Friday, April 23, 2021

#atozchallenge T is for Tyra in the Paperclip-Sanatorium #WEPFF, Tea Time, Tale, The, Tales, Ten Thousand, Taillights

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter T

An alphabet of J's favorite blogs

T is for - Tea Time Ruminations
I love THIS blog because:
  • I can always use more feminist friends who are cool dudes.
  • The blog is nearly all in English, but there are also posts in Nynorsk (one of the two written standards of the Norwegian language) 
  • Very unique stories that are enjoyable to read       

#atozchallenge Usborne books for Children

“The Tale of the Valiant Ninja Frog” can be read as a stand-alone, but is also a sequel to the popular book, “The Prince, and the Witch, and the Thief, and the Bears”. These books follow a diverse family, Jamie, Abby, and their Dad, as they create bedtime stories together! These books have a cartoon-style illustration and are complimented for their father-forward storyline!

USA flag "Shipping only available to USA and  military bases from the provided Usborne link." - Kathryn Mowers (Consultant for the Dorner family)

J's TBR pile #atozchallenge

T is for these books on my TBR:

  • The Princelings of the East by Jemima Pett
    • (Have I mentioned Jemima enough this month?)
    • I won the first three books in the series, and I want to read them!
  • Tales from P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer
    • I won this book.
    • I like cats.
  • Ten Thousand Days by C.D. Gallant-King 
    • Speculative fiction with romance
    • "Time is a bit of a jerk"
    • Great cover
  • Chasing the Taillights by Kate Larkindale
    • "siblings are forced to rely on one another"
    • LGBTQ+ main character
    • Kate is my fellow Operation Awesome team member


T is for Tyra in the Paperclip-Sanatorium

  A medical sci-fi with a Matrix twist by J Lenni Dorner

Bright lights came at Tyra. She put her hand up to shield her eyes. Which way to run? No time for choices. Everything went dark.


"Time to rise," a gentle voice repeated, louder each time. Tyra's sleep pod opened. A blue line on the floor grew brighter in a direction away from her pod. She followed it. 

"Good morning. Please mimic." It was the same voice from the pod, her A.I. home. A graphic on the wall showed a person doing simple stretches. Tyra easily did the movements.

"Please disrobe." Tyra placed her pajamas in the hamper. She did her morning constitutional. Then she stepped into the automated cleaner, which washed her, brushed her teeth, and put her hair in a bun. Clean clothing came from a wall compartment. Taupe pants, white blouse, taupe jacket, white under-clothing. She dressed quickly. Taupe flats were the final touch.

Blue floor lights directed her to the next room. A breakfast shake in a travel mug awaited. It had no flavor, no scent, nothing to discern it or make it worthy of a thought. She lifted a black rectangular object from a charger. The front door slid open. 

Tyra stared at the rectangular screen as she drank and walked down the hall. Others from her building, all wearing the same taupe and white outfits, also walked the halls. They too stared at their screens. Everyone went to the elevator in an orderly fashion. The rectangular screen reported the trains were running on time. The weather was slightly overcast and the temperature was mild. In politics, the right-wing disagreed with the left-wing. No new laws were passed, no old ones altered. Sports were all postponed that day. The stock market held steady. The comic of the day was an orange talking to a banana, "Orange you glad I'm not a banana?" The word orange being a substitute for the word aren't, a play on an annoying knock-knock joke. 

The train station was in the basement of Tyra's building. It ran underground to the basement of her office. She went to her cubicle. Stacks of papers awaited her, along with a fresh box of paperclips. The first paper had the letter A. The second had the letter B. There were markings under the letters, but it wasn't something she could decipher. She collated the stack, A to Z, then secured it with a paperclip. On to the next pile. A, B, C… Halfway through the day, she followed blue floor lights to a room with a table and a plant. A dispenser refilled her travel mug. She sat alone by the plant and drank. Then the blue lights directed her to a washroom, and then back to her desk. The stack of papers had refilled, as had the paperclips. Her morning progress had been taken from the "out" box. 

She stared at her rectangular screen as she went home. Again, the A.I. guided her to stretch and change clothes. Theater music came on as she went to the eat-in kitchen. A hot meal waited on a tray. An oval piece of chicken, peas, brown rice, and apple pie with a Gruyère crust. 

"Do I like cheese on my apple pie?" Tyra asked. The house didn't answer. She ate it and decided that yes, she did like it. She watched a nature show about tigers and then got into her sleep pod.


"Doctor? There's news?" Tyra's husband asked as he rushed in. It was the first such call in weeks since his wife was run over.
"Yes. She picked a dessert last night, and questioned if she liked it. She also chose music and watched a nature show."
"That's it?" Noah sank into a chair. "I thought perhaps she remembered me or questioned why I'm not there."
The doctor shook his head. "Minds are funny. Everyone expects that people will first notice a lack of loved ones. But patients always start with a sense memory. A taste, a smell, the feel of a fabric. This is good news. It means she's coming out of the coma. The Paperclip-Sanatorium program is working perfectly. Soon we'll be able to load the Freedom Morning program, and she'll discover how to think her way awake."
"Will she remember the monotony of the virtual reality?"
"No, only the Freedom Morning stage."


"Time to rise."
"What day is it?" Tyra asked as she rolled out of her sleep pod. The house didn't answer. Once she was in the automated cleaner, she repeated her question, again to no answer. She sniffed her breakfast shake. "Orange-banana again? No vanilla-strawberry? No chocolate-raspberry? House, are you sure it isn't the weekend?"

She tapped on her rectangular device as she walked down the hall. When was the last time the information on this thing changed? And where was the date?
"Excuse me, does anyone know what day it is?" No one around her glanced from their devices. 

Tyra saw the stack of papers at her cubicle. "Is this really my job? Didn't I train for something more? When do I get a day off?" 
No one answered. Everyone was busy paperclipping stacks of paper. Tyra stormed off to the breakroom, not caring that it wasn't time.

"Hello? Is anyone here?" She expected to find the plant alone in the windowless room. When was the last time she saw the sky? 
"Can I help you?" Laurence Fishburne sat in the breakroom sipping a cup of coffee. 
"There's coffee? Why am I drinking this orange-banana crap? Hey, you're that guy…"
Laurence nodded. "Yes, but in here, I'm the boss. Why aren't you at your desk paperclipping?"
"I want to know what day it is. More importantly, I want to know when I get a day off."
"What would you do with a day off?" 
Tyra rinsed her mug and filled it with coffee.
"I'd travel. Maybe meet someone. Wait, I have a husband. Where's Noah?"
Laurence pointed to a green door with the word "freedom."

998 words. FCA

Giveaway: Win the Ultimate Literary Bundle from Storiarts! "Where style meets literature. Every Storiarts purchase helps kids worldwide learn to read, write, & create." And small-batch coffee in three genres-- Fantasy, Romance, and Gothic. 

WEP writing prompt Freedom Morning #flashfiction #WEPFF
On the 21st, the A-Z letter is R. On the 22nd, it's S. Then, on the 23rd, it's T. (When I've posted mine.)
"Use the letter of the day, as well as whatever A-Z theme you've chosen, to inspire your WEP entry!"

  • Have you been to this favorite blog of mine?
  • Have you read any of these books?
  • Would you be interested in a longer version of Tyra's story? (I cut almost 2k to get the word count down. I'm thinking of making it a Smashwords novelette.)
  • What's your favorite place to travel (when it's safe to travel)?

#AtoZChallenge 2021 badge
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  1. Yes, I would be interested in the longer version of Tyra's story. Though this one is good, but more back story would be better.

  2. Hi,
    The story is engaging. I did want to know more but what you presented had my interest all the wa through.
    Shalom aleichem

  3. I found it a full story as is and very enjoyable. The conversation between the husband and doctor gave just enough of the backstory, but if there's something deeper that you want to say. Go for it. Lots of folks hate flash because it's too short, but they also hate novels because they're too long. Your next version may be just right! Well done!

  4. I' ve enjoyed Tyra's story as is. I've found it neat and complete. It is also interesting. Also, I've been thrilled by the concept of freedom at awakening of our comatose selves subdued under routine by or like automaton. Great job.

  5. That was fun! Loved the layers and the complexity but especially the Matrix twist!

  6. Loved the take. Engrossing. For me it was complete in itself but I would love to read further.

  7. Fascinating story. I wonder is such a therapy, or a variation of one, exists in real life.

  8. I was worried that this was her life. So glad it wasn't.

  9. Oh, good, she escaped! I would find an existence where I was told what to do and how to dress insufferable. The only good thing about that place was the apple pie and cheese. :-)

  10. This is a clever take on the prompt. I think some time in the paperclip sanatorium program would push anyone to wake from a coma! I'm so glad she found her way out again. And Laurence Fishburne was an excellent touch!

  11. I enjoyed the story - engaged right from the start. It felt quite complete to me, though it certainly can be expanded into a longer one. Unique interpretation of the prompt. Not the kind of therapy I'd like to be in. Glad she managed to awaken and escape. Well done.

  12. I realy enjoyed this and would love to read more of it. Great entry!

  13. An entertaining and intriguing use of virtual reality technology to the betterment of people. Well done.

  14. Interesting story -- I liked the opening line as it immediately drew me in.

    I've read the first book in The Princelings of the East and enjoyed it -- I should get around to reading the rest!

    Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge with an A-Z of Faerie: Tooth Faeries

  15. Hi J Lenni. You engaged your readers right off. Such an interesting look at FREEDOM MORNING. I would like to learn more about Tyra. You could say a lot more. Nevertheless, it was wonderful.

  16. I like travelling to New Orleans but might be looking for new locations

  17. I loved this. It was engrossing and I enjoyed puzzling out what was going on. The switch to the husband was genius.
    Oh, and thanks for the plug... yes I hope you enjoy them! :)
    As you can see, I'm now in catch-up mode. :)


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