Join Date: May 2005
The year is 2090. I’m sick of surviving on one lousy meal a day. This tiny shack they got me cooped up in is unbearable. It’s been twenty years since I had a decent bed and a decent meal. And then, there’s all of these damn cameras. I can’t even take a dump without the knowledge that someone is watching. The UWO controls everything, every aspect of life. They only allow all the world’s citizenry one meal a day, and that each meal be taken at the appropriate UWO lunch facility. To attempt to hide food means immediate expulsion to a chain gang for hard labor or even death.
There is no escape either. If there was still such a thing as the wilderness, I sure as heck would take my chances out there. I can hunt and catch fish all day long. Grandpa taught me a long time ago how to eat off the land, but there isn’t any land anymore to live off. Every square inch is covered with either concrete or mud. I think I’ve seen five trees in the last ten years. There is literally no place left on Earth where the UWO hasn’t got eyes. Cameras litter the land on poles, from drones, and satellites. Privacy…it seems like an ancient, extinct luxury now. There is no such animal anymore.
They don’t give us enough food to even hold any weight. My frame is that of a POW, and yet I am required to do the work of the state fourteen hours a day. I would pray for help, but I must do that to myself. I mustn’t bow my knee, even in my own living quarters. I wonder how long before they find a way to monitor our very thoughts.
I see a cockroach scurrying on the ground. I wonder if I would get away with gulping it down. This tiny insect crawling on the ground as more freedom than I do in this united world government. No boundaries. No countries, just the United World Organization. They own and control it all.
Dear God, what I wouldn’t do to see Ginger one more time…just for a second. She was the most gorgeous woman I ever had the pleasure of knowing. When I got back from the war, I was going to ask her to marry me. I wonder if she would have said, yes.
Outside, I heard the screams of the rebels as large metal robots created by the UWO dispensed their wrath upon the weary citizenry. The rebels never learn. I can’t believe even in this man-made hell, there are still people that yearn for freedom, even people that have never known it in their lifetimes. They are willing to die for a concept…something they’ve never tasted or felt. They’ve never known what it was like to own your own home to raise a family. They’ve never felt the pride of ownership. They’ve never felt pride of any kind before it could be beat out of them by the UWO and its many robots and androids who infiltrate their ranks looking for any joy, hope, or sense of purpose to squash and kill on the vine.
I should be out there fighting, but I know I’d be dead in less than a week, if I dare tried. I’d rather live and hold on to hope, no matter how small, that someday things will get better. I guess, it’s called faith on one hand and cowardice on the other for my part. Some people would say I’m just insane to hold on to a hope of a better world after all this time, but I remind myself of the story of Job and how long the Children of Israel stayed in slavery to the Egyptians before Moses led them out. I hold these stories in my heart and my mind only. Bibles are contraband as all reading material not printed directly from and approved by the UWO.
To even speak of the past would be instant death or hard labor…harder than what each citizen is required already.
Again, I heard screams. This time of a woman. She was so beautiful even through that messed up hair and face covered with dirt and mud from working in the mines. Apparently, an android she falsely believed to be a human being had caught her speaking of dreams and other human concepts outlawed by the UWO. All things that lead to hope, lead to rebellion.
I watched through my window as the android grabbed her by the arm and jerked her to the muddy ground. I watched as tears flowed from her lovely eyes, and I snapped. Death may come for me this day, but I will not let this stand. I ran outside as fast as my toothpick legs would carry me. I grabbed a shovel used for road work and began to pummel the android as hard as I could. The android smiled demonically and grabbed me by the neck. Its eyes glowed red, preparing to send a laser blast directly into my brain. My life would now be over in seconds.
Behind me I heard the sound of something akin to a door opening, and the roar of a car engine. I hadn’t heard that sound in years. The man driving was wearing a mask. He jumped out of the car as fast as greased lightning and pointed his gun toward the android’s head and pulled the trigger. He blew its head into a million pieces and then he motioned for me to jump into the car.
“Who are you?” I said.
“Don’t you recognize me, Jerry,” this Time-Rider said as he lifted his mask for just a second. “It’s me Martin. We served together on the Eldridge.”
“But, you’re so young.”
“I don't age exceptionally fast, and time, well, that’s sort of relative. Remember the day of Einstein’s big Philadelphia Experiment?”
“I remember. That was my last day as a citizen of the good old US of A.”
“You still are Jerry. How long you been here?” asked the Time-Rider.
“Get in before the robots and the androids come running and we’ll talk about the date and time you arrived.”
“To fix it so you never lived through this hell, to begin with.”
“You can do that?” I asked.
“Yeah, and I wish I could change the course of this whole world’s timeline as a whole just as easy.”
“It’s a long story, Jerry.”
“She comes too.”
“Jerry, she belongs here.”
“She goes, or I stay.”
“Sure, thing Jerry. I don’t usually follow the rules much anyway,” said my old friend Martin.
I got into his car, a car that could literally fly and he took me home. A week later, I couldn’t remember any of it. I guess, he kept his word and erased all of this from my past. I wouldn’t even know it happened at all except that I married the girl from that crazy future world, the one with the tears that drove me to finally act like a man, and she remembers all of it. The paradoxes of time travel and parallel worlds will literally drive you insane if you let it.
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Shadows of the Past