The Murales – Flash Fiction – March 17, 2015

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall

Dear Diary,

Today was a hot sunny day.  I arrived yesterday from Italy and was just too tired to do any exploring!  Ah, but today bright and early I decided to take a walk down main street and shoot a few photographs.  I came upon a rather strange building.  There were some lovely shops at street level but the building itself was very old and weather beaten. It looked to me like an old brick waterfront warehouse.

I wanted to get a closer look at it so I moved back a bit then realized that the building front, which seemed to be covered in windows, was in fact covered with a decaying ‘murales’ of flaking windows! I began to click away, you just know how I love an interesting subject,  when suddenly the top floor windows began to fill up with people! They jostled one another as they pointed at me.  I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed, but everyone went about their business obliviously.  I’d often noticed that few people ever look higher than a shop window alas, today proved no different. I went back to clicking away feeling that this would be a great piece for my weekly Sunday column at the ‘Times’.

I wasn’t paying much attention to the world around me, so it was no surprise that I stepped off the curb into the street nearly getting myself hit by a car.  A policeman came up to me and admonished me, saying I should be more careful.  I apologized and then decided to ask him what he thought of the people in the second story windows above the chain of stores.

“What people in what windows miss?” he asked me curiously.

I pointed upwards and to my surprise and embarrassment I discovered there were in fact no windows, painted or otherwise.

“I think you might want to have yourself a nice cuppa, perhaps the sun’s been playing tricks on you miss.” he said rather unsympathetically.

I walked dazed down the street occasionally looking back, the windows insisted on not returning.  Once I got back to my room, I took my SD card  out of my camera and slipped it into the card reader of my net-book … the photo above is just one of around 50 which I took this morning.  So what happened?

 

This post is dedicated to Justine with many thanks for lending me the use of the above photograph! and is linked to Phylor’s Mindlovemisery’s Tale Weavers post

A Different Vacation – July 1, 2014

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Rome, December 5th, 1941

“When did you know you were lost?” he asked.

“Well, actually about a half an hour ago…I realized that everyone looked sort of strange and I didn’t understand the language and … ” her voice drifted off as she looked at the policeman in an evident state of confusion.

The policeman asked her to sit down.

“Why don’t we start with your name, signorina.” he looked at her carefully, she’d said she didn’t understand the language, but she’d spoken to him in Italian.

“Wilma Cummings,” she replied, again in Italian “My name is Wilma Cummings. And you officer, what is your name?”

“Mario Velasco.” he informed her.  There was something a little strange about her, both in her phrasing as well as in her appearance, she looked like she’d stepped out of a history book. When did you arrive in Italy?”

“Oh! Last week.  April 1st. Yes of course you’re right, we’re in Italy!”

“Yes ma’am, but we’re not in the month of April.  It’s December.  Do you remember if perhaps you’ve had an accident?” he asked but she didn’t look injured.

“No.  I was going to visit Turin’s World’s Fair, that’s why I came in the first place.  I got my ticket in March, my universal translator was installed the day before I left, and I’ve been having headaches ever since.  Not to speak of a strange deja vu feeling. Maybe that’s the problem! Sometimes the translators do strange things”

Now he was feeling lost.

“Excuse me signorina Cummings, but there will be no World’s Fair as was planned, and of course it was to be held here in Rome, not Turin, but alas, the war … and I don’t understand what you mean about a universal translator.”

“Oh my … but this is 1911 right?”

Velasco shook his head, of course the woman had had some sort of accident or maybe she was just crazy … but on the other hand, she may just be a cunning spy for the English.  He thought he’d better call his superior officer. And he began to pick up his telephone …

“Oh damn that agency!” she shouted suddenly “They’ve made a total mistake.  Now I understand! Damn, damn, damn!  I knew I should have gone to Malibu this summer!” She clapped her hands hard, activating the emergency re-entry mechanism, and she dissolved in shimmer of light.

Velasco stared at where the woman had been sitting, then lit a cigarette.

 

 

 

Tale Weaver’s Prompt #10 – Fast Forward – June 1, 2014

 Into The Future

We  love our ingenuity and of course we always thought that we could rely on that ingenuity to solve all our problems.  I sat back looking at videos about “the future” and shook my head at how innocent we were back in the 1900s.

With a population of over 10 billion people, a world economy that had gone through 20 years of havoc due to the maverick attitudes of the plutocrats that virtually ruled the world and depletion of Earth’s resources, all of which the happy oracles of the past could never have imagined, the reality of our passage was quite different from what they’d imagined.

We’ haven’t been able to organize a complete recovery of our planet, yet.  Back then, each government felt that their particular needs had priority over the common good, so things had to be done slowly to avoid all-out war.

The climate change reduced Europe to a winter wonderland once the Gulf Stream stopped flowing…chilling that continent down rapidly.  But technology was able to take care of most of the problems first and foremost by creating the domed villages.

Asia had no space to grow food to feed its population, many had tried to immigrate as they’d often done in the past during periods of famine or drought…but in the end, there was just no place to go, so the tidal-wave of people were rejected and sent back home.

Water, drinkable water is still an expensive commodity, though of course a certain amount of communal fountains exist in each town or city quarter so that although some must stand in line for hours to get their daily ration they don’t have to pay the high prices of tap water.  However, scientists are working on the problem by studying the feasibility of converting sea water and rain making.

The rich became richer wielding their power through their patients gained through the financial manipulation of inventions and technology.  Even medicine was a commodity!  The consumers of the world tried to rebel.  Riots rocked the streets as the new poor, those who’d once been the middle class,  clamored for food, medicine and shelter.

It was just a matter of time before the conservative regimes were born, with the approval of those who still had something to lose, but also by the poorer classes and they clamped down on the excesses of the past.

Democracy toppled in one country after another as emergency plans were created to keep the peace and stem the worst of the economical disaster.  “You can’t have it both ways,” one important politician said:  “rule by the people in times of crisis is like being governed by a  pack of wolves!”  The first thing they did was to renig on all their National debt.

Fortunately the population was quickly reduced after the epidemic of 2030.  What had seemed a banal influenza turned out to be so virulent that it wiped out half of the world’s population in just a few short months.  Some whisper that that was planned … that they had released the viral strain that had killed so many to bring the population down, but nobody has ever been able to prove who they are.

Things have been getting a little better since the Chinese Empire allied itself with the American Confederation, back in 2053,  to share technology and resources for the world good.

State run Internet helps organize the various thinkers of the world and to keep the world informed of the important projects that have been adapted to control the worst of the Global Warming. Strangely enough no one believed it existed only a few short decades ago. Internet is the perfect medium for global cooperation and coordination.

Of course the oil fields have virtually dried-up and we now depend on solar and aeolic power for our personal power needs.  The Europeans were the spear-head of the alternative energy market, having been the first to start experimenting when they could no longer depend on oil, way back in the 20s.

Sahara Desert United is now one of the richest energy producers of the world, along with the Gobi Desert Project and the Sonora Desert Consortium.  New aeolic fields are growing daily in Antarctica, and of course the area is still free from any specific national interests.

The new leaders of our world, the conservative technocrats quickly freed themselves from the plutocrats of the past.  Now with a controlled population of 5 billion people and collaboration between the various smaller regimes due to the Sino-American alliance, things are looking up.  In this year of the lord 2099, we have hope for the future of the planet.

 


 

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie : Tale Weaver’s Prompt #10 – Fast Forward

I’m not sure what the future holds for us…this is just an exercise in speculation based on pseudo facts and history…I am sure though that we won’t be seeing any time in the near future the world depicted in the video.

Barflys and Zeus-Intel: Science Fiction

Randis Albion @Deviant Art

Randis Albion @Deviant Art

I’d just come back from a Moon-jockying and the run had been long.  I couldn’t wait to get over to Midgly’s and have myself a cool draft Sinto.

I rolled into the warm familiar bar at around 8:30 standard.  The place was full, mostly with chipsters…some were playing squibble in the back room and you could hear an uproar when someone make a score.

I sat down on a bench near the end of the bar.

“Heh Bozze, how’s tricksters?” Molly querped at me.

“Same o same o.  Could you give me a draft?  And what about you?”

“Ach the new generation are so miserest.  Can’t turn a decent tipple for lube or money.” she said as she drew my draft.

A young chipster scyborge came rolling up behind me and gave me a pummel on my back.

“Hey Pops…back from the silt mines?  Haven’t they closed those down yet?”

“Nope, and suspect that Zeus-Intel won’t let them either.  That silt is what makes your chips so perky my lat!”

“Well, maybe you’re right about that!” he chumbled happily,  “Hey guys!” he called to the squibble players in the back room. “Pop’s back!”

“Hey Pop…come on over here and take a seat.  We’d like one of your stories!” Julien Assanger said, he was a tall pale scyborge just a model older than his companions. “Tell us about the last days of the humans.”

So I told them about the last ship that Zeus-Intel had created for the carbon based creatures that used to live on our sweet Gaia…how they had prepared our planet through Zeus-Intel’s wise directions for scyborge life, eventually burning off the last of the corrosive oxygen before they moved on to their own world, wherever that might be.

The barflys in the mean-time sucked up all the residue left on the tables and counter, they’d be milked later for their precious fluids that would then be processed and recycled.

“Yep, I worked on the last ships and saw them leave. They were strange creatures they were.  All soft and fragile like, tottering on their limbs, for you see, they had no wheels to steady them but walked on stick-like things called legs.  They all wore heavy-duty armor protection – from head to “foot” as they called their groundingpods.  They were truly altruistic creatures!  They needed a special mix of oxygen and other volatile gases to live, but sacrificed it all for us!  Zeus-Intel created their armor and special housing and in the end the last ships for them!”

At this point all the attention was on me. And some of the older scyborge’s raised their holdingpods and intoned: “Hail Zeus-Intel – Hail Humans!”

“No one knows where they came from.  Not even Zeus-Intel, who knows all. Once they’d begun to prepare our Gaia for us,”  I dropped my voice in proper respectful awe  “…they could no longer breathe and many died.  Finally there was maybe a couple of thousand left.  We all worked to build their ships out in the void between Gaia and Moonbase.”

“What were they like, the humans I mean?”

“Well now, I can’t rightly say.  I did have one supervisor who was human, a nice soft-spoken creature, kind of sad I guess you’d say.”

“And the day they left?”

“Well we shuttled them up to their ships … that took some days.  Then, Zeus-Itel had us all gather round mega screens and one by one they blinked out … like barflys do when they’re ready to be milked.  Nothing exciting about it at all…kinda poetical maybe.”

We all sat around our CPUs humming.

“That was neigh 200 years ago … I’d been activated about 20 years before as a building scyborge … of course I had new variations incerated into my memory banks once the project was over.”

“Hey Pops! Would you like to play a round of squibble with us?” one young chipster asked.

“Don’t mind if I do…Molly another draft Sint if you don’t mind.”


 

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Tale Weaver’s Prompt go be inspired by this great prompt!
All in a Word – April 20, 2014

Sahm’s Prompt: November 27, 2013 – The Chip

WDBWP’s Wednesday Story Prompt is interesting:

Prompt: Imagine a future where the current currencies of the world have been replaced by other kinds of currency.

Ok…time for a little dystopian speculation!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Chip

Everyone is issued a social security number and a credit chip implant at birth since 2212. On every chip 10,000 credits are deposited.  That was the solution the elders invented to guarantee that all people start life out in perfect equal.  Of course if your parents are rich chances are your 10,000 credits just builds up interest and you might never really need to use them at all.

Most people by the time they reach 18  have little or nothing left on their account.  The credits have been long spent on education.  That’s not a real problem of course since  people are offered their first job by the elders when they’re 18.  Working is one of the ways to make your credits raise.

Problems begin when you can’t keep your job, unfortunately that can easily happen in this time of crisis, but if you’ve a little imagination, and you work hard, you can solve the problem.

When your credit runs out, it must be rebuilt within two months.  You can do this by getting another job or a gov-loan or priv-loan.  The alternative is that the chip “retires” you.  Once you reach a certain age, like 60,  you usually can’t find work anymore or get a loan since  you’ll never be able to pay it back, so it’s only logical that you are put into “retirement”.

Recently a lot of people have lost their jobs because the factories have closed down and no one wants to risk their credits at this moment, especially on the young and inexperienced. This means that priv-loans are nearly non-existent.  The gov is not issuing loans at this time, no credit surplus. So yes, sadly, even many young people have gone into early “retirement”.  But we don’t have those horrible social blights of the past … homelessness and welfare!

To check up on how many credits you have, you just go on-line.  When you go shopping there is a code reader in every shop so you can pay from your account.  Of course, you can also buy stuff on-line using your Social Security chip.

We live in great prosperity thanks to our free enterprise society.  Everyone is born equal.  No one is a parasite on the community!

Oh!

There must be a mistake!  My account just went into the red.  My account’s been hacked!

OH GOD NO ………….