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Thirty Days, Day 12 - Fast Fiction Challenge 2010: Why Is It Orange? - budgie's squawks
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Thirty Days, Day 12 - Fast Fiction Challenge 2010: Why Is It Orange?
Title: Why Is It Orange?
Word: hover
Challenger: 2zen2
Length: 200 words exactly
The swearing had commenced in Farsi, had proceeded to Portuguese obscenities and had continued in Urdu.

The captain of the largest of the giant ships over the planet, the one that had appeared near the United Nations headquarters , moving to hover directly over the building, had uttered his ultimatum in every language bar English.

He had displayed a mastery of vulgarities in Hiri Motu, Hebrew and Zhuang that had embarrassed sailors, and yet his tone had never changed, entirely matter-of-fact.

The message, including profanities, had taken a long time to deliver, but the meaning was plain: the human race would cease using English as a language forthwith or be destroyed.

The ambiguities in the English language, broadcast for the past hundred years into space, the alien stated, had led seventeen multi-planetary civilisations to commit either suicide or genocide, and would no longer be tolerated by the galactic community.

The captain’s own culture had been destroyed, he had said, by what had started as a peaceful debate as to whether an Earth fruit was named for its colour, and if so, why other fruits were not. Six years later, war had erupted.

And so the English Language died.

La fin.

© Lee Barnett, 2010

This story is part of the 2010 Fast Fiction Challenge, written for the Thirty Days Project. New challenges can be made here.

The Fast Fiction Challenge - The Book; now available from lulu.com and, if you're in the US, via Amazon.com here; 180 of the best fast fiction challenge stories from the first three years' challenges... Buy it now.


7 squawks in response or squawk at me
From: dewline Date: June 12th, 2010 07:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would like to have an excuse to learn Ganienkeh/Mohawk or Inuktitut before I die. Just not sure that I'd want that one in particular, though.

Well done, in any case!
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: June 12th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
In all honesty, I included Inuktitut and one other in the story, but had to cut two for space, and that was one didn't make the cut, I'm afraid. :)

From: dewline Date: June 12th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
As it is, you've given me plenty to study up on in the meantime with what survived the final edit. ;-)

Yer welcome!
perspexavenger From: perspexavenger Date: June 13th, 2010 12:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I have now been compelled to find out which came first, the fruit or the colour, and I now feel Educated, for which I thank you.

budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: June 14th, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
My pleasure!
crisper From: crisper Date: June 13th, 2010 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haha excellent!
budgie_uk From: budgie_uk Date: June 14th, 2010 01:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, quite happy with this one. Quite happy, indeed!
7 squawks in response or squawk at me