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. 

12.02.2008

Caja Caliente

by Castro Oakland

Baltimore, MD

April 14th, 2052, 11:22am

The man bellowed while wobbling on the edge of the curb at Broadway and Orleans. ““Big shiny ass buildings. I can’t see shit, I ‘ont even know where the damn liquor store at…they sell Schlitz in there?” he asked, pointing at one of the gleaming facades of the University Eastside Medical Village.

The soaring, demure curvature of girders and glass imparted an air of confidence in the cutting edge healing modalities contained therein, at least to the visionaries responsible for its creation. In reality, it was too big for healing, better imagined for profit, the intended function undermined by the overbearing scale of the campus. In the midst of it all was 1825 E. Monument Street. On the University’s map, the building is identified as Building 77, but in the streets of East Baltimore it’s known simply as Caja Caliente…the Hot Box.

Stella Koffla-Herrera sat in the bowels of the Hot Box in a mild state of panic. Her caseload was light today but Roger’s words from their morning conversation rang in her ears. “Stell, I don’t need you to love them, I need you to fix them, and document it…starting with the Favors file.” She tapped her fingers, waiting for the soothing effect of her Camophedrine™ to kick in. The intersection in her moral map where her disdain for corporate dictates crossed her need to engage in community service was jammed with unresolved decisions. Tameika Favors had become, as Roger so blithely stated, “a wrinkle to be ironed out”. The University’s intention to declare its 25-year Neighborhood Rejuvenation project a success was in its final stages, and cases like Tameika’s could make or break the quantitative value of the reports it planned to release.

“Ronny.” He looked up from his phone and frowned. “You look like you just finished a triathlon, you okay?” Tameika chuckled and thought, hardly. Her contractions were still about 15 minutes apart, but when they arrived, they felt like they were carrying four suitcases. Her Nana had suggested walking to the store to get bread, and even gave her cash, but promptly went mute when Tameika asked her to walk with her. The only thing she wanted to do now was purchase minutes for her phone so she could call Sedrick. “Ronny, I need some minutes and…” she gripped the counter and gasped as a contraction arrived. “And I need to sit down for a bit.” ‘Sit down?” “Yes, dammit, sit down.” “What are you having a baby or something?” Tameika scowled in response. Rujrajnee eyed her pensively as he opened the cashier area and slid a chair out. “How many minutes?” “400” she replied as she managed to slide an ancient bill under the slot. Rujrajnee sighed; this was too much excitement for him- Meeka looked as if she may have the baby right here. “Meeka, do you want me to call somebody for you?” Tameika sat up quickly. “Hell no! That’s why I bought those minutes, I’ve got some folks to call.” Rujrajnee could see the fear through her glare; he had seen his business shrink with his customers being ‘relocated’. The fact she used legacy bills to purchase things indicated to him that if she was pregnant, this baby was a risk.

September 18th, 2051, 9:45am

Stella pulled up to the curb and glanced at the screen on her workbook. The id-bot had scanned and found that Tameika’s id was present at the address, 418 N. Luzerne Avenue. Since the inception of the National ID law over 40 years ago, it has been illegal to be outside your home without your id, thus making the id-bot utility, initially patented as a lost pet finder, as the de facto people locator for government and corporate agencies. Stella rubbed her temple; she had not seen Tameika in two months, and Tameika had not called until yesterday. Tameika left a succinct vmail, “Stella, seriously, fuck you …you know why.” Blip. In the University database, Stella saw that Tameika’s public assistance funds were frozen, and the family file was marked ‘relocation needed’ because two of Tameika’s cousins, Troy and JoMarr, listed 418 Luzerne as their primary residence. Both had returned home from prison and were identified as carriers of Bay Disease. Now she was standing on the stoop of the Favor’s row home, listening as Google, the family’s Rottweiler, barked and pawed the inside of the front door.

LaTreese Favors was incredulous. She looked back at the security channel on her TV and couldn’t believe that the girl had the gall to be standing on her stoop. Her vmail was inundated with messages from the Research Annex’s relocation assistance office. “These motherfuckers think it’s a done deal,” she seethed as she ambled towards the door. LaTreese grabbed Google by the collar and shooed him down the basement stairs. She then called out to Dell, her brother. “Dell, make sure Meek stays upstairs; I gotta deal with the door.” LaTreese Favor’s smile when she opened the door was disarming. “Well, Ms. Stella, the school sent you here to help us poor darkies pack?” The smile turned cold. “Mrs. Favors, I-I-I-uh, know this is awkward, but I’m really here to help.” LaTreese held up her finger, “And how is that? With moving vouchers?” Stella’s mind was blank as the older woman stepped onto the stoop. “Let me tell you something, my family has OWNED this house for 113 years. Since June 5th, 1938, to be exact. Six generations of Favors have lived here, and another six will, whether you, the University, or whoever like it or not.” “I don’t want you to have to leave, Mrs. Favors,” Stella interjected. “You may not but who are you? You are the priest to their slave trader, coming up in here talking about helping, but where were you when the Moody’s were ‘relocated’? The Sanders family? Morelands? LaTreese held her ear in front of Stella’s face for effect. “You talk about working hard to help, but when families needed help, where were you?” She poked Stella, “You people have the nerve to walk around talking about ‘Not in my backyard’, while snatching our homes out from under us. Well guess what bitch, not in my yard, house, wherever. I don’t want to see you around here anymore, because all you’ve done is brought trouble.” The door hadn’t even slammed before Stella’s tears fell. LaTreese reopened the door momentarily to shout, “What kind of people freeze someone’s card when they buying vitamins?”


April 14th, 2052, 12:15pm

Sedrick got off of the bus and was crossing the street to the store when he saw the car. It was familiar, but he couldn’t pull into his mind who it was until he saw the driver. It was that woman from the University that used to always be around Tameika. It couldn’t be a coincidence that she was posted up on the same block. “Ooh, that’s why I can’t stay around here’, these University people are a trip,” he mused. He wanted to get to the store, scoop Meek, and get a hack over to Titi Mirabella’s in Park Heights. Meek could have the baby at Titi’s and then they could figure out how to deal with things from there. Sedrick stopped to call the hack. “Damn,” he said as the vmail came up again. “You are Sedrick, right?” he hadn’t seen her walk up. “Yeah, I know who you are too, and if I were you, I’d get right back in the car.” “I know Tameika and her family are angry, but the only way I can help is if you let me, because there are other people I work with who don’t care about her like I do.” Stella cursed herself on the inside for being so close to tears. Sedrick glared and walked into the store, closing the door behind him.

Tameika was relieved. Sedrick grabbed the mop Tameika was holding and looked at Rujrajnee, “What the hell is this?” “My water broke.” As he wiped the floor, the door opened again. Tameika’s legs went limp. “Sedrick we need to leave now.” Stella steeled herself, “Tameika, I know you don’t want to hurt your family, but you can’t just have this child in the street…” “In the street?” Tameika yelled. “So you want me to go to your hospital, so they can stick me full of drugs, take my baby and send me and my family out to the county? Sedrick…” Sedrick put the mop to the side and called the hack, “Where are you man? Cool, we are at Lakewood and Fayette. Yeah that one.” Sedrick gently took Tameika by the waist with one hand and grabbed her backpack with the other. “You want to help?” he said to Stella, “then get the door.” Stella pushed the door open, her eyes meeting Tameika’s as she walked out. “I wish you would let me help.” Tameika turned to her just before she got into the cab. “You just did.” With that the door shut and the car sped away.

1 comment:

Zion3Lion said...

good story!