What Does the Future Hold?

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

July 9, 2014

Carrot Ranch Flash FictionNot all writers have a vision for writing futuristic stories. It was a stretch to look forward and write flash that gazed into the future. Some writers looked to current events, others to gadgets and some to humanity. You’ll find humor in the writings this week, also fear and love.

Some writers included futuristic names based on a rumored “Star Wars Name Generator.” Just for fun, you might want to create your own. Thanks to all the writers this week who dared to step into the future for the challenge.

Life As We Know It by Amber Prince

The lands before him were bleak. He stumbled on broken cement as he crossed the broken terrain looking for proof of other life. The smell of rot and decay was already taking over the air. It seemed everything had been demolished in the battle. The burden of every soul lost weighed on his shoulders.

Sides had been chosen, had he chosen wrong?

Then he saw the blast of red in the air. Then blue. White. He urged his body forward, until at last he found them as they raised the tattered flag. Independence was theirs. Finally, freedom on Mars.


Mary’s Choice by Geoff Le Pard

It was 97 years since she had last thought about ending it. The day she had found out about Dad’s affair. Now she was 125, the Max. She should go. Just think it and the Vivapod shuts down.

Mary hated deciding. She’d chosen to be part of the world brain. 2082 when her kidneys failed. ‘You can die or you join Omni.’ They took her body but with Glutox and RealView she didn’t notice; last week it was like she was on Mars for the Independence Day celebrations. If only Penny had chosen. Missing her had always been real.


Interplanetary HigherEd by Larry LaForge

“World War 4. Let’s begin.”

Professor Lasou initiates the session in his Earth History course with a simple twist of his wrist and nod of his head.

The GalaxyEdComW wristband launches the segment on WW4, while his GalaxyEdComG smartglasses connect to all 1.2 million students. The system allows Lasou to monitor student thoughts so he can address questions before they’re even asked.

A few minutes in, Lasou is annoyed by flirtatious activity across the interplanetary network. With a click he purges several thousand students who seem more interested in hooking up than learning about WW4.

Some things never change.

The 100-word version of the above story is posted on larrylaforge100words at Flash Fiction Magazine.


Flash Fiction by Pete

“It’s on sale” Heath said between swigs of his 99 ounce Gut Buster soda. He ogled the 160 inch screen television, advertising aVT60 interface with voice command.

The kids’ vacant faces were glued to the movie on their sunglasses. Aimee eyed the monstrosity. Colorful fireworks burst in glorious splinters of light and she drifted twenty summers to the past, when her father had taken her to the Fourth of July celebration in 2014. They’d watched from the dock, smelling the sulfur in the breeze, oohing with each blast in the sky.

Aimee shook her head. “Let’s find the sunblock.”


Next Chapter by Paula Moyer

Jean looked around at her house. Here on her 65th birthday, her house was ready. Every room.

Now she would be a “puppy raiser.” She would raise an 8-week-old Lab to be a service dog and then “graduate” to the home of a disabled person.

Service dogs had to navigate through the whole house. Jean had ploughed through the junk in every corner to make it safe.

Her wrist-phone whispered: “Time.” She walked out and whispered back: “Lock.” Faced her car and whispered: “Unlock. Start.” Her rechargeable car purred softly.

The pup’s eye’s met hers.

Pearl and Jean. Partners.


Flying for the Bug Express by Charli Mills

Black cliffs rose above crashing waves. Hicbi Butro peered out the window of his Express Bug as he flew over rocky barrens where he’d deliver Bug messages to miners.

Express Bugs were said to resemble ancient insects–red, black spots, domed backs. A story passed down from Before. Once glaciers melted, reforming elsewhere, submerging other Before places, the digital culture was lost. Only Eddic-Keepers had stories of Before.

He wouldn’t care except that the woman he loved, Shusa Washu, was an Eddic-Keeper. She was also mistress to Macco Alsta, owner of this place she said was once Baffin Island.


The Yielding by Jeanne Lombardo

Her yielding appointment fell on Bearers’ day at the Lyceum. Doggit, she thought. Her visit with the offsprung would be short.

Aristo wouldn’t mind; at fourteen, in his apprenticeship now, he flourished under his mentor’s guidance. Still, their meetings were warm. He knew she had borne him.

The door of the earth abode clicked behind her. She heard songbirds in the canopy overhead, and smiled, sadly. The yielding was necessary. The Sangerites had been wise. The earth would be not be overburdened again.

Seeing Aristo made it easier to yield when contraception failed. That and the People’s Gratitude.


Rebel Rebel by Lisa Reiter

“Well? Which do you want? Time’s up..”

Reili may as well have picked one at random. She hadn’t enough credits to enter the Utopiverses. The damage to her arm had reduced her choices to live the remainder of her life as a warning to others – the insights they gave children in order to control their behaviour.

Having disobeyed the ‘restraints’ and injured herself riding that 21st century museum exhibit she was destined to be a lesson to all non-conformists.

Now at the junction of the quantum she only had the dystopiverses to choose from.


Future Flash by Anne Goodwin

The acknowledgements were proving as problematic as the seating plan for a society wedding. Where to put the stalwart friend who’d praised even her notes to the milkman? Whether to credit the tutor whose criticism had set her back a couple of years, but whose name would glorify the blurb? How to include her family who, in all honesty, resented her love affair with her laptop?

Even on the screen, the blank page was menacing. But she had to face it. Her fingers danced across the keyboard: CHAPTER 1. She reached for her wineglass. She’d begin in earnest tomorrow.


FLASH by Irene A Waters

“The only way you can pay ma’am is with your mobile phone.”

“I haven’t got a mobile phone.”

“Your kids’ll have one?”

“I haven’t got any of them either.”

“What about friends ma’am?”

“Dead. They’re all dead.”

“Who helps you then if you ain’t got kids and you ain’t got friends?”

“I help myself.”

“Then you need a mobile phone. No cards since last week and the banks’ll only talk to you on the mobile phone set up for your accounts.”

She left the store with purpose. At last, a use for the length of rope in the garage.


Ready by Norah Colvin

“I’m off now,” she said.

“Have you got everything?” asked Mum.

“Yes Mum.”

“Are you sure you haven’t forgotten anything?”

“I’m sure.”

Mum looked around. There must be something she’d missed.

“What about . . .?”

“No, Mum. I’ve got everything.”

“Okay. If you’re sure.”

“Bye Mum!”


She walked through the door and down the stairs.

Mum watched, anxious. What could she have forgotten?


She turned, puzzled.

Mum leapt down the stairs.


Mum hugged her tightly, whispering softly, “I love you very, very much. Always have and always will.”

“I know. Love you too Mum.”


New challenge posted every Wednesday on Carrot Ranch Communications.  All writers welcome!


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  1. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    They are all super future flashes. I’m very grateful that the interplanetary higher ed is not yet in existence and the punishments not as severe as Lisa’s world and so pleased that love still features in the future.

  2. Lisa Reiter

    Oh dear – am I the most negative?! Perhaps you need a challenge that demands the positive, Charli!

    Some fantastic pieces here Lisa xx

  3. Charli Mills (@Charli_Mills)

    Rebels are necessary, not negative! 🙂 The last time we had a plea for the positive it led to unicorns…

  4. Norah

    What a variety of futures! I’m with you – we need those rebels, otherwise nothing will ever really change – just the landscape! (And I’m not talking environment here.)

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