Writing Prompt: After a normal day, you go to bed… only to awake 100 years in the future. A lot of people want to interview you because something random you did almost ended humanity a century ago.
“What can you tell us about the crisis of 2020? How is it you’re still alive? Did you intend to bring about the end of life as we know it? Or were you fully aware that your actions would in fact lead to humanities prosperity across the known universe?”
“Who… are you?” Sophia woke from what felt like the world’s best and yet worst night’s rest. Lingering over her bed was a sharp dressed man (suit – check, tie – check, unbearable air of arrogance – check) with a camera crew surrounding him. There were over a dozen flashing lights that blinded Sophia, causing her already muddled mind to run away… sorry Sophia, this is too much, even for me!
“Answers, Sophia! The people need answers!” the reporter (Sophia decided that only a reporter could break into a young girl’s bedroom and not be immediately arrested) flapped wildly about the room, as if he were dancing with a bull (his suit was a pompous shade of red that only he could have pulled off so flawlessly…).
“I don’t have any.” Sophia groaned, “Why are you here? And by God what time is it?” she fell back into her bed, hoping to hide inside the comfort of her pillow. But Mr not-so-tall, not-so-dark and only fairly handsome wasn’t about to let the story of his career disappear back in the realms of deep sleep.
“Water!” the reporter cried, and out of nowhere several men armed with buckets appeared around Sophia’s bed. One at a time, with a sadistic sense of uniformity, the men showered Sophia in first ice cold and then hot water (but not too hot, they weren’t animals… after all they were just doing their job).
“What the HELL do you think you’re doing?” Sophia screamed, jumping from her bed, dressed in only her night shirt. The men covered their eyes, only politely peering through half opened fingers (I take that back, perhaps these men were animals). Sophia ran for the bathroom, hounded by the reporter and his band of merry men, and locked herself inside.
“You can’t hide forever, Sophia. We’ve waited a hundred years to speak with you, we’ll wait a hundred more! Though I doubt you’ll last that long again.” (the reporter reckoned he would, though) the suit’s voice was softened only by the hammering fists that sought to knock down the hardwood door.
This is all a dream, it has to be. Sophia curled herself up against the bathroom door, hoping the reporter might leave. He’s a madman. A hundred years? He expects me to believe I’ve been sleeping for a hundred years? Well I don’t believe it… I won’t believe it…
But deny it as she might, her memory was slowly returning.
“Open up, Sophia, all we want to do is talk.”
July 18th 2020;
Sophia was on her way to school, understandably excited on account that today they’d be taking a field trip. Earlier that year the British Occupancy of Outstanding and Best Sciences had lobbied together to seek funding for what would be known as the National Institution for the Preservation of Power to Lawful and Enlightened Sciences. Both names were quite a mouthful, but oddly enough quite memorable too.
Outside the window of the bus the city rolled by, alive with all the usual fuss of any mid-morning commute. Cars and taxis veered between one another, horns honking, drivers angrily shaking their fists as they spilled hot paper cups of tea and coffee down their crisp white work wear. Pigeons roamed the smoke-filled skies, dropping pleasant surprises on the world below. Sophia had in fact watched as one such surprise fell aimlessly into a woman’s waiting sandwich, masquerading as the worst possible kind of mayonnaise. The woman might have noticed, too, had she not been so invested in her phone screen.
When they came to the school bus stop, and one by one rushed to be off, Sophia took her first steps towards her near-ending of all life as we know it. Unintentional steps, mind you. Steps wrapped up in bundles of kindness. She could tell the bus driver was awfully hungry, he had been complaining about as much for most of their journey. So Sophia, the caring soul that she was, offered Mac (the driver) her sandwiches (which strangely enough she didn’t feel much like eating).
“Are you sure Sophia? I wouldn’t want you to go hungry.”
Sophia nodded, “I think I have tummy ache. Anyway, I won’t eat them.”
“Well, if you’re sure.”
Sophia nodded again, adding a sweet smile to the mix.
Mac took the sandwiches with thanks and off Sophia went to registration. It was perhaps no more than fifteen minutes before Sophia’s class would be bustled back onto the bus and bound for the institution.
“Thanks again.” Mac said as Sophia raced to be first back on, “Oh, and you wouldn’t happen to know if there were any nuts in that sandwich, would you? In the bread maybe?”
Sophia shook her head, “I don’t think so, just plain old chicken mayo.”
Mac sighed in relief, “Good. For a moment there I thought I’d let hunger get the better of me.”
Somewhere beyond the realms of man there lies a creature and his brother. See Greed, the gargantuan blob with several dozen turkey chins. He holds in his arms the withered wing of Hunger, a creature made barely of bone and flesh. They reside in halls of hoarded treasures, within the centre of which there lies a table brimming with a thousand mortal foods. Greed forever watches over these halls, resolute in his belief that Hunger should never feed. Hunger is necessary, Greed is absolute. Yet today Hunger has gained a small victory over Greed, stealing from the table a leg of chicken whilst his brother sleeps… chicken lathered in a honey-nut sauce.
They almost made it, Sophia could even see the institution from the buses window. She always dreamed of pursuing science, fascinated by how so many tiny particles could come together to create life. If only we could come together like that, work together like that, as if we were all part(icles) of some larger force or being. There’s more than enough to go around, more than enough for everyone to share. But we don’t like sharing, because we can’t see the truth. We’re all the same, we’re all equal. No one really deserves any more or less than anyone else. This was the last thought that would ever call Sohpia’s mind its home.
“Why can’t I see?” Mac cried before his throat finally closed up. His face had swollen beyond recognition, eyes bulging from their sockets, streaming tears of puss. He reached for the breaks, but in his convulsive state his right foot instead hammered down on the accelerator. The bus was aimed for the institutional building, a shell that had yet to be fully filled. Inside the bus the children looked on with wide eyed expressions of fearful not-knowing, not one of them, not even Sophia, able to comprehend what was to happen next.
The bus exploded through a thick sheet of metal, tearing a hole in what had been meant as a containment module. Inside the module highly unstable chemical elements had been waiting for a chance to escape and intermingle (and how strange that their prison was so easily compromised). What came next was the greatest flash of white light the world had ever seen. An explosion like no other. Some likened it even to the big bang, the force of creation.
After this Sophia woke in her bed, one hundred years later, having almost accidentally brought about the end of the world. But instead the explosive force of the elements had set in motion a series of yet more seemingly random events. Events that had, among other great achievements: ended world hunger (the chemicals were said to have made fertile even the most uninhabitable grounds), denuclearised the world at large (following the second big bang it was universally agreed that nuclear warfare could do more good than harm, and so it no longer served its purpose), and even aided humanities ascension to a more compassionate race… though this didn’t account for the likes of reporters. For some unknown reason they alone were unaffected by the ascension of mankind, perhaps it was simply because the media was too vicious a beast for even the second big bang to have tamed… not that it mattered, no one much listened to reporters now-a-days anyway.
All this came about because of one girl’s decision to feed a hungry driver, because of one girl’s idealistic thinking upon her near death bed, her wondering what might happen… if only we could come together, work together, as if we were part(icles) of some larger force or being.
Copyright © K R Perry 2019