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Imagine living in 2024...

I really miss pencils; as I dare not an item on my check list as I run my hands over the paper-thin, colorful hologram that assaults me with the present hour’s tasks. My Google-6 account has finally come through with a source for the “pseu-me” I have hunted for so long. Now, save a little “paper-work” Babat1de’s day-old demand was all but met; to the very last detail.

A fat male hispanic e-alias in his mid-twenties, with a history of crime, prison tattoos, an artisan-grade educational (maybe a PhD in Engineering); yet rich. Even in the apparent world, the last specification had proven hard to tie in with the others, taking all of thirty minutes to find someone willing to part with such a rare avatar. Luckily, a 12 year old hacker in Sudan had kept one from an e-crash, and now offered it on the black market for 2000 Globelli; twice the cost of all the other items I had to deliver before returning to deep-sleep. An antique 2011 Apple I-pad and a Montblanc Timewalker were timeless pieces, but this “pseu-me”; the best deal I ever closed. It’s amazing what sells these days.

I tap in the sale and wait a millisecond for my account to run up in one currency as the only other trickles away; time. Live-time now rivals Gulfstreams in price, following the 2024 reaching and breaching of the critical atmospheric oxygen stats. Active living is now being rationed to preserve what was left of the human race after two-thirds of Europe and Asia died of asphyxiation. I’m barely two days out of deep-sleep, but my joints are doing much better than the last time. I’d worked through mild arthritis to secure three days of live-time after four months of DS. Even for a woman, I’m blessed to get that long, given that my child-bearing days are over and Waino (my e-country) didn’t think my 30-year-old body exciting enough to raise funds from the millionaires that could afford half a year alive. I smile… I’ll rise above them soon.

Six o’clock, I log on to my pending divorce and lightly hug Se7un’s “pseu-me”. It’s hard remembering what he actually looks like. I watch the sexless arbitrator software red out the terms in a voice more human than the last one’s. Parting with Tu3de had been a little hard and the ex-arbitrator’s droid-like tone hadn’t helped much. It had made me imagine myself at the gates of hell, awaiting my final transition; my divorce from joy. Solace would have helped then, but I need none now. Se7un is a jerk… A rich one I couldn’t have resisted in such hard times. Promises of living three months a year had convinced me I could make it work until I realized all he wanted was my daughter. No, not her body; her mind. See, UNICEF had rated her “genius” at birth, earning her 100% live-time in that she was adjudged one of the few that could undo the woes of humanity. Se7un had only come to hack her off me… end of story.

More than I love my daughter, I know she is my freedom. Should she live up to her ratings, I get to “live” for the rest of my life. And she was close… Her most recent “pings” put the actualization of her time-machine model a few months out. Smiling, I pick my pen to write her, laughing at the irony of the new world. I’d always imagined the inventor of the time machine would read and write… She never writes back… She can’t. –GN!

Photo credit: www.colemanzone.com

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