Win a Kobo eReader!

Show off your writing skills by participating in our short story contest. We give you the first line -“I woke up in the year 3011…” and you give us a story.

Stories must be 1,000 words or less.

Stories may be submitted in a branch or here in the comments by April 30.

First prize writer will win a Kobo eReader and first place blue ribbon. Two runners up will receive bags of CCPL goodies with a journal.

Your stories become the property of the Clermont County Public Library and will not be returned after the judging.

Need some help or inspiration?

* Books about authorship
* Creative writing
* Short story writing


  • Jessica Tucker says:

    Library thingy

    I woke up in the year 3011 and screamed. Last night,New Year’s of 3010,I went to bed early,figuring it wouldn’t be different than any other year. But,oh how sadly wrong I was. My home was blown to pieces,and the outside world looked sickly and dead. Somehow, my bed survived the wreckage,considering I was in it still. As I was screaming,I realized nobody was around. There wasn’t even any plants,grass,or other buildings. There was just miles…and miles….and miles of dead,powder-like dirt. The sky was a sickly orange. Focusing on  details seemed to ease the panic,so that’s what I did,curled into a ball on my bed. I noted how my bed seemed strangely unharmed,as I was. With a shattering realization,I thought to myself “My family is dead,and there’s no other life around. I’m possibly the only person left in the world.” 

    With that thought, I ran out of my bed,an insane sobbing wreck,determined to prove myself wrong. As I ran, all there was left was dirt and debris. I did notice where other homes used to be, there was rotting people. How did I not die???? Who decided I should live a tortured lonely exsistience? If there was someone who decided this, they must be a sick,sick person. As I was going on my angsty rambling, I heard a little cheeping noise. It appeared to be a bird,possibly a sparrow, but for some unknown reason, the eyes were grostequely large and they appeared to be human eyes. All the bird did was peer at me with those horrible eyes and make a odd peeping noise,as if it was laughing at me. Instead of screaming (I seemed to be doing an excessive amount of that) I just stared blankly at the bird. Eventually,the bird grew tired of me and flew away. However,in the current state of the environment, I had no idea where else would be better. So I did what any person in a post-apoclaypse world would do (not) and I ran after the mutated bird. I had nothing better to do. When I finally caught up to the bird, it seemed to take notice of me and slowed down a tad. It seemed like it was saying look around you, because it started flying lazy circles around me. I looked as the bird seemed to have commanded,and almost burst into tears. The world didn’t seemed to have changed. At all. And I was at least 20 yards away from my survival spot. I just sighed and then muttered to the bird “What am I going to do,you ugly creature?” 

    “Well that wasn’t very nice.” The bird responded in a guttaral voice. At first,I shrieked, unaware of where the actual sound,let alone words, had come from. I looked in the direction of the voice,which happened to be the bird. “Hold on a minute miss.” The bird seemed to have dropped down and transformed into a….human?….that was extremely tall ( At least 6’0),had patchy brown hair,and almost all black eyes. “I have feelings too y’know!” 

    I just stared at him in shock,but really, I didn’t know why I was surprised. It was probably my overactive imagination. “Alright,creature of my brain,tell me why everything is dead. You probably know considering you’re a shapeshifting bird. That’s the way these things go,right?” I spoke. Oh, I knew I sounded crazy,but how about you try being in a destroyed world with only a mutated ….sparrow….. for company. All the hallucination did was visibly sigh and say ” What would you do….if I said I could fix your world? Everything would go back to normal….All you would have to do is die.” 

    • Hannah Erin says:

      Not bad!

    • Jessie Tucker says:

      Why…did I get rated down so bad? :( I can take criticism but…why?

      • Adam says:

        I think you got rated down because you were the first story posted to the contest. Maybe other people who planned to send in stories for the contest thought if they rated you down they would have a better chance to win.

        Keep on writing. Every writers style is different. part of the fun in writing is creating something that no one else can. Everyone’s vision of the future is different!

  • Theresa Ruwe says:

    When I Went into the Future
    I woke up in the year 3011. For a minute, I couldn’t even remember who I was. Suddenly, everything came back in a rush. I remembered opening the book The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. After that, I guess I fainted, because when I woke up, here I was in 3011. I don’t know how I knew it was April 3rd, 3011. “Well!” I thought. “This is really weird. Now how will I get back to 2011?” I felt a moment of panic. Surprisingly though, the panic subsided, and I felt calmer, though a little nervous. “Oh well, I’ll worry about that later.” I said it out loud to convince myself.
    I looked around, and found that I was on a quiet country road with a convenience store several hundred feet away. Trees lined the road. “This is not how I would picture a road in 3011!” I thought. Curious, I jogged over to the store. The grocery store looked similar to most 2011 convenience stores. I noticed a girl sitting behind a rather tall counter, looking at me. She didn’t look too surprised to see a person wearing old-fashioned clothes and braces. In fact, she didn’t look like much surprised her. The girl stood up. My first impression was, “Wow! She’s tall!” She said something, and I shook my head to show I didn’t understand. She nodded and reached behind the counter for something that looked like a hearing aid. She motioned for me to put it on, so I did. I thought, “I don’t need a hearing aid! What I need is a translator machine, or something!” Suddenly, I realized that it was a translator, because when the girl spoke, I understood. “Is that better?” she asked.
    “Wow! Yeah! This is so… amazing. I can’t believe it!” The girl raised an eyebrow at my enthusiasm, and then said, “My name is Tika. How may I help you?”
    “Well, you probably won’t believe this. But… well would you believe me if I said that I’m from the year 2011, and that I have no idea how I got here?”
    “Okay, didn’t think so.”
    “Are you from some Dark Age reenactment? I’m a history buff myself.” She looked curious.
    “I just told you where I’m from!” I was miffed that she had referred to my own time period as a “Dark Age.” Tika looked unconvinced.
    “If you want to buy that UniversalLanguage decoder then you’ll have to pay for it.” I searched my pockets and found a brand-new quarter.
    “Um, do you accept this?” I asked. Tika examined it. She looked shocked.
    “Oh wow! This looks exactly like an authentic Ancient American quarter! Oh my goodness! It is authentic!!! This is in excellent condition! Where did you get this?!”
    “I told you: I’m from the year 2011. This is a coin we use. So will you take it?”
    “I’m going to call my uncle and see what he says. He works at the Ancient History Museum, and I’m sure he would love to see this coin.” The girl went into a back room to call her uncle. I leaned against the counter and waited. About 5 minutes later, a very tall man strode into the shop.
    “Are you the girl Tika was telling me about? Do you really have an authentic Ancient American quarter?!” he asked eagerly.
    “Yes, Uncle Bryce!!! I want you to see this!” Then, turning to me Tika said: “This is my Uncle Bryce. He’ll be able to tell if the coin you have is really authentic or not.”
    Even though I already knew it was authentic, I let them inspect the coin. After intently examining it, Bryce asked me to come with him to the museum. So, I found myself walking between Bryce and Tika to the museum.
    Inside the museum, Bryce finally asked me who I was and why was I dressed like I was from the early 2000’s. I repeated what I had told Tika. Bryce thought for a moment. “My colleagues at the museum have recently uncovered a computer from approximately 2001. Do you think you could show us how to operate it?”
    “Wait. Why can’t you guys figure it out? You’re probably much more advanced than the so-called Dark Ages. This should be simple for you.”
    “No.” Bryce looked embarrassed. “We actually don’t have computers as complicated as the ones from 2001. The huge civil war between the Esminian Empire and the Werlian Dynasty and the Great Technological War of 2869, along with multiple other wars and natural disasters wiped out a lot of our technology. We’ve been coming back with technology, slowly but surely. As you have seen, we do have technology that is better than the early 2000’s. For example, the language decoder. But, our computers are simple still. So, it would help us so much if you could show us how to work the computer.”
    I agreed to do it, and an hour later, I was teaching a crash course on 21st century computers. Tika, Bryce, and the other historians were impressed at how adeptly I used it. They hurriedly scribbled everything I said, even if it wasn’t computer-related. After I had demonstrated everything I knew, they gratefully showed me to a lounge. Tika said, “Sorry I didn’t believe you at first. I mean, it is pretty hard to believe.”
    I said, “That’s okay. No hard feelings.” Tika smiled, relieved.
    “So, what is that book you’re holding?” I looked down at my hands, surprised to find that I was holding The Time Machine. I didn’t remember having it in the computer room. “Oh, this? I’m not sure how it got here.” I absently opened to the first page. ZOOMMMM!
    When I woke up, I was back in the swing in the backyard. My UniversalLanguage decoder was gone. So was my book. I sighed, got up, and went into the house for supper.

  • Caleb Palmer says:

    Was It Really?

    I woke up in the year 3011. I was confused because I saw a calendar that said May 3011 in my room. I thought that maybe my brother did this as one of his usual pranks, but I was wrong this time. I got up and walked out of the room.

    What I saw nearly blew me away! I saw a big, yellow room with a huge group of people standing and staring me. One guy yelled, “We did it. We did it!” Then the scene turned unruly and the large group started shouting and jumping before me.

    I wondered what was happening, so I yelled over the ruckus. The group became silent. One man came up to me. He said, “Aleshia, we are sorry. We are just so excited about what just happened that we couldn’t control ourselves.”

    “Wait, wait,” I said. “How do you know who I am, and am I really in 3011?”

    “Let me introduce myself,” said the man. “I’m Owen, and this group is a team of scientists. Yes, you are on Earth in 3011. We know who you are because we have been closely watching you through these screens.” Owen then led me to a bunch of screens. I saw my family and my home.

    “Why are you watching me and my family?” I asked in horror.

    “We have been trying to bring a human from the past to the present,” Owen calmly stated. “Until now, we have only been able to teleport socks from your drier. We have finally successfully brought a human through time!”

    “Will I be able to go home?” I asked hesitantly.

    “Sure!” Owen said. “We can reverse the process to send you home. Do you want to go now?”

    “Can I see what it’s like in 3011 first?” I asked excitedly.

    “Yes, but do not to tell anyone about what you see or that you were here,” Owen said sternly.

    “Well, let’s go!” I said enthusiastically.

    “Would you like to see the tallest buildings, the re-engineered dinosaurs, or the floating skates first?” Owen said.

    “I guess the skates,” I said.

    “Follow me then,” Owen said.

    We went into a room with orange walls and a lime green ceiling. Some people were playing something similar to jazz music. There were lots of objects that looked like skates that were floating in mid air. I put on a pair and had the most fun I had ever had in my life! I rolled up, and then rolled down, and went in a loop-de-loop in mid air. I never touched the ground. It was so much fun! It was a problem though when I wanted to stop.

    Next I saw the tall buildings. Owen said some were 863 stories tall! I was allowed to go to the top and onto another floor that spun ever so slowly. Little robots that looked like metal beach balls flew all around in the spinning room and served me the most delicious fruits, cheeses, and crackers I had ever had! Owen told me that they had done some engineering on food so that it all tasted better. The food also had more nutrients and vitamins added to it.

    Lastly, I saw the dinosaurs. The dinosaur habitat was very humid and had lots of tall, strange looking trees. I had previously thought that all dinosaurs were ugly, but these dinosaurs had such rich colors and intricate patterns. Owen even let me ride on the backs of a pteranodon and a brachiosaurus! That was even more amazing than skating in the air!

    Sadly my peek into the future was over, and it was time for me to go home. Owen said, “ I’ll miss you. Thank you for being so willing to stay for a day.”

    “Thank you!” I said. “I will never forget this experience!”

    “Go to sleep now,” Owen said. “You need to sleep to be able to go home.”

    With hesitation and regret, I did go to sleep on a bed that was literally made of clouds. The next thing I knew, I woke up in my room. My bed didn’t feel as soft anymore. “Good morning, Aleshia,” my Mom said. “How did you sleep?”

    “I had the most fantastic dream!” I said. “It felt so real.” I knew I wasn’t telling the complete truth, but I didn’t want to break my promise to Owen.

    “You can tell me about it later. I have to fix breakfast,” said Mom.

    “OK, it was a long dream,” I said yawning. “You probably wouldn’t want to hear it all anyway.” I got out of bed, and went to the bathroom. I looked in the mirror and saw something in my hair. I looked closely at it. Was it really what I thought it was? It looked like a pteranodon feather!

  • Donna says:

    I woke up in the year 3011. All was silent as I poked my head from under the covers of my bed. Everything seemed to be the same, yet it was different. I inched myself out of bed, feeling curious and frightened all at once. When my entire body had made it out of my bed, I started to investigate my home. I found that nothing was different.
    “What’s so great about the future if there’s nothing new?” I asked myself. “Where’s all the robots?” Just then, a loud sound scared me halfway to heaven. My bed started to shake and I grabbed onto the wall, thinking that it was going to…that it might…okay, so I had no idea what it was going to do.
    The noise became so loud I thought my eardrums would burst and the bed shook so violently I thought it would break. Suddenly, both the noise and the bed came to a halt. The bed slowly rose off the ground with a whirr and it transformed into a bunk bed. A woman’s voice came out of somewhere in the house, saying, “It it morning already? My, oh my, the nights are getting shorter. Yes, indeed.”
    A figure climbed out of the bottom bed and I grabbed the closest thing to me, which was an … umbrella? (Really? You couldn’t have thought of anything better?) Anyway, the figure climbed out of the bed and there I…sat…with my “weapon.” (Really, be more creative. I can’t defend myself with a stupid umbrella.) It stretched and a yawn filled the house.
    “Who are you?” I called out, pointing the umbrella in the figure’s direction. I looked closer and noticed it was a woman. She turned around and looked as confused as I felt.
    “You don’t remember me?” She asked, grabbing onto the bedpost. “I thought this might happen. My name is Nancy.”
    “What does that stand for?” I asked, looking at her. I noticed she didn’t have a sliver of metal to be seen aside from her necklace.
    “My name?” Nancy’s face twisted into an ugly scowl. I lowered the umbrella and stood up, the fear gone.
    “You…you aren’t a robot?” I stammered.
    “Of course I’m not a robot! What are you, stupid?” She shot off. Her scowl deepened as she hurried past me into the kitchen.
    “I’m sorry! I just thought…you know, 3011, robots…” my voice trailed off as she stared at me. I looked at her: around 5 foot 5, red hair, one green and one blue eye, and probably around 28.
    “Is this what the world has come to?” She scoffed, obviously put off. “Honestly!”
    “Okay, let’s start over.” I offered, holding my left hand out. “My name is Tammie. It’s nice to meet you. Nancy, right?”
    “Has been; always will be.” She still looked a little angry and I decided to change the subject.
    “So why are you here?” I asked, walking over to the countertop and placing my hands on its surface.
    “Your memory really is shot, isn’t it?” she asked. Her expression turned from anger to worry as she began pacing. “This is bad. This is really bad.”
    “What are you talking about? What’s going on?” I asked, leaning closer to Nancy as she continued pacing.
    “You’re not who you think you are,” she said softly.
    “What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked, taking my hands off the counter and placing them on my hips. When she didn’t answer, I repeated myself a little louder.
    “I mean what I say. You’re not who you think you are,” she said, her tone and expression turning angry again. She walked past me and turned to head for the laundry room. I jogged to keep up with her and said, “You never really answered my question.”
    “Which one?”
    “Why are you here?”
    “I’m the maid,” she answered, grabbing a wicker basket from the top of the dryer.
    “I have a maid? Sweet!” I said, pumping my fist into the air.
    “Um, yeah. Everyone has a maid, unless they enjoy working. I’m starting to rethink my decision,” Nancy said, dumping the dirty laundry into the basket.
    “You act like I should know that already,” I said in my defense.
    “You really should.”
    “Is this what you were saying earlier? That I’m not who I think I am?” she didn’t answer as she squeezed past me with the laundry. “Why won’t you tell me?”
    “If you don’t know what’s going on now, you won’t understand. Just let me do my job.”
    “Fine,” I told her. “If you won’t tell me, I’ll find out for myself.”
    “Can’t,” she said in a cheery sing-song voice.
    “Why not? Are you going to kill me?”
    “No, I have the car keys. Plus, you have no idea where you’re going.”
    “I’m perfectly capable of asking for directions,” I said as I headed for the door.
    “You’re going to get lost.”
    “No I’m not.”
    “You don’t know what you’re doing,” she told me when I was halfway out the door.
    “Enough with the riddles. Tell me what’s going on.” I stepped back inside and shut the door, leaning against it as I waited.
    “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Nancy sighed and I went over to the sofa, sitting with my legs crossed. “Okay, your name isn’t Tammie. It’s Chauntel. You hired me because we’re friends. Everybody is half robotic, tuned to be as humanlike as possible. We walk, eat, sleep, and do all the things you do. You’re different than all of us now.”
    “What should I do?”
    “Wake up,” Nancy answered, grasping my shoulders.
    “What are you talking about?” I asked, looking at her.
    “I said, wake up.” She grasped my shoulders and shook me. Everything went black and I opened my eyes to find my mother staring at me.
    “Wake up. You’ll be late.”
    ‘Well, the future’s going to have to wait,’ I thought as I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. ‘I guess I’ll never know.’

  • Erica Switzer says:

    I woke up in the year 3011 to a world deserted and almost nonexistent of life. That took place almost a month ago and almost nothing has changed. The only life I came across happened to be two very odd individuals, named Walt Disney and Ted Williams.
    You know, the same people everyone thought were stupid for cryogenically freezing themselves, until a cure for cancer and a way to reverse heart failure were found. It turns out that they weren’t stupid at all, and cures for their health problems were found a few years ago and they were reanimated. A process that occurred during their reanimation produced an immunization to the virus that later killed every living thing.
    This virus, named Stearia, was being created for viral warfare, but somehow escaped from the lab that it was being contained in. Stearia caused rapid swelling of the blood vessels and constricted the airways until the patient died of suffocation. The virus spread like mad and the previously conceived antidote didn’t work like expected. This led to where I am now, a giant world full of everything they left behind and wonder at how I arrived.
    The last thing I remember is returning home from school and going upstairs, that was the year 2011. After that everything is black, until I woke up here, a thousand years in the future. No clues to how I arrived here are present. Walt and Ted were no help and were just as clueless to my arrival, as me. I overheard them speaking about some sort of time machine located in Carbomer. Maybe if I could get to Carbomer, wherever that is, I could return home and forget this ever happened.
    Four days ago, I sneaked into what appeared to be their version of a gas station, when Walt and Ted were still sleeping. I was in search of a map to Carbomer, which would hopefully be my ticket home. I found a GTD instead, or Global Transporting Device and a set of easy to follow directions. The only problem is I needed what appeared to be a microchip-shaped battery. I searched the station without success, but decided to continue my search in the store across the street the next time I could sneak away. It took four days, until I finally got my opportunity.
    The store was named Lanolin All-purpose. When it said “all-purpose” it was serious, there had to have been at least two hundred aisles, full of everything imaginable. I didn’t know where to begin or what half the things in the store were. I started searching for this “battery” in what appeared to be the hardware section without success. After searching for nearly two hours, I was on my way out of the store when I happened to look over and see the battery I had been looking for right next to some drink in a weird snake shaped bottle.
    Within minutes, after powering up the GTD, I proceeded with the directions, which I found to be rather odd. First, I typed in my desired location and then said the location five times aloud. I had to spin in a circle counter-clockwise once and then proceeded to attach the device to my wrist with the band on the side. With a whoosh of air, I went from the Lanolin All- purpose to a deserted street I had never seen before. I was in Carbomer. I then faced the problem of locating the time machine, that is, if one even existed.
    I searched the city, until utter hopelessness washed over me.
    “Where is that time machine? With our luck, that kid has already found it. The machine can only be used once. What are we going to do if he has already found it?”
    Is that who I thought it was?
    I looked around the corner and saw Walt and Ted. Quickly, I darted out of sight; I had better hurry up and find the time machine before they did. Quickly and quietly I made my way to some of the buildings I hadn’t searched yet, hopefully the time machine was over there. After searching through six buildings, I arrived at the last building in that section, that I hadn’t already searched. First, I searched the bottom floor which was mysteriously empty.
    What was this building used for?
    Half way up the stalled escalator, I heard Walt and Ted again. I reached the top of the stairs and found Walt and Ted gathered around the only object in the whole building. I couldn’t believe it.
    Was that the time machine? How could they have found it before me? I thought to myself.
    “Who’s there? Show yourself!” I came out from around the corner and faced Ted and Walt.
    “You know how to use this machine don’t you, kid?” Ted asked sternly.
    “No, honestly I don’t.”
    “Sure you do. As soon, as we leave in search of the directions you’ll be gone. Get over here and show us how to use the machine or else,” Walt shot back, revealing a knife.
    “Okay, you’re right, just put the knife away,” I gasped. What was I going to do? I had no idea how the machine worked, but they weren’t going to believe me.
    I made my way towards the machine. Up close, the machine revealed almost 30 buttons, of various colors and shapes. After a few minutes hesitation, I decided to go with the green button. As soon as the button was pushed, a white smoke started to fill the room. That was the last thing I saw before I passed out. I woke up to what felt like rain on my face.
    Where am I? Wait, can this be 2011? Is this really the field outside my house? It is.
    How I got home, I will never know; how I arrived in 3011 I will never know. All I know is that I’m finally home, and that’s all that matters to me.

  • Valerie Link says:

    Love Called

    I woke up in the year 3011.

    “CALL 911!”

    A bright light shone all around me. What had happened?


    I yelled something, but my voice echoed back to me.


    I kept hearing a name called. Was it mine? I tried to stand up, but my head hurt.


    There was a warm liquid on my head. I felt someone pushing me back down. I had to get up, though. Something inside kept telling me to find out what had happened.


    I couldn’t move. Memories of people came crawling into my mind. Who were they? I closed my eyes tightly.


    Someone called me again. It was a different voice. It was the voice of a girl. I opened my eyes and looked around. It was still white all around me. My eyes caught the glimpse of a girl spinning around. She beckoned for me to come and join her. I wanted to, but I couldn’t move. She came closer.

    “I’m Lina.” She said. Her voice was like that of an angel.

    “Where am I?” I asked.

    “The future. Come and join me. We are celebrating your arrival.”

    I wanted to. I wanted to so badly, but something inside me told me not to go.


    Someone needed me. She was crying and I needed to comfort her. I had to get back. My eyes fluttered open. I looked around. I was in a hospital room. There was a girl holding my hand. She was crying. I squeezed her hand gently. She looked up at me.



  • Audrey link says:

    The Future of a Dream

    “I woke up in the year 3011,” began Mr. Ridley, smiling at the wide eyes his son Tommy gave him. Tommy, cowering beneath his covers, listened to his father tell him a bedtime story. But this story was unlike any he had ever heard. This story was about the dream Mr. Ridley had–a dream about the future.
    “How’d you get there?” asked Tommy, his childish mind unable to comprehend the idea of traveling to the future.
    Mr. Ridley’s eyes twinkled at his son as he leaned closer to whisper, “Magic.”
    Tommy shivered; but it was a delightfully-scared kind of shiver. “Then what happened?” he breathed.
    “I was captured by a band of evil men and brought into the Forest of Death.”
    “The Forest of Death,” echoed Tommy. “How did you survive that?”
    Mr. Ridley smiled. “I made a friend among my captors who believed my story. He helped me escape. After that, I ran to the nearest city.”
    “Were there robots?” asked Tommy, interrupting with yet another question.
    Laughing, Mr. Ridley rumpled his son’s hair. “Yes, Tommy, there were. They were everywhere. Everyone had a robot.”
    “Wow,” said Tommy in awe. “Did you have one?”
    “Not yet,” his father answered. “But the next day, the commander of the city counsel assigned to me a personal robot who took me on a tour of the city.”
    “Could your robot talk?” Another question from Tommy.
    “Why, of course! All robots were programmed to communicate, one way or another.”
    Mr. Ridley waited for more questions from his son, but none came. So he continued. “As we walked along, I saw hovering automobiles everywhere. They flew past me at great speeds.
    “The buildings were mostly made of steel or metal, with windows everywhere, up and down the sides. The buildings were all different shapes and sizes. I even saw one home shaped as a triangle!”
    Tommy giggled. “What else?” he asked.
    Mr. Ridley’s face contorted into a mysterious look. “You know how I study the planets and the galaxies to find anything unusual?”
    Tommy nodded. He remembered his dad talking about that stuff at the dinner table most every night.
    “Well,” continued Mr. Ridley. “While we were talking, the commander mentioned the planet I think I have discovered. He said years ago NASA found life on that planet, and soon after, people on Earth even began flying there for vacations!”
    “Really?” asked Tommy, his eyes even wider than they were previously. He sighed. “I want to go there.” He paused, then added, “I want to go to the future with you.”
    “Of course you do,” Mr. Ridley laughed, tweaking Tommy’s nose, “but don’t forget that this was just a dream.
    “While we were walking, all the sudden people began scurrying everywhere! They were all screaming and yelling in panic. I didn’t know what was going on until my robot told me that there was an alien invasion.”
    “No way,” whispered Tommy. He had only read books about things like that. And now his dad was actually in the midst of it! “What did you do?” he asked.
    “The only thing I could do,” replied his father. “I ran back to the commander and asked him what exactly was happening. He told me a planet in the outer galaxy contained a different race of humans that were evil and hostile. NASA sighted these aliens coming to Earth, apparently with a mind to take it over. After a brief consultation with the members of the board, the commander told everyone to take cover or run for their lives! I didn’t know what I was to do, but my scientific curiosity got the best of me; so I went out to meet those aliens and perhaps meet my doom…
    “I stood in the middle of an open field, waiting for the intruders to land. At last in the distance I sighted them arriving, one by one, each riding a personal shuttle down to earth.
    “The captain came toward me. I was shaking like a leaf. He assured me he had no intention of invading Earth. He explained that their planet was losing all the oxygen they needed to survive, and Earth was the only place where they could find it.
    “He stated that years and years ago, a young man from Earth had discovered that their planet could sustain life. His people had lived there ever since.
    “We talked to the commander, and he graciously agreed to let them stay with us on Earth. Later that night, the captain informed me that a scientist named Ridley had discovered their planet almost a thousand years ago. He explained that Ridley was their very first captain and the best. There has never been another like him since.”
    Tommy beamed up at his dad. “It was you, wasn’t it?”
    “I don’t know,” said Mr. Ridley, shrugging mysteriously. He leaned forward. “Maybe it was you.” He touched his son’s chin gently. “You might be the person to discover that planet.”
    Laughing, Tommy laid his head back on his pillow. “So you actually do go there?” He asked. “You actually do go to the year 3011?”
    “In my dreams,” replied his father.
    “Can I?”
    “Perhaps someday.” Mr. Ridley said, kissing his son goodnight. “But for now, it’s time to go to sleep.” He turned out the lights and shut the door.
    Tommy snuggled beneath the covers. He wanted to go to the future and find out the things his dad discovered. “When I grow up,” he whispered,” I want to be just like Dad.” He yawned one last time and fell asleep.
    Then he woke up. He woke up in the year 3011.

  • Amanda Harbottle says:

    The Year 3011

    I woke up in the year 3011. Everything was very different. Nothing looked the same, from all the new technology, to the world in general. I was so confused. I had no idea why I woke up a thousand years in the future. Was I sent here for a reason? Why did this happen to me? I didn’t want to be here, but I looked around and saw how interesting everything was. I couldn’t believe the new things around me. The year 3011 sure was different.
    First, the new technology was amazing. Things I never even thought of were there! Some things were very useful while others were just for luxury. The useful things included food that automatically appears on a plate when a person thinks of it, this erased world hunger, and animated pets for people who are allergic so that everyone can own one and know the joy of it. There were plenty of wonderful things for luxury also. People had portable swimming pools that open up by pressing a button so they can have a pool anytime and anywhere, they could travel to any place because they had teleportation, and they played sports by flying around on jet packs instead of running. Watching them play soccer on jet packs sure was great!
    Then, the society had a lot of wonderful things that are very good for the environment. These technologies saved them from using things we use now that are so hurtful. For instance, there was paper made out of old pop cans that automatically recycles itself after it’s not needed anymore, solar powered computers, cell phones that run on wind, and flying cars that run on grass. These new inventions were very useful and there was no pollution because everything was green. There were no fossil fuels in use there. They had created an all green society.
    Finally, basic things that we are all use to today are different. For one, three of the continents are part of the ocean now. All that’s left is North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Everyone lives on these three continents, though it is not crowded still because there is plenty of room on these three continents. Also, we all have gills so we can breathe air or water. We adapted these when the water took over the continents. This way, some people can live in the water, while others live on land. Animals evolved too. They learned how to talk to us. I learned later that dogs were the first to learn how to do this and taught the other animals. This was very convenient when I needed directions. I just asked a blue bird and he told me right away. When I first saw people talking to animals, I was a little afraid though. These new things that are added into their lives are amazing.
    After exploring their whole world, I couldn’t believe that I was able to have such a wonderful experience. I felt so blessed that I was able to see all of this. I wished I could stay though I knew that pretty soon I would have to go back. I didn’t want to have to go back to the old ways of 2011. A thousand years sure did make a difference! The new things that 3011 had are so convenient. I wished that 2011 could have these new and awesome features.
    At the end of the day, I knew I had to go to bed even though I didn’t want to. I was so afraid that I would go back to 2011 and never be able to come back. I tried staying up all night, but eventually, I fell asleep watching TV. When I finally woke up, I was back to the year 2011. My mom was standing over me waking me up. I told her about what had happened. She didn’t believe me and told me it was all a dream. I knew it wasn’t true. After a few days though, I started to doubt it myself. I just couldn’t get it out of my mind though. Then, one night, I went to bed and when I woke up I was back in 3011 again! I asked the people that lived there and they said that I could go back whenever I wanted as long as I thought about it before bed. I was ecstatic! I couldn’t believe that I would be able to live with my loving family and friends and still be able to go to this great place whenever I wanted! I was so glad that I could have this experience over and over again.

  • Alexa Eynon says:

    Ah! I hope it’s not too late even though it’s the deadline day!

    Jinmay 317

    The first thing I remembered when I came to was that they sky was dark and cold. The frigid air made my joints and hinges ache. I stood, kneading my arms carefully. I looked around. My eyes blinked slowly, clearing rust away, causing it to flutter to the sandy ground beneath my feet. My internal processors spun around, trying to calculate where I was, the GPS whirring loudly. It took a moment, but the date blinked green into my vision: May 19th, 3011.

    It didn’t make sense to my artificial brain, so it started to buzz angrily at me, like I was the one to blame. Of course, being made as a construction AI’s brain, it didn’t process dates well; just floor plans and blueprints. I grumbled out a series of numbers, causing my brain to stop hissing at me, and grid lines to appear on the landscape around me.

    The lines grew and shrank as I inspected every object I could see. It seemed as though I’d landed in a desert somewhere in the north; although, north may or may not be accurate this far back in the past.

    A radar blip sounded quietly, and the grid lines focused on one spot where a humanlike figure rested. It was slumped over and unmoving. My programming compelled me to rush over and assess the human, though I felt a spark of fear. As my tremulous hand clasped around the human’s shoulders, I noticed that it, or he rather, wasn’t breathing. Rapidly, the grid lines skated over the human’s face, causing his life stats to hover in the corner of my eye:
    Gender: Male
    Age: Unknown
    Date of Birth: Unknown
    Home: Unknown
    Status: Expired, reason unknown

    I dropped my hand swiftly, taking a step back and forcing my programming to stop telling me to report a human expiration. I knew there was no one to report it to. Another blip sounded, a box appearing where the human’s stats were. It said to leave the body untouched and move on, but for some reason, I couldn’t. Instead, acting more human than AI, I laid the body down, crossing his icy arm across his chest. I muttered a quick series of numbers that would equate to a human prayer, and then departed.

    I didn’t know where to go or what to do but the only thing that bothered me was the unfortunate human. He obviously didn’t expire naturally, and he was fairly young. I wondered if he was forced to expire by another human. It wasn’t unheard of back in the years before the Monarchy took control. Once the Monarchy came, the human world lacked violence and hate. Or at least, that’s what my human owner told me.

    I was deep in thought when I came upon an immense cluster of lights that made up a human city. It was a ways off, but after booting up the program that allowed me to work faster than normal, I arrived in what was probably the center of the city. The square I stood in had lights and signs and all the makings of civilization, but it was lacking life. There was no movement of any kind.

    It was quiet and cold. There was frost gripping tightly to the windows of various buildings, and I had the urge to swipe my finger across it. I did, and before I could stop myself, my hand wiped a gash of frost away. I gasped at my reflection. Instead of my usual, almost perfect human face, I saw gashes slashed into my artificial skin. My hair was falling out in clumps, the long auburn strands gliding to the ground. I pressed hesitant fingers to the skin, willing it to mend with my medicinal programming. It did, and my humanly feminine face looked as ethereal as the day I was manufactured.

    My unnatural eyes and pupils darted around frantically when I heard a horrible sound. I turned around slowly noticing an old machina walker in the glass’ reflection. It was a dark copper and armed with two sprayers that spewed a sickly blue liquid around. When it faced my face, I let my camouflage programming take over. Its sensors wouldn’t be able to pick me out now.

    I watched as it stomped around, spraying everything in sight with the blue liquid. It seemed to cling to certain things and release an odor that reminded me of the liquid humans used to preserve the bodies of the expired.
    Suddenly, my sensors latched on to movement. It was a lone human dressed in raggedy clothing. He seems to be running from the machina walker, though I didn’t comprehend why. My grid lines caught his stats, and they were the same as the expired human’s. I was going to go out to greet him, but he’d stopped to catch his breath. Before I could move, the machina walker stomped in front of the human and sprayed him with liquid. His mouth opened in horror and I watched his skin slowly disintegrate.

    The smell of the liquid wafted over to me as the liquid turned into a reddish foam, entirely enveloping the human. In a matter of seconds, the foam evaporated and the human was gone. I couldn’t access his stats. The machina walker continued on in another direction.

    If I had a heart, it would’ve been racing as fast as a hoverjet. My brain, however, was screaming at me to leave and report this crime to an authority that didn’t exist. Before the machina walker could come back, I fled, my backup thrusters in my legs kicking in. I didn’t stop until I found a desert oasis. The dying trees there dropped into a polluted pond. The sun was hidden behind plumes of clouds and smoke from even more ancient cities from the time when countries segregated the world.

    I sat near the pond, eyes wide and mind whirring loudly. I made an annoyed and frustrated sound. I needed to organize my thoughts. I knew that I was in 3011 and that someone or something was hunting humans down. I knew that I was the only AI for miles, and I knew that I couldn’t reveal to anyone that I was anything but human.
    I was so deep my reverie that I didn’t notice a tiny human youngling crawl towards me; her face caked with mud and green dress tattered and torn.

    “Miss?” her small voice inquired.

    I glanced around for a moment then settled my gaze on her hair. It was fire red.

    “Excuse me, miss?” she asked again.

    “Yes?” My voice sounded human. That was good.

    She grinned, revealing white teeth with a gap in the front. “Hi.” She giggled.

    Not really having experience with younglings, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just forced a smile, trying to clear my mind of the atrocity I’d just seen.

    “My daddy is out there.” She pointed to the desert. I followed her finger and realized that she was pointing at the place where I’d found the dead man. A plan flashed through me and I flinched.

    “My name’s Hay Lin! What’s yours miss?” Her green eyes were unsettlingly calm and understanding because she didn’t ask about the flinch. I answered her in a robotic tone.

    “Droid 317.”

    Hay Lin’s head tilted and she scrunched her face up. “No, that’s not a good name, silly! I’m going to call you,” she paused, “Jinmay! That was my granny’s name before the machina took her away.”

    I almost started to argue, but the little youngling looked so content to be able to say the name again, I kept quiet. Jinmay wasn’t a bad name after all. I could learn to respond to it.

    After a long pause, Hay Lin asked, “You saw my daddy, didn’t you?” She didn’t wait for a response, but after reading my facial expression, water started to leak from the corner of her emerald eyes. She inhaled sharply and said nothing.

    I’d thought that I kept my expression perfectly clear of emotion, but I guess all the time spent around humans lessened my AI abilities. Not sure how to comfort Hay Lin was causing a dull ache throb in my mind. Before I could do anything, she flung her little body at me, the water causing my shirt to become damp.

    “Ah, it’s okay!” I said hurriedly, even though it was somewhat a lie.

    Hay Lin nodded and pulled away from me, her hand wiping mucus and water away from her face. “I have to be strong for daddy! He said that I’m the key! I’m the key to freeing humans from the machina king!” She looked outwards to the desert horizon. “And you can be my guardian.”

    I stared at her, speechless and unable to disobey. Troublesome programming.

    Hay Lin stood up. “Come on, Jinmay! We have to go the Capitol. Daddy said the rebellion would start there.” She began to walk eastwards, and I didn’t have any other choice but to follow her.

    But maybe the compulsion to follow her was an inkling of free will rather than programming. There wasn’t any way to find out aside from following this little youngling to the ends of the Earth in a great effort to free humankind from the tight and tyrannical grip of the machina king.

  • Emily E says:

    I woke up in the year 3011, crazy huh? I went to sleep one night and woke up in a whole different world the next day! We all knew robots would come sooner or later and here they are, waking me up for school! At first, I was dreaming that I was spinning in a portal of some kind. I was getting so dizzy that I almost threw up! When I woke, I was greeted by a large metal robot facing me with a blank expression.
    “Rise and shine. It is time for school.” It said in monotone. I glanced around to see my room exactly as I left it. I nodded my head and got out of bed walking straight to the door. My staircase was replaced with a cylinder tube that was my height. I stepped inside of it and it traveled down until it stopped at my kitchen. The normally empty furniture was replaced with a conveyor belt and hustling, bustling robots, frantically cleaning every speck of dust that floated onto something.
    “We have prepared your favorite, Master.” A rusted robot told me, pointing his spatula “hand” towards a plate of chocolate chip pancakes. I nodded my head and went to take my breakfast. Once finished with my pancakes, I went back up the chute to change into school clothes. As I reached my closet door, a large scanner popped out and scanned me, beeping twice before shooting out a pair of dark blue pants and a checkered shirt. I shrugged all of the odd things that had just happened as part of a crazy dream.
    I put on my clothes and went down the chute to the front door. The usual door was replaced with sliding glass and instead of a sidewalk outside, it was yet another conveyor belt. I stepped on it and it took me to the end of the street where a hover bus was waiting. I got on and noticed that there were robot children along with human children. I rubbed my eyes a few times before the bus driver pointed to an empty seat. I sat down and looked at the robot beside me.
    “Hello. I am L.J.639. Who are you?”
    I looked around a few times to see if this thing was actually talking to me. After about a minute, I answered, “I’m Caden.” The robot, or L.J.639, nodded its head and then turned to face the window.
    Again, I shrugged off the situation. When we arrived at the school, I noticed it looked much smaller. I walked slowly behind the other students and went to the front desk to find my class. Yet again, another robot greeted me in the same gesture as the others.
    “May I help you sir?” I nodded my head and asked for my class assignment. The robot shoved a yellow folder to me and pointed me down the hall. I muttered a “thanks” and shuffled down the hallway. When I opened the folder, it said, ‘Room 0013’. I continued walking until I found the room number and then stepped inside. Everyone was sitting in crooked chairs with a pair of goggles hanging from the ceiling facing them. I took an empty seat in the back of the class. All of a sudden, a hologram appeared on the blackboard.
    “You may now put your learning goggles on. We will begin our math lesson now,” the woman’s voice said.
    I reached up and pulled the goggles on to my face. I felt a bit stupid, but didn’t care because the entire class was doing the same thing. When the goggles were securely on my face, a multitude of numbers began floating around and I learned about the Pythagorean Theorem, quadratic formulas, and so much more. This continued throughout the day with history class, science class, reading, and more.
    The school day ended and I was still in a daze. Never before had I managed to learn so much about the solar system, Shakespeare, and even World War I! I got back on my hover bus and sat with L.J.639. When it was my stop, I waved a goodbye and ran onto the conveyor belt home. I walked through my sliding glass door and called out to my parents, but there was no answer. Instead, a floating television screen zoomed into the doorway and my parent’s faces were on the screen.
    “Did you have fun at school honey?” My mother asked me.
    I nodded my head and asked, “Where exactly are you guys?”
    My father laughed and answered, “Pluto, son. You should remember by now. We’ve been here for months. We are currently teaching underprivileged Martians how to read. We’ll be home in less than a month. Oh how we wish you could have come! They are making so much progress. I’m sorry but our time on here is limited and we must leave now. We’ll call you tomorrow night. Goodbye son.”
    “Goodbye mom! Bye dad!” I waved and then went back up to my room.
    With such an eventful day in this new year, I didn’t know how I was going to stay up much longer. I quickly succumbed to slumber. When I woke up, I was still in my room, but my calendar read, ‘2011’. I sighed and ran to my desk and wrote down my short but fun adventure and brought it in to school.
    My teacher was rather impressed at my ‘wild imagination’ he said. I laughed and told him it was the most realistic dream that I had ever had and that I wished everyone there could have seen it. He then had us all write a story about what we thought the world would be like in 3011. Some of the stories were pure genius and spot on to what I had seen in my dream. The future looked like a bright and educational place and I couldn’t wait to visit it again in my dreams.

  • Arlee Conn says:

    “I woke up in the year 3011,” said Jonathan. He was a handsome young man with blond hair and deep brown eyes that if you angered him they would turn as black as night. He looked the part of a bad teenager, but he wasn’t bad. He was, in fact, the complete opposite. He was one who got good grades and helped old ladies cross the street, but if he was mad he had a complete personality change. Natalie made him stay calm for the most part.

    “I remember when that happened,” said Natalie, “I was there too, remember?” Natalie was the prettiest girl in school, but she was also the shyest. She had long black hair that covered her face; she had brilliant blue eyes and a kind smile. She looked like a model and that made other girls jealous so they avoided her normally.

    “Tell us, Tell us!” chanted a group of children; JoJo, Katherine, and KC. Jojo was a blond-haired, hyperactive five year old, Katherine was a black haired girl who loved to dance, and KC was a brown haired tomboy who loved wrestling. The trio loved to hang out with Jonathan and Natalie because of Jonathan’s wild stories and Natalie’s sweet personality.

    “I don’t know,” said Jonathan playfully, “Do you think we should, Nat?”

    Natalie said with a wink, “Hmmm…. I guess we should Jonny—but what do you say kids?” She giggled.

    “Pleaseee,” wined Jojo and Katherine at the same time.

    “What about you KC? Don’t you want to hear my story?” asked Jonathan sorrowfully.

    KC groaned out a, “Fine…..please?” She looked very unhappy about having to ask.

    Jonathan jumped up, saying dramatically, “Are you three ready to hear a story that will make you laugh, cry, and keep you on the edge of your se— Ouch!” He was hit in the leg by Natalie, “Hey!!”
    Natalie grabbed the back Jonathan’s shirt and pulled him down. “Alright don’t get their hopes up. Its not that good.” She said impatiently, “Now calm down.”
    “Oh, Fine!!” He said crossly. His eyes started turning black.
    “Cool it,” Natalie said calmly, “Anyway we promised the kids a story”
    “Oh right,” He said, “well….I woke up in the year 3011….
    When I opened my eyes I saw what looked like giant Frisbees! They were UFOs! I stood up just to jump back down again; I almost got hit by one!”

    “Hello Human,” said Jonathan like a robot, “What are you doing on the ground?”
    The boy started making robotic noises and started to dance the robot.

    “Johnny? What are you doing?” asked Natalie.

    Jonathan started to blush, “Oops, I—uh—got in the moment…” Natalie started to giggle again.

    “Jonn,” wined Katherine, “What happened next??”
    “Did the robot take you to its maker?” asked Jojo.
    KC asked, “Was its creator an Alien?”
    Natalie, wanting to add to the series of questions by the kids, “Did the alien take your brain and exchange it with a dog’s??”
    Jonathan looked at Natalie with a twinkle in his eye. Then he started barking and howling, and then tackled her to the ground.
    “Ruff,” Jonathan said with a snicker.
    “Jonny!” giggled Natalie, “get off me! And quit eating so many dog treats you weigh a ton!”
    Jonathan pretended to lick her and then got up. “Okay, back to my story,
    I asked the robot where was I – on some sort of highway? No wonder I almost got hit 10 times……in a row.”
    Natalie laughed, “In a row? You never told me that part”
    “There was a reason why I didn’t,” Stated Jonathan, “So the robot took me to its domain. It was a butler robot programmed to work for its master. Who I had the unlucky task of meeting; It was a giant, green, smelly alien!”
    “Knew it,” Smirked KC.
    “Oh! I know this part!” Natalie looked overly excited, “It’s where I come in!!” She smiled a huge grin.
    “Any more interruptions?” asked Jonathan rather irritably, “No? Let me continue;
    As I was sitting across a coffee table from the alien the butler robot in with Nat. She ran into my arms saying “I love you so much Jonn—”Nat are you blushing? You are!! ” Jonathan started laughing just to have Natalie’s empty lunch sack thrown into his mouth. “Yuck…Plastic!” he exclaimed.
    “That part did not happen!!”
    “But you wish it did!!”
    “Do not!!” Natalie blushed even more.
    “Apparently you do,” Laughed Jonathan. He glanced over at Natalie. She looked ready to kill. “I’m going to continue the story now…
    As I said before, the butler robot came in with Nat, saying “I found another one, master.” Nat walked to the couch where I was sitting and sat next to me.”
    Natalie cut in, “it was weird sitting across from that thing, but then it started talking. Its voice sounded like someone speaking and trying to drink at the same time. It said, “So I found the two time walkers. You two high jacked my time machine! So where is it, chillllldreennnn?” It hissed at the end.”
    “So I yelled at him,” Jonathan started again, ““We don’t know what you’re talking about! We just want to go home, back to 2011!” Then he hissed-slash-growled and started to chase us! I grabbed Nat’s hand and ran; we ran and ran through door ways and passages until we hit a dead end. I turned hoping to see another door way but unfortunately, nothing. I did see the Alien heading straight for us. And then –” Jonathan paused for dramatic effect
    “Jonnnaathhhaaannnn,” Jonathan’s mom yelled, “Time for dinner!!”
    “Alright! Bye guys! Bye Natalie,” Jonathan winked, “I guess this story has to be continued later.” He laughed and ran towards his house.
    The trio of children asked, “Natalie!! What happened next?? Tell us….please?”
    “You have to wait, I don’t tell it half as well as Jonny,” She said thinking of what happened with a loving smile, thinking to herself Thank you for saving me, Jonny.

  • Becca Trate says:

    I woke up in the year 3011. As my eyes fluttered open on the1st of the year, I took a deep breath, waiting for the excitement of anticipated adventure to set in. But as I lay there, I found none came. Confused by my lack of thrill, I gently pulled the duvet from around me; I let it slip to the floor. It was my last day on the space station Earth 2, and though neatness was required, I felt bold enough to disregard the rules. I would only remain onboard of the shuttle for a few more hours.

    Though promptness was recommenced and greatly appreciated, I chose to shower and risk the repercussions. “Steam shower, if you don’t mind.” I said, speaking to unseen operator of the amenities of my room. A small panel silently moved away from wall, a red code scanner mounted on it. I sighed, but pulled the sleeve of nightdress up to reveal the bar code tattooed on my forearm. I placed my identification code against it, and after a small click! steam instantly began to slip from the door on the far side of the room.

    I removed my nightdress and released my chestnut hair from it’s tightly wound hold and let the curled tresses flow down my back before stepping in. As the shower’s built-in scrublets worked meticulously to cleanse each inch of my skin, my mind clouded like the mist on the mirrors, and I was soon lost in thought. ‘Another mission into outer galaxies, starting today.’ I thought, blinking the water out my light blue eyes. ‘Meaning another six and half months searching for other pultrium resources all across the inter-galactic systems. Honestly, I can’t understand why we spend so much time searching for something that’s in such an abundance. I almost don’t want to go.’

    My thoughts surprised even myself. Wanting was not smiled upon on Earth 2. Things were done to better the shuttle and all of its occupants, not to better one’s own life. Finding the most needed element for the space shuttle could only be beneficial for everyone, and incredibly important. I shook my head, as if the movement could rid myself of the thoughts. “Thank you. That was a lovely shower.” I spoke to the jets, which immediately silenced themselves, only to let the whir of fans start their own cacophony, drying my frame almost instantly.

    I exited the room and glanced at the clock, which read 10:09. My lift off was scheduled for noon, meaning I had plenty of time to dress and reach my release rocket before takeoff checks was scheduled. I pulled my hair into a regulation style bun and stepped into the metallic flame resistant, bio-sanitary, oxygen reproducing safety suit, which bared the emblem of Earth 2 on the breast pocket, as well as my name. I bent over to reach for helmet, when my reflection struck me.

    The adventure I was about to partake in was lively, dangerous and fascinating. The joy and anxiety I should have felt, however, just was not there. My expression, my stance, and even the suit I was wearing all seemed repressed and unstimulated. I was suddenly overcome with fatigue, and slowly sank into the soft cushioning of the bed. ‘Do I really need to go collect pultrium again?’ I placed my chin in my hand, pondering this. ‘I collect millions of liters every six months. We already have enough fuel to easily power the ship for the next 100 years.’ I sat like this for almost 30 minutes, before making my way to my desk and taking a seat. Grabbing a book, I flipped through the pages and pages of information on pultrium. All of it’s uses, places where it was easily located and how to properly collect and handle the element where written in black and white in front of me. Shaking my head, I turned the pages, unable to look at my fate. I flipped until I reached a section that I hadn’t seen or heard of before. The pictures seemed foreign, and the words held no meaning. I stare, reading and re-reading them, excitement building in my chest. The suspense I hadn’t felt before slowing took hold of me, and I grew more and more anticipated until a noise made me jump and I turned. Standing in my doorway was John, co-captain to all pultruim expeditions.

    “Alexandria, we have flight checks.” He said with a smile, extending his hand to me from his spot in the doorway.

    I looked at him, and then back at the book, then returned my eyes to his frame. “John, why? Why do we have to go collect pultrium every four months? Isn’t there something better, or more important for us to do? We’ve been trained for over nine years, to go do the most important work on the ship, and yet that have collecting something that is such a profusion of?”

    He looked at me strangely. “Alexandria, we do it for the greater good of the ship.”

    “But, according to our records, we have collected over 90 billion quarts of pultrium!” I exclaimed, jumping from my seat. “We don’t need any more, at least not for 100 years! Why can’t we do anything more… adventurous? Or important?”

    “What’s more adventurous than what we already do?” He looked confused, and slowing stepped into my room. “Alexandria, have you found something?”

    I nodded, and showed him my plan.

    30 minutes later, I walked with confidence into the launch pad. I smiled as I climbed into the deportation ship, and checked all the proper gauges, just as I should have.

    “Remember, you’re going to the Tazarian Quadrant.” The flight assistant told me. I nodded and got in.

    Then, the robotic voice spoke. “Hello, commander and co-pilot. Please state a location.”

    I glanced at John, and gave him a tight smile.

    “Earth. 3RD planet from the central star in the Milky Way galaxy.” With a flash, we were gone.

    • Becca Trate says:

      Hi, I just sent in my submission. It’s the story above. However, the time stamp on it is incorrect. It says I hadn’t turned it in until 2:56 on May 1st, but I actually turn it in at 10:56 PM on April 30, which is within the deadline. I just wanted to make sure that this doesn’t effect my chances in any way, since I didn’t actually go over the deadline.

  • Amanda Brown says:

    I woke up in the year 3011. At least, that was the date on the newspaper that floated by on a huff of humid, dusty wind. It was also the desired date that I’d given my watch.
    Little dust devils twisted this way and that, scattering litter and debris as they went. They had a plentiful pile of trash to distribute; where I stood was nothing more than a giant garbage heap. The crumbling remains of what used to be buildings lay corroding everywhere. The same thing went for the rusty, steel-framed cars that sat in neat rows along the ruins of each building. There was a layer of junk slathered on every available surface. The sickly sweet smell of decay filled the air, made worse by the baking waves of heat.
    The sun’s heat was unbearable. It was like the Sahara, but drier, hotter, and more dangerous. After just the few minutes I’d spent in it, already I had what could be classified as sunburn. If I stayed in the open much longer my skin would begin to either blister or peal. I needed to find shelter.
    Striding through the ruins, I scoured every possible hiding place, but the midday sun lay directly overhead. It forbade all but the smallest shadows, which were impossible for me to make use of. Still I searched, knowing that I would need to lower my body temperature if I was going to complete my project successfully. Finally, thankfully, I discovered a sheet of metal propped against a degenerating stone wall. I crawled between them, careful not to tough either.
    Even though it was only a few degrees cooler behind the metal, the difference was heavenly. Minutes later, after a deep, soothing breath, I emerged and got down to business.
    More newspapers tumbled by, boasting headlines such as, “Ozone Layer Continues To Deteriorate” and “Are You Ready To Go Green Now?” I collected all of the newspaper and magazine articles I found, stuffing them into the knapsack that rested on my shoulder. That was the routine I followed: rest, collect, repeat. It went on for hours, until my arms and face felt scalded, and what I could see of my body was a vivid, cherry red.
    I was coming to the end of my mission, about to take a final break in the lone whole structure that I’d seen, when I heard a loud crack, and felt the ground under my left foot give way, and then hold once more. I looked down and lifted my foot. With a gasp of shock I leapt back. What I’d stepped on was a human skull. The entire body was still in one piece, except the head, which was now a puzzle of broken bone, thanks to me. I knelt down beside the skeleton, and ran my hand sympathetically down the sun-bleached ribs.
    “Beautiful,” I remarked dryly.
    I’d known that there were skeletons here, hidden beneath the surface of the sand, but this was the first one I’d actually seen.
    With a sigh, I lifted myself off my knees, and entered the framework. The place was utterly dark, so I sat next to the door and used the outside light to help organize the information I’d gathered, by date if possible. I was nearly done, about to set my watch, when I heard movement in the corner, a rustling of fabric. There was no time to react to it before a strong arm snaked its way around my waist. Other pairs of hands followed suit, wrapping themselves around my wrists and ankles. I struggled, flailing wildly in my attempt to escape. Whenever I made contact I was rewarded with either curses or howls of pain, reaffirming that these were humans and not some type of futuristic monster.
    In the end, my battle was lost. My hands and feet were secured with lengths of rope, and I was led down a flight of stairs, with a blade pressed to my throat. There was dark passage after dark passage, shadowy tunnel after shadowy tunnel, until finally we emerged in a lamp lit chamber, and I was roughly thrown to the floor.
    “Who are you?” asked a large, dark-haired man.
    “Name’s Courtney” I replied.
    “Courtney who?” snapped a wild eyed red-head. She sported a bloody nose and a black eye from our scuffle, so I wasn’t surprised by her hostility toward me. The blade also rested in her hand.
    I smiled wickedly. “What’s a poisonous viper like you going to do with my last name?”
    My only answer was a kiss on the cheekbone from her knife.
    “Scott,” I hissed.
    “Well then, Courtney Scott, you know what happens now.” Her voice had become pleasant and amused.
    I raised one brow.
    She smiled in absolute pleasure. “We eat you.”
    My jaw dropped, and the woman laughed. “Surely you’ve noticed the scarcity of food through your wanderings today. We don’t let an opportunity like this pass.” The other ten in the room nodded their agreement.
    With a smirk of satisfaction she ordered, “Michael, Thomas untie her. Use this.” She held out the knife. A pair of brawny blondes stepped forward to do as she asked. “Don’t waste anything that could be useful,” and with that she and the others filed out of the room.
    They untied my feet first, and then my hands. When the one was almost done with my hands I sent out a silent prayer, and then lashed back, ramming my elbow into his stomach. He doubled over in pain, and the other raced to see if he was all right.
    I gripped my watch and swiftly typed in “2211”, and in a flash I was back on my college campus. I ran to class, and when I came in my professor abruptly stopped his lecture, shocked.
    “W…w…what happened to you, Miss Scott? And where is you future histories project?”
    I grinned, sending lances of pain through my sunburned face. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, sir.”

  • Jessica Tucker says:

    When will we find the results?

  • Brooke says:

    How will we know who won? Will it say on the blog?
    : D

  • Valerie says:

    Who won?

    • Laura Laura says:

      Due to the overwhelming number of responses we received, we’re giving the judges some extra time to read all of the submissions. Once they’re done reading, I’ll post the winner here on June 11. And we’ll contact the winner directly as well.

  • Amanda Brown says:

    Who won?

  • Morgan says:

    Oooh, amazing contest. Great to evoke creativity from your readers. Now I sure wish I know how to write — my imagination is pretty limited. Btw, who won?

    • Laura Laura says:

      Hi Morgan,
      Theresa’s story won the contest. A couple of our branches host writing groups each month; you could always drop by and see if inspiration strikes. Or you might take a look at our Creative Writing page; it offers resources, tips, and suggestions about creative writing.

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