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. 

12.16.2007

The Man Who Couldn't Look You In The Eye

by Nicolas Papaconstantinou, Southampton, UK of elephantwords.co.uk

"Seriously, though, look," your partner said to you, pulling down bookmarks and selecting the site in question. Within seconds, there was a guy on the screen, mid-twenties guy, an everybloke with a classic cut-and-goatee. Right there, looking out at you both, smiling, eyes flicking to one side.


Nothing much was happening, and you started to ask her "what?" But of course, you knew exactly "what?" - it was all she had been talking about for that past half-hour. Details started flickering into view, almost at the same pace that the everybloke started an accumulation of flickers himself, lids heaving, lips licking... low murmurs bubbling up to his mouth from the general area of his off-camera libido. You saw that his hair was flat against his face, he was hunched oddly, and, of course, it was because he was on his back... the camera, your eyes, looking down at him from the ceiling.


You and your partner, sitting there on the corner of the bed, fixed to the screen but not really, her casting nervous but not really nervous glances at your face every few seconds, trying to get a sense of your reaction. Both of you, stuck in place, for the five minutes and eleven seconds it took the unfamiliar man to reach orgasm.


"Like I said," she said when he was done. "Isn't it strange?"

"Isn't it though?" you replied.

"I mean, that this has been out there all this time, all these people, and we didn't even know?" she clarified.

"Hm," you said, but you weren't really sure that you felt it.


You never really considered yourself kinky, but really, what counts any more? You sense that the strangest thing about your sex drive is that you have to pretend to be turned on by the ever more complicated pornography that your partner nightly finds for you both. You haven't had the heart to tell her that for the last six years of your seven year thing, you've found sex with her to be quite arousing enough without it.


But that video, what it signifies, and the conversation following it, has stuck with you down through the weeks since.


"All those people, just... wanking themselves silly. For no reason other than to do it. As if they needed to prove that they did it."

Maybe back then, you suggested, they felt that they did.

"True. And... this is just the tip of the iceberg. This is from thirty years ago - people are still doing it now!"

Your partner was pretty blown away by the rush of discovery. The two of you watched seven more videos that night. You spent the next day at work red-eyed and vestigially horny. More than that, you were preoccupied with the thought that this was something out there, something that so many people must know about, and yet you'd been oblivious all this time.


Not kinky, no, but one thing you are, you are queer for patterns. And data? Data breaks you.


Since the turn of the century, people laying it all out on camera, slipping under the radar simply because they weren't naked on screen? What, how many, a hundred odd that first year, three hundred the next? And that's before the surface tension broke, between it being on the sub-cultural boundaries and it becoming vogue. Historians talk about the 'net being the beginning of the end for societal attention span, but one thing you notice, you notice patterns, and as far as you're concerned, on the 'net, no trend ever dies. Between the bleeding edge and the place where your grandparents are over it, an idea can last decades.


Your guilty secret quickly became that you were watching the vids sans partner. She wouldn't have minded if she knew, but she might have started to question the fact that they were no longer turning you on. You were becoming obsessed, and you knew it, but you figured, hell, it's supposed to be a valuable quality.


The men in your family, two or three generations back, had what would have been called hereditary mental health issues - OCDs out the arsehole and an attention to detail at the expense of all else that bordered on autism. In the new England of the early century, though, where nobody really knew what they were supposed to do or who they were supposed to be, your smart old grandad gift-wrapped his dysfunctions and became a vocational data-miner for one of the hot-shit new corporations coming out of London-as-was.


This is how it is and how it always has been in this country, as far as you know - one person does it well, they're made employee of the month. Just one of their offspring does it too, suddenly it's a family tradition. The English don't have much to offer the world these days, but we do have an ingrained willingness to become really very good at doing jobs that nobody else wants to do.


So you watch and watch and watch these videos of ordinary people orgasming, you've got them running in the background while you're at work, while you're brushing your teeth, and pretty soon you've seen thousands. You daydream about millions of these noisy, silent, wet, shy, invigorating cumfaces, gasping and crying across the 'net.


Then one day you're in a meeting with your supervisor, this dour old lady, in her fifties. And you realise that you've seen her cum - that she kept sweeping her then-long and flowing red hair out of her eyes as tears rolled down her face, smiling at you the whole time.


Once you notice her, you start to notice them everywhere, the familiar faces. Really, everywhere. But no one mentions anything, like they filmed their own, but never watched anyone elses'.


So now you're the man who can't look people in the eye. And they are starting to find it strange.

4 comments:

georgelondon said...

Loved it.

Captured a lot of what I thought about when I first was pointed to these sites. People. Anywhere. Everywhere. Not like naughty polaroids or home videos that they took in the 80's; one copy, destroyed or locked away. But once uploaded, it's out there...

Nichole said...

nice.

started off kinda unsure, but it picked up, and i felt satisfied with the end.

soon-sama said...

In that scrape-with-your-fingernail-to-reveal kind of way, I found this vignette really amazing. I'm too lazy to speak much upon just what struck me (I had elaborated in an email to Monk), but after the two or three reads it took to ingest and more to digest, I feel most refreshed.

Nicolas Papaconstantinou said...

GeorgeLondon> I know exactly what you're saying, which I guess shouldn't be too surprising, as'n we're kin.

Nichole> Glad you were eventually satisfied. Hope for the sake of your future you didn't film it...

Soon-sama> I'm intrigued as to what that might mean... But glad it hit a spot!