Monday, August 25, 2008

A short story I wrote during my lunch break, 20th August 2008

Inspired by a proud mother in Costa speaking her son's exam results down the telephone too loudly.

“Jim was feeling nervous. Since 'the System' was introduced the understandable tension that had once accompanied results day had been replaced by a frenzy that bordered on mania. The entire economy had a vested interest, today's results would determine the future direction of the country.

Exams no longer graded students with arbitrary letters of the alphabet, the System scientifically tested candidate's brains, determining their genetically preordained propensity for certain jobs.

The year it was introduced the System caused a bit of a stir. When it found that, given the opportunity, 80% of candidates would go on to be great artists, the response was unprecedented. Since then however, the results had been far more predicatable, the population seemingly made up of a perfect balance of workers, thinkers, creatives and consumers, able to meet the country's societal needs as determined by business.

The second year test made accommodation for the first year's 'freak' result and yielded a more acceptable overview: a selection of doctors, lawyers, industry leaders, advertising execs, teachers, nurses, bin men, admin assistants, shop owners, shelf stackers, factory operatives and unemployed.

Jim's Dad had not taken the test. He had taken his GCSE exams in 2008, and failed in all but two subjects. He was what, in the olden days would have been called a free thinker...”

That's as far as I got. If anyone would like to find out where the short story might go, post something in the comments page and I will try and find our what happens.