Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"1 22 2377"

Note: This is a short story I did a few years back and am posting it again after some editing and such. I like finding these because if I can get back into the right frame of mind I can finish stories like these up. Hope you enjoy it. Hell. Hope I enjoy it. I haven't read it in years.



Fucking alarm clock. I sit up in bed and stare at it for about ten minutes until my eyes begin to cross. A small robot that looks to be a cross between a cricket and a bear slides across the floor. A smooth, white material that was not invented until about 200 years from when I should have died by natural causes. This little abomination stops at my feet and stares at me with its unblinking, soulless eyes. These things can smile. I didn't like that so I disabled its mouth. Now everything it says comes out slightly muffled and low.

“good morning, rod” it chirps/sings at me. “what are your plans for the day?”

I didn't like when my ex-wife asked me that question and I don't like baby machines doing it. Fucking future. Its nothing like it was supposed to be. I stand and kick at this thing and it moves. I end up kicking a small metal table next to my bed instead. I cut my big toe and the robots panic.

Other smaller robots rush into the room and immediately administer care. I shoo them away and stand on the platform that will take me into the kitchen.

I miss real food. I look at the fridge and its door becomes translucent. Translucent? I would've beaten myself up for using that word in my own time period. Why do I even bother checking? It's the same shit that was in there last night. I would kill for a real hamburger. Not this synthetic crap they pass off as a hamburger. I'm the only person that complains. Anyone that would've known what real beef tasted like died 134 years ago.

“have a great day” that little thing sings to me. It followed me to the kitchen.

“Piss off” I tell it. This time I don't kick at it. I throw a spoon. The spoon stops mid-air and floats onto the counter. I quickly grab a towel and cover my nose. The gas starts pumping through a vent in the ceiling. “They” sensed my emotions getting out of control and decided I needed a boost of happiness. I'll get to who “They” are later.

Right now I have to work.

I step out onto the streets happy that I didn't have to speak to any of my neighbors. I look to the sky and its empty. Not a flying car in sight. They say by the year 2400 the skies will be littered with them. Sure. That's what they said when I was a kid and that was in 2102.

I start my two mile walk to work with my head down. In this time period everyone greets you loudly. I don't know what happened over time but the world decided that silence was not necessary and everything became one cacophonous orchestra of sound. The only time there's silence is when I'm sleeping and even then the robots try to sing me lullabies.

I arrive to work and race to my cubicle. I guess its not really a cubicle as much as its an invisible cell. No one believes in privacy anymore. If you take a shit everyone knows how many sticks of cinnamon you used. Don't get me started on the cinnamon sticks.

I never wanted to do this. Time travel I mean. Nothing fun about it. “They” expected everything to be perfect. And I guess in some peoples eyes it is. There is barely any crime. Kids are smart. But there is just something...off about it all. I've been here for over a year and I still haven't been able to place my finger on it. Something is rotten here and I intend to find out what it is.

A small robot wheels over to me and smiles. God, their smiles creep me right the hell out. I hand it a large sheet that looks like foil. If you saw it on the street you'd think it was trash. First off, there's no trash on the street. Second, this is a months worth of work on this sheet. I hand it to the robot and it smiles.

“THANK YOU, ROD!” it shouts at me. I stare at it until it rolls away. I try not to ever speak to my co-workers, let alone these things. I press a small button on my desk and another sheet is spit out. I lay my hand on top of it and it begins to glow. I remove my hand and my palm print is visible. A small hologram of myself appears and waves to me. I don't wave back. Everything I have to do for the next month appears on the sheet.

I never should've let them talk me into this shit. “It's the future! Think of how exciting that'll be!” 2260 was shit and I assumed that 2377 would be worse. I was right. I was actually looking forward to the end of the world at one point. New Year's Eve 2376 a small group of people thought the world was gonna end. It didn't. Not even a light flickered off. And if it did a small robot would've fixed it before you even noticed. Shouting snaps me out of my brooding.

Oh, no. 

Not today!

“HAPPY BIRTHYEAR, ROD!!!” my co-workers scream at me. My, God. Is it my birthday? I stopped caring a while ago. “HAPPY BIRTHYEAR TO YOU! HAPPY BIRTHYEAR TO YOU! HAPPY B--” They stopped saying “Happy BirthDAY” about a century ago. Made people feel unimportant with the whole having only one day to celebrate your birth.

“Uh...thanks” I mumble. They shower me with streamers and leave quietly. Not real streamers. That would be wasteful. Its all holographic images. I need to have sex. I know that came out of nowhere but its true. That's one thing that doesn't exist anymore. The truth. Everyone is scared to speak it. No. They're not scared. They don't know any better. Yeah, so I really need to get laid. There's nothing to care about disease wise. AIDS died out in 2105. One day I'll tell you how they cured it. You'd never sleep comfortably ever again.

Sex in 2377 is very sterile. There's no bars anymore. No one night stands. No alcohol. Let me repeat that. No. Alcohol. At all. So how do people meet? The Gate. Think of what they used to call the Internet, which became the Net, which became the Landscape, which became the Zone, which eventually became The Gate. From anywhere you can talk to anyone on the planet by clicking a button in your wrist. These are given at birth. You have no choice or say in the matter. Its how “They” set it up.

A co-worker whose name I can never recall walks by. She's wearing metallic golden pants and a matching top. Its like she sprayed her body with gold. Nothing is left to the imagination. She drops her sheet and bends over in front of me to retrieve it. I can see Heaven.

Here comes the gas.

There was a small fire today. Not sure who started it but I was pleased with the distraction. You'd think everyone would be happy with such peace and quiet. I'm not. 2260 was relatively quiet but there was still some form of chaos. China had destroyed Japan. London has severed all ties with the rest of the world. No one had heard a peep from Africa since World War 4. But now? Everything was nice and sugary sweet. It was sickening.

During “lunch” I sit alone. Every day someone tries to befriend me. Today is a guy who says his name is Zint. These are the kinda names I have to deal with. No wonder I don't bother to learn them. Everyone adds a Z, Y, or even numbers. There was this guy named 899. I shit you not. 8 fucking 99. I have to keep these thoughts to myself. That's why I'm cursing so much. They don't look too kindly on potty mouths.

That reminds me of a funny story. In 2015, and you can still find the holovids of this, there was this news guy that believed that the world was about to end. They did a poll and 70% of the world believed that. Blame the Mayans and the media. So this guy, he goes on live TV right before the stroke of midnight and lets loose a barrage of profanity that would make the devil blush. Midnight came. The world didn't end but his career did. So, yeah. That's why I don't talk much. I swear like a whore.

Zint sits down holding his tray that contains a few pills, a tube of what is supposed to be meat, and a glass of h1o. Not, h2o. Don't ask. He smiles at me. I don't smile back. He looks like one of those damned robots. He pops one of the pills into his mouth and rubs his belly. If I say something I'll get gassed.

“So how are you doing today, Rod!” he hollers at me.

“I'm amazingly bored” I tell him. He laughs. “Seriously. If I don't get laid soon I may lose my mind.”

“Laid?” Zint asks me. “Are you tired? I can get you some Tanergy!” He is up and running before I can stop him. Tanergy is this drink that looks like urine, smells like shit, but apparently gives you enough energy to knock over a building. I refuse to drink the stuff. There was something like it when I was a kid called Number 6. Homicide was a side effect. Makes you wonder what Numbers 1 through 5 did. “Here you go!” Zint cracks open the Tanergy. Says it contains real fruits and vegetables.


The last fruit or vegetable was seen a couple years before I was recruited for this nonsense. No one panicked. We were all so pumped full of bars that gave us what we needed to survive. I knock the drink over and everyone gasps. Robots come and get it before it has a chance to dry. “Oh, no...” Zint moans. “Should I get you another one, Rod?!”

“I'll be fine” I tell him. “As soon as I get laid.” The woman in gold walks on by. The things I would do to her would get me locked away for life.

“Like what?” she asks me.

“You heard that?” I ask her. Fucking Sympaths.

“Yes” she says. She smiles at me. 

Maybe today wont be so bad.  

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