Tag: Future

FUTURE: Time Marches On By Nan Ressue

Word: FUTURE
Word Count 483
Time Marches On
By Nan Ressue
Warm breezes stirred the leaves on the knurled trees lining the well-worn lane that led down the slope to the ancient house. Two old friends who never tired of each other’s company were sharing the porch that lovely morning, commenting on each other’s theories and opinions.

“You watch yourself in that rocking chair Ralph. You know how they tend to creep when you get up a head of steam. You’ll tip over the edge of the porch if you don’t keep your eye on it”

“O.K., O.K.” he countered with a smile at his friend’s concern. “Fred, you know that rocking chairs were invented for nervous people who need to rest.”
“Ha! Good one!’’ replied Fred.” You know, some days I feel my age and some days not. I was thinking there should be a measuring tool for the elderly like the ones they use for the kids-you know what I mean-the height measurements marked on the door jamb with the date as they get taller? Only we need one that starts high and goes down to the future.”
“That sounds like as good a way to waste time as anything else you’ve thought up,” chuckled his friend.
Let’s start with our best up there about eight feet. How about “Scholar-Athlete? Man, that’s when we were really in the zone”
“Great start”, encouraged Ralphie. I’ve got the next one! Bridegroom_- Father. That was a combination of pleasure and pain. Wouldn’t have given it up for anything.”
“OK, here’s where we start hitting the skids. You know how the brides love to show off their cooking skills. Well, if you have a chef in the house you need some eaters and so I obliged. The polite title would be “Newlywed Weight Gain.” Let’s be blunt and call it Gut Development.”
“My turn, laughed Ralph….extra weight…falling arches…You know Dr. Scholl’s is just around the corner.
He’s my Man.”
“What do you think should be next? We’re about half way down to the floor.”
Well, I knew that bifocals were looming on the horizon when I took my girl out for dinner and couldn’t read the menu. Let me tell you that was humiliating. The good part was that it gave her a chance to show off her French. That was a slippery way out but she knew what was going on.”

“Fred, the next one has got to be the unforgettable telephone call from the dentist. “Mr. Sloan, your dentures are ready for pick-up”
“My sympathy Kid. But they still are looking good”
“Well, we’re nearly down to the floor with the cane and rocking chair left to go. Rock bottom will be the kicking and screaming when they come for our driver’s license.”
“You know we always had things ass backwards so the only thing to do is about face and head for the top. “ Senior athletes are the new normal so ..Iron Man move over…We’re on our way up!”

FUTURE: A Future Trip by G. Ackman

Word: FUTURE
Word Count 481

A Future Trip
by G. Ackman

So this is the future. Odd. It’s much quieter than I had believed it would be. Of course, this could change. So much depends on little actions. I have seen that before, although not often. I have found that humans are pretty predictable, actually.

Still, I think I kind of like this. For a city, it isn’t bad at all. Maybe it’s a holiday. No, even then, there would be noise – honking and sirens and well, people. People are so very noisy and always scurrying about, in a hurry to get nowhere of any importance.

But I see no movement at all. It’s very still. Not even a breeze. No birds cawing and chattering. No stray dogs dodging expected kicks. No leaves or garbage filling the gutters. My footsteps echo loudly against the dull gray sidewalk, bounce off the steel and glass buildings and return to me like my own heartbeat, rhythmic and solitary. I feel as if millions of eyes are watching me from behind the tinted glass, but I have no basis for knowing or even believing that they exist. It is not a comforting feeling and I continue to walk down the deserted street with a façade of purposefulness, glancing behind me every few minutes like a victim in a low budget mystery. Except it is daylight. The skies are an unbroken blue blanket and the sun’s white light reflects off the endless expanse of glass, nearly blinding me at times. Down Lake Shore Drive and around the still waters of Lake Michigan towards the aquarium and the museums – art, natural history, science. Man’s showcase of egotism. Look what I did. Look what I found. Look at me. Yeah, look at them now. Where are they? Gone.

I have now recognized that this is a future without life. The city itself is a museum to man’s folly. I wonder what happened? It doesn’t look like war. Disease? Maybe, but there are no bodies, no stench, no refuse. I have no clue what the year is and I have no clue if I will be staying here or suddenly jerked out of this time and deposited in another. I am a time traveler, you see. Not by choice but by birth. I have seen wondrous and frightening times, but this one, this one scares me more even than when I was in the Middle Ages. Brutal, senseless fighting. Torture and executions in the most hideous manner. Shrieking that pierced the eardrums but somehow became more painful when it suddenly stopped. That was bad. But this – this – this waste. Man had such potential and this is what it came down to. Nothing. A stretch of sidewalk, vendor carts with flagging signs, store windows filled with useless fripperies.

Nothing. Just the echoing footfalls of a lone time traveler, traversing a soon to be forgotten terrain that speaks of nothing but loss.

FUTURE: Future Passed By Terry Rainey

Word: FUTURE
Word Count 495

Future Passed
By Terry Rainey

We tidy up nervously before the seven-block trip to our 50th high school reunion. Canastota High School, Class of 1968. What was our daily walk to high school became, in time, our life’s path.
Many of our classmates went out to the big world. A few came back. It will be great to see them, to catch up with lucky ones who’ve made it in one piece. A few went to Vietnam, and came back changed. Some enrolled in college and moved to far flung places, Kansas, Iowa, Oregon, even overseas. One we know is an Elvis impersonator. Two policemen. A snake charmer. Marriages. Divorces. Death, in a surprisingly few cases.
Nervous adrenaline actually makes me a bit wistful that we’re not walking tonight. The seven blocks is lovely in all months, but especially in June, when the cedars, elms, and spruce are full and connect with each other over the lane, branches touching..
Mike struggles to get into the passenger seat. His legs and arms, with years of farm chores tattooed on them, don’t quite coordinate as well. No more Mike tossing hay bales bouncily. But I know that any help that I may offer would be swatted away. Mike’s pride remains. I let him settle himself, and I wait for him to remember the seatbelt. I wonder that he still thinks he’s climbing onto a tractor seat, and beginning a day.
We could not be more different, he and me. I mean I. I revere the power of words, whether written, spoken, or sung. Words have momentousness, convey feelings and enrich our lives. Mike learned to read when he was 42.
I met him when we were in the 4th grade. I didn’t really start talking to him till our freshman year in high school. I don’t know if it was because we had classes together, but something about him always stuck with me, like a familiar landmark.
His dogged persistence made me fall in love with him. I think he fell in love with me that same year when we started talking and getting to know each other better, but sometimes he makes on that he had decided somewhere between 5th and 6th grades. He always brags, elongates, and stretches the truth of romance. I love that about him.
We even joined Young Life together before he had to quit. I remember my mother’s reaction when he quit. Oh, was she on her high horse. She’d taken every opportunity to put Mike down, and now she had her justification that he was a loser, a dead-ender, a lifelong bumpkin.
The seatbelt warning brings me back. I shoo away my thoughts of the past, of the history.
Mike clicks in, satisfied. He smiles, somewhat taken aback that I’m looking him right in the eye. I smile and put us in reverse.
I had been afraid of the things I’d come upon in life. Then the future came, and he was by my side.

FUTURE: Future By Sharon Collins

Word(s): SINGING/FUTURE
Word Count 499

Future
By Sharon Collins

In the dreaming-dark Sister returns to me. I lean against her for warmth as we sit on the ledge at the cave’s mouth, watching the moon dance on the waves. We are happy and we are playing our favorite game. It is a singing game. At first our song is soft and sends no echoes back from the cliff walls. I begin by singing my name-song high; Sister sings her name-song higher. I sing low; she sings lower. I sing fast; she sings faster. I sing slow; she sings slower. I sing loud; she sings louder until the echo of our name-song fills the sky and sends the dark-wings fluttering around our heads. It is a game I love to play, but I never win. Sister’ song is much more beautiful than mine. I am lucky she shares it with me.

In the dreaming-dark Sister is with me still. I rub her belly and scratch behind her ears. She growls and bites at my toes, but she does not hurt me. She would never hurt me. Her warm tongue tickles and we roll back into the cave, in a tangle. Suddenly, I hear other voices singing. They are not like mine; they are beautiful like Sister’s. I have never heard such voices. We stop our play-battle. Sister takes her paws from my back letting me lift my head. I see them, little ones, singing with their noses pointed to the stars. They stop their song when they see me and tumble over each other to reach the safety of Sister’s side. One, the bravest, the color of the deep forest pine-shadows, peeks out at me. One, the color of frost on the sand, turns and shakes its tiny tail at me. And one, the brindled color of Sister’s Mother’s fur, trembles between her paws. Sister pushes them closer to me. Nose to nose we stare into each other’s eyes. They lose their fear of me as they sniff and chew on my hair which is very long and spread about me . I hold very still listening to Sister’s voice inside my head. She tells me they are her children given to her by Shadow. She sings their name-songs, Frost-Shadow, Pine-Shadow, and Smoke-Shadow. Frost and Pine are girls like me. Smoke is a boy like his father. Sister says I may, so I reach for them but gather only emptiness into my arms. Saddened, I wake myself from the dreaming-dark. I want to cry as I reach out my hand, hoping to feel Sister’s warmth, knowing I will not. This waking I do not cry. The joy of the dreaming-dark was true. I am no longer alone.

I do not leave for the Great Clan-Gathering. The little ones cannot travel far, especially Smoke who is much smaller than his sisters. My family will stay in our cave, safe, and warm, and dry at the edge of the Great Water and make plans for what is to come.

FUTURE: The Future is Now By Sam McManus

Word: FUTURE
Word Count 500
The Future is Now
By Sam McManus
“The future is now!” read the rolling mega-screens around the Omni Convention Center. The digital signs blinked every few seconds, a singular trap for epileptics trapped on the massive floor of the cavernous space. It was impossible to avoid the mega-screens, though, if you wanted to remain in the Center itself.
The Omni had been renovated just a year prior to the 2079 exposition and fair, its façade completely redone to resemble the Colosseum in Rome, its innards expanded to seat more than 100,000, a feat of epic proportions, but one that went unnoticed by those who didn’t matter. To the more than 20,000 on the floor that afternoon, though, it was an ode to advanced architecture that stood up there next to the Quad Towers of Georgia in both scope and functionality.
“The future is now!” rang out across the breadth of the arena, through gargantuan speakers made to resemble banners, the same banners that could be seen flying over buildings across the expanse of the Capitol. Each one was a symbol of one great house or another, every single one immensely detailed if you chose to look closely.
Gliding tables moved across the floor at regular intervals, their mechanisms completely silent as if on unseen oiled hinges built into the floor. If there did indeed exist any forms of magic, then it was certainly the culprit within the Omni, to great effect. On those gliding tables were sweeping cloths full of various delicacies, from norry pudding, to rice pilaf, to shepherd’s pie, always kept at the right temperature no matter how long they had graced those tables. In this way one could stand in one spot all afternoon and still eat every single dish.
It would have been ingenious were it not for the slaves who were the center of attention.
“The future is now!” they chanted in unison from the upper balcony, where they were herded like sheep with no chance for escape save an untimely swan dive into the audience below. Which would have been unbecoming. Everyone was concerned with image, even the slaves. Especially the slaves.
Everyone on the floor had paid more than mere money to be involved in the spectacle, a yearly occurrence that moved around from province to province, but there was something spectacular about the once every five year revival, when it made its way back to the Capitol. There a wealth of meaning ascribed to the ceremonial ritual that went beyond each house, beyond the banners themselves. The slaves understood this, and were forgiven their base natures that wanted to escape. As the clock wound down to zero hour, the natives grew restless in the balcony, and the tables stopped replenishing food, knowing a deeper repast was on its way.
“The future is now,” whispered the bearded, balding, bespectacled man from the dais at the far end of the arena, but every head turned his way. There was absolute silence. Predatory silence.
“Let us begin,” he said. And they did.

FUTURE: Qué Sera Sera.. By Sally Madison

Word: FUTURE
Word Count : 498
Qué Sera Sera..
By Sally Madison

Linda timidly walked into the garage carrying the surfboard Chris had lent her. Chris, spotting her through the tangled mass of multicolored surfboards hanging from the rafters, was relieved to see her and his board return safely. Leaving the group of guys he had been talking with, he joined Linda. “How’d it go?” he asked with a brilliant smile.

“I loved it! I’ve just got to have one of my own,” she responded, indicating the surfboard.

A group of tan, sculpted, beach-clad young men, who had been discussing the waves, saw this stunning young woman carrying a board, and refocused their attention. “And who might this be, a little surfer girl?” Brian asked no one in particular, but expected Linda to respond, as he sauntered over to her.

“I’m Linda,” she responded.

“I’m Brian, the only real surfer here. These are my brothers, Carl and Dennis, who only watch the girls. So, you loved surfing out there,” Brian nodded his head toward the ocean, “looks like everyone is learning how.”

Not to be out maneuvered, Chris interjected, “You should be here at dawn. There’s a whole troop of guys here, on their way to catch the big one. They look like a caravan, walking across the sand one by one, like they’re on a safari or something.”

Brian’s eyes lit up. Carl and Dennis rolled their eyes. Dennis, shaking his head in submission, commented, “Not again.” Dennis explained to Linda, “Our Dad writes songs for our band, but Brian thinks he’s a songwriter, too. He comes up with these crazy ideas. Believe me, he’s no Woody Guthrie. We were ‘Kenny and the Cadets’, then we were ‘Carl and the Passions’, but now we are ‘The Pendletones’.”

“Pendletones?” asked Linda.

“Yeah, you know, kind of a take on the Pendleton shirts,” Dennis continued.

“Come on, guys,” Brian started for the door. “I want to get this down on paper before I forget it,” as he walked out the door to their car, a woody that had been his grandfather’s. Carl and Dennis followed, knowing that objecting was not an option. They would be in for a fast ride back to Hawthorne.

“Bye, Linda, bye Chris, we’ll catch you on the flip-side.” Carl called out as they left the garage-surf shop.

“The flip-side?” Linda questioned.

“It’s a music term for ‘see you later’,” Chris explained. “They think they have a future as a band, like a back up band for Bing, or Nat King Cole. Brian gets these wild ideas for songs, and they go play in their garage until their neighbors complain. I was over there once, and listened to them rehearse. They sounded good to me, but it’s not like anything I’d ever heard before. I’m not crazy about the band’s name, though. It should say something about who they are, and what they do, like ‘The Beach Bums, or something like that’.

“Who knows what the future brings. Like the song says,” Linda added, “Qué Sera, Sera…”

FUTURE: Lessons Learned By Peg Scarano

Word: Future
Word Count: 460

Lessons Learned
By Peg Scarano

She wasn’t an easy woman to love. She was tough on her children from childhood throughout their adulthood. She was harsh with her husband much of the time. She was short on patience and understanding. Smiles were rare. I never saw an out-right belly laugh. She wasn’t a grandma who showered her grandchildren with hugs and kisses. She never seemed happy.

Her husband was a saint. I’ve never met a nicer man. His love visibly flowed from the sparkle in his eyes and smile on his face. He was good provider for his family and devoted his life to their well-being. Opposites attract? They sure did in their relationship.

Were there reasons for her unhappiness? I like to think so. She had a hard childhood. There was not a lot of money. She lost two brothers in a horrific accident when she was five. Her mom withdrew and was never the same after they died. Her father was a strict disciplinarian. She had to quit school to go to work at a young age. Perhaps this caused underlying resentment and bitterness. We’ll never know.

Her feelings would creep to the surface occasionally along with her crooked little smile. These moments were treasured by all. And she had her unique little ways to show she cared. There was always food on the table and that food was cooked from the love in her heart that she always kept hidden. If you didn’t eat, you could almost see her heart ache. This was her offering of love and affection to her family. She wanted and needed it to be accepted by all who sat at her table. Food was her offering of love.

Over the years, her husband, sons and daughter and grandchildren all learned how to love their mom and gram. You watched what you said and did in front of her and, most importantly, you cleaned your plate. Whether the kids discretely snuck food to their dad or their papa or just forced it down their throats, they knew it would make gram happy and that was an important lesson to learn.

My mother-in-law taught me what not to do and I hope I learned this valuable lesson well. She taught my children respect and how to love people who may be difficult to love. She taught them how to work hard within themselves to win the heart of someone special. These lessons may not be the typical ones learned from a gram, but they were important nevertheless. Her children were her future. My children are my future. Their children are the future of this family. This family has learned to be strong and outwardly loving because of their grandmother. Gram – You did your job well. Please, rest in peace.

FUTURE: Time Marches On By Nan Ressue

Word: FUTURE
Word Count 496
Time Marches On
By Nan Ressue
Warm breezes stirred the leaves on the knurled trees lining the well-worn lane that led down the slope to the ancient house. Two old friends who never tired of each other’s company were sharing the porch that lovely morning, commenting on each other’s theories and opinions.

“You watch yourself in that rocking chair Ralph. You know how they tend to creep when you get up a head of steam. You’ll tip over the edge of the porch if you don’t keep your eye on it”

“O.K., O.K.” he countered with a smile at his friend’s concern. “Fred, you know that rocking chairs were invented for nervous people who need to rest.”
“Ha! Good one!’’ replied Fred.” You know, some days I feel my age and some days not. I was thinking there should be a measuring tool for the elderly like the ones they use for the kids-you know what I mean-the height measurements marked on the door jamb with the date as they get taller? Only we need one that starts high and goes down to the future.”
“That sounds like as good a way to waste time as anything else you’ve thought up,” chuckled his friend.
Let’s start with our best up there about eight feet. How about “Scholar-Athlete? Man, that’s when we were really in the zone”
“Great start”, encouraged Ralphie. I’ve got the next one! Bridegroom_- Father. That was a combination of pleasure and pain. Wouldn’t have given it up for anything.”
“OK, here’s where we start hitting the skids. You know how the brides love to show off their cooking skills. Well, if you have a chef in the house you need some eaters and so I obliged. The polite title would be “Newlywed Weight Gain.” Let’s be blunt and call it Gut Development.”
“My turn, laughed Ralph….extra weight…falling arches…You know Dr. Scholl’s is just around the corner.
He’s my Man.”
“What do you think should be next? We’re about half way down to the floor.”
Well, I knew that bifocals were looming on the horizon when I took my girl out for dinner and couldn’t read the menu. Let me tell you that was humiliating. The good part was that it gave her a chance to show off her French. That was a slippery way out but she knew what was going on.”

“Fred, the next one has got to be the unforgettable telephone call from the dentist. “Mr. Sloan, your dentures are ready for pick-up”
“My sympathy Kid. But they still are looking good”
“Well, we’re nearly down to the floor with the cane and rocking chair left to go. Rock bottom will be the kicking and screaming when they come for our driver’s license.”
“You know we always had things ass backwards so the only thing to do is about face and head for the top. “ Senior athletes are the new normal so ..Iron Man move over…We’re on our way up!”

FUTURE: What the Future May Hold By Mike Cecconi

Word: FUTURE
Word Count 500
What the Future May Hold
By Mike Cecconi

My father met a lot of people for a man who never lived anywhere other than Little Falls. Dad possessed more than one lifetime’s worth of stories and he told the hell out of them. He assumed, for example, that there was an FBI file on him, a small one, since he partied with leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society a couple of times. I hope he had one, he would’ve loved it. I may have one through the friends-of-friends running Occupy Wall Street the brief year I lived in Brooklyn. I held to my father’s commission in my own way. I will admit, I would love it too.

Three Other Stories:

He met Isaac Asimov once, after a speech at the community college. My dad peppered him with questions, my dad wrote science-fiction before responsibility ate up all his time, questions about writing, questions about what the future may hold. Isaac just bluntly replied “that’s all great but can you tell me where the loose women are in this town?”

Dad met John Belushi once, after a comedy show near Buffalo. Drunk, maybe stoned, he snuck into the green room to liberate some drinks for his friends. Belushi walked in, Pop still stuffing bottles in his pockets and said… Dad always said he’d never forget this, he said… “WHO THE HELL ARE YOU, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE?” But he didn’t say Hell, of course, family audience and all that. Dad just toasted him and ran off with seven free beers.

Dad met the poet laureate Stanley Kunitz once, after a talk at one of the SUNY schools. They got drunk together and, again as with Asimov, my dad sought out advice. Stanley walked him out to his car, showed him the trunk and said, “a nice kid like you shouldn’t be in the arts, this car, this suitcase they’re all that I have, just driving around lecturing strangers, all for marginal fame, it’s not worth it.”

My father turned down offers to go play with rock bands out in California, maybe considering what Kunitz said, he got a job in a munitions factory where he received the chemical exposure that eventually ate his heart away, married my mom, raised us, didn’t set foot in L.A. until his boys moved out there themselves, died of a heart attack in my little brother’s arms in Tarzana California at the age of just sixty-three.

I’ve always kept my life minimal as I can, I avoid taking on responsibility whenever able, though I see it through when it’s thrust upon me and I have keep writing wherever I end up. For better or for worse, I hold to my dad’s commission and I refuse to buy what some poet laurate’s drunk-ass cynicism was selling. My dad told the kinds of stories that would’ve made the gods weep with delight and I will spend my life trying to live up to that, regardless of what the future may hold.