Welcome to Fiction Fridays!
Every couple of weeks, I use AI to generate a new fiction writing prompt inspired by the changes and updates to my digital garden. Today, I present to you the 3rd part of the story Beneath the Mango Tree.
This collaboration with machine learning allows for the emergence of intriguing and unexpected ideas I might not have thought of otherwise. The prompts are designed to be open-ended and flexible, allowing me to explore a wide range of themes and genres that are aligned with my interests and experiences. However, it is important to remember that these pieces are fictional.
But there’s more! Alongside each weekly publication, you’ll find a piece of AI-generated art that complements the story. And if you’re eager to dive deeper, don’t forget to explore the updates to my digital garden.
In the quaint town of Serenita, where time suspends beneath the benevolent boughs of a fabled mango tree, the prospect of unity and celebration teeters on the edge of upheaval. The once-beloved songstress, Aria, shrouded in the cloak of scandal and self-imposed exile, resurfaces to participate in the once-in-a-century ritual. As the echoes of her past rise like specters in the communal consciousness, the town is pulled into an abyss of prejudice and collective memory. Amidst the murmur of the shifting world, Aria stands poised, bathed in the twilight of her life’s greatest test.
Aria waited patiently, wrapped in her bedsheets, and as the first rays of sunlight warmed her skin, she jumped out of bed, threw on the first pair of joggers she could find, and made her way to town hall.
The administrator gave her an uncomfortable look, his eyes scanned Aria’s appearance from top to bottom. He proceeded to look at her participation slip as if he were trying desperately to find a mistake, something that he could say to keep her as far away from the event as possible. But there was nothing. He nodded ever so slightly, indicating that her participation had been formalized. In just a few days, she would have the chance to redeem herself.
Julian wrote a piece in the local newspaper, capturing the collective centennial excitement and also publicly announcing Aria’s participation in the event. This last bit of news was picked up by tabloids faster than anyone could swallow, like vultures, they wrote sensationalist pieces with headlines such as: “From Hero to Zero”, “Aria’s Shameless Comeback”, or “Disgraced Pop Star Aria is back to shock us”. Aria could not help it, she had to read them. It was clear that the people of Serenita rejected her true self. Her story made them uncomfortable. And yet, all she wanted was to share her new identity with the place that was supposed to be her home.
One morning, she awoke to a barrage of splashing sounds. A group of vocal teenagers felt that they needed to express their unhappiness by throwing eggs at her window. What surprised Aria the most, however, was not the eggs, but a small plush bear she found sitting underneath her mailbox. He seemed so vulnerable, sitting on the cobblestone all alone. Attached to his neck was a card. Her vision blurred as she opened the envelope and saw a small, but significant number of signatures expressing support for her comeback. In between the eggshells, she found a small minority that stood behind her.
Aria felt a weight pushing down on her shoulders. This sensation expanded across her body. Something was pulling her down. She did not want to cause such a divide between the people, her heart was too fragile for that. Those vines continued to grow around it. They had such strength in their roots, pushing the thorns into the innermost chamber.
In the days that followed, she thought a lot about her performance. Staring at the plush bear, she finally had a vision. She saw herself channel the pain she felt, cradle the nucleus of her fears, and carefully guide it out into the world. Like a bubble, it would burst and cast a warm glow over the audience. She had the key to their hearts, and she wanted nothing more than to unlock the truth in them, allowing everyone to look past her transformation and, simply, see her.