I have a fine grandson named Lorenzo, and he and his mother and father came down to visit me. He brought his wonderful burnished helmet and beautiful, shiny aeroboard with him when they came. I felt very proud, and I thought at last I would be able to interest him in what I did professionally. We walked over to Daedalus Park, and I dare say he was suitably impressed and sputtered off, keeping clear of the couples on their hover-carpets and the small children in the Zero-G playspace.
As I was watching Lorenzo careen among the floating statuary and flora, a woman who can only be described as pinched approached me and told me I had to rein my grandson in.
Of all the planning Iâ€™ve done for this city, Daedalus Park is the one closest to my heart, having worked with the aeronetic engineers every step of the way, and pushed it through endless committees when everyone said I was mad. Now you see AeroSites all over, but I take no small amount of pride in stating that Daedalus Park was the first. And I do not remember any regulation such as this pinched woman mentioned, so I proceeded to ask her why I needed to bring the poor boy down to earth.
â€œBecause heâ€™s not allowed,â€ she told me, pointing. â€œHeâ€™s not allowed to do that.â€
At this, I threw myself up to my full height, and, as the author of this entire project, loudly and in no uncertain terms, said, â€œBy what right do you have to deny this young man the public air?â€
Some people wilt when confronted with my full not-quite-six feet, especially when backed by my formidable baritone. This woman, however, was far too strengthened by the imaginary authority in her veins, and proceeded to argue with meâ€”with increasing volumeâ€”exactly what could and could not be done in this park. So much so that Lorenzo came down from his whirligigs and whatever other complex maneuvers he does on that board of his, and said he didnâ€™t have to use the park in that fashion.
The woman tilted her head in satisfaction at this, which burned me more than I believe anything in the conversation had yet. I informed both the woman and my wonderful grandson that if he no longer wished to use this public air in the fashion it was designed for, then I would.
Naturally, the moment I set foot on the aeroboard, I fell off. But I did not let that daunt me. I continued my ham-footed attempts until the woman, disgusted at my flagrant mockery of her pseudo-rules, left in a huff.
I am told by his father that Lorenzo enjoys telling this story almost as much as I do. Though I believe he focuses on different aspects.
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.
"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.
Voices of Tomorrow
Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.
If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org