Honorable Mention

Life in 2039

Written by: David Harbin

It’s 7:30 in the morning, and my alarm clock is ringing. As I turn it off, I realize the alarm clock is talking to me, saying good morning.  

“David, I see you have been tossing in your sleep. Didn’t you sleep well last night?”

Looking at the alarm clock, I see it’s checking my pulse and heart rate.

“David, all your vitals look great today. Would you like to go over your appointments with me or wait for a later time?”

I was so surprised at my strange wake-up call I hurried downstairs to the kitchen for some strong coffee. As I approach the counter, the coffee pot asks if I want a strong brew today or a light brew? I shout out and say strong brew and watch as the coffee pot starts pouring me a cup of coffee. What is happening to me?

Grabbing the coffee, I walk into the living room to watch television. Maybe mindless TV viewing will help me figure out what is going on with my head. Suddenly the TV speaks and announces an incoming call from my mother. Would I like to take the call? I responded and said yes, and then I was talking and saw my mother on the TV screen as we started chatting. I had all these questions to ask her, but I was afraid to ask.

I was amazed by all these gadgets I was talking with around my house. But did I dare tell my mother? I thought it would be best if I didn’t tell her. Instead, we had our usual daily conversation. I told her goodbye; I loved her, and I would see her later, and then hung up. The TV immediately activated its talking mode.

“Would you like your usual morning news station, or would you like to watch something else?”

I replied to the regular station would be fine. As I sat watching my TV, a picture popped up on the screen.

“Your brother Ray is approaching. He will be at your door in two minutes.”

Another voice announced, “Your brother is at the door. Should I let him in or tell him to wait a few minutes?”

 “Let him in,” I replied.

The front door unlocked, and my brother came in and sat next to me on the couch. We started talking about his son Bill who was ten and still at home.  

Ray asked, “Are you going to Bill’s graduation tonight?”

I was now questioning my presence and if this was real or a dream, so I told my brother yes, I’m going tonight.

“Do you want me to pick you up tonight? It seems like you didn’t charge your car overnight?”

 “What do you mean?”

“I didn’t see your cord plugged into it, so I assumed you forgot again.”

I laughed and admitted I had forgotten.

Ray said, “Okay, I’ll pick you up tonight at seven.”

I replied I would be ready. I watched him leave, and to my surprise, I thought I saw a spaceship, but it was only Ray’s car moving up in the air and getting ready to fly away.

I had to sit down and try to reconfigure my senses regarding what was real and what wasn’t real. The TV came back on and asked me what I wanted for breakfast. Would I like the usual?

I answered the usual please, and five minutes later, the TV said breakfast was at the front door. I opened the door, and a drone was there waiting for me to grab my food. I grabbed it, shut the door, and proceeded to eat. Surprisingly everything was hot and good.

After I finished breakfast, I sat back and wondered if I asked the TV a question would it respond? I decided to try it.

“TV, what year is it?”

 The TV responded, “The year is twenty thirty-nine.”

What? I was amazed at the years that had gone by without knowing it. Curious to check out the new technology, I went outside to view all the changes. Walking towards the sidewalk, I saw signs floating in the air, cars flying and stopping at their houses. I saw drones delivering food and buses floating in the air. Robots were walking dogs and kids, looking like they came off the Jetsons cartoon show. How had this happened?

The TV said it was time for my one-hour meditation with me at home. Would I like the shower, the tree, or the elevator today? As I sat relaxing, a robot came out of the basement and handed me my morning pills and a glass of water.

Everything in the future was just like I expected, with people getting waited on hand and foot and everyday tasks handled by some robot. Machines had taken over for people.

All I was thinking was it sure would be nice if I could find something to take me back to the good, old days

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