Thursday October 21st, 2010

The exercise:

Write something that takes place in the major city of your choosing, in the year 2110.

The electrician came by this afternoon, hopefully for the last time, and hooked us up with an outlet for the stove we bought at the thrift store a while back. And now we know it actually works!

The plumber is coming tomorrow morning to install the toilet and do a couple other odd jobs. After that, it's just us and the carpenter to finish what's left to do.

I am starting to get excited about NaNoWriMo. A few minutes ago I decided how I'm going to count down the final seven days before November hits... but I'll save that for Monday, when it shall begin.


New York, 2110

The invasion had taken us all completely off guard. Looking back now, it's embarrassing how obvious the signs were. But back then we were just too busy looking the other way. Which made it real easy for them to stab us in the back.

We still don't know where or when the technology they used against us came from. At first there was talk that the Russians were behind it, but then word came that they'd be invaded as well. So our wounded gazes turned to the Chinese (also innocent - and about to be invaded, as it turned out), still oblivious to the simple truth:

We brought it on ourselves.

They patrol the streets now, looking for people like me. Rebels. Mad men. Survivors.

They search from above, their war cries freezing the bravest and strongest of men in their tracks.

So we keep to the shadows. We move at night and hide during the day. We scavenge what we can. Work together when it's safe to do so. We pray.

We pray that this new era of the Animal Kingdom will be a short one.


Zhongming said...

Marc – hah, that stove is spot on! I hope your plumber do a good job for you :)

Nice story, quite realistic too :)

Macau, 2110

I really hope that the future of Macau can transform into something of a less dependent on heavily gambling business.

Far too often, I see family, friends and relative that paid the price for anything to do with gambling. That is the ugly truth behind those exciting times for those impulsive gamblers.

Just like any other hobby, balance and rational philosophy still apply. If you can’t get a hang of yourself, it is better not to get into it before you got yourself into deep shit.

I highly encourage people to stay clear of gambling as it is highly addictive (just like drugs).

Personally, I don’t trust overnight fortune. It doesn’t really help at all if I don’t know how to manage the money that I have. And for that reason, I don’t even buy lottery, I prefer to earn my own money through rightful means and then learn how to manage to whatever amount that I have. Isn’t that way better than having overnight windfall and then ended up with bankruptcy like many of those lottery winners in United States?

I really hope that message like that can get across to those impulsive gamblers. A piece of advice for impulsive gamblers – stop while you can (it means saving your family and everything that matters to you).

Greg said...

@Zhongming: I wonder if your dream for Macau is achievable in just 100 years? Much as I like your writing, I think you also need to consider that people with little money have a very good reason to gamble, even though their actions en masse benefit others richer than them.

@Marc: It sounds like your cabin is coming along beautifully. And it's fantastic that you're so excited about NaNoWriMo -- I'm hoping to have some time to get excited this weekend!
Great story, I had no idea what was going on right until the end!

Paris, 2110

The streets are deserted; the wind plays across the cobbles of the square where once taxis intimidated pedestrians into fleeing. In the distance the roar of the Seine has never seemed louder. Beyond it, just visible before the light mist greys out detail, is the ruin of the Eiffel tower, still defying gravity and insisting on standing.
A bird soars past, riding invisible thermals, pulling tight corners with dipped wings to avoid the hot spots. It is silent; there is no birdsong in Paris any more.
With the bird gone it seems like Paris relaxes, a deep diastolic sigh that has been nearly one hundred years in the making. The grey clouds swirl briefly, and suddenly the air is filled with brigth white pinpricks. They spin and flirt with one another as they descend, slowly resolving into snowflakes. There's no-one here to see it, but it's a miracle of its own. It's snowing again in Paris.

Heather said...

Marc- I am also curious how the Animal Kingdom gained the technology, but more so how they came about learning to use it.

Zhongming- I love that your stories are always so hopeful. Gambling can be quite debilitating. They considered passing an ordinance so that any casino built would pay higher taxes to help fund the addiction centers. The casino opted to not build in this area. I can't say I am all that sorry to see it pull out.

Greg- So what took out Paris? War? Bad wine? Bad Kitty? (No bird songs, right?) I'm curious.
Comments and story are too long to post evidently. I encourage you to read it at Laguage Is A Virus

summerfield said...

why i like hanging around here is because there's lots of good writing. yup, kind of addictive.

Detroit 2110

Isolde stares at the faint blinking light on the screen of The Tracker that monitors the unused tunnel traversing Point Edward and Point Huron below the pocket of Lake Huron, the blinking travels steadily away from the Canadian side.

Isolde clocks out of her office and rides her Vespa ten miles to the northwest and stops at the point where she knows the tunnel ends - right underneath the Tourist Information Booth or the TIB, a solitary building in the middle of the network of highways leading to the big cities. She does not see any vehicles for miles, as the curfew is still in effect. The light at the Tim Hortons kiosk inside the TIB is on. She kills the motor and parks her Vespa by the entrance surprising the middle-aged woman inside, her face turning ashen as she slams the trapdoor close.

Isolde takes her Taser and aims it at the woman who raises both arms without saying anything. She tells the woman to kneel and face the wall. The woman obeys. Isolde hears hushed conversation down below the trapdoor, she reaches for the handle and pulls it open. An old woman, all wrinkled, a few white hairs on her almost bald head, her dark eyes glossy with age, stares at Isolde.

"Up," Isolde commands and motions the woman to climb up. Slowly, the old woman climbs the ten steep steps up, her old bones making small cracking noise as her face winces in pain, the winkled skin of her knuckles turning white as they grip the steps, eyes blinking as the muted fluorescent lighting of the shop assaults her eyes. Down below Isolde hears footsteps, running towards the tunnel entrance then the sound of small motorized vehicles fading as the old woman's accomplices escape. Her Taser ready, Isolde goes down the tunnel and at the bottom she finds five metal boxes. She tugs at one of the boxes but it is so heavy it wouldn't even budge.

"Please don't destroy my books," the old woman says, her voice quivers and her head trembles involuntarily.

Isolde climbs back upstairs.

"Those are paper books in there? You are aware that possession of paper books is a felony?" she asks in her booming voice.

"Yes," the old woman answers, her glassy eyes defiantly meeting Isolde's.

"What is your name? Who are you?" Isolde demands.

"The name's Summerfield."

Summerfield. Isolde eyes the old woman; she's heard about this oldest living writer born during the mid-twentieth century. She can't believe she could still move about, let alone travel through a tunnel 200 meters below the surface.

"I am a writer and publisher of books," Summerfield proudly says, the chin shaking as she speaks.
hahaha, i just made me a hero in my own story. but i do not wish to live to be a hundred fifty-seven except if someone gets to invent a youth serum.

Marc said...

Zhongming - that's a very noble desire. Your positive attitude always shines through in your writing and I find it uplifting and refreshing.

Greg - beautiful imagery and a haunting mystery. I could see it as the end of a fascinating story.

Heather - ah, it's been a while since you broke the word count limit. You must be getting on a roll!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the name of your blog?

Summerfield - I think that was all the more effective for being told from Isolde's point of view. Nicely done :)

Watermark said...

Great blog - really getting my creative juices going!


London, 2110

It is early July and the ice covering the streets gives no indication of thawing. Summer came early for us this year and they say that the coming winter will be the hottest on record. The neighbours next door seem to be intent on moving to warmer climes at this time of the year, nevermind that schools have only just reopened for the new academic year. Who gets their children to go to school these days anyway? The government has just raised the budget - again - for virtual schooling and my neighbours are all for it. They are not the only ones and very soon my street will be empty as everyone clears out for the next few months. I would too if it were not for my great grandmother. She refuses to move and I have no choice but to stick the summer out and watch out for her.

It is odd to think of what my great grandmother speaks of. A time of when summers were about school holidays, lots of sunshine and laughter. She says that the world has turned upside down with winters becoming summers and summers becoming a figment of arctic conditions. She even says that all that talk about climate change was true but no one listened. The ice age she experienced was fleeting but enough to reverse the seasons. I humour her and listen to her stories but it is hard to imagine the weather as any different as how we experience it today.

Marc said...

Watermark - awesome, glad you found it and are enjoying it so far :)

That last line is so perfect it hurts. In a good way.


Looking forward to seeing more writing from you!