xlovebecomesher: (Sweet Zombie Jesus)
[personal profile] xlovebecomesher
The red button glared at her. "Just push me," it whispered in her mind menacingly. "You'll be the hero if you do."

Ann wanted to push the button. She really did. The power was in her hands; she was the only one who knew about the red button that would stop the trolley. No one knew she was there. The adrenaline was pumping through her. She could picture it now.

Local woman saves 5 people from runaway trolley; no one dead, the headlines would read. Ann would be celebrated. The mayor would have a dinner in her honor, and she'd be given the keys to the city. She'd make headline news across the world. She'd finally make an appearance like she dreamed of on late night shows and talk shows. Heads of different countries would call her up and ask her how did she manage to save even the one person to the side thus making the trolley problem null and void. There would be movies made about her, TV crime shows would have episodes about this event starring her. She'd have the finest dresses, attend all the awards shows, even finally find true love. All she had to do was push the button and make herself known to the public.

Ann heard the runaway trolley come closer. She heard the screams, the pleas; one louder than the others. She knew that voice anywhere. She had no idea how he managed to get tied to the train tracks with the other four victims but she didn't care. He deserved it. After the years of pain and abuse, the hitting, the accusations, the lies, she had finally gained the strength to leave him. Not that it was working well; he stalked her every chance he had - harrassing her at work, leaving threatening notes, calling and breathing in her ear. Finally today of all days, Ann had worked up the courage to go to the police station and file a restraining order when she stumbled across the red button that everyone was frantically looking for.

The sirens were getting closer; she had to make a decision before she was found. It would look bad if she was found standing by the lever and she didn't do anything. Headlines would then read: Local woman arrested for not saving 5 people from runaway trolley. All she had to do was push the button!

The red button whispered again, this time pleadingly, "don't let the others die just because of your ex-husband. Do they deserve it? Push me."

Ann shook her head. No, they didn't, but her ex-husband certainly did. She wouldn't shed a tear if he was gone.

The sounds of the police searching for the button were getting closer as were the sounds of the runaway trolley. It was a matter of seconds at this point.

Decision made, she quickly walked away before anyone saw her. It was out of her hands at this point. Whatever happened, happened.

Ann prayed that the police would find the button in time.

But if not, at least she would be safe. Always.

....

This week's entry is based on the The Trolley Problem:

The Trolley Problem is an ethical dilemma. A runaway trolley is barrelling down the tracks. 5 people are tied to the train tracks unable to move and the trolley is heading straight for them. You are a little ways away next to the lever. You now have two choices:

1. Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.
2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.
What do you do?

Looking around for inspiration trying to understand the Trolley Problem better, I came across this writing prompt: You are the conductor from the trolley problem memes, you have the power to stop the train in time but do not. Nobody knows you're part of the equation, you satisfy your blood-lust and get away with it every time.

And thus this story!

Ann is a character from a season 9 story I wrote. She seemed like the type of person who'd walk away as long as she wasn't caught.

Date: 2017-02-20 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] koyaaniisqatsi.livejournal.com
Go, Ann! Stick it to him.

Date: 2017-02-21 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Whatever it takes to keep herself safe!

Date: 2017-02-20 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ragnarok-08.livejournal.com
Way to go Ann :D

Date: 2017-02-21 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Ann is quite devious when needed!

Date: 2017-02-21 12:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayaso.livejournal.com
Very well done! This puts a whole new spin on the problem. This was an interesting solution. I wonder what she would say to the families of the ones who died.

Date: 2017-02-21 01:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
It does - what does happen if you know at least one of the people tied to the track and you don't have a good past with them? Conversely, does your option change if you're in love/care for 1 of the 5?

Since Ann was "never there," she'd probably extend her condolences and never let them know she was there and could have stopped the trolley!

Date: 2017-02-21 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayaso.livejournal.com
The Trolley Problem poses an ethical question, and from that perspective Ann was there, whether anyone knew it. For her, the ethical question is, do I let four innocent people die to let one guilty person die? We have her answer. This was a great variation of the dilemma.

Date: 2017-02-21 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] night-owl-9.livejournal.com
Whoa - what an ending!

Date: 2017-02-21 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I didn't expect to go there!

Date: 2017-02-21 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wildrose.livejournal.com
Great take on the problem! I have come across it a few times and it always makes me think a lot because I honestly don't know what I would do. I guess it would also depend on if I knew the people or not, and my relationship to them.

Date: 2017-02-21 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Very true - I wonder what I'd do if I was Ann in the same situation.

Date: 2017-02-21 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magazhchi.livejournal.com
Ah! Now that was an interesting twist.

Date: 2017-02-21 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Thanks - I didn't expect to go there with this prompt haha!

Date: 2017-02-21 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dimity-blue.livejournal.com
Wow. I think most people would understand Ann's reluctance to push the button!

Date: 2017-02-21 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I don't know if I'd push the button if I were her!

Date: 2017-02-22 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryl.livejournal.com
Looking at this from a slant, Ann's not really any better than her ex-husband. Killing four innocent people just to get revenge on someone? Not cool, Ann.

Hi, I'm Ryl and I'll be your devil's advocate this evening. :)

Date: 2017-02-23 05:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Ann never claimed to be better - she just wants her freedom from her ex no matter the price! And hey, maybe the police got there in time?

(Ann is quite fucked up and her morals are quite screwy).
Edited Date: 2017-02-23 05:18 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-24 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamas-minion.livejournal.com
a very interesting direction you took with the topic. I enjoyed the lead up to finding out one of the people was her stalker X-husband and not pushing the button.

Date: 2017-02-27 05:33 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-24 02:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternal-ot.livejournal.com
I went back and checked on Ann and what you say is true, she wouldn't have felt guilty for her act. A nice spun to the prompt, I enjoyed the format -especially the button speaking to Ann.

Date: 2017-02-27 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Not one bit - she screwed over her family members, what's an ex husband and a couple of strangers?!

Date: 2017-02-24 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baxaphobia.livejournal.com
Hmmm. Wonder what happened? Smile.

Date: 2017-02-27 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I'd like to think the police made it in time!

But somehow I doubt it haha.

Date: 2017-02-25 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dmousey.livejournal.com
Always dispose of evil ex-husbands. It will save a lot of aggravation! Saving people in the process is a bonus!

Date: 2017-02-27 05:33 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-25 10:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
Oh, I like that you framed this in the reverse of how most people present it-- the simple 5 vs. 1, but what if you love that one more? Here, it's "What if you hate one of the 5 more, AND they're dangerous and obnoxious for you?"

Here, with the choice of saving everyone and hurting no one, the presence of the terrible ex made it non-trivial for the character. Tough situation!

Date: 2017-02-27 05:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I wonder if for people the relationship they have with the ones tied up makes a difference in the decision they make.

I don't envy Ann in that situation!

Date: 2017-02-26 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] murielle.livejournal.com
Very disturbing and thought provoking.

Well written!

Date: 2017-02-27 05:31 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-27 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dee-aar2.livejournal.com
Do what keeps her safe .... that was a good twist to the prompt.

I loved this.

Date: 2017-02-27 05:31 am (UTC)

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