[ VAWN-tud ]
- highly or widely praised or boasted about
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem, painting, dance move—inspired by the word, vaunted, where does it take me? Where does it take you? Learn more about “The Word” here.
It was time to bring it home; time to leave them all speechless. Shara took a moment to stare at her notes atop the podium while cameras flashed multiple times a second. She didn’t need to read the notes but wanted to add that extra level of suspense for the press.
Looking up again, standing tall, she continued, “As I was saying… it’s never been more clear to me that revolutions in technology are tied to the further evolution of our species as a whole. Innovation has lead to longer lifespans and the ability to live and thrive anywhere on Earth.
“But first, we had to leave our shells, like the hermit crab, and seek out something better, something grander. We had to demand longer life, demand better shelter. And the same goes now. We must demand something more and expose ourselves to the harsh elements as we seek a bigger shell to match our extraordinary potential as a species.
“And that’s why I called this press conference today and invited you all here to Live Core; to share exactly how myself, and our amazing team, will take our entire species to the next period of our evolution. The ability to explore new worlds has been thwarted by costs and costs alone. We at Live Core, by next year, will deliver to the world a new way, a new system of propulsion, that will deliver Humankind beyond this Solar System, and we’ll do it for less than the cost of launching a satellite.”
The crowd of reporters began screaming questions…
… waving their arms, jarring for her attention. Flashing lights continued filling the room like a strobe light.
“That is all I’ll say today,” Shara continued through the noise. “In one month, I’ll host another conference to answer your questions. But, for now, I leave you with this promise in the hopes that it fills you with hope and a mind full of wonder. By this time next year, we step into a new phase of our evolution. Thank you.”
Shara scooped up her notes and turned away from the reporters, swiftly making her way through the back door of the press room. Part of her security team stood guard by the door while another pair of men in black suits and stern looks walked with her to the elevators. The atrium of Live Core was empty, despite a few people at the reception desk—exactly why she had that press-room built. Give them a place to go, to keep every other area precisely as she wanted it.
Soon, the elevator doors opened at the top level of the building, floor number ninety-nine. Everything was glass and steel. Straight off the elevator, she could see directly outside, which was simply a wall of clouds today. It was like walking on Mount Olympus, amongst the Gods.
Her dream team, as she liked to call them, were all huddled in the far room, where they worked on projects together. This is why she wanted everything to be glass. From anyone’s personal office, you could see if people were in that room. It encouraged further collaboration.
Shara opened the glass door and stepped inside…
… Someone switched off the radio they were all listening to, and they all looked at her in silence. She simply walked around the table and took a seat in one of the white upholstered chairs.
“Tell us,” said one of her engineers, “that you have some secret insight into this new idea that you’ve just never told us about.”
Shara smirked but shook her head. “No, I can’t say I do. However… I know it is possible.”
The engineer put his hands on his head, eyes open wide, and turned away, mumbling to himself.
“Here’s the plan,” she said. “All of you… go take two weeks off to be with your families, your friends, your pets, whatever. Go take two weeks to do whatever you want. At that time, if you return, you return to work on this project with a commitment to succeed and a belief in our ability to succeed. If you do not return, I hold no hard feelings towards you, and I will happily write you a recommendation letter to any other company out there. No hard feelings. Understood?”
They all nodded back to her.
“Ok, then. Get going.” She nodded towards the glass door and watched patiently as they slowly made their way to collect their personal items and then take the elevator down.
Shara spun her chair around to face a glass board and began to let her mind wander. Alone amongst the clouds, ideas and inspiration flooded her. Soon she was on her feet writing on the glass.
This could be a great, nail-biter story—almost a thriller in a way—like a classic sports movie. The deadline is set by an almost overconfident, quite cocky CEO, Shara. We assume they’ll make that deadline, and her team will usher in a new age of “evolution,” as she called it.
However, that means it would be my job to create a seed of doubt in your mind. Bring them to the brink of failure, and that’s where I get this almost “thriller-like” vision in my mind!
Racing against the clock, emotions running high, conflict in the glass room atop the clouds, the team falling apart…
But then, at the last moment, the team, on the brink of destruction, finds a way to come together to pull off the discovery of a lifetime. And we, as the audience, breathe a sigh of relief and feel the triumph!
Or, at least that would be the aim!
What do you think of Vaunted?
If you could make a bold declaration to the world about something you would do/create but had no idea how to get it done, what would you declare? That’s deep!
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did vaunted or my story take you?
If you liked this story, check out my podcast of short stories, More Than A Story.
Today’s word is from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
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