooster upgoat, nice!
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