Thinking Ahead – Sunday Photo Fiction

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about a government that oversteps and creates a new enemy, begins after the photo.

Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia

***Warning: Mature Language***

Photo by: Alistair Forbes

Thinking Ahead

*click – clack*

*click – clack*

That’s the sound the guvmint man’s Newton’s Bridge kept making, on and on. You’ve seen those things, with the five steel balls suspended by thread in a frame. Swing one ball into the others and only one at the other end swings out. It demonstrates Newton’s law: For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. Only problem is, it gets boring in about 30 seconds, and it makes that stupid sound.

Most of the time, the toy slows down and stops, but this one kept going, like a metronome, aided by the guvmint man’s psychic powers. I tried not to squirm while he stared at me with those crazy eyes. This is how the recruitment starts for making new psychic warriors like the guvmint man…with a bonafide mindfuck. Yeah, a poor boy like me has more in common with guvmint men than it seems.

We’re both mutants.

They say a virus got out in 2093. Killed over 4 Billion. Overpopulation? Not a problem no more. Most survived, but the infrastructure was gone. Most lived like my family, scrounging or killing whatever they could find to survive. I lived in what used to be Queens, New York. Don’t know what that means. I never seen any Queens and I have no idea what a York is. About 10 percent of the survivors developed a mutation that allowed psychokinesis. At age 14, your eyes would turn purple and green. That was the clue. To the day, when you turned 18 (and no sooner), you could blow holes in steel with your mindpower alone.

So the guvmint, the Consortium of whatthefuckall (I don’t really know the name), would usually ask a family nicely to give up their kid to work for the guvmint if he was a mutant like me. My family told ’em to fuckoff, ’cause they knew what would be in store for me, becoming a guvmint zombie killer an’ all. They asked a second time, and we said no, then ran for the hills. They found me again, and killed everything but me. They even killed old Bruiser.

I loved that dog.

So here I was gettin’ the staredown, with some guy thinking he can recruit me after killin’ my family and my damned dog. He didn’t have a psychic shield up, ’cause he knew I was still 17. Too young to be a threat, old enough to be molded into their twisted image.

*click – clack*

I suppose it was that stupid Newton’s Bridge that made me do it. He didn’t see it coming, I guess. I think it’s apropos, you know? Like the guvmint man’s toy, for every action there’s an equal re-action. Kill my family and my dog, and you get…

He wasn’t that stupid, really. You have to be exactly 18 or older to be a real threat. Still, the look of surprise on his face was priceless…when I blew a 60mm hole in his head. The two guards went down fast, cut in two with the power of my mind.

Seems my parents lied about my age.


You gotta love folks that always think ahead.
Each week, Alistair Forbes offers up an original photo as a writing prompt for flash fiction. Look here for the prompt and many more imaginative stories in response to the photo above:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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16 Responses to Thinking Ahead – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. List of X says:

    See – this is why the DMV insists on two forms of ID. 🙂


    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! I think you’re right. Honestly, why trust someone who thinks you’re going to kill them? I think the Consortium will be changing procedures in the future. Thanks for stopping in! 🙂


  2. kirizar says:

    I liked the premise and the voice of your character. You can hear the click-clack in the background as you read the story. The only disconnect I had was when the character used terms like ‘Newton’s Ladder’ and ‘Apropos’ but didn’t know what a York was. But, it could be that he uses the ‘countrified speech’ to project stupidity as a foil. Also, I expected him to have shot the ‘guvmint’ man with a gun since it is quite possible to have firearms even if you don’t have psychic powers. But that would be too easy.


    • EagleAye says:

      Uh huh. I see you were paying attention. I like that. Yeah, after I posted, I thought back about that and wondered if anyone would think it odd that an obviously uneducated person would know the word, “apropos.” It’s good to know people are watching carefully. I’ll not let that go in the future.

      As far as a gun goes, it makes sense that he would be disarmed. If you’re planning on “reeducating” (brainwashing) someone against their will, you would almost certainly ensure they are not armed, and least until the “reeducation” has taken hold. This scene occurs at the beginning of process where the protagonist might still become violent. Thus, the presence of two guards. The only weapon the hero possesses is his mind.

      Thanks for reading so carefully, and I really do appreciate your very thorough critique. Thanks much! 🙂


  3. Lyn says:

    Clever old Mum and Dad 🙂 There are some good (sort of) mutants. This is one you definitely want on your side. I wonder what he’s going to do next? Can’t stand these bloody guvmint men either. Your holiday in the Philippines seems to have done you good – all those M-16 assault rifles 😀


    • EagleAye says:

      Yup. A poor education doesn’t necessarily mean stupid. The hero will probably become a kind of Robin Hood-esque kind of guy, undermining the self-serving “guvmint.”

      Yeah, my trip has done a lot. My neighbor commented that I’m two-toned now, tanned here, but not there. There’s nothing like experiencing a different culture to shake up the entrenched mental constructs. Thanks much Lyn! 🙂


  4. Al says:

    That’s awesome. I love that twist at the end. Yeah, lying about the age to take down the “guvmint” is excellent. Love it.


  5. yarnspinnerr says:

    Wonderful take on this one.
    I wonder if a virus could achieve the population control unless it is designed by the guvmint.


  6. Great story. Great voice. Will there be more?


    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you! I don’t know. Occasionally I do like to revisit characters. This guy has a great superpower, so it’s quite possible that he might reappear. Thanks for the encouragement, though. 🙂


  7. Pat says:

    Definitely an interesting response to the prompt — has a bit of menace and darkness to it – but still, it feels light-hearted, if this makes sense.

    I too caught the “odd words out” – and paused, but thought no more about it, wondering if perhaps it was deliberate to let the reader know that perhaps there was more to the character than was being expressed. The one that really stuck out though, was “apropos” — that totally felt out of place — as for Newton’s Bridge, I think that would sound better, if the character was from Brooklyn. 😉

    Great read Eric 🙂


    • EagleAye says:

      Actually, that does make sense. I wanted both at the same time. I’ll be more careful to keep the characters “in character” next time. Then Newton’s Bridge will become, “that thingee with the balls.” Glad you enjoyed it nonetheless, and thanks much for the detailed critique.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat says:

        roflmbo — “that thingee with the balls.”


        Actually, it wasn’t so much a critique in my mind, but rather a slight misalignment – but it’s not so bad that we don’t get really caught up in the story – well done 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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