Writing CHALLENGE #7

7. Create a complicated and interesting ethical dilemma. This can be a summary. (one page)

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Kenny and Rodriguez grinned at each other in a way I already knew they were going to take the dare.

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“This part of the track is out-of-use. Everyone knows that,” said Tyler. He’s the one who lived down here, so who was I to argue.

Latia and Chelsey were already hopping on the track and peering over the edge of the bridge. It was a 200 foot drop. The bridge went on for a half mile, splitting off in two different directions.

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Rodriguez looked over at me. “You comin’?”

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His dimples played at the corner of his lips. His smile dazzled. People with dimples always felt the obligation to smile.

“No-oo,” I said, being sure to let him know what I thought of him.

The lattices in-between boards allowed for a brief glimpse of air and empty space below us. I saw it leaning over.

Roddy pushed his charm into an impertinent grin and said, “Your loss.”

“You brain,” I sputtered too quickly before realizing how dumb it sounded.

Roddy stopped. “What?!” he shook his head and burst out laughing. This had become a thing with me.

On other occasions, I was able to come off as a perfectly rational, intelligent human being. Roddy was Kryptonite.

“One of these days I’m going to get a tape recorder and play back some of the things you say.”

“One of these days you’re gonna get a smack upside the head,” I muttered.

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“Keep working on that comeback.” He blew me a fake kiss and hopped up to the rails beside Kenny, balancing and looking back.

What he said annoyed me. Steamed, I decided to walk off and let them go be children by themselves.

I had been walking a little ways, turning the bend–I hadn’t even noticed the small cloud just over the trees. The sky was clear.

I squinted my eyes. The cloud was getting closer.

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Struck–it occurred to me what it was. I found myself yelling and sprinting back to get to my friends. I caught a glimpse of them through the trees. They were a third of the way across the bridge. They were looking back at me and waving, but then caught on.

If they ran back now, they’d be heading towards the train, which was still behind the bend and coming at speed. If they ran the other way, the train was going too fast. It wouldn’t be able to stop.

I looked at the switch next to the tracks just up ahead. It could switch the train onto the second bridge, the one that was missing part of the rails at the end. I looked at my friends running this way. Then, I looked at the train now coming into view, blowing its horn loudly. Roddy and them were running the wrong way. They were never going to make it.

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Avoiding the gaze of the conductor, who was already pulling the brakes, I reached the lever and pulled, switching tracks.

He’ll be able to stop in time, I told myself.

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[The original Ethics scenario was there’s 10 people on one bridge and 1 person on the other. The train is currently going to hit the track with the 10 people and you’re next to the switch. If you pull it, you’ll spare the 10 but take out the 1. If you do nothing, it’s not your fault the 10 people were on the bridge, but you have the opportunity to save them by sacrificing the 1. What do you do? How do you make your decision?]


11 thoughts on “Writing CHALLENGE #7

    1. Ick, that one creeps me out. I saw a true one with a dad going a little psycho with family members in the raft after their boat sank. Everyone made it, amazingly; but his sons knew exactly where they ranked in the hierarchy of who goes first. Is that the same dilemma?

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