Welcome to your future.

Spaceships. Jet packs. Laser guns. 

No. 

Fifty years from now, the future will still be shaped by the mundane, the stupid, and the petty, living side by side with the Big Ideas. Dirty, shining, poor, glorious, filthy, and wonderful. 50.YFN is where we tell our future's story, hangover and all.

In its short life,
50.YFN has already become a very sharply defined setting, with unique language and history. Because of the ongoing storylines and broad geographical setting, we strongly recommend using the archives and category tags before throwing yourself in the deep end. Read the guidelines, take a look around. There's a truly talented pool of creators breathing life into our world Fifty Years From Now.

You are welcome to be a part of it.

And remember:

This is not a land-grab. There's no turf.  If you're a new writer, you have the same access to Brooklyn as I do, and as much an opportunity to leave your imprint on it. Don't be intimidated. Leave your brand on the future alongside everyone else. It's your world too. 

7.22.2007

They still sing The Yellow Rose of Texas

by Zesi, Atlanta, GA, USA

Mexico/Texas border, the Rio Grande

La Frontera still sings her promises to sus amigos al sur, she, seductive, beautiful, dangerous.

The cruelest part is looking across the river, grand, the landscape no different than the one your feet are planted in, the promises loom larger than the life you had at home. A house of your own, big and clean, your kids, a dog even. A new car that purrs like a kitten as you drive it. Your career back, the schooling flooding back after years of disuse. Water in pipes, and streets that smell like air instead of the shit at home.

You look over, and you don’t imagine what’s coming to you. You creep as you’ve been warned, you steel yourself as you’ve been warned, you hear the sweet sucking of the mud and you are so close, and your foot is poised to go onto the other side, and you would take a breath and savor this moment if it weren’t dangerous and illegal, so you put your foot down al otro lado, and then you swear La Llorona has come to take you away, because there’s no other explanation, your brain beats like your wild heart in your skull, but you keep going, you made it this far and others haven’t, and you take another step and she cries some more, and your ears hurt from her singing, and your ears ring with her song but you try to keep going, slower now, and too late. The border patrol comes from out of nowhere, you think, but they’ve known you were coming for 10 miles now, were hoping that your burst eardrum would be enough. They pile you into their van and drug you, they tell you in espaƱol that they’re going to make you talk, these men who mostly look like you and your brothers, and you think “If only!” but before you could think “I could stay awake!” your brain slurs like the mud you were in before you took that step. They ask you about your name and where you are from, and you tell them more than they want, but they get what they need. You talk as if they were friends or cousins calling from far away, you tell them the good home things in your haze of euphoria. You talk about how you love to comb your lover’s black hair in that far town, you tell them that it is harvest time and they should come to visit you, because they make the best tortillas where you live, it’s the love they put in it you say. You tell them that they should look up Antonio, remember Antonio?, he’d be sure to show them a good time; he can drink, sing, and dance with the best of them, and he never ever gets tired, never. One says, “Shit! We got a talker,” and bemoans that the drugs they g ive aren’t strong enough to shut you up. They tap tap in their computer and out comes what looks like plastic toothpick. They slice your arm and put it in deep as they can in your flesh banks and blood rivers. It is sewn again with care, and they clean it, they are Americans after all, now, and your death on their watch could mean another job if the right person catches them. You cross the border back when you are not awake, you change hands into those of your own gobierno, who read the plastic chip and tie a yellow hospital band around your arm with your hometown and state typed in impartial Times New Roman. You wake, and hope that the Spanish you hear is that of the border, but the pain in your arm, the pus stained cotton ball you pull out your ear, and the hospital band let you know that you won’t be joining those who sing The Yellow Rose of Texas.

If you had been better off, you would have taken the Zen meditation class offered by the coyotes. If you had been smart, you would have pressed the ones with the scars on their arms and the double crossersm who gouge their chips out for a new chance at the dream. If you had been lucky, that might have helped. But they are shipping you home in the special Mexican postal service van for human freight returned to sender. And you will have to pay them back for your return trip. This has been arranged by the governments of your and the otro lado.

They know you’ll try again.

“When the Rio Grande is flowin’, the starry skies are bright,
She walks along the river in the quiet summer night:
I know that she remembers, when we parted long ago,
I promise to return again, and not to leave her so.

She's the sweetest little rosebud that Texas ever knew,
Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew;
You may talk about your Clementine, and sing of Rosalee,
But the yellow rose of Texas is the only girl for me.

Oh now I'm going to find her, for my heart is full of woe,
And we'll sing the songs together, that we sung so long ago
We'll play the banjo gaily, and we'll sing the songs of yore,
And the yellow rose of Texas shall be mine forevermore.”

3 comments:

nichole said...

what a way to control pace.

tight work.

IKE MALVO said...

i dig how the line between both sides is well defined, but the line that differentiates both sides is blurry. the realized Deportation Industrial Complex disturbing shit too. ill.

invisiblist said...

i liked this one.