This month’s prompt came from Don:
Your story: (I call these the impossible ‘What Ifs’.) Pick any one and give us 200 words.
- The speed of light was not a constant and could be altered. (for Science writers)
- The isthmus in Panama wasn’t there and Columbus sailed right through to China. (for History writers)
- ‘The Pill’ was never invented. (for Romance writers)
- The world all spoke at least one language fluently. (like Air Traffic Control)
- Tenure wasn’t available in the education profession.
- All politicians were subject to recall.
- Education was actually free (ref to #4).
- All drugs were legal, pure, and cheep.
- There was a simple pill to cure any addiction (given #8).
- Adam had refused the apple.
I chose the last one:
“No thanks, I’m good,” Adam replied.
“But Dear, really, you should try this,” his wife pleaded.
“Seriously Dude, you should try this,” the snake chimed in.
“No, really, I’m good. I just filled up on locust poop, and I’m all set. Besides, didn’t the Big G tell us not to eat from one of the trees around here?“
“I don’t think he was serious,” the snake suggested hesitantly.
“Darling, don’t you want to know the difference between right and wrong?” Eve asked while blinking her eyes suggestively. “Also,” she continued,” could you readjust your fig leaf because it’s not covering you anymore. And that’s wrong.”
“What’s wrong with my fig leaf?” Adam asked, genuinely taken aback. “Right now it’s covering up this mysterious wound on my ribs that showed up this morning.”
“Look,” the snake interrupted. “Let’s take a different tact. Think about it – if you just try this apple, you will know all sorts of stuff. You’ll literally be the smartest guy in the world.”
Adam thought about this for a moment, then answered, “I already am the smartest guy in the world. But didn’t the Big G say something to the effect that if we ate from this tree, we would die?”
“I gotcha covered,” the snake continued. “I can sell you some affordable insurance products that will help mitigate that risk.”
“And will He throw us out of the Garden?” Adam asked.
“It’ll give you the chance to get out and see the world,” the snake countered reassuringly.
“I don’t know,” Adam hedged.
“Dear,” Eve interrupted. “Just take the damned apple and bite it. Now.”
Adam sheepishly held his hand out, when a bolt of lightning suddenly reduced Eve and the snake to ashes. A glowing eminence appeared next to Adam.
“Oh, hey, G. Nice shot.”
“Thank you, Adam. You weren’t really going to take a bite, were you?”
“Nah. I was going to distract them and toss it over my shoulder when they weren’t looking.”
“So are you content here, Adam?”
“Absolutely. I mean, how much bug poop could a guy ask for? Although, it is going to be a bit lonely now.”
God put his arm around Adam. “You know, I wasn’t going to do this, but maybe it’s time I introduced you to Lilith.”
I’ll see your apple and raise you a quirky, quarky quasar. Not being a science writer, naturally I chose the first prompt. Here’s my blurt:
This just in…
The National Institute for Really Arcane and Obscure Stuff has just released an announcement to the effect that one of the underlying principles by which we have heretofore understood the universe and how it works, is, in fact, so much banana oil. The famous “C” of Einstein’s notorious equation, i.e. the speed of light, long believed to be a constant, and in fact not just a constant but an unsurpassable constant, has been revealed to be, in fact, not just NOT a constant but actually squishier than a sneaker full of clam flats mud.
Dr. Barkley Ramalamadingdong, speaking from lockdown at the Federal Institute for the Terminally Bewildered, assured a virtual assembly of journalists and scientists that, (roll the clip, Ralphie)
“Einstein had his head up his butt. Relativity schmelativity, I can show you twenty-seven different values for the speed of light between now and any Thursday, and what’s more some of them are negative. Put that in your equation and smoke it, Albie!”
Unfortunately, as the Q&A session began, Dr. Ramalamadingdong’s transmission sped up to the point where he disappeared into Saint Swithin’s Day, which is (or used to be) the Ides of July, but it isn’t clear what year the professor landed in, or if he’s landed yet.