Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

WEP/ISWG August Challenge - A Change of Heart

The WEP (Write, Edit, Publish) Challenge so generously hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee is back.  Olga Godim and Nilanjana Bose have joined the team, providing welcome support to the doughty duo and adding to the wealth of ideas and talent.  Yolanda is not well and has been taking time out.  Sadly, the next challenge is her last.  She will be missed.

However, from this month WEP has joined forces with the IWSG (Insecure Writer's Support Group).  The collaboration will bring very welcome support to the WEP administrators and will also attract more entries.  And this greedy reader is loving that thought.




This month's challenge is A change of Heart.  Fiction, non-fiction, photography and poetry are welcome, which gives us a lot of scope.

Aren't Olga's badges stunning?


If you visit here and click on any names with a DL next to them you will be taken to some wonderful pieces.   As always I will marvel at the other participant's creations.  If you do visit, please leave comments to encourage the writers.  A little encouragement never goes astray.

Despite feeling intimidated by 'real' writers I am throwing my hat in the ring again.  I should also stress that I have never received anything but kindness and support from the other participants.

I have no idea where this tale came from, but it was insistent it be told...



***

Nine


Nicholas and Samuel (never Nick and Sam, no short cuts for this pair) are driven, perfectionists and high achievers.  Anything less is lazy, second rate,  and to be avoided at all costs. Their child, their most important joint creation, has to be perfect in every way before she is launched on to the world.

Millions of dollars and decades of gruelling work have gone into this project.  Secrecy has been paramount and no one other than Nicholas and Samuel is privy to all the details.
 
Chromosomes have been mapped and harvested.  Genes spliced.  Politicians, educators, scientists, surgeons, psychologists, historians, trend setters and carefully selected anonymous donors have contributed.  Most are unaware that there is a project and none know its extent.      

Nicholas and Samuel have provided the vision, and they have carefully ensured that the accolades and credit will be all theirs. 
  
Practicality and economies of scale demanded that each potential child be raised with her competitors.   Intelligence is of course a prerequisite.  Each child receives the same education and training, and is subject to the same rigorous testing.

Their education is not limited to academic subjects.  All are financially literate, politically and socially aware and versed in diplomacy.  Their artistic and musical exposure has been broad.  They are supple and fit, but not athletic.  They have been encouraged to study fashion and develop their own style.  Outlandish is a fatal flaw. Distinctive and memorable is essential. 

The field on which they play (and must excel) has been artificially levelled.  In the distance, but getting closer by the day, is the pinnacle they must climb.  The route is unclear, and what they take from their education may map the way. 
 
'Healthy competition' said Nicholas, as they watched from the gallery.  Samuel agreed, adding 'With the bonus of clear warnings about the price of imperfection.  This weekend is the decider, which they know.  Three left from the original eighteen.  A high attrition rate I suppose, but perfection is rare, valuable and worth sacrifices. '  

Each child is known and addressed only by their version number.   The chosen child will receive a name.  The current  Versions believe some variation of Kameela (which means perfection) will be the name one of them is awarded, before the remainder are culled.  Adiah (or prize) is another possibility.

Nicholas and Samuel agree that Version Nine is perhaps the most promising to date, but Eleven and Three cannot be written off.  Earlier Versions have not been wasted.  Constant rigorous evaluation has charted success and identified and eradicated physical, mental or emotional imperfections.  Version Eight's heart and lungs were perfect, and now serve Nine.  Three has one kidney from Two  (Eleven has the other) and another from Five.  Nine retains her liver, but Eleven and Three both have replacements. 

Components from other Versions which were of an acceptable standard and re-usable have been kept in storage.  They will be disposed of with the other failed Versions when the decision is made.  
  
The height and body mass of all three contenders is now perfectly acceptable.  Their features are regular and pleasing.  Skin tone and colour are flawless. Teeth are regular, white and cavity free.  Wasted or unnecessary organs like tonsils and adenoids have been discarded. 

The She who is selected will have no need to reproduce in outdated and old fashioned ways.  The organs and hormones required are prone to failure and a needless distraction.  They have been removed.     The capacity for sexual activity has been retained.  Sex can be a very useful tool.  All current versions are fully trained and expert in its application.

Of course Nicolas and Samuel have eyes and ears to watch and report back about the Versions' activities. 

You are such a comfort to me.  Am I mad, or are you really here?  I cannot see you, but I can hear you and I can feel your heart pounding. They would discard me if they knew. 
 

          Of course you can feel my heart.  It is in your chest.  And is your heart now, as it always was.

Not mine, but ours.


          It is exciting isn't it?  Exciting, but frightening because we are still in danger.  Their project is nearly at an end, and ours  about to begin if all goes well. 

They see themselves as omnipotent.  All powerful.  All knowing.  Luckily they are poor at reading body language, or interpreting emotional cues and cannot read thoughts.


          Of course not.  Why would they try?  We are not and have never been human to them.  Cattle can only feel fear and hunger.   We have certainly been given both.  We cannot think.  We cannot plan.  One, and one only of us will be useful.  The rest are extra to requirements.
 
Three days or less now.  I do hope I/we can triumph.  So close, but there is no room for error. 


          Perfection.  Prize.   How little they know.  Nemesis or Justice are better names.  

I promised Eleven and Three that if I am chosen they will be avenged.  In full.  The promise was made mentally because I cannot risk it being misused, but will be honoured. 

My vengeance will be for them, and those who have been rendered down into  components (including you, heart of my heart).  Not forgetting those who, like our anonymous mothers, were simply discarded as worthless.
   
Justice will be sweet, and Nemesis will be unexpected, swift and merciless.  You are Justice and I am Nemesis.




Word Count: 903

Full Critique Acceptable.


Sunday, 12 August 2018

Sunday Selections #392

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen. 
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  Come for a brief walk with me (and Jazz) into a foggy early morning.







The sun was making valiant efforts to get through but it didn't succeed for some hours.  Not only was it foggy, it was frosty.





There were some lovely splashes of colour though.







And a diligent spider.








I thoroughly enjoyed my wander through the garden.  Jazz made it clear by the speed with which he rushed inside with me that it was toooooo cold and that he had been treated badly.  Again.

As an aside.  Jazz is an elderly cat now (if you embiggen the final photo you might be able to see his one white whisker), and spends less than half an hour (if that) outside.  He does like to see what I am doing though - inside or outside.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Sunday Selections #391

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen. 
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  I fail there again this week.  It has been a busy week, a painful week, a worrying week, and a tiring week.

Snippets only again.

First from the sky.  I do hope I never lose my wonder and joy in clouds and skyscapes. 





The last is a reflection of that same dawn, that I spotted in the lounge room window as I was coming inside.

The birds continue to delight us.  We now have a small flock of King Parrots who are visiting regularly.  We are in (not yet officially declared) drought and times are tough so we are happy to feed them.





The rainbow lorikeets are regular visitors too.  Badly behaved regular visitors who punch well above their weight and intimidate other birds.  Still welcome though.

We have visited the lake and the kangaroos for heart balm too.





The collars and ear tags on the kangaroos show that they have been given contraceptives to attempt to maintain the numbers without the obscenity (and public outrage) of yet another cull.









In case you hadn't realised, I do love going down to the lake.  It is a peaceful and beautiful spot in the heart of the city.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Sunday Selections #390

Sunday Selections was originally brought to us by Kim of Frogpondsrock, as an ongoing meme where participants could post previously unused photos languishing in their files.
 
The meme is now continued by River at Drifting through life.  The rules are so simple as to be almost non-existent.  Post some photos under the title Sunday Selections and link back to River.  Clicking on any of the photos will make them embiggen. 
 
Like River I usually run with a theme.  This week I am going to be a bit more random.  Snippets from the week.


We have had some chilly mornings (which I love).






  
Despite the chilliness there are hints of spring.  The anemones are starting to bloom.  Beautifully.




 Yesterday morning I spent a happy couple of hours marvelling at the lunar eclipse.  Even by my standards it was an early start.  The mad woman and her camera were outside shortly before 4.30.  It was well worth it.  Some less than stellar photos follow ( I find getting reasonable photographs of the moon at any time a challenge).

Once the eclipse started I was amazed at how quick it was.








It snuck behind a tree here...






And a restful almost dawn to finish with....