The weekend is nearly here, thank goodness. It’s been a crazy few weeks here in the UK. We have had two ‘terror’ attacks in quick succession, and today is a general election, where we get to vote for who we would like to run the country. We are also going through ‘Brexit’ – a named coined for the UK leaving the European Union. Big decisions.
I’m not here to discuss politics, but it has presented me with a story idea. Last weeks Fragment Friday post was of a fictional dystopian future for the UK. Today it all seems just a little bit less fictional.
I would like to present to you another part of that story, which is titled UK2080: Welcome to Your Future. I will be posting this as it is written, over on Chapterbuzz. Here is the cover along with today’s fragment:
“Right. I think everyone’s here.” Megaphone spoke to the queue of people beneath him; some young, some old; a roughly equal split of men and women. All looked in need of a good meal. “Everyone ready to shop?” There was a muted cheer from below. “I can’t hear you.” Megaphone man spoke as if hosting a game show. The crowd cheered again. “Okay then. The time is,” He glanced at his watch. “eight fifty nine and thirty, thirty one, thirty two seconds. Good luck to everyone.”
In the queue beneath, Charlie tied her hair back into a ponytail. It was a coping mechanism; it enabled her to focus on something other than what she was about to do.
“Charlie, was it?” Joe offered his hand, which Charlie shook. “First time?”
“Fourth.” She offered nothing more.
“Fourth. Damn,” said Joe. “First for me. I’ll have to stick with you. Get some pointers, you know?” He smiled.
“There are no pointers to give. You get lucky. Or not. That’s it.”
“Thanks,” said Joe, turning his back on Charlie.
“Four…three…two…one…” Megaphone pointed towards the head of the queue, and the big front doors rumbled open.
For a moment, there was a rush at the front of the queue. People pushed past each other to be the first into the warehouse, which was something that Charlie never understood. Dead is dead whether you’re first or whether you’re last. She was in no rush to die.
At the head of the queue, people had reached the trolley park. One by one, each drew a cart from the pool and moved into the warehouse. One man, shaved head and vest-top, pushed an older lady out of his way, and she fell to the floor. There were no soldiers in here. It truly was survival of the fittest.
Charlie watched the man push the woman over, then move off. She bent down and helped the woman to her feet, before withdrawing a trolley of her own. She paused a moment at others moved past her into the warehouse. The size of an aircraft hanger, the warehouse had been decked out with aisles upon aisles of food. Canned goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish. It was all here if you could find it and if you could stay alive long enough to eat it. When the last of the queue had filed past her, Charlie zipped up her jacket and rolled her trolley towards the first aisle.
Joe was waiting at the head of the first aisle, alongside a pile of fresh apples. “Hey, Charlie. You gonna take some of these?”
Charlie picked an apple off the top of the pile and bit into it.
“Whoa!” Joe stepped back a couple of paces. “How did you know that was safe?”
“I didn’t,” said Charlie, moving her trolley towards the centre of the aisle. “It was low-probability. That’s all.”
That’s it for this week, but head over to Chapterbuzz to follow the story as it unfolds. I truly have no idea how this story will pan out – I usually like to do some preliminary planning, but with this, I have nothing! You may find that some of the dates, or finer details don’t always agree, but I wasn’t concerned about that at the moment. I figured that while the tap was on, I’d let the water keep flowing!
Please feel free to leave your political views below, with regard to the election and / or Brexit. I reserve the right not to comment!