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. 

1.13.2008

King of the Californias Pt VII

by Monk Eastman of New York City, NY, USA

My subject steps onto the balcony as if his night just segued from a dinner party with foreign dignitaries. He sits, one leg folded delicately over the other, scoops up his abandoned martini, drains the glass in one gulp. Were it not for the pistol dangling from his free hand, there would be no obvious indication he'd survived an assassination attempt forty-three minutes ago, or that the sole survivor of the incident was perched in his hotel suite living room, pinned to the floor by a softknife. His livetattoos scroll by, a Gutenberg Bible worming across his brow, one prayer at a time.

I ask if he is alright.

Mr Goncz chuckles, extracts a vial of tobacco from his black linen jacket, some rolling paper, and reclines in a chair I reckon cost roughly the GDP of Guatemala. "I should be asking you the same thing, eh?"

I assure him of my condition, and ask who is attackers were, if he knows their motives.

"'Motive'," he says, popping the finished cigarette in his mouth, lighting it with a candle from the crystal tabletop. He inhales, brow furrowing. The livetattoos morph into a long line of question marks.

I tell him that if he doesn't know, it's an equally acceptable answer.

"Where you from, homes?" he asks.

I remind him of the dossier my employer forwarded to his press agent.

"I didn't ask about a presskit sent by some piece of shit necktie sitting behind a desk in Chicago. I asked where you're from."

Someone dumps a bucket of ice down my back. Heart rate spikes. Sphincter clenches. A battledrone built somewhere in Guandong swoops by. Someone has painted 'Central Coast Surfboy Nazis Say Hi, Niggers!' on its side. I wonder if whoever painted it thought the insurgents in East Oakland would ever pay that much attention, as the automated raptor dropped decompiler bombs on their nursery schools and churches. I think about the dead and dying just a few miles from here, and wonder if the Palma de Baís's security staff will be disposing of my body the way they disposed of Goncz's would-be assassins. I wonder if they would wake my mother from her voluntarily induced coma to tell her how her son died. Or if anyone would ever know.

I tell him where I'm from.

The answer pastes itself against Oakland's neon skyline, screeching ceramic warbirds flying past, bombing the Deep East End into a flatland of crushed mortar and powdered bone. Artillery thunders, cry of emergency sirens fifty stories below, soldiers clear Jack London Square; sound of bent-hip California thrashing in its bed. Cecilio Goncz, warlord and entrepreneur, still as a baby's corpse, his thousand-dollar-a-gram tobacco wasting away as his cigarette dangles idly from the corner of his mouth. The moon above seems to hold its breath.

"If that's the case," Goncz says slowly, "then you know 'motive' isn't always what does it."

I ask if he thinks the woman in his living room would agree with that sentiment.

"Ay," he growls. "Don't be getting smart with me now. Just because you're—" He stops, flicks some ash, uncrosses his legs. The livetattoos turn to lightning bolts. "Just because we're talking here, like people, doesn't invite you to get all fuckheaded with me, get it? It's a whole world out there, would kill you for something a lot less rational than 'motive.' Things in this world, you can't always put a name to them."

I agree, and tell him so.

He looks at me sideways. "Figured you might." He finishes his cigarette, flicks the butt off the balcony. Stares at me for a moment, then brandishes his pistol. "Am I going to need this around you?"

I ask why he didn't ask that before accepting my interview.

"Because I used to have an assistant. And a chauffeur. And a bodyguard."

And now he doesn't. He has to be his own security. Reminder that the old days of murder and pillage are not so far away, even at the Palma de Baís hotel. And that maybe, just maybe, he's grown tired of them. I tell him he won't need the pistol for me. He smirks, lays it on the table.

"For my peace of mind, then. Or maybe for mi amor in the living room."

When I ask him what he intends to do with his prisoner, his shoulders move a little. It's almost a shrug. Given his time in the bedroom, communicating with the shrinking community of expatriate Los Angeles warlords; I ask if there have been an similar precedents.

"This is the Palma de Baía, homey," he says reproachfully. "They don't call it a 'bedroom'. They call it a 'sleepvault'. Bed's this bean-shaped fucking coffin, filled with warm saline and those acoustic things that shut your brain off. And yeah there's 'precedent', and yeah, I'm going to have a little talk with my new ladyfriend at some point, but you don't need to hear all that. Take your ass downstairs. Go to sleep."

I ask him when he will sleep.

The livetattoos fade. He raises his chin to California's sky, closes his eyes. "There is no sleep. I maybe rest, some time. Maybe later, if the night lets me. But the biggest maybe is maybe you fuck off 'til tomorrow, write up your little write-up. Let old Cecilio do what he does best without those eyes of yours on me."

I make for the door, pause as I look at the woman nailed to the floor.

"She ain't gonna hurt you. Just go."

Look back, and those organic, grafted alligator's teeth leer at me from the darkness. If he has not had me killed in my bed, and I am alive in the morning, I will continue the interview. Do my best to remain objective.

And find out exactly what kind of man my father is.

3 comments:

rumplestiltskin soon said...

Awwww yeeaaahhh

Anonymous said...

I'm hooked, and this story just keeps getting better. Looking forward to the next part. Hope you were never seriously considering shutting this down.

Words from Monk. said...

Anonymous.

Uhm.

Thanks?