Here’s the next piece in our examination of the way we write short stories. The prompts we had this time were: Blue sleeves, farmers market, pawn shop, indispensable, thoughts of a crash test dummy, summer.
The first thing that jumped off the page and inspired us was the line about “thoughts of a crash test dummy.” What exactly would a crash test dummy think about? That led us to contemplate what kind of discrimination it would face from other robots. (Can you tell we read a lot of science fiction?) After all, crash test dummies are essentially made to be destroyed. That sparked the thought of early Star Trek TOS stories where they presented prejudice in a way that the audience could relate to without challenging their real-world prejudices. The rest of the prompts quickly fell into place once we had that germ of a story. What came out of that contemplation is the story that follows….
“Okay, you with the blue sleeves….” Professor Ian Carmody consulted his seating chart. Around him, the students in Finance 101 waved for recognition. “Ms. Trefell, where would you spend 100 credits?”
The young black woman stood. “At the farmers market! It’s even close to my dorm.” She thought for a moment. “I’d get some fresh veggies. Ooh, and that yummy honey the old lady sells. And I could really use a new scarf, my old one’s practically falling apart.” She smiled. “That would probably leave me just enough to grab one of Mr. Dewey’s fresh-made pizzas.”
“Tasty, I’m sure.” He laughed at her enthusiasm. “Next, um,” He glanced at the seating chart on his tablet computer. “Mr. Jackson.”