Sunday, November 22, 2015

1600 kCal/lb - @FlashMobWrites

I've had a busy schedule lately, but happy to get back into the #FlashMobWrites mix.



1600 kCal/lb 

“Is this ethical?”

Jimmy spun around and faced his former dorm mate and current CEO. “These people know the tradeoff for using a free app. We get the data. We get the insights.” Jimmy turned back to the pair of computer screens. “If you wanted to raise an ethics flag on any of this, you could have done it before any of those rounds of venture capital.”

“You’re right. I relent,” Bryant sighed and sat on the stool to get a closer eye on the dataset. “Any good stuff in here?”

“I broke it down into people’s consumption by weight and goal weight.” Jimmy scrolled through screens and screens of charts, raw data and pivot tables comprised of March’s total data from their calorie tracker application. Now that he was in charge of their little company, Bryant didn’t get to play with the data as much would have liked. He was stuck working with selling their insight to food companies. The ads in their App were pennies compared to the shopping habits living in this data set.

Jimmy was pointing to the screen, “Guess what the number one food a three hundred pound person eats that a hundred and eighty pound person doesn’t.”

A lone spike form a bar graph caught Bryant’s attention more than learning more about Jimmy’s facts. “What’s this creeping on the edge here?”

“Oh that’s just Rhode Island.”

“The whole state?”

“No. I sort by Rhode Island for a laugh. We only have one user there so it’s fun to see what that one guy is eating. I even know his name. Mr. Jefferson.”  Jimmy grabbed the mouse to navigate through the spreadsheet. “Here, I’ll set back to a nationwide look.”

Bryant gently brushed his partner’s hand from the mouse. “But look at his month over month. What’s that category header?”

Jimmy leaned forward. “Assorted meat.”

“Just look at it go up like that,” Bryant said, tracing his finger up the curve to the apex of the spike.

“Only one percent of our users even use that category. Could be a typo.”

Bryant took to the mouse and started routing through the information on this lone user. “No it’s the same entry over a number of days. Hmmm. A total outlier.”

“What else is he eating?” Jimmy seized the mouse back to answer his own question. “Some condiments.”

“Jesus.”

“What?”

“That’s like two hundred eighty-eight thousand calories in like a week.”

“Dude was hungry.”

“No this is something different,” Bryant determined, furiously typing in his smart phone. Searching for something. “What’s city does that guy live in?”

“Woonsocket.”

“Call the police in Rhode Island.”

“Did this guy steal a bar-b-que stand or something?”

“No. It’s worse,” Bryan said, holding out his phone. Jimmy skimmed the article from the Woonsocket Call, the local newspaper. QUESTIONS REMAIN: WHERE’S KIMBERLY JEFFERSON? Apparently the Kimberly in question had disappeared in the past month leaving only three fingers behind.

Bryant lowered his head. “I think we have a cannibal. A cannibal counting his calories.”




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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Bougainvillea - @FlashFridayFic

Sad to learn Flash! Friday is coming to an end. This week's prompt was inspired by One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Bougainvillea

The vine was very basic, yet Bernardo took painstaking efforts to draw every feature of the specimen in his journal. On his trips throughout the Pacific in the last decade, he’d had the chance to draw and catalog the flora of dozens of islands. His work had been collected in Universities and studied by young botanists and scholars. Yet here he was, home at last, drawing this vine just like he had as a child. This plain green leaf whose only claim of prominence was that it grew out of the long-picked skull of the artist’s father.

Bernardo considered drawing his father’s skull in addition to the vine. Or the knife sticking from the rib cage.  Just where Bernardo had placed it all those years ago when father refused to let his son leave the plantation. He shrugged off the thought. The plants deserved documented for future generation’s study. His father did not.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Scrap Metal - @FlashFridayFic

A Gone With the Wind style prompt for this week's Flash Friday.

Scrap Metal

In the mold, the bullets were lined up side to side, tip to tip. Like the ships that father told him about. The ones that brought him here. Hardly space to breath, no space to move. The ammunition was identical to the hundreds of others Justin’d made this week alone. The plantation seemed to have a never-ending supply of metal to scrap.

With the setting sun, the makeshift metalworks looked like the fires he’d been using to melt down the remains of Master’s house. Justin was pleased he’d been able to overproduce these bullets for the quartermaster’s weekly pick-up. Not that he would avoid another whipping, but that they would be used by Master’s sons in the field of battle. Would they know their ammunition was made from the ruins of their inheritance? Would they know that each bullet was guaranteed to misfire and destroy the gun because of the strategic changes Justin had made to the mold?