Friday Fictioneers–To Be or Not To Be

Posted: December 12, 2012 in Friday Fictioneers, Nature
Tags: , , , , , ,

Interesting in writing or reading flash fiction based on a photo prompt?  You’re in the right place.  You can read the “rules” and join in by going to   Or you may just read by clicking on the little purple cutie at the end of my story and checking back often to indulge in all the offerings.  The picture is from Friday Fictioneer at the Hawaiian office,  Douglas M. MacIlroy.  The entire shebang, started by Madison Woods, is ably continued by Rochelle Wisoff (no h)-Fields at  Join our merry band sooner rather than later.  Every day you wait, you’re missing out on the fun.

Almost forgot to mention that I’m scheduled, before bringing our younger daughter back for Christmas, to meet Fictioneers Sharon (newpillowbook) and Rich on Monday in Philly.  Pictures are sure to follow!!  

Doug photo-15

To Be or Not To Be

There it sat.
Looking real, features in place, calculations done, the detritus of their efforts everywhere.
It just sat there.

“Why can’t we do it?”
“No idea.  We’ve tried everything, even cloning, and done it right.  It just won’t sustain life.”
“We could email Dr. Joyce for more self-building molecules.”
“Didn’t work before.”
“Maybe it’s climate change. I’ll search online again.”

“Look!  Isn’t that a bit of ice over there?  Maybe there was something just for a minute or two.”

“I still think…”
“Don’t go there again!!”
“It’s Christmas.  Couldn’t we try ‘Let there be…’ just once?”


To read more about Dr. Joyce’s efforts, you may start here:

  1. Very interesting take on the prompt, like it!

  2. boomiebol says:

    Well done!!! I am clueless as to what to write lol

  3. Oh, I like this. Very nicely done!

  4. Paul says:

    And yet another prompt I look at and say “no way”! Yet you seem to have no problem! Well, since it’s only Wednesday I figure I’ve got at least 3 days to let it simmer!

  5. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Janet,

    Are you mixing science and Christmas spirits here? Are they trying to conjure up Frosty the Snowman? Forgive my one track mind. i’m two days away from my Santa appearance at Keck headquarters children’s Christmas party. Getting swept up in the season.

    Good story and great advice to Paul.



    • Yes, Doug, I am mixing. They’re trying to create life on their little planet and not succeeding too well. I’d be excited if I were in your Santa-to-be shoes. What fun!! As it is, I’m sitting in my house where the painters are doing a great job, but I have no decorations because the painters are here. :-/ However, when we got to Bill’s, we’ll decorate and enjoy lots of family (and couple) time. That will be a lovely gift.

    • I can just imagine you doing that! Ron is a Santa, too – via his Rotary connections. Have fun!

  6. wmqcolby says:

    Interesting. Nicely done. I’d like to hear more!

  7. Making life out of inanimate objects. Like talking to my son.

    Is this a spoof on Frankenstein – making life out an old soccer ball?

    A Frankenballs of sorts?


    Good, different, original twist.


  8. Tom Poet says:

    Always happy to see the word detritus used…

  9. yerpirate says:

    Oh dear..Frankenstein Santa Claus about to appear! Very difficult genre, well done -and great dialogue!

  10. Sandra says:

    Original take on the prompt. I hope there was light, in the end. Nicely done.

  11. Parul says:

    That’s a very interesting research. I wonder what the repercussions of this could be.
    A very unique take on the prompt!

  12. Dear Janet,
    You made me look! You made me look! Detritus. Thanks for providing the link for Dr. Joyce. I had to read your story twice. Intriguing if not baffling. Can you really email self building molecules?
    Nice work.
    Can’t wait to see pics of you with Sharon and Rich. (I know he doesn’t look like Springsteen ;))

    • I doubt if the molecules can be mailed, but if we always stuck to the possible, what fun would there be in that?? 🙂 As I said to Parul, I have my doubts about life creation anyway (other than the original one) but that lead me right into trying God’s approach when all else failed. Glad you enjoyed detritus. I’ll look for it to make an appearance in one of your stories.

      If Rich shows up first, how will I recognize him unless he has a Springsteen mask? Maybe he won’t allow pictures because then we’ll know he and Bruce aren’t twins. 🙂 Should be fun.

  13. I like this piece very much. Here’s hoping when they get the thing going, this version turns out lots better than the awkward first prototype we’ve been hanging out on….

  14. writeondude says:

    Gonna take more than seven days to complete that project! Great idea, well done.

  15. Anne Orchard says:

    Now that’s real world-building. Good story.

  16. I, too, am stumped by this one! Great job on this, Janet. Great multi-layered story. I’m interested in checking out the research.

  17. backfromtheedge says:

    Ah, it’s all atoms and energy in the end (or the beginning). Loved this re-readable piece, Janet!

    I’m so jealous – Fictioneers up close and personal! He’ll always be the Boss to some of us anyway ;-).

    Happy decorating (paint and baubles!),
    Mik x

    • Thanks, Mik. So glad you’re back regularly. Funny that i “met” you before I was a Fictioneer (or perhaps before you were, too.) The internet is an interesting place. As for meeting Fictioneers, I’d love to come over and meet you, too. Maybe sometime when I’m visiting my s-i-l in Provence…

      Glad you liked my story.

      • backfromtheedge says:

        Please, please, please tell me when you are in the area! It would be such a pleasure to say hello in person!

      • Wish I would be there soon, but I don’t know when it will be. However, it would be lovely, so I’ll let you know. In the meantime, have a wonderful Christmas.

  18. Nice story. You had a similar idea as me. All I could think of was a little world when I saw the planet.

  19. Very well done, Janet – this was an interesting and thought-provoking read. Hope your painters move out soon….

    • They’re doing today but it will really be odd not having them here. They’re three of the nicest guys you can imagine and excellent at their craft as well. I’ve been sharing Christmas goodies with them and enjoying the whole process as much as it can be enjoyed, so I can’t complain. Thanks for your comments on my story.

  20. Abraham says:

    Interesting. Certainly different.
    Well done.

  21. Hi Janet,
    Creating new worlds is frustrating work. Loved the humor you worked into this. Some Christmas magic may do the trick. Thanks for commenting on my story. How do you always manage to be the first? Ron

  22. unspywriter says:

    How apt for the season. 😉 Great, little story.

    Here’s mine:

  23. Real interesting take on the prompt

  24. *punches fist in the air* YES!

  25. rich says:

    reminds me of a short story i wrote on something similar about three years ago. was about a “supreme being” kind of a guy trying to create life. well done, and this may become a reality.

  26. Debra Kristi says:

    Very cool. I love your take on the prompt. Will the mad scientist be able to pull away and enjoy the holiday? Something’s aren’t meant to be tampered with.Of course, that won’t stop science from trying.

  27. brudberg says:

    I see the similarities in our ways of interpretation. I liked yours a lot.

  28. JackieP says:

    Really interesting take on the picture. It was a hard one too!

  29. Russell says:

    When you said Dr. Joyce, I assumed you meant Dr. Joyce Brothers. I suggest you bring some of those Pfizer scientist onboard this project. Things will be looking up in no time.

    • I thought I’d better include the link at the bottom so that people realized that I didn’t mean Dr. Joyce Brothers. But I didn’t want to waste another word on a first name. 🙂

  30. Well you pulled that one out from somewhere. Well done.

  31. tedstrutz says:

    Took me a few reads. Couldn’t decide on the ages of the ‘scientists’. I liked the ice thing, and thought they were creating Earth at first… and maybe they are.

    p.s. be careful when you meet Rich, he may give you a report card…

  32. Joyce says:

    I’m trying to think, look and feel with a perspective of a scientist, but it is not working any better than your character’s project there. Ha Ha. But, very interesting, and has me thinking instead with the perspective of just another created being, scratching my head. LOL It is a difficult prompt to write something about it. Still thinking. 🙂

    • This was a difficult one but I’m sure a story is brewing somewhere in the inner recesses of your brain. 🙂

      • Joyce says:

        It did for a while, Janet (with the photo prompt) and then I changed my mind and felt as if I should instead post one of my older poems I wrote years ago but used the current year to post it today on my blog. It is entitled, He Came Like a Star. For reasons that others might not understand I felt as if it could minister to those today that might need it, and the encouragement it could bring, especially in light of the tragedy yesterday and others still coping with loss of another kind. Hope some will like it. You can view it now on my blog site.

  33. H.L. Pauff says:

    Christmas and science hand in hand. This was a good read! Nice work

  34. kashapiro says:

    Blew me away, especially with the article as context. You did a nice job setting a scene with a creative take on that idea while mixing in the Christmas mythology. I got flashes of Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle with the ice too.. Well done!

    • So please you enjoyed the various layers although I hasten to add that I don’t believe Christmas or creation are myths. 🙂 Haven’t read Cat’s Cradle, but my husband probably has.

  35. A miracle certainly couldn’t hurt! Clever.

  36. Interesting. Loving the different responses to this prompt.

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