'In 2030'

3 May 2014

What follows is a 200-word piece I originally wrote for a writing competition, describing the world in the year 2030. This is a dramatisation, of course. It’s a creative description of an imagined future — in no way does it reflect what I actually think will happen.

In fact, many of the views expressed are in direct contrast to my own opinions. The reason I wrote it in this way is because the competition was directing applications into a ‘how great is the future?’ frame of mind. Therefore, I came from the exact opposite angle. This is a one-off event, I don’t foresee posting any more fiction on here.

What’s interesting is that, in fifteen years, advancements in technology far outstrip the change effected through life’s natural upgrade processes. This is a double-edged sword. The political pressures of economic downturn distracted worldwide resources away from the (in hindsight, vital) attitudinal reworking. Although some have benefited from new gadgets and new gizmos, in the aggregate everyone has suffered.

The smog surrounding the planet is suffocating, festering new diseases and churning up old ones. I remember when no one knew what the word ‘miasma’ meant. Coupled with the tropic climates and frequent storms, ‘daily life’ is hardly correct terminology nowadays — more like daily inhabitance.

Parallel innovations in healthcare compensate for this, somewhat. The low buzzing of the state-approved air filter is almost unnoticeable. In bad weather, everyone must wear special contact lenses and apply creams to prevent the flying bugs and mites from irritating the skin.

Weirdly, my children will grow up with this environment as the norm. They won’t know what they missed out on; the blue sky, the sharply-cut grass. Their only awareness of the Antarctic ice caps will be through pictures they see on history websites. They will call home what I call a wasteland.