This Friday Fictioneer prompt was an interesting challenge. To me, it said primitive technology in the midst of modernity. So that was the jumping off place for this story. Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the picture.
The Light of Times Past
“Great job, Shane. Those cybos didn’t have a prayer.”
Shane smiled and nodded. He stowed his blaster rifle, flew home, and threw the main breaker.
That time was precious—that hour he spent daily in the oil lamps’ glow, with not even a single LED breaking the spell.
Shane was proud of his job defending humanity from the cybo attacks.
But still . . .
He missed those days—doing homework and saying prayers by lamplight in that old wooden house, with its blue door and freezing outhouse.
He took out the old German Bible, opened the cracked cover, and began to read.
March 28th, 2013 at 12:13 am
I like this understated story very much, David; the juxtaposition of high tech and older, more relaxing? calm? lifestyle. Well done.
March 30th, 2013 at 12:11 am
Thanks. That’s what I was going for. 🙂
March 28th, 2013 at 12:36 am
Brilliant as always David. I like the way that Shane is religious even when humanity is an endangered species
March 28th, 2013 at 8:46 am
Thanks. I put that detail in, partially because some people see religion as the antithesis of technology, so that it fits with the older way of doing things. However, I also wanted it to be a very human thing, which is why I started by saying the cybos don’t have a prayer.
March 28th, 2013 at 8:49 am
That’s a great way of doing it. 🙂
March 28th, 2013 at 12:39 am
Creative as always. A little of this and that makes for a great story.
March 30th, 2013 at 12:11 am
March 28th, 2013 at 1:08 am
Enjoyed this, loved the contrasts. Well done.
March 28th, 2013 at 1:10 am
Yes, like the master chefs who eat bacon and eggs in some greasy diner after restaurants close. Great contrasts!
March 30th, 2013 at 12:12 am
Yep. It just goes to show you can’t define someone by the job they do.
March 28th, 2013 at 3:09 am
Technology can be overwhelming at times. I am sure in a setup like the story’s it would be more acute.
Very nice work!
March 30th, 2013 at 12:13 am
That’s true. I purposefully made it high tech to heighten the contrast. Not that the difference between modern technology and the Amish isn’t great enough as it is.
March 30th, 2013 at 1:00 am
First off I just to have mention this…I love chopping wood with an ax as well. I have several axes but my favorite is a double sided battle ax. I feel like Braveheart when I use it. Like some old Celtic warrior from a former life keeping his skills sharp….the simple pleasure of a mad mind!
March 30th, 2013 at 1:07 am
I used to split about 10 cord of wood every fall when I was in high school. There is nothing so satisfying and cathartic as make a chunk of wood fly apart with a well-place axe blow.
March 30th, 2013 at 1:24 am
I meant to be a box down….this is what I mean by having my head in the clouds…perhaps I will stay away from an ax until i shake last nights booze from my head…lol
March 28th, 2013 at 3:24 am
Oh yes… I love to spend days in cabins without electricity. Chopping wood and kerosene lamps… Hope to do that soon,
March 30th, 2013 at 12:14 am
There is something relaxing about the simpler ways. I personally love chopping wood with an axe. I could do that all day long.
April 2nd, 2013 at 9:48 am
We call it busting wood, or splitting wood. Everybody wants to buy a damn wood splitter, but where’s the satisfaction in that? I prefer to use a maul, but have used an axe upon occasion.
April 2nd, 2013 at 9:51 am
I prefer a splitting maul too, actually. It’s got a lot more power. I’ve used a wood splitter before, but it’s slow and nowhere near the fun.
March 28th, 2013 at 3:54 am
It makes me long for those days. They seem like a distant past.
March 30th, 2013 at 12:15 am
There is a lot of nostalgia for me in this. More so for the character, since as a former Amish, he probably can never go back (or at least he won’t). I guess none of us can really go back to what once was.
March 28th, 2013 at 9:17 am
Like how you portrayed the days of the past……
March 30th, 2013 at 12:16 am
Thanks. I find it interesting how we remember the past: what parts we remember and what we forget.
March 28th, 2013 at 9:30 am
Dig the divergence. Brilliant short!
March 30th, 2013 at 12:17 am
Thank you very much, kind sir. 🙂
March 28th, 2013 at 12:35 pm
Not that I know a great deal of them, but interesting the lead to the Amish in your story. From blaster rifles and LED’s to lamp light and cracked cover of the German Bible all very convincing.
March 28th, 2013 at 1:16 pm
Yeah, the idea of a former-Amish sci-fi robot fighter intrigued me. 🙂
March 28th, 2013 at 12:37 pm
I can honestly say, I never would have thought of writing an Amish dystopia, but I like it very much!
March 30th, 2013 at 12:57 am
Glad you liked it. Often I try to think of a genre of story for these before I see the photo and then make it work. This time I chose sci-fi.
March 28th, 2013 at 3:18 pm
this was unique. nicely done
March 30th, 2013 at 12:58 am
Thank you. I always appreciate you reading my work.
March 28th, 2013 at 6:06 pm
I liked that your story began with “they didn’t have a prayer” to your MC opening a Bible at the end. Nice touch. Good story.
March 30th, 2013 at 12:59 am
Glad you picked up on that. The cybos are supposed to be robots, non-human in every way.
March 28th, 2013 at 11:50 pm
One can never be misled or gone astray when they go to the right source for their answers. It will never disappoint. Good story, David.
March 30th, 2013 at 12:59 am
Very true. 🙂
March 29th, 2013 at 1:07 am
Nicely done David
March 29th, 2013 at 9:39 am
Great Sci-fi work – I loved it.
March 29th, 2013 at 6:29 pm
Great story, loved the way you linked the beginning and end with prayer and the Bible.
March 30th, 2013 at 1:01 am
Thank you. I like it when people notice the little details like that. 🙂
March 29th, 2013 at 9:31 pm
Cool that you build a scene in such a small amount of words. The simplicity of the lamplight and freezing outhouse (great detail!) are great contrasts to the futuristic descriptions of the cybos. And going to the Bible as a source of comfort rings true as a way to end the story.
March 30th, 2013 at 1:03 am
Thanks. It’s a challenge to do all that in 100 words, but that’s the fun of it, right?
March 30th, 2013 at 3:24 am
March 29th, 2013 at 10:13 pm
Good illustration of how much society can change over the course of a lifetime. I’m glad he was able to reconnect with his reading again, if only for a moment.
March 29th, 2013 at 11:42 pm
Quite a bit of Amish here in south eastern Pennsylvania. Just read in our paper that an Ohio group is getting sited for not properly plumbing their outhouses.
Interesting that in the time line of things, the Mennonites came first for religious freedom and then the Amish felt the need to be more restrictive.
Thanks for your visit. The next prompt will lead to the next installment that is if we can refrain from sticking pieces in the middle 🙂
March 29th, 2013 at 11:48 pm
I lived in western New York State for a few years and got used to seeing lots of them there. It’s amazing that their numbers have grown steadily, so that there are over a quarter million in the States now.
March 30th, 2013 at 1:02 am
This story is anchored well. Bookends on both side keeping your story firmly in place. From the prayer to the bible….very well done. Excellent work!
March 31st, 2013 at 12:53 am
Very impressive tale, excellent writing.
March 31st, 2013 at 4:35 am
He longs for a simpler time, but I take it he doesn’t have much of a choice right now. Really interesting character
April 1st, 2013 at 10:43 am
always something different and interesting to be found here. love your use of metaphors. where does such brilliance come from? well done
April 1st, 2013 at 5:46 pm
you captured nostalgia beautifully.
that picture is so Indian!!!
April 2nd, 2013 at 1:05 am
I liked this story so much. Made me wistful for my great grandmother when she and I played tiddly winks.
April 2nd, 2013 at 9:49 am
A simple pleasures story. I like that. I love the tongue-in-cheek link, the cybos didn’t have a prayer.
April 2nd, 2013 at 10:38 am
I thought it was interesting how you described the future as resembling the past.