Flash Fiction Challenge: Right Vs. Wrong

Today, I’m going to give you a pair of themes.

You will choose one, and write a story using that theme.

1. Doing a good thing sometimes means being evil.

2. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Two themes in opposition to each other.

Choose one, write.

Length: ~1000 words

Due by: 3/10, Friday, noon EST

Post at your online space. Give us a link. The usual.

61 responses to “Flash Fiction Challenge: Right Vs. Wrong”

  1. Oh. Well. Huh. I just wrote an entire novella on #1. Inspired by what Madonna said about blowing up the White House. You know. A good thing. Except it’s really evil and is, of course, just a thought albeit an intriguing one. Maybe I submit that? (KIDDING!)

    • Nice! I find myself wondering if it was truly evil, or just someone getting caught up in a bad situation? I suppose that’s what this whole exrcise is for.

      • Thankee, Sam! The super secret is, I included aspects of both themes (I see Dr. Chen as being #1, and the narrator as #2). But good and evil are very subjective, so you can take from the story what you will. 🙂

    • I like the double meaning of A.I. i think you addressed the prompt very well. Your story reminded me of something Freeman Dyson wrote about being small. Excellent.

    • Yep, link works fine. Always good to see a test of faith, whether that’s faith in (a) God, or oneself, or an ideal… it’s the best kind of conflict, IMO, and you captured that really well here.

    • Hope their joint demise is slow enough to get them home for the evening so your protagonist doesn’t have MORE cleaning up to do! Just enough mystery around her past to leave us wondering. Nice!

    • I love War Games! Also loved Captain Planet (and his 1991 computer game, Captain Planet and the Planeteers) so this story felt like a little burst of delicious nostalgia wrapped up in a nightmare at the end. The actions which were intended to save the world, ultimately ended up dooming it. I love the paradox.

  2. Bailey knew that her coworker Debbie was a poser. Because she was middle aged, she fooled everyone into thinking she was a caring and maternal toward the infants in their daycare room, all eight of them. It was the maximum allowed by law, and all the babies were at stages, but none was over a year. Some could turn over; some crawled, army style or on hands and knees; some pulled themselves up and after a while would venture to take one or two steps unassisted. Those were the ones you had to watch the closest. But at some point, they all cried.
    And cried and cried. To Bailey, the cries were desperate pleas, if she could just figure out for what. But Debbie didn’t seem fazed by them. Bailey sometimes suspected her of wearing earplugs, so indifferent was she their desperation. They were supposed to tend to four babies each, but it seldom worked that way. Debbie always had some other thing to do, as if Bailey could singlehandedly care for them all. She wished she could work with her friend Madison, knowing they could handle the workload well, together.
    They had to write on the dry erase board and in an individual day log for each baby when she or he had a bottle, when her diaper was last changed, the hours she took a nap, what she ate for lunch if on solid foods, etc. Debbie loved the record keeping, but was less enthusiastic about giving the bottle or changing the diaper. When she did occasionally give a bottle, she looked out the window and wiggled the nipple in the baby’s mouth, so it wouldn’t fall asleep in her arms. Get it down the infant’s throat as quickly as possible seemed her motto. Maybe she’d just been doing it too many years. Madison would bring fresh perspective to the room.
    Bailey loved the babies’ warmth in her arms as she gave bottles. She loved how they gazed up into her eyes and sometimes curled their tiny fingers around one of hers. When she changed them, she’d tickle Jason’s tummy or Marion’s feet and delight in their little belly laughs. But Debbie told her she took too long and that they needed to pick up the toys since CPS was coming in later for an inspection.
    “And for god’s sake put your purse away,” Debbie snapped. “It’s against state regs. You could get fired for that.”
    It was high enough that none of the infants could reach it, Bailey thought, as she put it in a cupboard. That’s when she got the idea.
    Debbie decided to go on break–usually coffee and gossip with the secretary–and she said the infant room needed to be quiet when she returned, for the inspectors.
    The babies always had what Bailey had dubbed “a howler” before their naps, as they worked themselves up into dropping off to sleep. It was quite a din when all eight of them cried at the same time. But Debbie wanted quiet–and Bailey wanted Madison–so she slipped the bottle of liquid Benadryl out of the medicine cabinet and poured a generous portion of the pink liquid into each of the bottles Debbie had prepared. It wasn’t harmful, Bailey rationalized, and would make them sleep. She smiled as she slipped the now-empty medicine bottle into Debbie’s purse and left both offending items on the windowsill, behind a stuffed bear. When CPS arrived, she’d put the bear back into the toy box, where it belonged. After all, neatness was everything.

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