Downsizing (Friday Fictioneers, November 2014)

Copyright Jean L Hayes

On paper, thirty years ago, it had made perfect sense.

There’d been awards, accolades, honours for the sheer ingenuity of the concept.

It had taken some selling to the over-sixties, but then hadn’t that been the essence of the problem… their inability to adapt, keep up, take on new ideas?

“My grandmother was one of the first,” the technician said chattily, “and my mother did it five years ago.”

She raised the syringe to the light, flicking to disperse the air-bubble.

“Will I suffer?” he whispered, dry-throated.

Her wide baby-blue eyes blinked in astonishment.

“How would I know? You invented it…”

OK, the link is tenuous.  🙂  It’s in the title and the concept of new inventions, but as ever, something sinister just had to creep in.  Nearly didn’t post today; inlinkz seems to have decided to put people (or at least me) through the hoops to get the code and it was a bit early for me to dredge through the old grey matter.  But after a lot of clicking, two emails from inklinz confirming I was subscribed, two rejections on signing in and a search through the junk email, I finally reached home base.  May need to go and lie down now…   Thanks to Rochelle at Friday Fictioneers for her patience and tenacity in making sure our community does what it says on the tin.  You’re a star.  *****

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About Sandra

I cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and write fiction and poetry. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
This entry was posted in Friday Fictioneers, Just Sayin' and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Downsizing (Friday Fictioneers, November 2014)

  1. I’m glad you persevered Sandra! I saw the link to the image… the newer fancier car, the old rusted car. Great take on the prompt 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandra says:

    There’s something intriguing about the concept of one generation cheerfully bumping off the earlier one without a thought as to how it feels. It appeals to the ‘what goes around comes around’ side of my nature. 🙂 Only joking…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Sandra,

    I’m sorry about the inLinkz code. It seems to have a way of blinking on and off for people.

    Tenuous is us, eh? Lemmes see if I get your link…;) The Edsel seemed like a great idea at the time. I wonder if Henry Ford II ever drove one. It sounds like your inventor is about to get a dose of his own medicine. Powerful and close enough.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  4. seanfallon01 says:

    Very good story, nice creepy ending

    Like

  5. Hmm, hoist with his own petard, it seems.
    Very clever tale.

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      I love that phrase. (Hoist with own petard I mean, not ‘clever tale’. – though that’s always welcome.) It sounds so uncomfortable, ungainly and well-deserved, all at once.

      Like

  6. I wonder if the technician has signed her future away, and whether the person who administers her drug will be quite as cold-hearted? A great story this week Sandra, lots to think about.
    Claire

    Like

  7. wildbilbo says:

    The ideas and notions we fight for in youth are rarely unchanged as our age advances. I’m sure this sounded like a good idea at the time… 🙂
    Nice take, and not so tenuous as you might think.
    Cheers
    KT

    Like

  8. That pesky “inability to adapt.” So annoying, isn’t it?

    Like

  9. Great connection, very imaginative. What I really like about this is how you captured past-present-future so effortlessly. Excellent story, Sandra!

    Like

  10. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Sandra,

    Your ability to tell a story in one-hundred words is unparalleled. This was sooooo good and will probably come true sooner rather than later. One of the perks of getting old is that I may miss the coming downsizing.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

  11. Sandra says:

    Thank you Doug. 🙂 Whether the downsizing is man-made or organic, it’s definitely in the pipeline. “It’s being so cheerful as keeps me going,” as they say. 🙂 Take care up there close to the moon.

    Like

  12. Sandra, If I understand this correctly, the engineer of the Edsel is being eliminated by his own request because of shame for inventing the Edsel. Some people may have been upset enough to feel like doing it I suppose. I hope it never comes to that. Well written. 🙂 — Susan

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      No, Susan, I think you’ve taken it as a literal interpretation of the prompt. Not to worry, you ‘got’ last week’s story when it had a lot of people foxed. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  13. How interesting. our approach to the picture so similar.. but the sinister touch of euthanasia is really creepy.. and sooner or later it will hit the young inventor..

    Like

  14. MrBinks says:

    Good grief Sandra, LET THEM LIVE! I fear for every one of your characters 😉

    Very well written, as ever!

    Like

    • Sandra says:

      Nah! I let one live last week, and the week before that. Before you know where you are, they’ll all be wanting to be allowed to live, and then we’ll have to go in for some serious downsizing. 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. I’m glad it wasn’t just me who had to jump through hoops to get code. Hopefully it’s a one-time thing. I like your take on the prompt. I can see it in the old cars, set out to rust away. The dialogue of the nurse, so chatty despite the circumstances is spot-on creepy.

    Like

  16. Sightsnbytes says:

    Yikkes!!! That was a creepy one. Loved it though! Great job

    Like

  17. paulmclem says:

    Very ambitious story in so few words. Have to admire the way you always explore this format to the limit. Great work.

    Like

  18. elmowrites says:

    As you said in the comments, what goes around comes around. We’re not a very forward-thinking species, are we? As for your writing, I’l admit it took me a moment and a re-read of the title to be sure I’d got it, but that’s OK. It reads well and makes your point admirably to those of us who care to look.

    Like

  19. Oh, wow! Great job, Sandra!

    Like

  20. Sinister indeed crept in. That grey matter of yours is something else!

    Like

  21. Sandra, I had the same trouble with Inlinkz this am and was up against a time crunch so wasn’t terribly pleased with my story. (I sent them a nasty gram.) I got your story right away. Sometimes the stories we may not want to post turn out just fine – and yours certainly did.

    Like

  22. I’m sorry you wrote this; I’m sorry I read it. Bravo – great piece. I’ll be unsettled for a while yet.

    Like

  23. Terrific and subtle story as always. Yes, it will take a bit of selling to this member of the over-sixties, but this week your piece especially served a compelling purpose. And a great twist ending!

    Like

  24. draliman says:

    Great story with a little bit of creepiness mixed in!

    I had “inlinkz” trouble too – in the end I “viewed source” on Rochelle’s page and grabbed it out of the page code 🙂

    Like

  25. Honie Briggs says:

    I like the sinister twist. Somebody may just put that contraption in the photo to good use with all of that “downsizing” going on.

    Like

  26. wmqcolby says:

    Wow! Sandra, we all can learn from you how stories are told and this is textbook.
    Great, as usual! Five syringes. 😀

    Like

  27. I am awed that you conveyed so many moods and thought provoking idea’s in just 100 words. Beautifully written.

    Like

  28. So, by downsizing, I take it, you don’t mean growing smaller a la Alice-in-Wonderland.

    Well, we all have to go some time even the inventors.
    I enjoyed it. Not the idea – the story telling. Randy

    Like

  29. Funny our our perspective changes with time… no doubt, it was a good idea, thirty years ago, sir. Nicely done, Sandra!

    Like

  30. rgayer55 says:

    Reminds me of my doctor, who administered a colonoscopy without having had one himself. Later, he related to me his personal experience. It was quite eye-opening for him–bless his heart 🙂

    Like

  31. storydivamg says:

    Well, a tenuous connection is still a connection, and I enjoy weeks when we see a variety of tales. So far, this week seems to be shaping up nicely in that regard, and I think yours is a choice prize among the lot.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

  32. John Yeo says:

    A lovely but sinister take on the prompt Sandra ~✏️

    Like

  33. ContactRida says:

    hahaha, inlinkz did the same to me but since i hadn’t posted in 3 months, i let the glitz slide:) very nice inventive spin on the prompt.

    Like

  34. A great twist at the end.

    Like

  35. i b arora says:

    interesting take on the prompt

    Like

  36. hafong says:

    Downsizing, is it what I think it is? Sometimes I like dark and sinister, especially in fiction. Too much in real life. In fiction it provides relief. Thanks!

    Lily

    Like

  37. Margaret says:

    ‘Downsizing’ is a wonderfully evocative word. I’ve been trying to do it (smaller house, fewer possessions, less clutter) for a couple of years, and believe me, it’s painful. I won’t be taking the concept as far as your story suggests. I loved it. Very clever.

    Like

  38. Mike says:

    An Edsel is still and Edsel. But there are better looking ones. …. Oh, you not talking about cars?

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Yaral Code says:

    Creepy, an eerie sense of some sort of eugenics going on here. Well done.

    Like

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