Microfiction: Unnecessary

This story is for Charli’s Carrot Ranch. This week’s challenge is to write a story of exactly 99 words including the word, crystalline.

Photo©Bill Morrow


She was reading through the works of Thomas Hardy, revising and updating. It was necessary if the next generation was to understand anything of the classics. Dark was normal, clinging smog, algae in watercourses, puddles of rainwater, mirror shiny with petrochemicals. The world of the classics had gone; even their words were slowly leaking away as they were no longer needed. She was just helping the process along. It was her job.

The cursor stopped. She frowned. Crystalline. A rapid search told her what it meant. Her frown deepened. She extracted the word. No adjective needed. Water was water.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

29 thoughts on “Microfiction: Unnecessary”

      1. He is my favourite author.. Sigh! But your description I dare to say will be true.. They will at worst mutilate the original and call it the new literature..

  1. While change is the only real constant – I will have my words in books that I can hold.
    I may be unschooled amid classical writings – but I will wonder books stores with shelves of sheaf’s that behold the hidden truths in poetic wrangling… And if I am to be consumed by those waves of words I shan’t ask for water… just specks… the kind one needs to make words crystalline, even if only briefly imagined in my dementia.

  2. And thus we enter the true Dark Ages. That last exchange of having to look up the word and the conclusion to strike it — a sharp way to make clear how dumbed down it could get. Profound take on the prompt, Jane!

  3. What a sad, dark future is ahead, Deborah. It interesting to think of words that will no longer be necessary, and what new words may replace them. You’ve created a very vivid (though bleak – now is that a contradiction?) in your words, neatly trimmed to 99. Which ones did you extract?

    1. How funny you should call me Deborah, Norah! That’s the name of my heroine in the dystopian series I’m revising. She must be seeping through the words and taking over my persona!
      I didn’t extract any words—just picked out the most appropriate. The others will have their turn another time 🙂

      1. That is funny, Jane. I’ll try to keep an eye out for her infiltrations in the future. 🙂
        The words were well selected. Well done!

  4. Your flash really struck me in the heart. I read all of Thomas Hardy in my teens and twenties. And like many of us, I long to live in that world before industrialization had done so much damage. Brilliant take on the prompt. I read a lot of science fiction as well, and your depiction of a future world with its focus on language is unique. Well done…

    1. Thank you, Jeanne 🙂 We do so much damage without seeming to care. Destroying our language would probably pass almost unnoticed. We’ve lost our direction somewhere.

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