‘Tell us, Gramma’ by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month, the task is “Valentine.” It could be something upbeat related to Valentine’s Day, or any other story with a character named Valentine. Lots of scope.

This week story comes from Chiara. Chiara is currently in Berlin, Germany, doing her best to catch up with semi-abandoned writing projects. Her YA novel “Mi chiamo Elisa” was published in Italy by “Le Mezzelane Casa Editrice” in September 2020.

Tell us, Granma

by Chiara De Giorgi

“Granma! Granma! Tell us about Valentine’s Day!”

“Yes! Please, Granma! I want to hear about when there were no robots!”

“Oh, kids, I have told you this story so many times, already!”

“We want to hear it again!”

“Yes! Again!”

“Oh, well. Alright.”

“Yay! Thanks!”

“So… This story happened many years ago. It was…”

“Yes, sooooo many years ago! You were still a child!”

“Yeah, well, as I was saying…”

“Had bicycle been invented, yet, Granma?”

“For goodness’ sake, kids! I am not a dinosaur! Of course bicycle had been invented!”

“But robots hadn’t.”

“Actually, they had been invented. They just weren’t put to work, yet.”

“And why is that?”

“Because… Well, people wanted to keep their jobs, they didn’t want robots to replace humans. They were afraid they wouldn’t have any way to earn money, if robots took over their jobs.”

“Were people very rich, before robots?”

“A few of them were. The majority were not, though.”

“Were you and Grandpa rich?”

“We weren’t poor, but we weren’t rich. We owned a small bistro along the river.”

“And then?”

“And then came the Pandemic, and our lives were changed forever.”

“You became poor?”

“Almost. We couldn’t keep the bistro open, so we turned it into an online business, but we ended up working longer hours for less money. After the first year, we were so exhausted, that we decided to close.”

“And then you were poor?”

“Not at once. As many others, we tried to find an alternative way of making a living, but since everyone was more or less in the same boat as we– ”

“Except for the rich ones.”

“Yes, except for them. So, basically there was plenty of stuff on sale, but no one could afford to buy. It was such a creative time! Some painted, some made photos, some knitted, some danced… We were all doing what we loved most, hoping that someone would like it enough to buy it.”

“But it didn’t happen.”

“No, it didn’t. There wasn’t any money to be spent.”

“And then it was Valentine’s Day!”

“Not so fast! Let Granma tell the story!”

“Two years into the Pandemic, the situation was desperate. The richer had gotten even richer, but didn’t want to share. Salaries had never been so low, because there were so many people in need of a job… It was a very difficult time. But a few of clever super-rich guys had been working at an idea in secret.”

“Why in secret?”

“Because they knew the other super-rich guys would boycott it, didn’t they, Granma?”

“I believe that’s why, yes. Anyway, these guys called themselves “The Valentines”. They built a huge number of robots and slowly started employing them here and there, so humans wouldn’t have to sell themselves for a few dollars doing dangerous or boring jobs. Entrepreneurs all over the world wanted the robots, it was an investment for them, you see?”

“Of course: they bought a robot once and then didn’t have to pay them a salary!”

“Exactly. So, at the same time, the Valentines started buying art and things from the people: paintings, stories, shows, handcrafted items, and so on. People started earning again, and after they had paid off their debts, they, too, started buying art and things from one another. The Valentines hired all the engineers to design and build their robots, and to do the necessary maintenance jobs. They could pay well, and they did. The robots could do anything, so people could spend their time doing what they loved, knowing that others would pay for it.”

“What if one loved to do what the robots could do? If one loved baking cakes, for example?”

“The robots did just standard stuff, so if you really wanted to be a pastry chef, you still could, and people would pay a lot of money for a man-made cake!”

“And what happened on Valentine’s Day?”

“The following year, on Valentine’s Day, the Valentines revealed themselves and explained their plan. The Pandemic still wasn’t over, but people wanted to celebrate, so everyone gave their creations away for free on that day.”

“That’s why we give each other gifts on Valentine’s Day?”

“Yes. It’s a tradition that was born that day.”

“Here’s your gift, Granma! Happy Valentine’s Day!”

“Happy Valentine’s Day, children.”

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com/

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

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