The story’s protagonist is female and a shopkeeper. A piece of fruit plays a significant part in the story. The story is set in a school in the far future. The story is about freedom.
It always rains on Mondays. It doesn’t matter what planet you’re on. Saness watched the drops sliding down the window, taking her mood with them. Blork! How could anything get worse? Her parents were in Argonnia on vacation and out of reach of cyberspace, so she had to watch the shop. Her sister was on work assignment in the Saurean planetoids. Her most recent boyfriend had jilted her for a Seruvian sylph. And even Silna, her pet strottar was sick with a septic infection. No one to embrace. No one to speak to. No one to share with. No one to keep her mood from sliding into saturninity. And she had school today.
The Second Synchronized Superlative Sensational Silent Sky- Spy Super-Secret Sanskrit Skill School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Most of her classmates called it Snake U (a play on the SSSSSSSSS acronym). She said “Ssssssss” until she realized people thought she was hissing. At them. She attended via the satellite telelearning system, which synchronized the entire class in space-time. Participation was mandatory. Assignments compulsory. And since they had a thousand ways to find you and force you to submit, parents supposed it was worth the price.
Her parents had enrolled her here as a last resort. Saness had managed to fail out of every course of study she started.
She had alienated herself from the Autonomous Amiable Androgynous Analytic Alibi Academy
She was booted from the Bereaved Barbarian Bedazzled Bohemian Bakery and Bourgeois Ballet Bastion
Caught canoodling in the Coeducational Collaborative Cantankerous Culinary College
Delivered from the Dogmatic Deliberate Diligent Dilettante Doomsday Decoy Dojo by a dalliance with a deacon.
She had even been expelled from the Excellent Egalitarian Energetic Eclectic Enthusiastic Ecole for Everyone.
Her parents, tired of working through the alphabetical listing in order decided to skip a few letters to reduce the number of options. So here she was. Stuck in her teledesk.
“Saness, please explain the concept of surreptitious surveillance.”
Her reverie stymied, Saness brought her scrutiny back to the 4D classroom and the instructor’s solicitation.
“Skillful application of presence auditing,” she said straightforwardly.
Satisfied, the instructor sailed on to the next item on the syllabus and Saness returned to her stargazing. It wasn’t that she was a bad student. She was good at memorization and always seemed to know what the teachers were expecting. She grasped the concepts easily enough and she had acquired any new skills they taught. Yet, she never managed to finish certification anywhere. She was closer this time than she had ever been. All she had to do was survive a little longer.
She took a bite of a strawberry from the fruit bowl in front of her. She had snatched it from the counter in the shop right before class. The strawberry was sweet and succulent. She savored the scent that assailed her nose, the beautiful scarlet flesh. Lost in her senses, she floated out of her body. The teledesk held her physical presence with her head facing the classroom and she went out through the virtual raindrops into the ether.
In a snap she was in the veterinary hospital sliding into the cage with her beloved Silna. When Saness arrived, Silna’s ether was floating above her snoring body, curled in the same position. Saness wrapped her filmy arms around Silna’s scintillating fur and Silna reciprocated with the purring enthusiasm only a six-tailed strottar can give. Saness snuggled her silky companion and was feeling significantly strengthened. If only she could stay in this state, she would be so safe and satisfied.
Crack! blzzzt! Saness felt the suction and struggled. She was swirling, spinning. Splat! Sabotaged, she was shoved back into her body, only it was no longer in the 4D classroom. She was in the superintendent”s office and her parents were there. Oh slurge! This was not going to be copacetic.
She’d been sacked. Again.
“Saness, how could you?” said her father, not really expecting an answer.
“We were hoping you could stick this one out. You were so close.” Saness wished she could soothe away the sadness in her mother’s eyes.
“Under the circumstances…” the superintendent looked at her parents with sympathy and then at Saness.
“I see.” Saness slunk down.
“Let’s go back to the shop,” said her father wrapping his sheltering arm around her shoulder. Saness searched his smiling face.
“There’s always the Universal Ubiquitous Understated Ubuntu University on Uranus.”
With thanks for the story prompt to The Speculative Fiction Muse http://www.katfeete.net/writing/specfic.php
And to my writing partners, Mary C Sutton and D Anthony Brown danthonybrown.me for the support and the laughs. We were extra silly in this session.
What do you think? Did I honor the spirit or the letter of the writing prompt? Enter your thoughts in comments below.