Submit your one paragraph short stories!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Deviating from all the great videogame, computer and technology talk that Armchair Arcade is known for for just a little bit longer and inspired by Matt's excellent and recently posted short story, "Jumpman", as well as Wired magazine's similarly recent and clever idea to have famous writers write short stories made up of just a little more than half a dozen words, I thought it would be neat if we could do sort of the same thing here, except this time make the rules be that you need to tell your short story in a single paragraph. While I am a fan of the short story, I must admit that the last time I wrote anything resembling a short story was back in 1994, with my works, "Words" and "Go West Young Man (or Doomsday 24)", and only then for a college class. Great experiences, but it's high time that I did some "fun" writing like that again other than technology-related or essays. So before I whine again about not having time and getting to this after the "book is finished", I figured I could take a few minutes to come up with a truly short short story or two.

I'll post my first one paragraph short story as a comment to this blog post soon. It would be great if you all could do the same. Bonus points for making it videogame or computer related, particularly classic, but really, anything goes. Have fun and be sure to participate, even if you think you're not a very good writer, as the key word is FUN!

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Bill Loguidice
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(#1) SARAH by Bill

(#1) SARAH by Bill Loguidice

Sarah was excited by the prospect of jumping back into the holographic synthesizer. Living long-term aboard a space station was not her idea of paradise, but the pay was irresitable, if not the atmosphere. Now her turn was again up to get away from it all, if only for a few hours. As usual, she wanted to simulate a nightime float in the creaky row boat on the small lake by her old Earth-bound Florida home. The last time she did it, she just laid back and, though the irony was palpable, simply looked up at the stars. While she loved the light breeze that gently rocked the boat, she did not appreciate the simulated insects, with their all too real bites and buzzing about; Sarah had been on that sterile space station a very long time now. Whoever determined that virtual reality would truly fool the senses only if there was genuine environmental interaction, Sarah thought, probably needed to actually get out more. In any case, this time Sarah bent the rules more than a little by getting one of her programmer friends to hack the system for her and override life simulation on her program. Now she could really relax, just her, the boat and those very distant stars. Sarah happily entered the room, ran the program and within a few seconds, ceased to exist.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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Matt Barton
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That's an awesome story,

That's an awesome story, Bill. I figured you had talent for writing fiction, and here's living proof of it. I particularly liked the details about the insects--stuff like that really makes a story come alive. And not a single simile! ;-)

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Bill Loguidice
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Thanks, Matt. It's rough,

Thanks, Matt. It's rough, but good enough for 10 minutes of work within the confines of a single paragraph. I hope other people put up quick stories of their own as I know we have a creative bunch of people out there and keeping it this small shouldn't take up too much time. I'd love to read them!

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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davyK
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(#2) INSPIRATION by Davy

(#2) INSPIRATION by Davy Kelly

He was bored. So bored. His great intellect, seemingly inexhaustible, was hungry for new challenges but he was the last of the great innovators - society's problems had all been solved. All seemingly unconnected disciplines had long since been found to be related in horrifically elusive and contrived ways and he had mastered them all. He lay back in the dark and tried to relax. He longed for the challenges of the past when his racing mind prevented him from sleeping. It was tortuous at the time, but he now looked back on those times enviously. Then it hit him. Since he couldn't be presented with a challenging problem any more, all he had to do was to create a problem of his own design; so complicated and with so many interrelated complex relationships that only he could untangle them and calculate the ultimate outcome. But where to start? Then it hit him. He opened his eyes in the dark and said, "Let there be light".

Matt Barton
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Nice story, davyK, with a

Nice story, davyK, with a theological twist at the end. My dad was fond of saying, "Well, if we're God's children, that means we have to grow up to be gods at some point, right?" I'm not sure that's the way the metaphor is supposed to be interpreted, but it's a nice thought. I can't stand the thought that there's really no reason or purpose for our being here and that we've got nothing to look forward to. I don't see how people can really sleep at night believing that if they die, that's just "the end" and an eternity of nothingness.

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Bill Loguidice
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Matt Barton wrote:Nice
Matt Barton wrote:

Nice story, davyK, with a theological twist at the end. My dad was fond of saying, "Well, if we're God's children, that means we have to grow up to be gods at some point, right?" I'm not sure that's the way the metaphor is supposed to be interpreted, but it's a nice thought. I can't stand the thought that there's really no reason or purpose for our being here and that we've got nothing to look forward to. I don't see how people can really sleep at night believing that if they die, that's just "the end" and an eternity of nothingness.

It's interesting your dad would say that. I don't think it's a new idea. If you read Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) short book, "God's Debris", he posits that if there was a God, an omnipotent being who could do all and knew all for all time, the only challenge for such a being would be to destroy himself - the big bang - and then see if the pieces can reassemble themselves again (the pieces being us and the entirety of the Universe - in other words the ultimate goal is for everything to become God again). Fascinating stuff, but even Adams admits that his basic ideas are mostly borrowed.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
======================================

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Matt Barton
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Bill Loguidice wrote:It's
Bill Loguidice wrote:

It's interesting your dad would say that. I don't think it's a new idea. If you read Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) short book, "God's Debris", he posits that if there was a God, an omnipotent being who could do all and knew all for all time, the only challenge for such a being would be to destroy himself - the big bang - and then see if the pieces can reassemble themselves again (the pieces being us and the entirety of the Universe - in other words the ultimate goal is for everything to become God again). Fascinating stuff, but even Adams admits that his basic ideas are mostly borrowed.

It's definitely not a new idea. Heck, it's probably even older than Christianity. In any case, a great many Eastern religions have some system of "enlightenment" in place, where you can eventually attain some form of godhood (though nirvana is usually becoming "one" with god rather than getting to run your own universe somewhere). In philosophy there's the work of Hegel, who more or less claims that we're slowly but surely headed in that direction as we become more self-aware. DavyK, you might find Jakob Bohme interesting.

Obviously, as gamers we may have some insights into these metaphysical questions. Perhaps we're just "avatars" in some complicated game, like Neo in the Matrix or Lister in "Better than Life" (from Red Dwarf). If you were just a "brain in a vat," how would you know it? Maybe we shouldn't trust our senses at all. :-)

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Bill Loguidice
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Wonderful job, Davy! If

Wonderful job, Davy! If you'd be so kind as to title it and put your byline there like I did with mine, it would be much appreciated.

Great stuff so far. I hope others choose to participate! I'd like to see how long we could keep this up.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
(A PC Magazine Top 100 Website)
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Mark Vergeer
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Davy,now that is exquisite!

Davy,now that is exquisite! Wow, you guys have great imaginations. My intellect is not as vast as 'his', but I've read the answer somehwere, wasn't it the number 42? ;)

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Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
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Mark Vergeer
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Yes Bill, that short Sarah

Yes Bill, that short Sarah story actually made me have goosepimples. Wow.

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Mark Vergeer - Editor / Pixelator
Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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