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STORY STARTERS: “The Government’s PLOT”


Welcome to Story Starters

These are flash fiction stories. My word count goal is no more than 400 words for each story. I’ll show you the story and a graphic. If you read a story you like, let me know and I can expand it for a future blog post.

This week’s story:

The Plot

“The Government’s PLOT”

Every year I’ve watched my siblings receive their Personalized Lifetime Objective Tattoo. All citizens receive their PLOT on their eighteenth birthdays. It’s a daylong celebration with the entire family waiting to see the designation appear on your skin. My family speaks with pride about the musicians and scientists amongst us.

This year it’s my turn. I want to be a musician. Music has been part of my life ever since I was eight years old.

“Geneva, got a minute?” My brother Zion lingers outside my bedroom door.

“Shouldn’t you be at the festivities?” I ask as he sits on a chair.

“I just needed a minute. There’s only so much food one person can eat. Why are you in here? It’s almost time.”

Zion got his PLOT, biogenetic engineering, last year. He’s home from the Academy to help celebrate my birthday. His whole life has been planned for him. He’ll finish four years at the Academy before moving on to an internship with one of the government’s research labs. After two years, he’ll be eligible to become part of the team.

I hope I’m as fortunate.

“Are you nervous?” Zion’s big brown narrow. “You know it doesn’t hurt, right?”

“I know. I’m just anxious. What happens if you get a PLOT you don’t like?”

Zion’s dark curls bounce as he shakes his head. “That doesn’t happen. You’ve tested for the last year. The government only gives you what you’ll be good at. We’ve all heard you play the piano. You’re a genius with music.”

His compliment makes me smile. No one has ever received an erroneous PLOT. I take off my knee-length gray jacket revealing my black sleeveless top. It’s the standard dress for these events. Everyone wants to see skin as the hour grows near.

Someone knocks on the door. Zion and I turn toward the sound.

“Geneva and Zion, we’re all waiting downstairs. It’s almost eight o’clock,” Mom announces.

“I’ll be there in a minute, Mom.” I wait until her footsteps fade down the hall. “Keep them entertained, Zion.”


A car door closes outside.

“Who else is coming?” I say going to the window.

A black sedan is in the driveway. Two men in black jackets approach the house.

Zion comes to my side. “What the hell?”

My arm stings. I look down at the black letters emblazoned on my flesh. This is all wrong. Assassin.

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