Prompt: Things fall apart (assigned reading: "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov)
Do not take this story to where it takes place. It could be banned.
Aton 77, director of Saro University, thrust out a belligerent lower lip and glared at the young newspaperman in a hot fury.
Or at least that's what Lodo thought had happened. Of course, Lodo was crazy. So was everyone else on the planet Livagidefac, for that matter.
It all started when Leke came up with zir new invention. Leke was an interesting person, both in zir appearance and how ze thought — ze was probably crazy zemself. Ze had pinkish skin, instead of the usual blue-green, and ze had a big brown thing on zir head which ze called hair. Ze explained this all by saying that ze had come from another planet, and that this planet was called Earth, and that it had lots of creatures that looked just like zem.
One day, Lodo was bored and asked Leke what there was to do, Leke replied, "You could read a story."
"What's a story?" asked Lodo.
"It's where someone makes up something that didn't really happen and writes it down."
"Is that like that thing, lying, that you say you do on your planet?"
"No. When people lie, they're actually trying to make you think that what they're saying is true. When they write a story, people know it's not true."
"Then why do they read it?" asked Lodo.
"Because it's something to do," said Leke, and ze gave Lodo several books.
Since you are reading this, you are probably familiar with the concept of a story, and since, as of 1:01 AM January 8, 2007, we haven't encountered any extraterrestrials (at least as far as I know), you are probably from Earth, so you are probably also familiar with the concept of lying; therefore, the previous conversation may seem odd, and it may sound like Leke was talking to a very young child. Well, ze wasn't; Lodo was an adult, and a very tall one, being almost 3'6", but the people on this planet had encountered neither of these concepts before.
Anyways, Lodo read the stories and started saying nonsense about time machines going into space riding on broomsticks. Ze told other people on the planet about these, and they of course believed zem and told everyone else, and so everyone on the planet Livagidefac became crazy.
This story assumes that psychology—in particular, the absence of a part of the brain that can detect lies—is science; otherwise, this story might not be science fiction.
All names used in this story are words of fiction. Any etymology that you can come up with for these words is wrong. They were generated by a computer program that combines letters according to certain rules; the words this program came up with are: (from Latin) cluclataptum, culum, liagidefaca, baelate, and sitastititum; (from Greek) gaucopeipes, hopheuchepy, xaugy, lodos, and phychapsyrede; and (from Anglo-Saxon) floo, nomuf, blif, leke, and comute. Some of these may be used in future stories.
Lodo is pronounced just like it's spelled, with the stress on the o (rhymes with Frodo) /ˈloʊ.doʊ/; Leke is also pronounced just like it's spelled, with the usual silent e (homophone of leak) /ˈlik/; Livagidefac, on the other hand, is pronounced exactly like it sounds (live uh GUY duh fack) /lɪ.və.ˈgaɪ.də.fæk/.
Copyright © 2007 by chri d. d. All rights reserved. If you read this story, don't tell it to others as if it's true; doing so would be a violation of copyright. The first sentence was stolen—I mean, borrowed—from "Nightfall," by Isaac Asimov; I'm not sure about the copyright stuff for that.