Memphis Fast Fiction Home
Joe Leibovich

In the wake of the cultural civil war of the mid twenty-first century, officials decided it would be best if all aspects of education were restructured into the Standardized Model.

The Standardized Model was two fold solution to society’s problems. First, it would deliver a uniform education directly to the student’s brain via a series of synthetic neural codifying proteins and memetic conditioning.

Then, due to the minimum of time needed to ensure a standard of education, billions of hours of new productivity would be created.

It would be the beginning of a new, unconflicted society.

Or such was the intent.

The deviation in the Standardized Model changed everything.

The only thing known for certain is that harmonic and rhythmic elements of a provincial style of music known as the “Delta Blues” altered the memetic programing of the Standardized Model.

The result caused students to develop an eagerness to question everything around them. Societal stability was once again at risk.

The deviation spread like wildfire through the national social network, affecting hundreds of thousands before being contained.

Memphis was the worst hit, with nearly every student infected.

It is unknown if the Standardized Model will ever work there again.

Memphis Note
This is pretty much what happened with rock and roll in the 60s, except without the overt educational brain washing.

Jonathan McCarver

“You ever think about Frankenstein? Like really think about it? All the things it could be a metaphor for?”

They’d just gotten out of another late night emergency meeting of the school board. Merger Day was looming, so all the meetings were emergencies these days. There had been a unanimous decisions amongst the paper’s reporters that beer was a must before filing their stories.

That was five hours ago.

“Not normally while drinking to excess at a bar, no.” Quipped his companion, the last of the group still at the bar.

“Frankenstein had to deal with crappy parts. Bodies of criminals and the insane. It wasn’t his fault that the creature turned in a fell monster. Maybe the school board merger’s the same way. Maybe it’s not their fault if it’s a monster.”

“Look man, I’m half tanked, and I know that’s not the whole deal. Frankenstein wasn’t the monster of the story. The monster was good ole’ Doc Franky and his refusal to show even the slightest bit of compassion to the creature he brought into this world.”

He scooped up the empty pitcher from the table.

“And that little nugget means I’m sober enough for another round, thankyouverymuch.”

Memphis Note
The utter disaster that was the referendum on the merger of the Shelby County and Memphis City School Systems didn’t so much actually accomplish anything. Well, that’s no fair. It accomplished a time in the future that the two will merge. A deadline that I am completely sure will be ignored until a month before, when we’ll all go through this collective insanity over again.

Kip Gordon

“The problem with science is that we refuse to acknowledge the superior craftsmanship of God. We think we can replace it. In fact, the best option is to simply modify the creator’s work for our own needs.”

Opening big was her plan. Fluster the conference with religious words. Pave way for what was coming.

“In pathology, we’re fighting vectors, not disease. If you kill the delivery agent, you kill the disease. Want to beat dysentery? Make people to boil water. Want to stop Lyme disease? Kill all the ticks. But why kill what you can use?”

Next, leave them in a state of aporia, confused about where she’s going.

“We took the most common types of mosquitos on the planet. We gave them something we call “Hope”. It’s a gene sequence that replaces some of their trash genetic code, makes them produce a cure-all for nearly every common childhood disease. Then we let engineered females loose in the most historically mosquito devastated city in America. All they have to do is find a mate and the people of Memphis will never have to pay for a childhood inoculation again.

We didn’t replace God, we just did him one better.”

Memphis Note
The three most virulent species of mosquitos in the world lovingly call Memphis home. The long, humid summers and stagnant swamps and ponds make this city something akin to heaven for them. It’s nearly brought us to absolute ruin between the yellow fever, malaria and West Nile virus. Now, just imagine if you could use that vector to spread the cure instead of the disease.

Scott Brown

I am the River.

Long and dirty and crooked have I run.

Since the ice crept back, gouging out rolling hills for me to twist between and furrows for me to fill, I have let this endless expanse of land pour into me.

For I have no single, cyclopean source. Rather, dozens of smaller rivers fed by hundreds and thousands of yet smaller creeks, brooks and streams birth me.

And through those many, I bring life to even more. Carrying pieces of them down into my delta, making something of them, something new.

I am the ultimate expression of democracy, of the insignificant many creating the unstoppable one.

I my quiet, I sound of peace and tranquility. When I rage, I sound with a roar greater than any lion’s. I ebb and I flow, never content to stay in one place, yet I am still as intractable as the ground beneath your feet. I will never be inviting, but I will welcome any with open arms.

One must simply understand that I have been here much, much longer than you, and I will be here long after passed.

I am the River.

Long and dirty and crooked shall I run.

Memphis Note
The Mississippi River is the most defining geographic characteristic of Memphis. And it was only a matter of time until I wrote something like this about it. I’m honestly surprised I made it past the half-way mark before doing it.

Scott Brown

The fire crackled and hissed under the endless starry night. The Elder circled it, predatory, unafraid, looking for his perfect moment.

Then at once, his arms spread wide, casting a shadow of a ferocious monster into the trees. “Lo! They did come!” He began, intoning the words of the Great Story.

“Across the endless sea of land they did come, perfect machines of death. Mechs and crawlers of near-divine make! Their victory all but absolute.”

He lowered his arms and his tone. “And at first they were unstoppable. Sweeping away all in their path.”

A smile crept across his lips, and a murmur went through the tribe.

“They thought we, we paltry, we dirty, we nothing, would be the same.”

He thrust his walking stick into the ground, and drew out a long line in the dirt.

“But we were not the same. We were something different. We would not let them cross our line, our river, our Mississippi.”

He pushed the hood back from his face, looking his tribesmen in their eyes.

“And now what do they all say? The poor? The downtrodden? The forgotten? They say, ‘Look to the Mississippi! The line that shall not be crossed!’”

Memphis Note
So, yeah, maybe this one’s just a tad be influenced by the Grizzlies winning tonight. Just a tad.