[ nee-uh-TAIR-ik ]
- Recent in origin: modern.
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem, painting, dance move—inspired by the word, neoteric, where does it take me? Where does it take you?
This will… change everything, he thought, his heart fluttering, breathe catching in the moment of creation. Artemis stared passed his trembling hands to the worktable below. The feeling was awe, relief, wonder, and, most unexpectedly, fear.
“Why am I afraid?” Artemis spoke aloud as he brought his trembling hands to his face.
No answer came to him, so he shook off the feeling, and glanced back down at his creation. Years of theorizing, battling back the doubters, the naysayers; years of laboring, all-nighters, and broken relationships; all those years led to this tiny device that he picked up and held in his outstretched palm.
Finally, the stars were no longer out of reach. Implanting his device into the spine, cryogenic sleeping was now possible. Explorers could sleep for centuries, and awake in a new solar system without noticing the trip. It was revolutionary and, yet, in his moment of awe, the pang of fear returned.
Artemis took his miracle device…
…locked it in the container, and turned away from his lab. His eyes glared out the only window on the other side, out toward the dense forest that lay beyond it.
“What is there to be afraid of?” he said to the trees. “This is no bomb or weapon…” Artemis thought deep and hard. “No, it can not be a weapon.”
For the rest of his life, Artemis pondered his fear. When he released the technology, sold it, and retired with his fortune to create more advances, he still feared, and he still pondered. When the first explorers left Earth, frozen with his technology, he celebrated through that fear, trying to ignore.
As brilliant as Artemis was, there was a simple reason he couldn’t understand his fear. He just couldn’t think far enough ahead. To us, though, six hundred and eighty-three years later, the reason he was afraid is obvious. It was a weapon, just not in the traditional sense.
I like this as a cool story opener. We think, as the reader, that we’re learning about the story of Artemis. By the end, we realize we’re going to be following a different life entirely. How a simple, harmless bit of technology was used and abused to change humanity for the worse.
So, it’s a dystopian story, but that also means to me, that the story could also follow how a group of people, those telling us the story, returned the technology to its original intent. Or, at the very least, no longer used the technology.
Futuristic stories are a lot of fun to write and think about because it makes us imagine the world and our entire human race as we might be one day. Good or bad. Either way, it informs us of what we’re truly after. No matter what story we tell, aren’t the motivations always the same? Love, fear, worry, doubt, etc.
Today, tomorrow, or in six hundred and eighty-three years, will our motivations be much different than now?
What do you think of Neoteric?
Is this thought a comfort, or a disappointment? How do you think Artemis’s invention could lead down the wrong path? I have my ideas, but I’d rather hear yours!
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did neoteric or my story take you?
If you liked this story, check out my podcast of short stories, More Than A Story.
Today’s word is from Merriam-Webster.
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