Finish the Fiction Story Contest - WEEK #6

in contest •  7 months ago

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Dear friends and fiction-addicts, week n. 6 has come and this time I want to challenge you with a story based in a dystopic future. I'm very curious of the results. If you want to align with my writing mood, you may listen to Clément Janequin, Le chant des oiseaux and see it in a futuristic-big brother-fahrenheit 451 fashion (I heard it in a loop, at the end it was too much also for the bananafish inside my brain and I had to counterbalance with some Lez Zeppelin).

Also, if you feel like, I encourage you to create a post in your blog with my part plus yours (instead than a comment).

A contest with a pot of 3 @steembasicincome shares + the SBD payout? You're in the right place!

I write a story, you finish it, you get rewarded. Everyone will get a reward and enjoy each other stories! Not bad right? :-)

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A Treble Clef

The tower n. 19 was among the first built as well as one of the highest. The purple shades of the morning had something sacred when it began to embrace its glass walls. The clouds were iridescent drops of cochineal, dipped in a basin of water.

The Chant des oiseaux laps between a cerebral hemisphere and the other of Lucien's head, swaying in a crescendo of pressing voices. The morning light, accomplice of the melodic joint, presses through his indolent eyelids, pulling at the same time the sheets from the foot of the bed.

In the monthly planning, Lucien likes it when he's awakened by Mothergrid with this music. It instantly makes him feeling productive and optimized, plus something else that he can not totally grab.

A sinuous raku porcelain cup emerges from a niche on the granite wall next to the bed. The Wednesday pills slide into a watery bolus through the esophagus, while the hologram ends its daily programming routine. Three point five minutes of preselected Entertainment. This is followed by an 8-minute fitness cycle.

"Good morning Lucien, your circadian rhythm has been optimized during sleep to increase your productivity by 2.75%. Select 1 for performance statistics. Select 2 for the parameters related to the circulatory system. Select 3 to know your hormone levels. Select 4 for last week trend in cortisol secretion.."

Janequin's polyphony mingles nicely with the female voice, while the latter reels off the repetitive rosary of available options.
Lucien smiles seraphic, welcoming the harmonious dressing of the home-daemona that, dancing around him, resembles rites and vestiges of past times.

The integration between man and machine had been a slow but unstoppable process and, for how much ironic it may sound, completely natural. Take an electronic device, make it useful, then indepensable, then vital. Small and powerful amplifier of human faculties. Wonderful extension of the senses, joyous inventor of infinite divination, indomitable improver of the lives of billions of laborious ants.

In the beginning, the devices had passed from hands to clothes, then from clothes to direct contact with the skin. Then, as obvious as it was, from above the skin to under the skin. Down, sinking deeper inside us, to make our lives better in a sparkle of electronic subsidence. To give us optimized and publishable experiences with the maximum of upvotes on the most relevant social media.

A lifetime of guaranteed and constant broadband connection. Many things had taken on a different perspective and value, the world had changed skin very quickly.
The Entertainment was now recognized by the United Nations as one of the first basic human rights.
The search for optimization of work performance and life in general had grown in a directly proportional way to the need for integrated leisure, directly inoculatable in the cortex.
Soon, it seemed to everyone spontaneous to totally rely on apps for obtaining the best performance during all kinds of work, academic training, activities. Everything was done better thanks to an army of automatic pilots, well anchored to the brains of the citizens. Then came Mothergrid and, only then, everything was really perfect.

It is half past seven in the morning. Lucien should have been away from home since five minutes, injected into one of the monorail pods headed to the workplace. Instead, there he is still, in his full anthrax color in front of the door, the man in a bowler hat of a Magritte's painting. Between him and the entrance, on the cold slate of the floor lies a yellow sticky note. What the fuck is doing a post-it there. These things are no longer used since decades.
Lucien can not understand how such an irrational disturbing element may have jeopardized the harmony of his apartment on the top floor of the tower n. 19.
Approaching that yellow spot, bathed in the purple light flickering from the windows, the scribble on the note takes shape before the eyes of the man, who observes him less and less perplexed and increasingly dismayed. A treble clef stands out in the center of the paper and, further down, a strange tangle of signs.

From the mind of Lucien, a memory surfaces just in time before the darkness closes on his field of vision. That scrawl was once called a "signature". His signature.

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For those that want to join the fun, here is how this contest works:

1. I write an unfinished fiction story

2. You finish it with a comment in the comment section or your own post

3. YOU WIN! For next round, I will donate at least 3 @steembasicincome shares, all to one or divided between more writers with the most engaging ending + Wednesday's post SBD PAYOUT will be rewarded between all the participants who won't get one of the 3 shares (I'm the unquestionable judge. Well, technically not me.. the bananafish voices within my head are).

It's super simple and most of all we'll enjoy our fiction ideas!
Nothing is mandatory here, but voting is highly appreciated. Just enjoy and prepare for a trip into my delirious fiction world!

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What's next?

The results will be published on Monday 9th April, 11:00 pm avg., UTC +1 (i.e. California is UTC -8). Submission deadline: Monday 9th April, 8:00 pm, UTC +1. There will be time for everyone to develop the fiction idea.

The pot is 3 SBI SHARES + SBD PAYOUT!

If you like this contest..SPREAD THE GOSPEL! I'm grateful for your resteeming and word of mouth. Please keep it up as I'm just a minnow like you with enthusiasm and passion for writing and making friends :-D

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Lucien hadn't used his signature in decades, nobody had. Once the microchips were implanted, you couldn't find a pen, even if your life depended on it. Ever since the hijackers used pens to take over an airliner, they were considered a lethal weapon. That poor Captain and his crew all stabbed in the jugulars, and left for dead.
Lucien kicked at the yellow post-it note, but it wasn't there. He rubbed his eyes, as if to clear them, but the vision of the post-it was gone.
But why a treble clef? Lucien remembered back when Prince was alive, he used a sign to identify himself. Was Lucien trying to change his image by identifying as a treble clef? Music had always been a part of Lucien's life, he never played an instrument, he was so bad, he couldn't play the radio.
And now, for the life of him, he could not get that image out of his head.
Lucien got to his pod and headed to work, thinking this day had started like every other, but not anymore. Lucien arrived at his workstation and logged on to his terminal with his hand print. "Good morning Lucien, you're late" said the sexy robotic voice.
Lucien stared at the blank screen for what seemed like a minute, but turned out to be hours. He felt a tap on his shoulder, he turned and saw a security guard standing behind him. "Come with me sir, and grab your hat" the guard commanded. Lucien was escorted to the basement of the building and placed in a room with music playing softly in the background.
"Where am I?" Lucien asked.
"Reprogramming" answered the man in the white coat. "Now, sit back and relax, you won't feel a thing"

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I have to say that, short and sweet as it is, I truly loved it! But now it remains the mystery of the post-it laying on the pavement..Great job, Bruni strikes again!

Well, I just did a super long one to go with your super long one. :-)
https://steemit.com/contest/@pixiehunter/finish-the-fiction-story-contest-week-6

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hahah! (next week a super short one)

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No promises but I will try and keep it to 250 max. :-)

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That's a thing I'll do too next Wednesday 😉 but in your case it's been so enjoyable to read you..

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<3 <3 thanks :-) and yeah we shall see if we can do it.

Hi, here is my entry, this has a lot of possibilities! Nice start f3nix.
https://busy.org/@giddyupngo/finish-the-fiction-story-contest-submission-week-6-a-treble-clef

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Thanks man.. It's great that you see many options, means your mind is alive as always.

Now you've gone and done it. I was winding down my mind so I can sleep, but now it is roiling with this story, searching for my part to surface. I.....mus...t...sleep. (crashes on couch in freewritehouse)

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Sorry pixie! Naughty story..get out of her mind! 😉

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Lol, I am waking up even more (brain wise but not eye sight) after reading @mariannewest's love it or shake it post. Just designed a picture to use. Debating on some coffee now.

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Thanks for the suggestion.. It gave me the idea of a love it and shave it contest, where you have to try and shave wild marmots, squirrels or even a moose..who shaves the biggest animal and proves it with a pic wins. 🐠🍌🦑

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Lol, and if they make it in one piece they get to be in the book of guinness world record (for having the biggest balls) rofl..Am heading off to bed (or attempt to.) I just finished making a picture for my part to your story.

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Cuando reaccionó, ya no estaba el trozo de papel. Seguramente lo había imaginado. Siguió con la rutina de siempre sin olvidar aquella imagen de G alargada.
Ya más tarde llegó a su oficina subterránea construida y rodeada de un Muro de Milán y diamante líquido, e iluminada solo con luz LED. Desde hacía tiempo se habían construido estas edificaciones porque las personas habían perdido la capacidad de comunicarse verbalmente y habían contraído un virus que los hacía alérgicos a cualquier contacto con humanos. Cuando llegó se sintió a gusto, había dejado programado todo el trabajo el día anterior, así que tendría tiempo de ponerse los cables en sus venas y llenarse un poquito de memoria. Con el hallazgo de la mañana había quedado contrariado y un poco perdido. Se conectó y para su sorpresa, el reloj le avisaba que le faltaban 2 horas para recuperar todo su poder. ¿Qué tanto había utilizado la memoria?
Como a la media hora. sintió que su capacidad volvía al 100%, así que se desconectó. Buscó en todos los archivos que tenía en su memoria y empezó a revisar de dónde recordaba aquella imagen, aquella nota. Sintió que que eran muchos los documentos por revisar, pero lentamente pasó cada uno de ellos deslizando su dedo en el aire y mirando detalladamente cada uno de los hologramas. Ya casi que daba sin energía, pero descubrió que su nombre era otro. La luz roja parpadeaba: también fue cantante. Empezó a emitir un ruido desde adentro: era de un país que se llamo Italia. Sus venas ya brotaban en un azul oscuro: aquella nota nota musical era su marca.
A las 4 con 50, llegóJanequin: "Buenas tardes, Luciem. Su ritmo cardiaco ha disminuido, su capacidad de memoria ha sido sobrepasada. Selecciona 1 para las estadísticas de rendimiento. Selecciona 2 para los parámetros relacionados con el sistema circulatorio...

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When he reacted, the piece of paper was gone. I'm sure you'd imagined it. He continued with his usual routine without forgetting that image of G elongated.
He later arrived at his underground office, built and surrounded by a Milan Wall and liquid diamond, and illuminated only with LED light. These buildings had long been built because people had lost the ability to communicate verbally and had contracted a virus that made them allergic to any contact with humans. When he arrived he felt at ease, he had left all the work scheduled the day before, so he would have time to put the wires in his veins and fill up a little bit of memory. With the discovery of the morning he had been dismayed and a little lost. He went online and to his surprise, the watch told him that he was two hours away from regaining all his power. How much had he used the memory?
About half an hour. he felt his capacity was back to 100%, so he went offline. He looked through all the files he had in his memory and began to check where he remembered that image, that note. He felt that there were many documents to review, but slowly he passed each of them by sliding his finger through the air and looking at each of the holograms in detail. He was almost out of power, but he found out his name was different. The red light blinked: she was also a singer. He began to make a noise from the inside: he was from a country called Italy. His veins were already sprouting in a dark blue: that note was his mark.
At 4:50, Janequin arrived: "Good afternoon, Luciem. His heart rate has slowed, his memory capacity has been exceeded. Select 1 for performance statistics. Select 2 for parameters related to the circulatory system...l

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Muy bien Nancy! Esta vez hubo un escenario y una trama interesante ... así como un mensaje final de esperanza 👍👍👍

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A prequel.. juicy. Let me read it before the results!

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Week #7 has landed!

The signature. A master stroke. Memories from a past life flooded his system overriding the computer controls. His heart pounded with passion. Love. Emotions so powerful. Overwhelming all his sences. Until a moment of singularity.

He stood in front of an orchestra. Opening night of proms at Royal Albert Hall. The crowd excited from a sunny day after months of rain. He felt joy and pride to be sharing his symphony with them. Only the silence of the room alerted him to his need to Conduct the orchestra. He didn't know where to begin.

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Short but intense! The power of that sign transported him beyond the cage of that technological illusionary world.

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Yeah. Listened to your music. Signature organic. Imagined you wrote in flashbacks throughout the story. We also know who left the note and why.

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Well yes I suppose I could have left that untold..but I liked to close it with that moment of self-recognition.

Trying to make up for lost time - the Mothergrid was already reacting to what was a small system bug, activating the accessory protocols - Lucien hurriedly, with his head full of confusion, to the emergency stop, where he was waiting for him already the reserve minipod, activated as soon as its location had been signaled outside of what should have been at that time.

On the transparent door of the minipod, however, stood another fluorescent square, another post-it, with a pentagram and a single note. Below, the scrawl that was Lucien's himself old signature.

The man sat inside the pod and took his head in his hands, while the vehicle ran at crazy speed on the monorail. What was happening?

The rest of the day didn’t go better. Lucien couldn’t concentrate on his work. Another post-it was attached to the edge of the terminal of his station. Another one was on the door of the bathroom where he went to make a sudden need, due to the nervousness (Mothergrid gave him a bland soothing through the slow release med tattoo on his right shoulder, and sent Bach into the neural headphones all morning).

A fourth post-it stuck out as a highlight pink triangle from underneath the bowl of Balanced Nutrient Principles almond chicken flavored that was delivered during the lunch break. The fifth was on the personalized ergonomic chair when he returned to the station, strange that he didn’t noticed it before.

Before evening, he collected a dozen post-it notes, all with a single note on the pentagram and all signed by someone who perfectly imitated his obsolete graphic signature. Lucien tried to convince himself that it was a joke of some colleague, which was quite unusual given that everybody’s fun needs were theoretically satisfied by the regular Entertainment programs, but the truth is that he was very uneasy, and consequently the rate of drugs administered automatically was also affecting his lucidity.

Back home, in the evening, he decided to make a strange attempt before the soothing induced him to sleep. He sat down at the domestic artistic terminal, as if he wanted to perform some creative leisure time, as foreseen by the program, before the rest. He opened the music synthesizer app, sent the post-it retina impressions via neural connection, first the one with the treble clef and then the others in the order he had found them. The app produced a pentagram line with all the notes in sequence. Lucien selected a warm jazz clarinet sound, then sent the command to the synthesizer. A pleasant, short, melody came out of the speakers.

When the last note was sounded, the terminal went out, like all the lights in the house, all the appliances, all the automated devices. An electrical blackout without auxiliary systems intervening.

Lucien got up slowly and went to the window. The whole city was immersed in darkness and silence, as far as the eye could see. The same silence came from his integrated bodily systems. The Mothergrid had gone out.

In the night dotted with stars, only the song of crickets was a counterpoint to the slight breath of Lucien.