Author : Neil Shurley

“Will you just cool it about the jet pack?”

It was all I could do not to shout at him. Barry’s daily tirade against the state of the world left me feeling nothing but tired. Ever since New Year’s Day he’d go off for at least ten minutes every morning about the alleged lies he grew up on, about the lack of domed cities, flying cars and jet packs.

“Can you say redundancy?” I continued. “If your rocket goes out when you’re flying through the air at 80 miles an hour, how are you going to do anything but crash land? Splat, Barry.” I grabbed a raisin out of my bowl and squished it for emphasis. “Splat. Right on your moving sidewalk.”

Barry drained the coffee from his Mystery Science Theater 3000 mug, then took another bite of pie.

“Can we just accept it now?” I said. “We got the future we got. We’re going to have to just make do with it. And look at the good side. No nuclear holocaust. No robot rebellion. No super-intelligent apes taking over. It’s all good, right?”

Barry scraped the remaining cherry filling off of his plate. “So you’re saying I should be happy there’s no jet pack in my garage?”

“First off, you don’t have a garage.”

“I’d keep it in the closet. With my coats.”

“Where would you keep the fuel? You’d have to buy it by the barrel. And rocket fuel ain’t cheap, my friend.”

“Mister Fusion,” he said. “We were promised nuclear fusion. It would totally run on that.”

I just shook my head and slurped the sugary milk out of my bowl.

Barry slid his plate into the table slot and double-tapped his mug. He warmed his hand over the steaming coffee.

“What about the moonbase, Chad? Where’s our moonbase?”

“Hey, at least we didn’t blow the moon out of orbit with our spent fuel rods.”

“Pppft. Give me a break. We should have hotels on the moon by now. And you know it.”

I shook my head and sighed.

“Fine,” I said. “You’re right. We were screwed.”

“That’s all I’m saying.”

I double-tapped my temple and tweeted to my 14,608 followers: “Barry says we’re screwed. What a moron. He hasn’t had a positive thing to say since he turned 107.”

“Hey,” Barry said. ”I see that.”

“Doesn’t mean it’s not true,” I said, staring through the windshield as we shot past endless green fields. “Doesn’t mean it’s not true.”

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