22 Years to the Future

How do you think you would react if you had slept for twenty-two years? This short story had got it’s inspiration from the classic story Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving. In my story, it has comedically stupid changes in the world.

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I walk through Central Park, as usual, holding my favorite book, Divergent. I find the tall and old willow tree and curl up next to it with my back against the rough bark. The branches sway as the wind blows and I have to hold my pages down so they won’t turn and I begin to read. The cool breeze is soothing, and the rustle of the leaves mimics the ocean. I slowly take in every word; I let every syllable sing to me, for me, this is the best way to enjoy reading. My eyes grow heavy, and feel as if someone had laid a hand over my eyelids. I decide to take a short break; I lay my back on the cool morning grass, and look up into the leaves that sparkle with the morning dew. I see a leaf tilting downward and bounce back up. A water droplet hits the tip of my nose, and I’m out.

Someone is shaking my shoulder and yelling to me, “who is it?” I think.

“Ma’am? Ma’am!” My eyes pop open and the man who shook me awake looks startled. “Oh! Thank goodness! I thought you were dead!” The man says. I look in another direction and see a group of men laughing. What happened here? I’m on a small piece of land with a fallen willow tree, floating in a large body of water. The man who awakened me thrusts his hand out, and I take it. He tries to pull me up, but can’t, “I’m not that heavy, am I?” I think a little upset. “Hey, can you try to stand?” he asks. “Oh, I’m sorry.” I apologize. I stand up, but I can barely move my legs, they feel really stiff. I look down them; my skinny jeans look so baggy. I pull up the hem of them and take a devastating look at my legs. It’s all skin and bones, I LOOK A LIKE SKELETON! I let out a shriek. Two men help me up into a white cushioned chair, one of them presses a button, and I’m flying. My eyes widen in amazement. I hover about 2 feet in the air and look around, I see water where there should be streets, and flying candy colored vehicles. Before I can see more, the chair plummets to the ground, stopping just an inch above it. “Don’t play around, miss.” One of the men says. “You’ll get hurt.”

“So, it seems like you have no muscle or fat on you, miss.” A male voice speaks.  I look up to see my brother, or someone who looks like him. “Victor?” I say. The man looks up from his clipboard, “How do you know who I am?” he asks me. “I’m your sister, I think” I tell him. I’m not positive, but pretty sure that’s him. “Come with me.” He tells me. I follow him about 20 yards away from the others. He takes off his glasses and has a confused expression. “How in the year 2036 would—” I cut him off. “No way it’s 2014!” I say flabbergasted. And that’s when it hit me, such advanced technology, Central Park gone, rivers in the streets. I cover my mouth, “I slept 20 years!” I whisper squeakily. “My sister had gone missing in 2014. What’s your name?” he asks me. “Melissa Santoro,” I answer. His eyes widen, and before I know it, he lifts me up in an embrace and starts laughing.

Victor takes me into his “vlon” which, apparently came from the Latin word for flying, volans. It is pale green and about the length of a sports car, the shape is of a sphere that’s a little flat at the bottom. A holograph appears out of his watch and he presses a button, then the once all green object, has a tinted grey wind shield on the front and back with some windows. It is, truly, the most stunning thing I had ever seen. The vehicle purrs to life, and lifts itself off the ground. It flies over water filled streets alongside other vlons. I look down and see that the buildings are only one story high. Victor lands his vehicle on one of the rooftops of the buildings. I still can’t believe he was so lenient on taking care of me when he found out I was his sister, he hands his keys to a valet parker; it’s nice to see that some things never change. We walk on top of a glowing platform and we get encased in a cube of something transparent, but it’s too strong to be glass. I look outside the walls and we move extremely fast, everything goes by in a blur, yet I’m standing perfectly still. I can’t tell what’s going on, or where the box is going. When it finally stops, we’re in a mall.

“Nice outfit!” A girl in her 20s shouts at me. I look down at my clothes, I’m wearing a baggy Beatles T- shirt and skinny jeans that look more like jeans my dad wears. I look around and see teenagers wearing the same kind of style. “Yeah, they call it lazy day clothes, 10s style, at least you fit in!” my brother laughs. I look inside the stores, and it seems like all they sell are T-shirts, sweat pants, and baggy jeans.

We reach an intersection and are stopped by a laser fence. A clear box holding people rushes behind the fence from the left, then goes up. “The elevators now can go sideways, and up,” Victor tells me. This is truly amazing, the lasers disappear, and we walk to the end of the hall where there are chairs and tables looking out some windows, into the water. “The buildings today go down into the water, instead of into the sky. When 2022 came, all the land was flooded. So now, they build buildings under water.” Victor informs me. “Wow, that’s pretty tragic, but it sure makes for a great view!” I joke. We look out the window at the amazingly clear water and see fish. A friendly dolphin comes my way and wiggles one of its fins in front of me to wave. “The animals must have gotten pretty friendly with humans!” I exclaim, astonished. “Yeah, we work with underwater animals to build these buildings.” Victor tells me. “Amazing!” I say breathlessly. I can barely believe what I’m hearing!

Victor takes me to another building 2 miles away. We go inside through the elevator and step out to find a neighborhood! It looks almost the same as it was in 2014! But, there are some changes, such as, there are no cars on the streets, but bikes instead, oh, yeah, and it’s inside! I look up and find a really high ceiling that is clear so it looks out into the sky. “What do the lower floors’ ceilings look like?” I ask. “It is the same, except theirs is fake.” Victor informs me. I look along the sides of the ceiling and find solar panels. We walk on the sidewalks until we get to a small house. When we walk in, we’re overwhelmed by the delicious smell of a home cooked meal which makes me ravenous. It is very colorful; the chairs are blue like a parrot, and a coffee table that’s green like the leaves of the tree I slept 20 years under. “Mom!” I yell. It’s my mother, 60, yet looking more captivating than she ever has in her life.

“Melissa? Is that you!?” My mother replies. She comes up to hug me and I hear her sobbing. “My, my, my! When I told you to lose some weight, I didn’t me all of it!” she laughs.

“Hey, honey I found what we were missing!” My dad comes running down the stairs. “Oh, sweetheart! We’ve missed you so much!” My father tells me. “Hey! Jerry, I found her first!” My mother tells my dad. “Nooo, I did!” My brother laughs. “You’re welcome!” We all laugh; I had forgotten how clownish my family was. My brother tells them the whole story of what happened. “Darn! You beat my record of a 24 hour nap, girly!” My father exclaims. He starts coughing loudly like it was through a megaphone, and we help him down. My brother whispers into my ear that he’s developed cancer. I guess I’ll spend the rest of my life with my family, where I belong. I need to take care of my parents, and comfort my father. After all the support they’ve given me, I have to become their support, as they did for me.

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