Social Experiment


© Fatima Fakier Deria

“They’re beginning to panic, Vym.”

Vym and Qloutyd were watching the news broadcasts from their alien stealth ship in low Earth orbit.

“Naturally. They expect Venice to be flooded in a century according to their belief in this climate change phenomena. They could hardly expect the famous canals to actually dry up.”

“They’re blaming…wait a minute, low tides caused by a super blue blood moon. They have the most colorful names for things, don’t you think?”

“It’s just more data for us to gather in our social experiments.”

“Our planetary climate generator is working perfectly. Humans are so easily frightened.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above to inspire creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

Venice is a very famous place with a long and remarkable history, so I tried to think of something unique. Looking up news for the city, I came across an article called Venice canals dry up after super blue blood moon and low rainfall cause water levels to drop dated 2 Feb 2018. It’s such an unexpected occurrence that I thought I’d have aliens cause it, as well as the whole climate change phenomena, as a social experiment to see how we poor humans would react. Apparently, we’re very predictable.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

53 thoughts on “Social Experiment

  1. Hi James,
    Thanks very much for sharing this phenomenon on the Venice canals and the super blue blood moon. It was fascinating. I had a similar experience when I was Googling the quail for last week’s prompt. I wasn’t sure if quail could fly and when I googled that, found out they can fly long distances to migrate but are poisonous during this migration phase, which was the basis of my murder suicide plot. It’s great when you stumble across facts like these which really extend the scope of your writing, isn’t it!
    By the way, we might as well blame the aliens. They don’t seem to answer back.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been on a canal when it dried up, as a result of a breach in the banking. Now there’s a sight that would make a good photo prompt. You can’t begin to imagine the plethora of weird items that reside in the mud. Original take, James, well done.


  3. Excellent write, and thanks for the break from the real world news. It’s too heart-rending to hear, and worse to know there’s not a D* thing besides protest that we can do. Climate change, indeed…in oh, so many ways beyond the obvious!


  4. We do panic easily, don’t we. And we’re never happy. It’s always too hot, too cold, flooding or drought, yada-yada-yada. Yet, we bring so much of it on ourselves. You can’t just destroy the environment and expect no consequences.


  5. Fun take on the prompt. I like how sic-fi puts us humans under the magnifying glass. WE can see our flaws so much more clearly then. In this case we are predictable creatures of habit. Interesting to think the canals would dry up, because before that the fears were that the city was sinking.


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