Sooooo, here’s another Take Ten for Writers exercise from the book by Bonnie Neubauer. The exercise was called Superwordacious. I had to choose a prefix, a root and a suffix to create a new word. I created neomoneymania. I could have also created the words microwishphile or counterstriparian or even exloonivore.
The definition of my new word, neomoneymania, is a condition whereby someones becomes obsessed with New Money, as you will see in the exercise I wrote. And, in case I haven’t mentioned it in a bit, the exercises have to be written in ten minutes, which I have found does force you to put words down whether you want to or not. I use one of my timer apps and when the ten minutes are up it makes this rather odd hooting sound. A sound I deliberately chose because it sounds so odd.
Oh, and I had to also start with that famous line from George Orwell’s 1984: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
Starting with that line, I couldn’t help but write some kind of Orwellian-type story.
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
The woman, whose name was Bright, was about to enter the tall, double doors of the office building where she worked. She stopped. A man she had never seen before was standing just to her left, watching her.
He was tall and thin with eyes as black as those of her cat. His lips were also thin and the coat he wore hung loosely on his scrawny frame. The reason he had caught Brigit’s attention was because he was standing stock still in the middle of the sidewalk while people surged around him, hurrying, as Bright was, back to their offices after the lunch hour.
Bright shivered again as the man continued to stare at her. Then she shook her head and entered the building, just on the edge of the crowd that was rushing towards the elevators. No one really wanted to return to work after the lunch hour, but no one wanted to be docked as late either.
Being late meant you had to report to the Big Man’s office, which was on the top floor. It was said that last year someone was summoned to his office and never returned. It was even rumored that the Big Man had been so angry with said employee he’d had one of his management lackeys shove the poor man out the window to fall thirty stories to the ground. But it was only a rumor.
Bright made it to her desk just in time. She took off her coat, shoved her purse under her desk and plugged herself into the computer. She was the assistant to the Assistant Manager responsive for monitoring activities regarding a new affliction that had descended on the city recently. Neomoneymania was the official name for the disorder.
For some reason, a large number of people had become addicted to the New Money that was being offered at the various service kiosks located through the city. New Money was supposed to replace Old Money, which the Government had decided was no longer viable.
New Money was supposed to be easier to keep track of. That was all well and good, but there was something about New Money that drove some people mad. They wanted to collect New Money. Not spend it. Collect it.
This was causing a problem in the Market because without New Money in circulation, especially since Old Money was being becoming less and less available, the Economy could shut down over night. Because the Government had yet to find a cure or even to understand the malady, the department that Bright worked in was supposed to, for the time being, keep track of neomoneymania and chart its progress through the city.
As the latest numbers rolled in through Bright’s console and, ultimately, across her inner eyelids, she thought about the man she’d seen staring at her. Who was he? Why had he been staring at her? And most importantly, what did he want with her? Had her father sent him? Did he now know where she was?