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Future Shock
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TITLE (EDIT)
Future Shock
DESCRIPTION
A young woman gets a glance into the future, can she change her destiny?
[1,035 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Science Fiction
AUTHOR
P J Lawton
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[February 2004]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (9)
An Encounter With Evil (Short Stories) A young man's search for the bizarre gets him a little more than he bargined for. [1,761 words]
Death Walk (Short Stories) A space ship crashes on a lonely planet leaving the crew a long walk to safety. [1,147 words]
Food For Thought (Short Stories) Ever wonder where the food of the future will come from? [973 words]
Night Ride (Short Stories) A tired young man accepts a ride from a mysterious stranger. [1,463 words]
Simon Says: Case Of The Deadly Diamond Dupe (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective reluctantly gets involved in a terrorist plot. [3,813 words]
Simon Says: Case Of Vengeance By The Letter (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective's past comes back to haunt him. [3,972 words]
Simon Says: The Case Of The Singing Lady Blues (Short Stories) A hard-boiled private detective makes a fatal mistake. He can't make it right but he can make those responsible pay. [3,757 words]
The Watchers (Short Stories) A young man has a strange encounter and is orderd to keep quiet, after 50 years he finally decides to tell his tale. [1,874 words] [Science Fiction]
Time Ripper (Short Stories) What if a serial killer could jump through time. Maybe he has! [1,459 words] [Science Fiction]
Future Shock
P J Lawton



She had read that some people possessed a special gift, a gift that let them see things that had not yet happened. Until that day she hadn’t really believed it. Not it her wildest dreams had she thought it could happen to her.
 
It was a normal spring day just like many others until the unimaginable happened. What made this day so unusual? This day for the first time she saw the future.

Her normal morning run was early just after daybreak. Why? There was less Smog and much less congestion. The morning she first glimpsed the future she had altered her standard routine by stopping for a coffee. While waiting she happened to look at the headlines displayed on the newspaper box beside the coffee stand. She was astounded at what she saw. The headline read:

‘Massive Quake Hits SoCal. 9.0 Earthquake Decimates Major Metro Area. Hundreds of Thousands Dead.’

She looked a little more closely and read the date. The paper was dated fours days in the future. What kind of sick gag is this, she thought. Yelling to the counter man she asked if this was his idea of a joke. His reply was that he had no idea what she was talking about. Pulling coins out of her fanny pack she hastily fed the machine and pulled out the SoCal Morning News. Quickly opening it she noted that now the headlines had changed, nothing about a quake. Looking at all the other papers she noted that they all had similar headlines. No earthquake.

Lightheaded she slumped onto a nearby bench. What was going on here, she had seen the headline she was sure of it. Briskly shaking her head to clear her mind she figured it must have just been a figment of her imagination. After a few seconds she grabbed her coffee and headed home.

***

The next morning as usual she scanned the news headlines from her terminal. When she brought up the SoCal Morning News she again she saw large banners, this time they said:

‘Massive Rescue Operation. Epicenter in the Mission District. District Totally Destroyed. Casualties Expected at 95%’

The paper was dated four days in the future.

She was stunned. The mission district was her neighborhood. The photos showed utter complete destruction. Not a building was left standing.

After a bit she realized she had been holding her breath. Vigorously rubbing her eyes she thought, what is wrong with me, am I going nuts? Can I actually predict the future or was it something else? No, somebody somewhere is trying to tell me something.

She had always believed everyone had a guardian angel. Maybe hers was trying to help her now.

At first she was pretty indecisive about what to do. Maybe she should just get out of town for a few days, just to be safe. Of course that wouldn’t be easy. For the past few months travel had been severely restricted. To curb population shift no one was allowed out of the SoCal area without a special pass. But, her old boyfriend Jason did work at the travel bureau. Time to call in a favor.

***

By four o’clock the next afternoon she had reached the SoCal border station. It had taken almost eight hours to drive the 150 kilometers to the border. She now realized why no one in his or her right mind drove anywhere anymore. Hot, bumper-to-bumper, screaming swearing people moving along so slowly that you felt you were standing still. Oh well, she was here now things had to get better.

After an excruciatingly slow departure process and three more travel hours later she reached the small Baja fishing village that Jason had talked so much about. This had been his favorite vacation fishing spot. He had often talked about bringing her along but somehow it had never happened.

For a few Pesos a day she rented a small bungalow right on the beach. God, it was wonderful. Fresh air and very few people. She had forgotten that places like this still existed.

***

The next day’s English language paper at the newsstand had bold headlines.

‘Giant Quakes in SoCal. Thousands Dead.’

Scooping it up she quickly read the story. Yes, the Mission District had been severely hit with massive casualties and damage. Figures said the dead would be at least 100,000.

At first she felt a little sad. All those people were dead. Then realization set in. She was alive! Yes, thousands were dead but she was alive. Joy and happiness were hard to suppress. Quickly she gathered her purchases and light in heart and step headed back to her simple beach sanctuary.

How long could she remain here? Forever if need be. She had cleaned out her bank accounts before leaving and with her considerable savings she could live an uncomplicated life here for as long as she wanted. It was great to be alive. Life was especially good for she had cheated Mister Death.

***

Two weeks later she was taking her evening stroll along the beach when she saw the daily paper lying in the sand. Disappointed that someone would trash such a lovely spot she stooped to pick it up. Her eyes come across a bold headline.

‘Local Tourist Found Murdered. Stabbed and Left to Die on the Beach.’

Oh my, she thought. How terrible, life was to good here to end up that way. Turning the paper over she saw the date. It was dated the next day. A photo of the murdered tourist was printed at the bottom of the page.

Unable to take a breath her eyes bulged as a large grimy hand came from behind and covered her nose and mouth. She uttered a silent scream as her legs buckled. It was over in barely a second. She hardly felt any pain as the lethal razor sharp stiletto easily slid between her ribs and firmly and fatally pierced her heart.

The last thing she saw as her dying eyes started clouding over was her picture in the crumpled up newspaper. As the pages slipped from her weakened fingers a gentle breeze carried them across the hot burning sand into the bright blue water where they slowly washed out to sea.
  
  
End



 
 

 

  


 




  


 

READER'S REVIEWS (2)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.

" The plotline of one man or woman (or in this case a she) being able to see the future has been used hundreds of times in movies and TV shows and while I can't name any off the top of my head, I say this attempt at the genre was pretty lame. The opening paragraph is a nice hook, but then you start assuming the reader becomes skeptical and question happy, i.e. What made this day so unusual? It was the first time she saw the future. You also assume the reader cares why the our mighty heroine "she" runs just after daybreak. Does "she" only run after daybreak to avoid smog and congestion because of her asthma? If so you should've put it in as a detail and then it wouldnt stuck out so much. Give "she" a name. (Names are kinda important ya know). Also "she" finding a newspaper on the beach is unrealistic. I don't think many people would leave a newspaper on a beach. Finally you gave the ending away. It wasn't exactly a Future Shock." -- Steven.
"I have never heard such a thing about seeing the future in newspapers. The Shocking part was that the local tourist was none other than the main character. She was found next day on the beach. This is truely amazing!!!!!!!!" -- Pennyrella, Sterling Hts., MI, USA.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2004 P J Lawton
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
June 2004
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1932
 

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