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15-minute Writer's Prompt (unedited)

In one of my writer's groups, we had to write a story in 15 minutes. For my prompt, I had to start the story with "You can't compare apples to oranges" and end with "There was no telling what thoughts would come from the machine." It wasn't a perfect transition and ends abruptly, but I thought the exercise was fun.

You can’t compare apples to oranges.


Genesis was an inventor, not a farmer. She rolled the two fruits in her gloved hands before slamming her fist against the metal. Immediately, her hand recoiled and a shot of pain danced across her knuckles.


Eventually, the pain subsided but Genesis felt more frustrated now. She took a deep breath before slowly exhaling, looking back down at the machine. Neither apples or oranges had proven to be any help. As far as she was concerned, they were both worthless.


“Okay, girl, keep trying,” Genesis murmured to herself, pulling out her golden key, hanging from a keychain, from the front of her overall. She kept it nearby, so she could reopen her machine’s fuel station quickly. Her hair was pulled backed into puffs, so she could focus her vision on the prize. If she could get this machine to work, money would no longer be a problem, fame would chase her, and the pride from a new invention would radiate from her better than any perfume. No pressure, of course.


Genesis’ machine was going to do what every psychic or prophet claimed: be able to read a person’s thoughts and see the future. Her only problem was trying to find a fuel that would power it. The smell of citrus still hung in the air and greasy bacon almost made her stomach turn. Neither fruit or pork seemed to rev up her machine’s engine. She was lucky she could use her parents’ garage for her fuel trials. All the failures would have had her room looking like a garbage site.


She started her round machine up again. Pulling a lever from the side, much like a mail shoot, Genesis slipped in some soil inside the fuel station. A sound like blending ice sang from her machine before it fizzled out. Another failure.


It was a bad habit, but Genesis pulled her hair. Kinks of hair from her afro puffs floated down, some laying on the green grass and the others onto her clothes.

Whatever hair strands that had snagged themselves on her knitted gloves, fell into her machine’s shoot when Genesis tried to swat off the debris.


Her stubborn machine made a single beep.


She quirked an eyebrow.


To her surprise, the same sounds of icy destruction started but smoothed into the steady noise of a printer. Had Genesis herself been the missing key? This was a machine she created, so it made sense only she could power it in a slightly dumb but magical way.


Now that her machine worked, it was time to test it. Genesis stood in front of the sleek metallic machine, which looked like a cross between a juicer and an astronaut’s helmet. The LED screen booted up and began a retina scan on Genesis’ brown eyes.


The machine was going to read her mind. Or, so she thought. She couldn’t have foreseen the machine would want its own mind, its own thoughts, and its own life.


There was no telling what thoughts would come from the machine.

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