Apr 16 2017

N #AtoZChallenge Nip it in the Bud #Fiction #SFF

#AtoZChallenge2017 Badge N #AtoZChallenge Nip it in the Bud #Fiction #SFF @JLenniDorner

My THEME for the A to Z challenge 2017 is an ongoing speculative fiction story featuring telepathy.

Each letter post is titled and inspired by a commonly misused word or phrase.

The story started with All Intents and Purposes.

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bud not butt #AtoZChallenge Nip it in the Bud #Fiction #SFF

Nip it in the Bud

I am most grateful for Mr. Bennett’s class. It’s not that English is my favorite subject, that’d be physics, it’s that he’s the only person who is nice to me. Or maybe it’s because he’s the only person I’m not related to who knows my secret.

“Today’s journal prompt is nip it in the bud.”

Nathan, the least interesting thinker among all the students, laughs. “You said butt.”

“No. It’s a figure of speech we’ve taken from horticulture. It means to take care of or to end a problem before it grows.” Mr. Bennett sets the timer. He motions for everyone to put pen to page, then presses the button.

For some reason, the reporter stripping on the news comes to mind. Did she nip the problem in the bud by changing the controversy? If the problem was that people cared more about her bra strap than about the news, did taking off more clothing change their attitudes? They tried to shame her, but she claims she didn’t feel ashamed, and then she said they should be ashamed. I agree with her. Hearing people’s thoughts all the time, I know exactly how often people think about bodies and clothing and stuff that doesn’t change lives for the better. I never hear my classmates thinking of ways to help people, to improve the world, or to do something good for our future. Not unless a teacher brings it up. Okay, there are a handful of angry students who think about how unfair it is that they aren’t treated equally. Sometimes they make petitions or something to try to get that changed.

The one problem I’ll face for the rest of my life is the risk of being caught by the Homeland Security Mind Task Force. What ways could I nip that in the bud? How could I get them shut down, get my people freed, and get us treated as equals?

We aren’t equals. That’s the problem. Maybe it’s right for those without our powers to fear us. Not that we’re all bad, just like normal people aren’t all bad. I suppose one of us engaged in criminal behavior would be far more dangerous than a normal villain.

I find myself still thinking about the prompt as I walk home from school. I don’t know who is the most powerful among my kind. I don’t know if any of my kind use their mind powers for bad purposes.

Three more seconds.

I drop my bag and get into a defensive pose. The thinker jumps out.

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What are you most grateful for today?

by J Lenni Dorner
Reference and Speculative Fiction Author
A to Z Challenge Co-Host
Operation Awesome Debut Author Spotlight Organizer
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N #AtoZChallenge Nip it in the Bud #Fiction #SFF And coming soon…WEP2017_8_com


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  1. Janet Miles

    Most grateful that I don’t have to worry about the Homeland Security Mind Task Force!
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  2. Juneta

    That is a scary thought Homeland Security Mind Task Force. I wonder if someone who can read minds can know the true intent unless they feel the feeling along with the thought? As a mind read, do you truly always understand and not the intent of the thought you hear? Got me thinking. Thank you.

    Enjoyed reading. Happy A to Z Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
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  3. Juneta

    Geese Louise, typos I did not see until I posted. I think you can still tell what I meant, sorry.
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  4. Rob Z Tobor

    I always prefered Physics although I was rubbish at most subjects at School luckily that was a very long time ago, at least 50+ years so now I remember nothing.

    Thanks again for the visit . . . . . I am taking longer and longer to get back to folk, sorry about that but I am outside working on the master plan. The first homemade trip to the moon. . . . I wish I had listened more to that Physics teacher now.

  5. Andy

    I’m grateful that my kids did the dishes tonight. It’s one less thing for me to worry about :-).
    Andy has this post to share Navigating Troubled Times: Moving On After Divorce Part IIMy Profile

  6. Geraint

    I’m most grateful for waking up healthy again. Excellent post. I really like your challenge idea.

  7. FinnBadger

    Hmmmm is he her friend because he’s scared of her? Is he just pretending to be her friend? Is she naively assuming he’s her friend?

    Looking forward to the next update.

    Phillip | N is for Naked (Don’t be alarmed, no nudity).

  8. Ronel Janse van Vuuren

    Now to figure out how to outsmart the baddies for those with powers… Happy A-to-Z-ing.
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  9. Misha

    Awesome idea for the A to Z Challenge. ^_^
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  10. Nilanjana Bose

    ‘ I suppose one of us engaged in criminal behavior would be far more dangerous than a normal villain.’

    Chilling, that.
    Nilanjana Bose has this post to share N is for…Nourhanne… and… Nasri… and… Nomads…My Profile

  11. Natalie Westgate

    The last part made me think how good telepathy would be in cases such as highway robbery, or similar. To hear someone ready to jump at you before you get to the “trap”! I can’t wait to read more – it’s so weird we’re already in week 3 of the challenge. 😀
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