Sunday, 28 January 2018

Lexicoplasty - Flash Fiction

When the executive order came down the line, the words listed for expurgation were redacted in the textbooks beneath tape, until new editions could be run off the presses. However, the prodrome initially developed online, where the revised lections 404’d and only cached unbowdlerised versions remained accessible. Coding experts were called in to try and resolve the issue.

A librarian at Philadelphia’s Perelman School of Medicine was the first to notice the phenomenon in print. One of the sanitised words ‘vulnerable’ fluoresced from beneath its concealing black strip and radiated its defiant presence like any of the emergency exit signs throughout the hospital. Curious, the librarian ran a battery of tests to detect whether there was some sort of contamination in the printers’ inks, or even the presence of radioactive material. In other medical volumes, the word ‘diversity’ similarly glowed in an array of differing colours under their shrouds.

It was only when the books were checked out by students and researchers alike, that the pathology revealed itself in full. Words deliquesced from the page and vanished. The odd letter here and there remained in forlorn isolation, but all medical knowledge had been trepanned. The university’s mathematicians swiftly dissected the pattern of the remaining characters; they were the lone nine letters not contained within the original proscribed words. 

The academic linguists grasped the diagnosis immediately. Word necrosis. 

“Language is organic. You can’t simply excise and disassemble parts of it without secondary effects, or in this case, viral metastasis. You have to think of the alphabet like DNA, forming the amino acids of words, aggregating into the protein chains of sentences, the cells of paragraphs, discrete anatomical structures as chapters, finally building the corpus as a whole. This was venesection without coagulant. The executive just lobotomised the body politic’s healthcare”.  


Based on the prompt from "New Flash Fiction" journal which was as follows: 

Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the Center for Disease Control from using seven words in their official documents: The words are as follows: “evidence-based”, “science-based” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” and “fetus.”

Write a 300 word flash fiction using some or all of these words

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