Otto (250 words)

Otto worked on the streets. He worked for the local council, had done for years. He’d been there nearly forever.

He was responsible for mapping out the streets in the frontier suburb that was pushing into the scrubby bushland. He sketched them, engineered them, made them real.

The suburb, the council, were all about progress. Every mayor made his mark on the streets, and Otto was there to oversee it. If the mayor wanted a street named after his wife’s dead cat, Otto mapped out the cul de sac. If the next mayor wanted a quiet acknowledgement of his mistress, Otto demarcated the one way.

Otto wasn’t the kind of man people actively remembered. Being portly and short, his face was a forgettable round. Otto moved slowly, with a quiet dignity.

Eventually Otto decided that he was finished working on the streets. This neatly coincided with the new mayor’s decision that Otto was finished working on the streets. The shiny new mayor had a grander vision, and this meant a shiny new engineer.

Otto handed in his metal ruler, pocketed his pen. He rolled up his map. The new engineer started on Monday, his rostered days off clearly marked on his calendar.

He unrolled Otto’s map of the streets, 25 years in the making, and laughed. Turning it upside down, the engineer clearly saw the words that Otto’s roads, avenues, and curving lanes made.

“Remember me,” the streets said. The engineer laughed again like a collaborator, settling down to work.

A response to the Twisted Tales ‘on the streets’ prompt


  • becteri
    becteriover 6 years ago

    oh very clever! Great job!

  • Miri
    Miriover 6 years ago

    what a great story & fantastic twist! love it! very imaginative take on the prompt!

    oooo we’re just quite strict with the word count for Star Twisters….one or two over 250 is ok….can you edit down?

    and i sorted the link in the forum :-)

  • TheWanderingBoo
    TheWanderingBooover 6 years ago

    genius…great piece

  • Damian
    Damianover 6 years ago

    Haha, excellent! We all want to be remembered in some fashion :)

  • jcmontgomery
    jcmontgomeryover 6 years ago

    What a great way to ‘personally’ engineer immortality…nice!

  • Alison Pearce
    Alison Pearceover 6 years ago

    Wow! Great story and a wonderful twist!

  • Zolton
    Zoltonover 6 years ago

    Ha ha. I like your character and he got even better after the twist. Really clever.

  • oscarelizondo
    oscarelizondoover 6 years ago

    What a better way of being on the streets by building them. Great work!

  • Flic Manning
    Flic Manningover 6 years ago

    Nice, I was feeling so sorry for Otto – but he made his mark in the end. Nice.

  • jcmontgomery
    jcmontgomeryover 6 years ago

    Congrats on taking second Anya!

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.