Triple F: A Mystery And A Little Wire

How’s your week been so far? Mine’s been pretty wild with all the truck weirdness this week–getting stranded on Monday (after we’d been asked if we needed help, and everything had been fine), getting the truck started in neutral (which probably shouldn’t have happened), to getting things checked out yesterday–me planning for an all-day trip when the whole shebang took a little less than an hour…

We asked the mechanic to check something we hadn’t considered as a possibility because we’d kinda dismissed it (grounding/electrical). The mechanic found a wire that went from the battery to the starter. Sure, wires do that. But this wire had gotten part of its rubber coating melted off because it had been swinging and touching the exhaust pipe/manifold when it shouldn’t have been. The now-bare wire had also been touching the manifold, and shorting out the starter.

So, a couple dozen bucks and an hour or so later, problem solved. I’m super-relieved.

Which leads me to Triple F, the fiction prompt that I do every week on the blog here.

Isn’t that a surprise, using inspiration from my own life for these things? Oh, right. I guess it’s not a surprise, not at all. (Not even a little.)


Here we go:

Your character’s car breaks down in a store parking lot. He or she has no mechanical training. What happens?

Sounds familiar somehow…

Now, I went really simple on this one. Simplicity = flexibility. No character gender, detailed background, or what-have-ya. Just one or two plot points, and a bare hint of a setting.

And just because somebody has no personal training doesn’t mean they can’t find the answer to something (there’s the subject for another post).

How about:

A woman breaks down in the parking lot of a store on the way home? What if her phone is dead? What would she do? As far as a store goes, there’s a bunch of people inside, as long as it isn’t closed–which is another angle you could take. Anyhow, those people might be willing or able to help. This might be a little different based on who the character approaches. Someone in the parking lot with her may help, or maybe someone in the store.

A guy breaks down in the parking lot? What would he do? Check gauges? Power? We could be flexible on the idea of training–even folks without it might know to check for leaking puddles or smells coming from where they shouldn’t. Now what if he’s helped by some woman–who’s dad just happens to be a mechanic? This doesn’t happen too often, but the possibility has to be there, yeah?

Or maybe a robot who works in a factory has his transport go bust right in the middle of nap time on the star system he’s traveled to. His comms are down, and he meets a strange woman who claims she can fabricate the part from matter itself, as long as she can see a picture of the part and where it’s supposed to go. His logic module tells him it’s ridiculous, until she actually does what she says, and then he fixes his transport. (And takes her out to dinner–even though their species aren’t a match, it’ll be okay…)

(I had to try at least one scenario that didn’t have normal people doing normal things). You know that, and about how I think science fiction and fantasy stories are awesome. If you don’t, now you do.

And you also have to figure out what kind of a car/truck problem it is–something leaking? Starter? Ignition? Key not turned far enough? Battery? Or some intergalactic setup of your own making?

All right I think that’s enough to get you started for this one.

March 2016 has just started–things have been eventful for me so far this month, and I hope it has for you too–in a good way.

Make it a great weekend, with good memories, all right? Oh, and today’s March Fourth. A little humor…

Until next time (and week),



About Ty Mall

Thanks for stopping by. I've almost always been interested in writing, among other things. Along with discovering pop culture, I've uncovered a lot about the craft over the past 10 years. And whether you're a fiction writer or email copywriter, I'm here to pass on what I've found out. And have a ton of fun in the process.
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