57 plus 16: The Message

Posted: 2 September 2021 in 57 plus, 57 plus new fiction, fiction, new fiction, writing
Tags: , , , ,

Once upon a time, I partook in a project called Elephant Words, where a single image would inspire multiple stories from and by multiple authors.

When I decided to honour a promise to an old friend, and write new fiction once a week for the ’57…’ run, the first week’s was based on an image I’d come across serendipitously. And since then I’ve kept an eye out for images that spark something, that provoke the storytelling parts of my brain.

So that every week, I can write something brand new, a story written for this blog that no-one’s ever seen before, sparked by an image I come across entirely by chance, usually while looking for something else entirely.

I came across the following image this morning (I was looking for images of scientific instruments), and it sparked an idea.

And this is what it sparked tonight. A very short tale, but… well, yes.

The Message

My friends. My many, many friends.

Many, many millenia ago, as the butterflies measure time, so very long before the third great age of insects on the planet, there was a human of what was then referred to as ‘science’.

His description and even his very name has long been lost to the annals of history, but the sacred scrolls of the insects say that was he who first managed true communication with the other primates littering the planet.

Centuries later, it was an ape named – according to legend – Caesar, who discovered a feasible and reproducible method of interaction with dogs, although anecdotes and tales from that age are full of references to something named “walkies”. And something else, the cruelty of which is hard to believe, but it was called “The Operation”.

Yet more time, so much time, passed before a canine named Rover had the first true conversation with a cat, but it was only a relatively short time – as both counted it, anyway – before this same cat named Tiddles initiated the first debate with a ladybird.

It took so very, very long for the ladybird’s civilisation to create a means of discussion with bacteria, but at long last, my fellow baccilli, the true rulers of the planet are revealed and ready to take their place, acknowledged by all and…

What’s that? There’s a message coming through?

From where?

And what does it say?

OK, what the hell is “a virus”?


© Lee Barnett, 2021



See you tomorrow, with… something else.



Fifty-seven more days. Fifty-seven more posts. One fifty-seventh birthday just had.

Just dropping this in here, as I was asked by message the other day: the best places to contact me outside the blog are via email at budgie@hypotheticals.co.uk and @budgie on Twitter.

I’m trying something new with this run. I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of dollars every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting up from my fifty-seventh birthday on 17th August 2021. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here. (And you can see the posts in the run counting down to the birthday here.)

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