Fandango's One Word Challenge (FOWC) · fiction · Word of the Day Challenge

In 2525

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Fandango’s FOWC is tree, and the Word of the Day Challenge is create.

The year is 2525. Lorax Industries is the last corporation on the planet that creates trees. The tree-making machines operate on solar energy, but the sun gets dimmer every year. The trees are the only thing that keeps humans alive anymore.

Living in Free Environment Non-Engineered Trees (LIFENETs) have been long extinct. Trees have been genetically engineered to fit into a unit that the person wears on their back when out and about and is then put into its special canister in every home when home that is climate controlled and provides the oxygen – carbon dioxide exchange and vents oxygen into the living quarters of each home.

The rest of the planet’s species have fallen by the wayside. Animals, until recently, were kept in oxygenated zoo pods, but as the need for the oxygen to keep humans alive demanded first consideration, the non-humans were euthanized, immortalized through taxidermy, and installed with recordings of their species, history, and sounds, much like when one visits a museum. Once non-human animals were downsized, the solar panels to their pods were removed and sold to the highest bidder.

Solar panel theft is a capital offense now. So is having more than one child per two-adult household.

No matter how tightly legislated reproductive health is in 2525, there will always be slip-ups, and the population continues to increase. Up until recently Lorax, with its factories across the globe, has been able to meet the demand of one tree – one human. At the last annual conference for Research and Development it was learned that Lorax could not continue meeting the demand after next year, due to the continued dimming of the sun and the continuing increase in the population. The goals of the conference were to establish committees on what measures world leaders would be expected to take to respond.

After 6 months of committee meetings, a general assembly was organized to present conclusions and to make recommendations. Conclusions: 1) anyone over the age of 60 is to be painlessly euthanized within 30 days of their birthday. 2) any female over the age of 25 is to have a complete hysterectomy within 30 days of their birthday. In conjunction with downsizing the human population, solar panel utilization would be shifted to off-planet development of ships and terraforming, where one-third of the tree-making plants across the globe would be downsized. Statistical research indicates that this will alleviate the human-tree ratio dilemma for another 5 years and get humans off planet and terraforming the moon.

24 thoughts on “In 2525

  1. Wow, what a neat (brilliant) piece you have written here, MsJadeLi! I was just talking with my husband about “Soylent Green” (movie, 1973) and how prophetic it seems in some respects; the storyline begins like this: “The year is 2022. New York City has become overpopulated with 40 million people and pollution has caused the temperature to be risen, and all natural resources have been destroyed,…” It gives me hope that its time frame is off (NYC is bad, but will not be that bad in 2022), so hopefully your scenario will remain Science Fiction beyond 2525.

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  2. Thanks Jeremy. BTW I’m just getting started with “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” book of short stories by Murakami. I already read, “The Strange Library”. Both books are surreal and bordering on horror. Creepy!

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  3. You know I don’t think I’ve read that one. For some reason I don’t normally go for short story collections… Please tell me what you think about it afterwards. Might have to go on the list!

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  4. I’m working on finishing Cage Dunn’s book right now but wanted to at least get an idea of what I was getting myself into with this one. What was extremely interesting is the introduction by him! He talks about his method of alternating between novels and short stories to keep himself on his game. He said he felt he suffered during the times he “skipped” the short story alternation. If I’m understanding this correctly, all of the short stories in this book are connected with each other to paint a bigger picture. I could be wrong. Chuck Palahniuk did that to great effect in his book, Haunted. Will let you know.

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