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2068- The End

25 Feb

February 24, 2011

October 31st, 2067

I don’t know why I do it anymore. Nobody comes up here anyway, and I really may be the only man who even remembers Halloween around here. But I still put the decorations up- that skeleton on the door (and how hard it is to keep it from ripping year after year. It is almost impossible to find a simple decoration these days), the pumpkin cut outs in the windows, the black and orange crepe on the fence.

Back in the 50’s there was another house down the hill, Burt Anderson’s place. He used to decorate for all the old holidays- not the old traditional way, though. He was all high-tech, with holographic Santas (before this “Winter Festival” replaced all the December religious holidays and it was still possible to get enough power to run a holo-net) and shifting sky-cloud reindeer projected from his roof. But he moved on, like they all do. These days there’s just the co-op farm down the slope, and me near the top of  Henshaw’s Hill. New Buffalo is still down below, but the population these days is just a fraction of what it was before 2018. But that’s understandable.

So I’ll stay here a little while longer tonight. Nobody’s coming to trick or treat, but the sky is clear, third day this month. The satellites are still below the horizon, and I can should get enough power to my old mp4 player to listen to some good old ghost stories.

————————————

November 15th, 2067

There was a time when this was election day. Now it’s just the day when some select few of us are allowed to assemble and listen to the Senatorum  Assembly. They know that technically I’m not supposed to be there, but I’ve lived on this hill since 2020 and I had voting rights back in Old New York City so they can’t do much to keep me out of the town square. No one takes me seriously anyway.

————————————-

November 31st, 2067

Looked all lover but I still can’t find my books. I have all the novels and all the textbooks but my own journals are gone. I think it was the Marshall. He was in here a couple of  weeks ago while I was in the square listening to Assembler Car Beck tell us how “privileged “ we are. The Marshall is always harassing me for going to the square.

————————————-

December 11th, 2067

There was a time not long ago when on my birthday I was sure to at least get a call from my brother. I haven’t heard from him in 2 years. Since there is no more cell-net and the military com-net is unavailable this time of year I’m not expecting one. Birthday. All I’ve done is not die. And that’s quite an accomplishment for someone who’s my age and has lived through what I’ve lived through.

I’ve seen too many of my friends die, and too many others “leave.” There was a time, before The Event, that a funeral would at least give me a chance to connect with some people, but everyone I knew is gone, and the few who would have outlived me weren’t allowed funerals. And there are those about whom I don’t know and aren’t allowed to find out.

———————————-

January 1st, 2068.

They announced last night the new Social Numbering System. It’s like they’re restarting the calendar from 2018. They say that today is Union 1 Year 50. “January” is gone. Soon it will have never existed. (And me…….)

The Social Consolidated Naming System tells me that the town below is no longer New Buffalo. It is now (and I’m sure they’ll say always was) Buffalo, no more “New.”  This way they can all just forget what happened in Old Buffalo.

They also announced that the power will slacken by 38% at midnight, and the lights will negate at 1300 hours.

I still have some batteries. The Marshall keeps threatening me but he won’t find them.

————————————-

March 5, 2068.
(Progress 5 Year 50)

Many years back, in my youth, I had a stock answer about what I’d like to do with my life. I used to say that I’d live in a big house overlooking a town and have some cats to keep me company. Kind of like I’d be some town’s crazy old man. Well, the cats were outlawed, the town is nearly dead, and the house isn’t so big. But I’m still here. Ninety-eight years old. Had a family once. Had a couple of friends once upon a time.

————————————-

June 27th, 2068
(Forward 27 Year 50)

They’ve done more Social Numbering. Twelve months, thirty days each, 360 days. Spread throughout the year will be five “non-days.” On those “non-days” there will be no government services (not that there are many left, other than the co-op farms), no working, and no social interaction, by law. “Non-days” are to be spent in quiet personal reflection, with an emphasis on the greater good.

———————————–

September 8th, 2068
(Strength 6 Year 50)

Had a visit from the Marshall yesterday. I was very surprised, considering that yesterday was Non-Day 2. He wanted to know why I always had fresh vegetables throughout the summer, despite the fact that my records show no transactions at the co-op. (If only he knew what other transactions my records don’t show…) Of course I said nothing and stood upon my Social Rights. I know that infernal book better than he does. He had me on shaky ground and he knew it. Threatened to have me in front of a Magistrates Registrar that very evening. Well, I still have a trick or two in this old head and I pulled out my last, and my best. The Marshall left, but he’ll be back, probably when I’m not around. He’ll manage to find something incriminating here. He’ll put it here himself.

———————————–

October 24th, 2068
(Emphasis 22 Year 50)

Received a “friendly” warning from  Car Beck. No Halloween this year. I’m too old to fight.

———————————–

November 1st, 2068
(Emphasis 29 Year 50)

Last night would have been Halloween.

———————————–

December 27th, 2068
(Persistence 25 Year 50)

Buffalo has been officially designated the Community Center of Northeast 2. This was formerly the tri-state area. Nowadays there’s no one left who can identify those three states. Or even know what a state was. Or would be allowed to find out. It becomes effective the first day of Year 51. This would not have happened before The Event, but people have short attention spans and fifty years is a long time.

I’m nearly a century old. I may just lay down my pen now.

 

—–

 

This story originally appeared in 2007

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8 Responses to “2068- The End”

  1. bmj2k February 25, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    This is the downer, folks.

    Don’t worry, next week it is all flatulence and fart jokes.

    Like

  2. JRD Skinner February 25, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Nicely done.

    Like

  3. Mac of BIOnighT February 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    Wow… this hurt 😦

    Like

  4. Thomas Stazyk February 27, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Scary, but nice use of style to augment the mood and the message.

    Like

    • bmj2k February 28, 2011 at 12:03 am #

      Thak you. I feel that the story, while complete, is somewhat unsatisfying.

      Like

      • Thomas Stazyk February 28, 2011 at 12:09 am #

        That’s because you wrote it and have the challenge of mapping it against your vision, etc. It’s probably compounded in a story like this because there are so many different ways you could have ended it–all over the continuum between bang and whimper.

        Like

        • bmj2k February 28, 2011 at 12:19 am #

          There is a long story about why I can’t adequately judge this story. I used to think it was fine as is. Maybe it is. The ending of the story really could not have been anything lese, but that is because of things unrelated to the plot. Like I said- long story. I do appreciate that you think its OK.

          Like

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