firegrill, The Reader

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February Flash Fiction Contest Feedback Thread on 2/18/2017 2:07:43 PM

@JJJ-thebanisher Thanks! I wrote it late last night. My last thought before posting it was, "I really should wait until the morning and spruce it up." I had trouble with the last paragraph; specifically, how much to include and what to exclude and let the reader glean for him- or her-self. What wording did you find awkward?

Writing Prompts Week #7 on 2/18/2017 1:47:39 PM

lock - missed some grammar and a misspelled word. Now they're bugging me. frown

Writing Prompts Week #7 on 2/18/2017 1:47:22 PM

"The idea is to create the ultimate immersive experience," The boy clicked the remote, flipping to the next slide in his presentation. "It's easy with virtual reality. Instead of simulating a store for everyone to walk in, you can give each of them an individual copy of the same 'VIP showroom'. Programmed models will put on a fashion show with your merchandise. All customers have to do is sit back and relax."

As the boy spoke, the screen showed a video of what he was describing. Even though he was primarily a programmer, he'd taken the time to learn and create the animation himself. He knew the demonstration made his idea more tangible. In fact, he'd done all the work on his own for this pitch, including sample program code and a cost analysis.

When it was finally ready, he picked through all the companies he could pitch this to. Who could profit? Who would be interested in something so cutting edge as a Virtual Reality storefront? Now, here he was. The company whose catchphrase is, "Because we care."

Tugging his suit sleeve nervously, the boy kept his focus on the man in front of him. Only one to present to. Only one to convince. He kept the presentation rolling even though he felt like bouncy balls were bouncing all over inside of him. The man asked intelligent questions at all the right times. That was a good sign.

Before he knew it, the presentation was done. With a relieved sigh, he opened up for questions. Now was the moment he'd been waiting for. If the man said yes, he'd be set for life. After all, if this idea took off, it'd change the clothing industry.

Silence filled the room. It seemed to stretch on much longer than he knew it really was. Finally the man sat back. "You did this all on your own?"

The boy nodded.

He flipped through the presentation packet. "Do you have a USB of the slides?"

Jumping forward, he pulled the drive out of his pocket and handed it over, silently thanking Joan for recommending he bring an extra copy just in case.

The man nodded then picked up the phone to call someone into the room. Seconds later a gentleman strode in whom the man handed the papers and USB drive to. "Take these to R&D." The gentleman left. He finally said to the boy, "I like your idea. Thank you for sharing it."

"Really?" he just about jumped out of his skin with excitement.

"Yes, and right now is the perfect time to start thinking about such a thing. VR headsets are bound to be a household appliance before too long."

The boy nodded in agreement.

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have another appointment coming up."

"But what about..." the boy trailed off, unable to find the words he was looking for.

The man watched him carefully. "Yes?"

"What about me? Do I need to sign anything or fill out paperwork."

"Oh no, you're part is done. We'll take it from here."

No paperwork? The boy processed the meaning behind his words slowly. No paperwork meant no proof it came from him. No proof he had the idea in the first place. They could claim full credit and leave him out. The man would virtually be stealing. "You can't do that!" his throat was dry but he licked his lips anyway. He couldn't. Right?

"I can't?" They locked eyes. "Have you filed a copyright?"

The boy's heart sank. "Well no, but..."

"But nothing! If you don't legally protect your software, it's free for the taking."

"You can't," the boy was a truely pitiful sight, now, head hanging.  "It's not right."

"Right? Who said anything about right or wrong? We aren't in some virtual reality, boy. If you don't care enough to protect your work, don't expect that the whole world will be nice enough to not take advantage of it. Not everybody has the same beliefs you do. Get off your high horse." He grinned, his eyes narrowing fiendishly. "Reality doesn't work that way."

February Flash Fiction Contest Submission Thread on 2/18/2017 1:37:11 AM

words: 292

February Flash Fiction Contest Submission Thread on 2/18/2017 1:36:40 AM

The chest sat in a forgotten corner of the attic; dust from its lid puffed into the air as Anna opened it, curious what was inside. Most of it was the usual mementos: Christmas cards and letters, dried roses, pictures. The one thing that caught her attention was a plastic, flat egg attached to a keychain. On one side there was a screen with three buttons underneath. Nothing happened when she pressed them. What was this? The other side had an opening that was screwed shut. Batteries went there, obviously. They must be dead. 

"Grandma?" Anna called, hopping down the stairs and taking the bobble with her.

The woman was watching the stars from her porch swing.

"Grandma, what's this?"

Taking the proffered item, Grandma smiled. It was one of those smiles she got when she remembered something pleasant. "This," she said as the girl sat down, "was your mother's. It's a Tamagotchi. It's a toy where you take care of an alien pet. In places like Japan where many people live in a small space, these were nice because people didn't always have the room for a real pet."

Anna took her phone out of her pocket and looked at the two. "Did it do anything else?"

"Nope. It was just a pet."

"That's it? Phones are way better. I can download as many games as I want."

Grandma remembered having a similar conversation with her own Grandmother once. She chuckled and looked back up at the sky. "My, oh my, how the circle comes back around...." She thought. "Is that what we're like to you, bright stars in the heavens? Here one moment and gone the next, like a flash in the pan?"

February Contest & End's EdgeLord Contest on 2/18/2017 1:34:55 AM

I actually don't have 25 points since I'm new, but this sounded fun and it's been a while since I've actually written anything. I decided to give it a go anyway even if my entry can't officially count for the contest.

Peeking Out From a Cave Like An Owl in Daylight on 2/18/2017 1:26:27 AM

Hi! I've run into this site in passing before but didn't take a hard look at it until a friend sent me a link recently. Looks nice, and so far I enjoy what I've read. I'm usually not much of a talker online, but you'll see me lurking.