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in the future...

This week, the writers explore what they believe the future will look like in a certain number of years. Thanks to @claireeconner for inspiring this week's prompt :)

Dear diary

by: Sawyer Lai

june 18, 2101

dear diary,
my AR glasses finally arrived in the botmail! this really cute, pink robot delivered them. i finally convinced mom to buy them for me after telling her that all my friends were getting them too. i put them on as soon as they
came! they’re so pog. i was able to customize them to fit the world around me. they can show me the coolest stuff- just by using voice commands, i can see the weather forecasts or a map to any place i want to go, i can text with my friends, and i can even decorate the world around me to whatever i want (i put these super cute cat stickers all over the virtual living room). i can’t wait to go out and decorate the whole city!

august 6, 2101

dear diary,

oh my gosh, it was so hot today. according to dad, it reached almost 120 degrees! here! in Oregon! i’m soooo glad we have an indoor pool.... we learned about this whole ‘global warming’ thing in school: apparently, it’s a problem that’s been affecting the Earth for centuries and will only get worse over time. i heard mom talking about it over the phone to her friend abby. she said something about maybe having a drought soon, and we’ll have a produce problem without the water. it’s kinda scary to hear mom be so serious, but i hope she’s wrong.

november 26, 2101

dear diary,
mom and i watched the Mars landing today! she told me that after three unsuccessful attempts, NASA finally made a rocket that could safely bring 
astronauts to Mars. it would be so pog to be an astronaut someday- i want to travel around the solar system! i’ve only ever experienced outer space in pictures and in that simulation in my AR glasses that i sometimes play. on the other hand, we’re definitely in a drought now. my parents said that since groceries are getting more expensive, we have to start rationing our food out and saving lots of non-perishables for later. i’ll update you soon about how that’s going...

january 1, 2102

dear diary,
today, the government announced that they are enforcing a two-child policy for anyone living in the United States. according to them, our population is growing faster than expected, and we could face food
shortages in the future. i hope this doesn’t stop my parents from having another child... i really want a baby brother.

january 12, 2102

dear diary,
the cross-river gorilla went extinct yesterday. i remember when i was five, mom and dad brought me to the zoo and we saw a couple of them. mom told me to use my diary as a self-reflection on how i felt about this, since
apparently i’m having trouble ‘explaining my thoughts.’ i wish people could just stop themselves from hunting animals for fun/selling purposes. i learned about ecosystems in science period last month, and now i’m afraid for our earth’s environment. when i grow up, i definitely want to help animals and protect them from other humans.

march 3, 2102

dear diary,
this is probably going to be my last entry here. schools around the country, including ours, are issuing notebooks for us to diary in... it’s creepy, but it’s mostly so that mental health counselors can monitor us students and make sure we’re ok.

left Penniless

by: Laurie Jin

    I was minted in December 2019 and on March 13th, 2020; after being exchanged I think around
ten times, I was placed inside Mark’s wallet for a year. Occasionally, I would overhear Mark and his
fiancée discussing the situation, but I soon became bored in that piece of leather and longed to see the
    After Biden’s win, which Mark celebrated very loudly, we waited patiently for America to reopen. In the next six months, I would hear Mark’s fiancée complain about some Karens who started a freedom movement against masks. To this day, I wonder why there are so many people named “Karen” in America. Now, in March of 2040, things are... how do I say this... different.
   The day Mark tossed me to a sleeping man sitting on the sidewalk marked the beginning of my adventure. Next to him was a cup and a sign: “It’s a beautiful day, but I can’t see it.” A bystander, who didn’t seem to see the sign, tossed a newspaper at him.
   “Bruh, stop sitting there and read something- the movement’s over.”
    I was a good seven inches from the newspaper, but could clearly see the bold headline:
                   “New York Times: ‘Black Lives Matter Movement is Officially Shutting Down!’”
    As he was walking away, the newspaperman promptly kicked me onto the newspaper. The first
paragraph of the article read:

    “The congress recently implemented two more three-digit numbers: 120 for domestic
violence and 273 for people in need of mental support. The original 911 number will be for armed
crime... ... Cortez vows to deduct fifty billion dollars of the current 100 billion funding from the
police. Five billion will go to bi-monthly evaluations of the domestic violence sector, mental
health sector, and police sector. The rest will be divided between the two newly implemented
sectors. This will be a slow and gradual process so have faith, but change is coming.”

    After reading the rest of what I could see in the newspaper, I began to take in my new surroundings. Despite the glorious buildings blending into the crowds, the smell of urine and dirt distracted me from any pleasantries. After a few days, the man sitting on the sidewalk got up and left, but forgot to take me with him.
    After being kicked around by many feet, I eventually moved to a grocery store. People went in and out with carts full of reusable or plastic bags. Without a warning, a swarm of young adults came marching around the store, yelling “The plastic ban is what we need!” The crowd stomped over me, and in the shuffle, I got kicked into a drain.
    I don’t know how much later, but I floated with feces and plastic through sewers and somehow ended up in a musty building filled to the brim with live chickens and goats. The sound of the livestock overwhelmed my thoughts- not to mention the atrocious smell of their feces and blood. A plump redhead woman wandering the room saw me and reached to pick me up, but a large knock on the white door interrupted her.
    “No one’s in here!” she exclaimed as she ran to the back of the room. The door slammed open,
revealing three people in black uniforms and blue masks.
    “Ma’am,” one of the people said, “your wet market doesn’t fall under FDA health requirements and is, therefore, being shut down in light of the possible H7N9 pandemic.”
    The woman shouted, “Screw you! This is my living. I want to see a warrant or something!”

    “Bruh, your store most likely has the H7N9 virus... Most people learned their lesson from coronavirus and are staying at home, but we still need to shut these stores down ‘cuz that’s where the virus is coming from... not to mention it’s like 100 times deadlier than corona.”

    The older female elbowed the male man who said this. “Be professional.”
    Bit by bit, they dismantled the shelves that held multiple chickens and put the goats into a
massive truck. I, as expected, was forgotten and left with the wind.

    The air around me in 2040 reminded me of 2019. While COVID did help the environment heal, the effects seemed to have dismantled after the pandemic ended. As I sat on the ground, knowing that I’ll have to wait quite a while before I move somewhere else, the wind sent me an old newspaper. The header read:

“President Ocasio-Cortez Bans Single-Use Plastic in America!”

    So I guess those protestors eventually achieved their goal.


By: Austina xu

00076 AST: day fifty-six, Milky Way gal.
4974 ly ***
It’s been a while since I made one of these logs, but there’s nothing much to do. Plus, you know
what they say- too much time in space can make a person go crazy. The good news is I think I’ve finally
adjusted to my quad. I mean sure, it’s nothing like riding the Juno ii5, but it’ll do. Additionally, I was able
to scramble some of my personal belongings during the evacuation: a guitar, my teletran glasses, old text
discs, and some clothes- just to name a few. Anyways, I’m still traveling through the Milky Way. My
communication signals have been disrupted due to, what I am hoping, is the noxious Azulian gases
being emitted from the planets around me. Although, the truth is it's probably because of my distance
from the control center, but I pray that it's the former. Times are difficult, to say the least. No means of
communication, little to no idea where I am. I knew there was always a chance of these commercial
flights going wrong, especially from a spaceline like Celarium Galactic. Even the name sounds tacky.
Anyways, there’s nothing I can really do about it; I barely even know how to operate this emergency hub.
Hopefully, I can get some sort of signal from the control center down on Earth. In the meantime, all I can
do is pray.

00049 AST: day eighty-two, Milky Way gal.
4999 ly ***
Unfortunately, my calculations for my rations were off. Turns out I didn’t account for my ridiculously
unhappy gag reflex. Luckily, my supply chain looks steady so I doubt I’ll have to rely on those disgusting
nutrition cubes any time soon. Nothing much has been happening aboard the hub, as long as I have
food, water, and a steady will to live I think I’ll last. Hmm, what else. I’ve been trying to motivate myself
to update the ion patcher, but inverting radio frequencies really isn’t my thing. Besides, I’m a retired
neurosurgeon, not a wireless engineer. I know it's probably a given by now, but I miss home. A lot. I
don’t know if I’ll ever see Nita again, or Maddox or Julian. It’s like one of those awful headlines you see
on the news about some tragedy. You tell yourself it’s never going to happen, yet you still can’t help but
hold your loved ones a little bit closer to you. Because life is like playing a giant game of drawing straws,
and I just happened to have picked the shortest one.

00097 AST: day one hundred-ten, Milky Way gal.
5347 ly ***
I know I ended my last entry on a bit of an unhappy note, but unfortunately, this one doesn’t start too
cheery either. I think I might die here. I mean it’s obviously been a strong possibility, but I don’t think
it’s actually dawned upon me until now. It’s a strange feeling, to say the least. It’s not like I’m losing hope
or I’m giving up or anything it’s just... I’ve never felt so mortal before. Everything out there is trying to
kill me; heck, if I stepped outside right now I’d die. And if I stay in here, well- I’m going to run out of
oxygen eventually. I think the worst part about it is that you don’t get to decide how it all ends you know?
I would just become another piece of space debris. God, I miss Earth. I miss people, I miss friends, I
miss family. I’ve been trying to get the transmitter up and running for the past three months. It’s already
failed me countless times. So please, this one time, please, please work:

Atlanta IU: Ground Control- do you copy?

C19 Safety Globe Helmet™

By: Ava Arasan

    Ere almost slipped as she got out of bed. She quickly recovered, stood, allowed her muscles their daily stretch, and hurriedly began preparing for the day. Today was a day unlike all her others, yet it still required the customary preparation. Step one was a calming, warm morning cleanse. She stepped in the shower, turned the knob to high heat, and proceeded to scrub her skin furiously, anxious to rid herself of the night’s disease. Once finished, she found her clothes already hanging by the bedside, courtesy of her foresight. The thick, grey dress, ironed and pressed to a crisp, hovered stubbornly around her knees and clung to her skin like a layer of sweat. Not that she had ever experienced sweat before. What an odd sensation that must have been, she thought to herself. Pushing her radical thoughts aside, she cranked her thick woolen socks up to her knees and slipped on her polished heels. Over her clothing, she pulled on a clear safety suit to protect her body from the wild elements of her home. One can never predict which bacteria lurk in dark corners. Staring into the mirror for a final check of her appearance, she found the drab pigment of her clothing to be the opposite of a compliment to her deep complexion, but no member of society in their right mind would bother splurging on vibrant, expressive clothing. No, instead money was spent solely to buy all of the newest safety gear items advertised on the television, radio, and news. How wonderful would it be to wear something red. Bright and shocking and-  Ere stopped her wondering, irritated by her stray thoughts. As her mother always said, “Thinking is for the thoughtless. Why bother wanting more when everything is comfortable and safe as it is?” She grabbed the most important member of her wardrobe from the top of her dresser and donned it on her head like a crown. She most certainly felt like a queen while wearing her C19 Safety Globe Helmet™, watching it sparkle faintly under the white lights of her bedroom. It was the newest edition helmet, and only having been released a month ago, contained all the perks needed for modern life in 2120. It had a projectable map system in case one got lost, 6 gallons of vaporized water in case one got thirsty, and most importantly, it offered full insulation from the dangers of the air outside. Ere went on to attach her C19 to a large flexible tube to connect her helmet to the 30.19-pound oxygen tank that would last her a full 24-hours. She swung the tank over one shoulder and her backpack over the other. The backpack was clean, with defined edges, and a rich brown color. It was evident that Ere had never used it before. Textbooks and school supplies oftentimes remain affixed to the desk when taking online classes over MooZ Face Connections. Finally finished dressing, Ere rushed downstairs, heels tapping dully against the newly waxed, polished floors and nearly flew into the kitchen. 

    “Good morning, mother! I’m positively ecstatic, mother! Today is the day I take my very first field trip to Rek-Rah Highschool, mother! If we lived a hundred years ago, I could have taken classes there in-person, mother! The thought, mother!”

    “What foolishness in-person school must have been, Ere,” she scolded, not bothering to return her daughter's greeting. “To believe that our ancestors thought they were safe from each other for all that time! After all, it seems humans are each other’s worst enemy.”

    A deep frown ran along Ere’s lips. Her mother’s words were not helping to ease her anxiety about her trip.

    “Mother, tell me the bedtime story like you used to from our house’s PA-system. It would help calm me, mother.”

    “Well, ok then,” her mother huffed, a faint cloud of mist fogging the interior of her C19. “Once upon a time, our ancestors decided to wear masks collectively, one of the few times everyone got along, and the legendary coronavirus was no more within a few months. People, ignorant as they are, decided to go back to their old routines as normal, however, the media, god bless it, saved us all.”

    “Huh,” Ere replied, bewildered by how her ancestors survived for so long with their crude naivety. 

    “YOUNG LADY, WATCH YOUR TONE!” her mother practically screamed. “Anyhoo, the Media Saviors showed us how many products were truly necessary to prevent disease, and our society shaped accordingly. Happy, protected, and lining the pockets of corporations,” her mother said, flashing her brilliantly white teeth.      “Now, hurry on, you do not want to be late,” she said.

    “Thank you, mother,” Ere replied, shooting her parent a small smile. However, still feeling the sudden urge for support, took a few steps to hug her mother.

    “STOP, YOU FOOLISH CHILD! No contact! What has gotten into you!??” she yelled, spitting out each word in her shock.

    In truth, Ere was hoping her mother would allow one hug just once. After all, she had never touched someone before and was curious about what it would feel like.

    “Ok, Mother.”

    Ere quickly inserted her daily dose of liquid vitamins into her oxygen tank and breathed in the familiar sweet scent in the air of her C19. Marching to the heavy metal door of her house, she placed one hand on the squeaky clean handle, took a deep breath, and took her first step outside. Her heels hit the ground with a dull clack. Her surroundings felt no different from the interior of her home. Layers of insulation truly do buzz a sensation. However, Ere paid no mind to the lack of change though; today was already blooming into something she would never forget.

    For the first time in 15 years, 7 months, and 31 days, Ere walked down the untouched paved street, leaving all 23 bedrooms, 278 windows, 56 restrooms, and 33 staircases of her home behind.

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