Multiple Word Prompt Challenge – Dystopian Possibilities – Short Story

Swimmers One-Word Prompt — letter
Word of the Day Challenge — possibility
Fandango’s One Word Challenge — artifact
Three Things Challenge — carpenter, honey bee, dystopian


When I was younger, I was told that I could be anything I wanted to be, if I worked hard enough at it. That was all very nice, it’s always nicer to be encouraged than talked down, but it was a lie all the same. At least, that I what I had come to believe. 

I had worked hard at school. I busied away like a busy honey bee and I managed to get good marks on my exams. In this dystopian society I lived in, I still couldn’t get a decent job. All the jobs went to those people dedicated to the Party in power. The friends of the great leader. The system was so corrupt but it would surely crumble eventually because the best people were overlooked in favour of the party faithful regardless of their ability. 

I was brilliant at arithmetic and languages, quite a rare combination I was told. All though many of the old languages were suppressed now in favour of the Mother tongue of the great leader. I had wanted to join the great bureaucracy as a diplomat but I received a letter, telling me that my family were not considered faithful enough and I could not apply for any jobs higher than a grade C. All jobs were graded based on the salary and also status that came with them. Grade A jobs were higher civil servants and bureaucratic leaders. Grade B jobs were office managers, lawyers, teachers and doctors. Grade C jobs were office drones or semi skilled labourers. I became a carpenter, not that there was anything wrong with that job. It was creative and necessary, there were always things that needed to be made, but it wasn’t the mentally taxing work that I so craved.

Secretly, however, I became the head of our faction to overthrow the leader and the bureaucracy. I would love to say I became involved because the system was unfair and wicked but it was the rejection that had driven me to embrace this cause. Had the bureaucracy accepted my application, I would probably have become a member of the system that I now fought to undermine and overthrow. 

We dreamed of a world with real possibilities where people’s skills and talents were nurtured and you were judged on your own merits, not on your families connection to the Party. We wanted to create a world where possibility was our King. 

Several of us in our group were of a scientific mind, but it took a very long time to gather enough support and access to the raw materials that we needed. Eventually we were able to craft an artifact. This artifact was a device of incredible cunning and destruction. 

We had sort to negotiate with the bureaucracy through diplomatic means, initially, but they proved that they were not prepared to be amicable. When they were able to find one of our cells they exterminated everyone without mercy. We had no choice but to destroy the system entirely. 

We disguised the artifact inside an ornately carved wooden casket that I had crafted with my own hands and we dispatched it to the central bureau as a present for the great leader. Of course they would scan its contents thoroughly, not a day went by without someone sending an explosive device in to the central bureau, such was its level of popularity, but our artifact was not a bomb. It was not anything they would have ever seen before. 

We knew we had succeeded in those moments when life stopped and there was complete silence. You could not hear a single sound, not even breathing. Humanity, such as what was left of it, was extinguished. The world would be a better place without us. Now, possibility could be King, but not for us, for the animals that were left. 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 23/June/2018




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People are far too complicated to be able to describe in a few words so I am not even going to try.

8 thoughts on “Multiple Word Prompt Challenge – Dystopian Possibilities – Short Story”

  1. Dark indeed! Sometimes a dark story is like dark chocolate, a fine indulgence with a pleasant experience and bitter-sweet aftertaste.

    I very much enjoy the effort you put in to use the multiple prompts.

    Liked by 2 people

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