Idea #16: Metro Delivery Service

A group of children operates a swift delivery service via the city’s subway system. The group is divided in to two castes- those who stay inside the subway, and those who execute the final delivery on the outside. The kids on the outside run in order to deliver their packages rather than using the buses in the vast majority of circumstances. The only cost incurred would be getting the ‘Worms’ in to the subway system. Rather large profits, then, for whoever organized the children. All they have to do is pay the kids and give them just enough money for a single ride on the subway. This is because the ‘Crickets,’ those on the outside, wait by turnstiles and the packages are handed over.

Where do these kids come from? Good question. During the summer they could be anyone. During the school year ambitious individuals might make a few runs during lunch breaks and after school, but clearly there will be a lack of service during the day unless kids skip school. I suspect that there are a number who skip school, but not enough. Or are there? How many schools are there within range of a given stop on the subway? If there are five kids within range of a given station who do this work, only one of them would need to skip on any given day to act as Cricket. The Worms can be found anywhere on the system. There needn’t be terribly many Worms, depending on the size of the system as a whole. They can even carry multiple packages at once. But you need a Cricket at every stop, or within range of every stop if there’s some way of communicating which of two nearby stations a Cricket needs to be present at to receive a package.

Do they have pagers, cell phones, anything to allow for this? More costs, less profit if they do. Perhaps they are only allowed to use them on weekdays during the school year, when the crew is understaffed. During the summer there would be excess kids, no need to have flexibility.

The packages are anything that needs to be delivered fast. Money, in many cases. Small things. Things accidentally left at home, or at the office. Drugs, conceivably. Keys. Books (really fast inter-library loans). Stolen goods, anything.

How are the kids tracked? How are the kids paid? Who runs this? I need to figure all of that out. Better yet, this an idea I can integrate into my current project, ‘Dog.’ From now on all ideas which can be used in this project will be in the Dog WIP category.

Downfall of Paranoia

I’ve just taken down the password protection on my short stories. I’ve noticed that the pages get hits- including ‘Written Ravings,’ which has instructions for requesting the password- but I would receive no password requests. Thus from now on my stories will have no password protection. I doubt anyone will steal them. If they do so without my permission, I will become a steaming pillar of flatulent rage.

Not a pleasant image. I don’t think I’ll ever type those particular words again. Ah well, you never know until you try.

Enjoy the stories, and feel free to give brutal criticisms.

Especially on ‘Friend for Hire.’ It really deserves them.

Writing Update

I’ve updated the Written Ravings page with a piece I did recently, Friend for Hire. Frankly I don’t like it as much as some of my other work. For one thing it isn’t sci-fi, it isn’t fantasy, it isn’t even set in some kind of reasonable alternate reality. The piece is very clearly set on Earth, in America.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise considering that my current long term writing project is also set in the more or less real world, but that at least has unusual characters and situations. Friend for Hire is just so incredibly mundane by comparison. At the same time it is short enough that it isn’t painful, and many good books have been written about fairly mundane topics. I just never thought I’d write any such thing myself.

Live and learn. The writing isn’t the cleanest  by my standards, so feel even more free to nitpick than usual.

It is, like all my work, password protected. This is just to make sure that I have some idea of who is looking at it. Unless your username is ‘istealstories.com,’ odds are good I will be perfectly happy to give you the password should you request it. Do so either in the comments or via e-mail to Lucien ~dot~ Malkatros ~at~ gmailDOTcom.