Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Mariam K. has won third place in the middle age group for the Sci-Fi Spring 2021 Youth Writing Contest with her piece "10021."
BIO: Mariam is a 12-year-old New Yorker. She describes herself as an aspiring author who finds that the best part of writing is writing through one’s imagination and heart. Mariam has been writing from a very early age. She won prizes at several city-wide and nation-wide essay and poetry contests. Her winning entries have been published in newspapers, magazines, and very recently in a poetry book. But still, she loves to write just for enjoyment! Mariam also is passionate about opera and sings in the children’s chorus of the Metropolitan Opera. She has performed at the Metropolitan Opera stage numerous times in operas such as “La Boheme” (her favorite!), “Tosca”, and “Il Trittico”. Mariam was inspired to write the “10021” science-fiction story by a thought that she considers frequently- the people of the future will consider their actions and machines and procedures perfectly normal- while we would be shocked! The same goes for the past and present and future of every period in time- but what will happen when we already know everything in the future? Will the future change? “10021” is all about the present of the future, and the future of the present- and what happens when we reach the moment where time goes out of our control.
It is a lovely morning in the year 10021. The clouds are a beautiful shade of magenta, and the sky a gloriously fluorescent green. The busy townspeople float through the streets of New York City as a few buildings around them undergo their weekly program renovation. An old woman with her great-great-greatgrandchildren stops midair and laughs as the children float around her, tickling her. “You’re so OLD, Greatresma! My Gredosma is your daughter, and she’s my Grandma’s MOM! Their Greatresma smiles. “Well, I AM quite old. I was born in the 70th century, after all! I remember they had invented time traveling in the 40th and the trend was still strong…” A little girl giggles, and bounces in the air. “Story! Story!” Greatresma takes a deep breath, and begins. “Everyone wanted to come to the future!” She sighs and looks as a young teenager pops into the street and gasps at the sight of her “future”. Greatresma continues with a shake of her weary old head. “But then… once they came to this seemingly perfect world of ours… they all wanted to tell their past selves to stay. But, by staying, they altered the fabric of time! When the young “past” people stayed, they never got to meet the love of their life they would have met in the past, so they never got to have the children who would have continued living with us, had their parents and grandparents stayed where they belonged and not messed with the past and their future. And, so… I’m pretty sure the teacher hasn’t told you this... But as your classmates disappeared from existence…”
One little boy cuts her off anxiously. “What classmates disappeared? I don’t understand…” Greatresma smiles bitterly. “I wish I never had to tell you. AS they disappear from time, you forget they ever existed, because their ancestors’ mistakes prevented them FROM ever being born in the past. But… I remember…because. Like you said… I am old. Since for us, we exist, but for the past people, we don’t yet, we are disappearing in the order in which the past people will do/did it to us…” The youngest child frowns and scratches his red-haired head. “Greatressie, this is confusing me…” Greatresma looks fondly upon her little descendant and clears her throat. “Well, 2-01-77-301, to make it clearer: With every new time traveler who hasn’t been a parent yet, one baby from the past doesn’t get to be born. That baby is already old and has multiple descendants HERE. So, when the time traveler comes, the baby doesn’t get to be born... And neither do his/her descendants.” 2-01-77-301’s eyes widen. “So… they just disappear?” “Yes.” “But…what about us?” Suddenly, a voice booms through the city. “Citizens of the United States of America! This is an urgent emergency… Our Pasters have come back from the year 4099… Our worst fears have been confirmed. A mass time travel shall be attempted in 10 minutes, for the entire population of the world in 4099, there having been news of an extraterrestrial invasion because of overuse of time-crossing vehicles in the vicinity of Planet B-975, this trespassing having been committed multiple times. The people of the past believe the future is the only place they can go to escape, there being nothing for the Epeskre population to destroy that way but their homes. However, if they do so they shall replace our entire current population, which is why Pasters and government officials are currently attempting to convince the past world leaders. If you haven’t already, quickly get into your Time-crossing Vehicles and go to the year 4099, I repeat, 4099!” Everywhere people are screaming, running frantically to find the machine that used to be only an object, but now is their only means to live for longer.
Greatresma and the children quickly grab each other’s hands and put on a burst of speed to reach the rest of their family, who are rushing to meet them on the other end of the road.
Their hands meet, briefly-
A flash of light-
A pop -
Greatresma is gone.
She is replaced by a young teenager who looks like her... Who may be her great grandmother… who could have been the ancestor of those bouncing little children…
Thousands of people of the “past” replace the thousands of people of the “future”. Time has no meaning anymore.
And yet, it is still a lovely morning in the year 10021.