Nodding in satisfaction, John clicked his tongue at Whisp, and the sheepdog got up. John bent down and flicked the little switch on her collar. “Walk on,” he said, and Whisp began to trot towards the herd. Like sheep, the Emcees - little wheeled devices - broke ranks in confusion, moving away from the collar’s signal.
A standalone science fiction short story. The shepherd of the future tends, not to sheep, but to small mobile photovoltaic cells. But when poachers threaten his livelihood, will he be able to see them off with nothing but his wits?
I originally wrote this for a call for submissions, asking for things in the genre of 'Solarpunk'. It was described as being fiction that exists in a future where we have perhaps dealt with some of the ecological problems that plague us now, or that focuses on the struggle to overcome them. In my imagined future, the Emcees that he farms are 'Mobile Cells', or MCs. They move around the hillside, following the sunlight, their tiny motors not using enough electricity to drain their batteries. Once a week he can drain them, selling the electricity back to the electric company and pocketing the difference. Although this piece wasn't selected for publication, I enjoyed it and decided to turn it into this week's Pocket Fiction episode.
As always, I would love to collaborate with you! If you have short fiction that you would like me to include as a standalone episode of Pocket Fiction, drop me a line!
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Music: “The Pyre” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com).
Licensed under Creative Commons: By attribution 3.0.