Author: Peter Griffiths

Elsie had heard some noise in the night, but hadn’t had the energy to get out of bed to see what it was. Now she could see splatters of paint on the window pane, grey on the grey of the cold morning light.
The result was obvious even before she switched on the TV, where now the lineless face of a politician whose name escaped her was visible, announcing that the vote had passed by double digits. ‘I say that this two year reduction in bio-age enfranchisement did not go far enough. Next year we will push to further our emancipation from the dictatorship of those with no stake in our country’s future.’
Sponsored by Juvenescence, cooed a voice. The face of a blonde woman, her bio-age not more than twenty five: ‘I’m retired, and I still have my whole life ahead of me.’
Men running: ‘I just left the rat race at sixty,’ one of them said, ‘and now I’m winning marathons.’ She went to the bathroom, slathered on her makeup and tied back her hair, noticing the grey that was coming through at the roots.
She left the flat with a quiet click of the door, turned to her building, and saw the grey paint splashed against the plastic facade. Across the road she saw the curtains twitch in the house with the car slowly collapsing into rust on its driveway. She made her way to the shop, hoping that her pension had cleared.
A group of teenagers stood around the doorway, forcing her to excuse her way through. She heard a girl whisper, ‘Fogey. Just die off.’ Elsie bought hair dye and exoprotein sausages from the unspeaking man behind the counter. She approached the crowd again, though now the girl stood directly in front of her.
‘It’ll happen to you,’ said Elsie.
‘No fear, fogey,’ she said, poking Elsie in the chest. She felt someone jostle her from behind.
‘Now hobble on home before you get what’s coming to you,’ came a male voice, not yet broken. ‘We might come from here but we’ll be out before we’re old enough to be on Joovy.’
‘That’s what they all say,’ said Elsie as she walked away.