I read this short story about ten years ago, and I seem to remember that it was somewhat new at the time. If I'm remembering right, I believe it was by a female author, but I'm not certain. It is a story set in the future, where a man gets picked up in a limo I think and is driven to a certain destination to complete a project. I'm fairly certain that it is for the construction of a bridge. All the while when he's in the limo they are talking about what an honor it must be to be him.

The story makes you believe that the man must be some great politician or speaker, but then at the end in order to complete a bridge, the man crawls into one of the tubes that makes up a pillar or support for the bridge and they pour concrete over him.

It's I guess how he is being immortalized in the future, or how he gains honor. I'm really hoping to locate it again so that I can reread it and perhaps gain a better understanding of the details. Does anyone know the title and author of the story that I'm looking for?

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    Beyond vaguely taking place in the future, do you remember what elements of the story, if any, make it science fiction or fantasy?
    – Xantec
    May 4, 2016 at 20:21
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    shades of Poe - The Cask of Amontillado
    – NKCampbell
    May 4, 2016 at 20:40
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    I know it's not Poe, it was definitely like a dystopian future (think Hunger Games). He had been chosen and it was something of an honor because he would be like immortalized in this bridge.
    – Joshua A
    May 4, 2016 at 20:57
  • shades of Jackson - The Lottery May 4, 2016 at 21:13
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    Its the same concept of "The Lottery" with the 'winning is a bad thing' undertones. But it's not The Lottery either. As far as I can remember, this guy isn't being tricked, he's going willingly, and I think in a way he knows that his life will end, but his spirit or rememberance may live on.
    – Joshua A
    May 4, 2016 at 21:23

1 Answer 1


Could this be Chosen?

It was published in 2008 or earlier, so at least 8 years ago, which is pretty close to 10.

“Chosen” was the winner in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the 2008 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards.

It does indeed take place in a dystopian future:

The year is 2112 and the global unemployment rate is a staggering 79%. It was believed, though never proven that some had even killed for jobs.

Of course, there is a man who is buried in concrete to support a bridge:

The cold concrete rushing in at his feet shocked him. “Oh, God!” “Oh, God!” his brain screamed, over and over. On the monitor, he saw his family. A close-up showed Kenya’s tearstained face – eyes closed, lips moving fervently in prayer.

Then his mind calmed. He was the best of the best – selected for his intelligence and knowledge, physical strength, commitment and concern for his fellow man. He breathed deeply and spread his legs and arms, imagining supporting the bridge that would be built over the Bay, named in his honor. It was at his waist now. His legs were numb from the cold. Soon the weight of the concrete would prevent his chest from moving and he would draw his last breath.

There's definitely a nasty "Lottery" feel to the whole business:

“Jessiah Douglas, you have passed the test for physical endurance. You excelled in mental ability and intelligence. You topped the list in spiritual commitment and concern for your fellow man. I am proud to announce to the world that You Have Been Chosen!”

The only thing that doesn't really fit is that during the limo ride, no one is really telling him what an honor being Chosen must be (they do seem to say so elsewhere, though), and I believe the limo actually was driving him home.

During the long limo ride home, the magnitude of his accomplishment finally sank in.

The author is Beverly Smith-Dawson, and I'm not sure whether the story was published in any anthology.

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    My question is how he got home in a limo if he was buried in the bridge.
    – Zikato
    May 5, 2016 at 13:07
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    @ Jonah : This is it! Oh man I'm so glad you found it! I've been searching for it for awhile. I tried, The Bridge and The Immortal, and stuff like that, but could never come up with anything. I am certain that this is it. I remember the contest and I remember the name of the man. Thank you, I have initiated delivery of your bounty, you should have it in a few hours. :)
    – Joshua A
    May 5, 2016 at 13:32
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    @ Zikato, I'm fairly certain that the limo ride comes before and the 'politician' types are talking to him telling him what a great honor it is. Perhaps the limo drives his family home and they are pondering the significance of his accomplishment, but he definitely stays in the bridge at the end.
    – Joshua A
    May 5, 2016 at 13:36

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