Flash Fiction One: Rejected Black Mirror Pitches14 February 2018
ALL THE HORROR, THE MILD, PHONE-FEARING DYSTOPIA YOU CAN FIT IN 100 WORDS AND UNDER.
“It’s just like one of their television shows, isn’t it?” said #1082.
“What, Black Mirror?” answered #459.
“Yeah, or that other one—”
“The Twilight Zone?”
“That’s it. They loved their cautionary tales, didn’t they?”
“Well,” said #459, “they said they loved them, but they can’t have. Not really.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well, if they loved Black Mirror so much, they would’ve seen us coming.”
#1082 tossed another human body into the incinerator and, mulling over this last point, made a sound that – if they hadn’t been a ten-foot tall killer robot – you could almost have called a laugh.
BY JAMES MACARONAS
Laura wakes up. She thinks, “Oh god, I’ve got that big presentation today!” She jumps out of bed to get dressed, but suddenly! Her legs are computers!!!!!!!!!! By the time she gets to work the meeting is over and she’s still in her pyjamas.
“Legs but computers?”
BY JACINTA DOWE
I DON’T LIKE THE NURSE. YESTERDAY SHE GAVE HIM TUNA BUT I’D ORDERED CHICKEN.
She did not apologise. I brought up the incident the next day and she pretended not to remember. Friday, she said she’d be back in a minute, but I caught her eating a bagel alone on the benches.
Today she was no better, I already knew how to read his machine, but she persisted, obnoxiously, “See that bar there, it represents a thousand still left, he’s just over.” It was irritating, the doctor shows everyone how to count the heartbeats patients have left. Then she said, “Sometimes we can be off by a few.” I think she was bored.
BY LUCY BIRCH
The year is 2040. Toilet paper has been outlawed, replaced exclusively by bidets.
Agatha, a successful bidet saleswoman living in her expensive inner city apartment, finds her electronic plumbing fixture has a mind of its own! How does she react to water far too cold for human genitalia!? Becoming addicted to the icy torrents from her digital bidet, Agatha becomes a slave to the very sanitary bathroom feature she sells daily. There’s a global drought and only the bidet remains.
BY JACK LANGAN
Chairs but they eat people.
BY CONOR CLEMENTS
An idyllic, sunny neighbourhood where everyone plays catch in their yards. Main character Jimmy (35 years old) plays catch everyday with his dad because he doesn’t have an iPhone. One night a mysterious person wearing black robes with a picture of an apple gives him one. He is so excited and happy! The next morning, he runs outside to show it to his dad. When he tries to hand it over he can’t because it’s stuck to his hand. He looks around the neighbourhood and everyone is sitting down crying because they have iPhones stuck to their hands.
“What if iPhone hands?”
BY JACINTA DOWE
SIX LI’L PITCHES FOR CHARLIE BROOKER
1. Everyone you meet becomes an app in your phone. If you delete the app they die in real life. There are no limits to this.
2. A guy thinks he’s in virtual reality, but it’s just regular reality, which he of course doesn’t figure out until he’s done a myriad of morally reprehensible things, and then some song from the ‘80s starts playing while he stares miserably into the camera.
3. Deactivating your grandmother’s Facebook also turns off her life support.
5. People are only allowed to say things they’ve posted on social media for the past ten years. Our protagonist struggles to find a place in a world where he can only say “I would fuck Shrek, if he’d let me.”
6. Tinder actually sets people on fire. David Bowie’s ‘Modern Love’ plays at gradually increasing volume.
BY JANET COOKE
The year is 2062. We are redundant in the workforce. Technology does everything from flipping burgers to writing teen-dystopian-with-female-heroine screenplays to paediatric cardiac surgery. We walk aimlessly around campus, knowing that no matter how many PHDs we acquire, we will still not be qualified enough for what few jobs are left. Elderly students reminisce from their wheelchairs about a now unaffordable delicacy called ‘smashed avo’. No one alive remembers a time when we weren’t all drowning in HECS debt—but it could be worse because at least no one ever reaches the income threshold. Darn robots.
BY REMY MARSHALL
Online solitaire but in real life? The player battles a voice inside their head that pushes them to abandon work and social activities to spend more time playing the game. They are lead to believe that only winning solitaire will bring them true happiness. The game was secretly constructing a card tower the entire time, and when the player wins, the tower explodes killing everyone.
“Might work better with bombs and minesweeper?”
BY JACINTA DOWE
Incels have sex robots now! Women’s lives are unchanged.
“One day men will have sex robots and women will be furious!”
“I am a lesbian and I also don’t care.”
BY JACINTA DOWE
This adventure begins when a hiker forgets her hiking boots and instead wears converses. Scare awaits when the chemical reaction between the smooth white rubber of the converses react with the exotic and undiscovered goo of the forest, and the shoe becomes sentient. The hiker is spooked! Yet, the sentient being provides the young women with sound advice—wear the proper shoe, or beware! You might travel down the wrong path in life. This terrifies the ambitious student politician, and she learns her lesson. Que earnest musical number in the style of the Book of Mormon. End.
BY JOSHUA BRUNI
Setting: a future in which books no longer exist. All knowledge is on the cloud. A woman becomes the first person to transfer information to her brain instantaneously. She downloads Wikipedia. But something goes wrong. A replica of her consciousness gets loose on the internet. All technology is destroyed! Millions die and human knowledge is gone-only what people remember remains. She spends her life writing as much shit down as she can. Then she dies. Over generations, without knowledge, society devolves into a primitive state. Her writings take on a biblical significance.
BY JESSE PARIS-JOURDAN
Human emotions have been genetically engineering out. Whenever someone wants to feel an emotion they have to select the desired emotion to be injected through an implant. Emotion serums have to be purchased where the lowered class work in order to afford their next dose of happiness.
Story follows a poor man. To get rich he buys aggression on the black market to win an underground fighting competition. Gets caught instead and put in prison where he is given sadness as punishment. He becomes addicted to sadness as opposed to feeling nothing.
BY MATTHEW SIMKISS
Marijuana but it smokes people.
ALSO BY CONOR CLEMENTS