This is a behind the scenes extra for TRANSACTION, so I recommend reading that microfiction story first, as some of this may have spoilers.
Magical Realism Twitter bot: “If you pay a Greek god in Ohio the sum of 8,900 dollars, it will destroy humanity. “
Lots of nouns so the first step is to Google. I’m less familiar with Ohio than I am with Greek gods, so I research the state first.
Ohio borders the Great Lakes. Which reminds me of the Lade of the Lake from Arthurian tales. So the protagonist could find this Greek god in one of the Great Lakes. Greek gods are ancient, so what are older names for the Great lake regions? The Native Americans had several names, so I pull one of those to use to identify Lake Erie. Now that Ohio is taken care of, I need a Greek god.
The main Greek gods (Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, etc.) are well known. I want someone more obscure, though. Lots of Greek god kids to choose from, but I need to narrow down what kind of Greek god I want.
I go back to my writing prompt and wonder about the $8,900 dollars. That could be a lot, or very little, depending on the wealth of the protagonist. There’s more conflict if that is considered a small amount. So they can’t buy the services of a major god and will have to settle for a less one. If you’re trying to destroy humanity and have to work at a small scale, that would be … arguments, stress, anger. Back to Google who sends me to Wikipedia who gives Eris and her kids – perfect!
Time to create a protagonist to pull it all together. Greek gods are old, using an old name for the area … let’s contrast that with the future, science-fiction, a robot/android/cyborg something – they’re always good for wanting to destroy humanity. For their name, I went back to Greek stuff, found something cool.
I changed the “dollars” to gold and had fun with hybrids words such as govcast (government broadcasts) and piradios (pirate radio stations).
The realistic aspects are the location and the Greek mythology.
The setting is the future. Add in the artificially intelligent robot and the story comes off as science fiction.
It’s a typical theme to have a creation of man want to destroy mankind. The fun of this story was thinking how they would do it if they had a limited budget.
Thanks for reading,