Flash fiction – Privilege Revoked by Gary J Byrnes

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Tell a story in 300 words or less

Flash fiction is all about brevity. From Ernest Hemingway’s famed six word story (look it up here!) to the Liberties Flash Fiction competition’s 300 words, it’s a great exercise. My story, Privilege Revoked, won the 2015 competition, and I publish it here for your enjoyment (Note: this story contains the c-word, and I don’t mean Christmas).

 

Privilege Revoked

by Gary J Byrnes, 2015

Jesus, the heat on Francis Street today. Every day for six months had been the “hottest day ever”. As Tommy passed through the security scanner at the pub entrance, the TV wall babbled about how fossil fuels were the best hope for a sustainable future. His body image flashed onto the scanner screen, every fold of fat on show, each cavity exposed.

‘Jaysus, Tommy. There’s a void in your stomach, cryin’ out for a pint of stout,’ laughed the security twat as he checked Tommy’s toolbox.

Tommy grunted, took his tools, sat himself at the bar. The droid whirred along its rail.

‘Pint of plain, cunt,’ said Tommy, inserting his WorthCard into the slot on the counter. He always took pleasure in this robot’s lack of insult chips. It was the little things.

The robot found a plastic half-litre jug and held it under the relevant dispenser. It suddenly jerked back. No stout flowed.

‘Pardon me, sir or madam. It appears that your WorthCard has declined this transaction. It transpires that your residential water bill has not been discharged to the System’s satisfaction. Alcohol privilege is revoked until the matter is resolved. Thank you and good day.’

The bardroid whirred to another customer.

Tommy slumped on his stool, everything finally catching up with him. Twenty years on from the Crash of ‘08, life was shit. No other word for it. Just shit. The EFU – Euro Fascist Union –  now controlled every aspect of life. No, call it existence. The fucking robots had all the jobs and the function of the ninety-nine percent came down to serving the elite, tending their droids, managing welfare credits, and not much else.

Tommy snapped open his toolbox, found a nice big wrench.

The end.

Would you like to read more Liberties flash fiction?

Get the Liberties Flash Fiction Collection, free from Smashwords (any ebook format or read online): https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/568168

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By Gary J Byrnes

Gary J Byrnes is a bestselling thriller writer by night and a tech marketing guy by day. Extensive international experience in software startups, SMEs and multinationals. Find on LinkedIn. Has researched hemp, climate change for over twenty years. Writer, blogger, parent, animal lover. 2021 is about building a new business model to enable mass planting of hemp through easy carbon offsetting at Hempoffset.com.

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