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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)

TITLE: Life Is Good


I stared up at the azure sky, daydreaming. Sometimes, even after all these years, I am in awe of how the earth has changed. I am still more amazed that the changes have been for the better. I cannot say the threats of global warming, disease and overpopulation put the fear of God into us. It should have. However, we have managed on our own, and, for all the good we have done over the past few centuries, man has not allowed God to be part of it. Yet He has allowed us to progress. Science and development have become our gods.

I never imagined science would wipe out disease. My grandchildren were the first generation to produce children who never experienced such a thing as measles, chicken pox, cancer, malaria. It is hard for me to imagine, having grown up so differently. It was still more amazing that with inoculations, they are able to keep our immune systems active and strong. A saying in my day was that you could never take your health for granted. That is no longer true.

The planet is healthier in other ways, too. There is no longer obesity, intoxication, or addictions to substances, natural or otherwise. Pollution has been irradiated and the natural way of the earth restored. Animal and plant life thrive without pesticide or chemicals of any sort. With the balance restored to the insect and animal populations, the food chains function effectively, allowing both man and beast their proper bounty. The same is true on the other planets man has colonized. It is all very different than when I was a child, but then that was so very long ago.

Yes, life is very different. When I was a child, I listened to my grandmother talk about the Depression, war and getting milk delivered in bottles every morning. Iceboxes and washing machines with rollers were conveniences rather than antiques. I remember thinking how old she was to have lived through those times. She died at 92, a ripe old age, back then. I thought about being 92, myself. I completed my first triathlon that day. I thought I was so amazing at the time, and yet my grandson just won his first pentathlon at 150. Perspective is everything, I guess. I never was that athletic, so I should not be surprised. I always preferred a good book, to physical exertion.

I smiled as I patted the book next to me. Books were one thing that all the doomsayers claimed would go by the wayside. They did not understand manís desire to stay connected to what he reads. There will always be other ways to gather knowledge and even to enjoy stories, but to touch a page, to smell the print and hold the cover between your hands is truly part of the experience of reading. You can devour a book as long as there is light and, in this century, light is everywhere.

I sighed deeply and rolled onto my stomach. The grass beneath me was soft, green, and lush. Generations of my offspring played in the park around me. My husband of over two centuries, waved at me from the basketball court: something else that had remained the same all this time. I get up, leaving my book and daydreams, and run down the hill to shoot some hoops with him. Life may no longer be too short to waste a minute of it, but I plan to live it to the fullest anyway.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter05/18/07
Interesting, thoughtful piece. Technical note - you changed tense a few times. I liked the optimism in the ending.
Myrna Noyes05/23/07
Very intriguing story! You explained how they created a utopian planet, except how they managed to wipe out "intoxications and addictions." It sounds like a "perfect" world with "perfect" people, but without God as the Head. How could that ever really be? Thought-provoking! :)