I write short stories. I own surprisingly few pairs of shorts. I sometimes short circuit.
"Alana" sounds like "A lotta" = A lotta shorts.

Take the title however you like.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Marissa wasn't there when they were handing out Destinies.

Though the line for Brains hadn't been very long - the shortest in decades! - their stock was overflowing because of it; they had overstocked. This made the available options varied and vastly more difficult to choose between. Marissa thought she would get in a line and just be handed the next proper Brain; that it would take all of 10 minutes. If she'd know, she would have arrived earlier. She had never preferred too many choices: Just give me the best of what you've got and I'll be on my way, was her thinking.

Marissa had argued extensively with the Supplier.

"How are we supposed to decide if we want a Creative Mind or an Analytical Mind if we don't know what our Destinies are yet? How can I possibly choose a Brain inclined towards Math and Science when I don't know if my Destiny will be that of a Painter?"

The Supplier calmly reassured her.

"Miss, your Destiny is matched to your Brain. Pick a Brain that seems best to you and the Destiny Giver will match it. After all, you don't currently have a Brain with which to make the proper decision about your Destiny anyway."

"Well," Marissa fumed, "If that's the case, how can I possibly pick out a Brain if I don't have one to pick one out with in the first place!"

The Supplier slid his finger down a row of possible Brain matches.

"Seems to me, as I have a Brain, that you have a natural inclination towards curiosity, interrogation, sarcasm and violence. Let me see if I have something in that vein. A Brain bent on world domination, perhaps? Or a politically-inclined, closed-minded Brain?"

"Do you have one that's not as smug and superior as your Brain? Something in the Intelligent-Yet-Humble Category, perhaps?"

"We don't have that specific category, ma'am, but I believe you were born with smug superiority so no choice of Brain is going to change that."

Marissa let out a wild scream and attempted to leap over the counter, through the window and onto the Supplier's windpipe. But he slammed the gated window shut and her head ricocheted against the bars. Pre-Brainees tend to be either nearly vegetative or royally pissed off. Scientists are still baffled.

When she came to, she found herself out of line and laying on a bench. She marched up to the counter but was promptly escorted to the end of the queue.
Twenty minutes later she came face to face with the Supplier again. By this time she had calmed down and managed to speak with a pleasant voice.

"I think I would like to see your Artistic Brains please."

The Supplier handed her a clipboard full of options and closed the gate with a suspicious look.

"You can decide over there and come to the front of the line when you know."

"Why, thank you." Marissa forced a smile.

By the time she finally picked one out, had it implanted and wired into her Nervous System, the Destiny Station was preparing to close in 5 minutes.
She ran as fast as her legs could carry her. Why these two vitally linked departments weren't in the same building let a lone in the same room, she didn't know. She cursed the fact. But when she got there - they were closed.

"No problem," Marissa thought, her new Brain kicking into calculative gear. She went home, set her alarm for a bright and early start and was standing outside the Destiny Station at quarter to 9 in the morning. At 9:30 Marissa began to worry. She copied down the number written on the door and went to a pay phone on the corner. Her call was answered right away.

"Hi, I'm standing outside your office right now. I really need my Destiny."

"Oh, I'm sorry, ma'am. We're closed."

"But the sign says you open at nine," Marissa pointed out.

"Oh, no. We're closed for good. With all the self-help books and everyone looking for their Destinies on their own, no one's been by here in ages. Except to complain that they're just sure we gave them the wrong one because this quiz or that TV Show told them they need to read that book or watch this other TV show so they can 'reveal the secrets to discovering their True Inner Purpose' or whatever."

"But I WANT you to give me a Destiny! What am I supposed to do?"

"I guess you just have to try to find it on your own. You picked up a Brain, didn't you?"


"Use that."

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About Me

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I'm Lanii. I try to Be Good. It doesn't always work. "Call Me Lanii" is sort of about that - my inner and outer triumphs (what?) and struggles. "Alana Shorts" is sort of about that, too: I draw way too much inspiration from the crazy and strange events that actually happen to me and end up writing very little 'fiction'. I usually have my tongue quite thoroughly stuck in my cheek.