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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.

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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. 

9.03.2007

Dry River

by zesi, Atlanta, GA, USA

The Rio Grande, the border of Texas and Mexico

The name Trevor Reyes, Border Control glints off his badge in the unbearable sun, unsympathetic to all human life, regardless of lado. His green-blue eyes are the only safe water in sight; he has a Camelback IV keeping him hydrated. Otherwise, he’d be dead and stinking like the viejos he picks up, lucky enough to get through all the border shit, but run dry and ragged like so many of the creeks here. They flooded the Rio with all the water they could find around here; hired a biologist, who, in his supreme rational mind, decided that to make the territory more dangerous and less livable, they needed a river of waste to stay flowing, and the land around to die. It’s only Texas, after all. It’s only Mexico, tambien. Care has been carefully excised from his scientific method, the concerns of human life beyond that of a man beyond humanity. Green should grow in pockets.

Trevor’s badge is what keeps him and the others from being picked up here. Ex-coyotes, gangstas, gangsters, petty thieves, drug runners, and tejanos sin viviendas, como Trevor, whose town has turned into a gashed land, the land cracked deep enough to lose a baby or dog in, hemorrhaging its residents, who would pray at their altars if they still believed in the strength of altars, of gods. “Dios ya se fue,” said Trevor’s mother, and she, too, fue a otro lugar, al norte. At one time when she was little, she’d say, she could cross the border, see her other family, the home language ringing loud in her ears, the home food siting warm in her belly, the home people everywhere, to touch and to watch be. With the coming of la fuerza at the border, their voices became echoes, and with the land dead now, the home language just faintly sounded, and only between her two ears. She sent him a letter, Hijo, she said, I stay in Oklahoma, Hijo, she said, why are you still there?, Hijo, she said, why not move here with me? Hijo, she did not say in ink, but in the faint hum between her ears, don’t you remember me, the music I come from?

Trevor sits, sighs, no dead bodies today, their remains smell likes God’s farts, powerful, lingering. Reconnaissance, maybe they have moved further down the river. This is his favorite, to walk in an abandoned place, the work running in his subconscious, his alert mind contemplating dinner, a new shirt for his date, sex with air conditioning. They can run, but they can’t hide, his commander said and smiled, his gold tooth the same color as his sweating skin. He does not think of his mother here, he does not think of Mexico. He thinks of the border, of himself simultaneously as a cowboy, a vigilante of justice, a gatekeeper. He has never been to Mexico-Mexico, it does not exist at the border’s jointly-controlled no man’s land. He could never go because he could get stuck there, his passport stolen or his body held for ransom. Still, when he was little and the wind was right, the smell of Mexico would go over the river and reach him. But that his been some time now. And even with his mother’s food and her Mexinglish, he knew that there was not the same as here. He has convinced himself of this country being his patria, this Texas, this United States, his for the taking. Like his mother had, like los blancos that had crossed so long ago. While the taste of promised freedom had become bitter, acrid in his mother’s mouth, he ate it all, like a plate of meat and three. Consumed by the hunger, he digested without tasting. Maybe he could marry Brittany, Mexican in that 1/16th of her that is her last name, blonde, perfect, a could-be willing wife, a supplicant to his ambition. Their kids could have his eyes, her skin and pedigree, his smarts. Could live where they want, do what they want, take care of Mommy and Daddy when they get old.


His eyes search for the border language, directional signs, rosaries, shoes, worthless money of their home saying in its silence, come this way, you can get there this way. When he finds it, he pockets it. He searches for the satellite jammers, homemade from computer parts and stolen telecommunication parts, that the smarter ones plant to give themselves some lead time before they meet La Llorona™, the anti-illegal security system. He marks all that he finds on his map, beaming his data back to satellite, the data they’ve been collecting for twenty five years, an ever shifting collection of dots around the Rio’s expanse, moving like the desert this has now become. They joke on both lados and call it the Little Sahara.

He sits down for his lunch, unpacks some shade from his backpack. His alert bracelet sounds. Shit, he mumbles with mustarded bologna crumbs falling out his mouth. Illegals fucking up my lunch.

1 comment:

mindful said...

i'm happy you're writing more, and this story is one of the reasons why...