Posts Tagged Future News

Fortnightcap: Last Christmas

Last Christmas

A Fortnightcap by DL Thurston

Creative Commons License

Unusual Christmas Shopping Patterns Reported

December 19, 2012

Economists are forecasting a mixed bag for the retail sector this Christmas.  The overall number of consumers is at its lowest level since holiday shopping trends were first tracked, but the amount being spent by those consumers has driven the overall boon to the economy higher than last year’s recession-dampened Christmas.  One shopper, loading down his car with three massive 3D televisions and armloads of BluRay movies commented, “what else are you going to do with your money right now?  There’s no reason not to be spending every damn cent of it.  And anyway, it’s Christmas!”

This matches the general mood that retailers have seen from consumers in the past few weeks, but Christmas cheer is running out as stores are having harder and harder times keeping in-demand customer goods on the shelves.  “There’s only so many televisions,” one store manager said, “and that’s it, it’s all we’re going to get.  I don’t know what to do when we’re out and won’t be getting any more.  Lock the doors?  Hopefully people understand.”  Shortages are spreading beyond just the retail electronics sector, forcing retail outlets of all stripes to decide on their contingency plans.

For those who are staying out of the commercial realm, there looks to be a unified reasoning.  They want to spend time with family, try to focus on the things that are important, especially at a time of year that so many religions find so sacred and that even agnostics and atheists feel a special connection to.  “What’s the point of buying more things?” asked Joanne Rhea, a young mother of two who has decided not to even put a tree up this year.  “In the end it’s all just stuff, some way for materialistic assholes to keep score right up until the bitter end.”  When her children were asked if they would miss having presents to open this year, her older son just started crying.

There has been an increase in charitable giving for the first time in a decade this season, with Toys for Tots bringing in record donations.  Major Michelle Prior, spokesperson for the organization, has issued words of thanks for the increase.  “It’s great that we’re going to be able to give so many children in need the best Christmas possible.”  The bell ringers of the Salvation Army have also been getting increased donations, including no fewer than five instances of checks for over $10,000 being found in the kettles.

Many people are choosing not to spend the holiday at home this year, and are instead traveling.  This has meant long lines at the airports, especially as many security personnel have stopped showing up for work.  At Dulles, Kevin Lorne was trying to make his way through the line in time for his flight to the Bahamas.  “It’s supposed to be paradise, ya know.  I always meant to go there.  Go see the Bahamas at least once before you die, that’s what I always figure.  Just once before you die.”  The State Department has reported an uptick of passport applications, though many countries have enacted new, less restrictive travel laws in recent months.

It brings to an end a necessarily unusual year that opened with the news that an extinction-mass asteroid is on an unstoppable collision course for earth, and will end with that asteroid striking during the early hours of December 29th.

Fortnightcaps are biweekly experimentation into short form fiction. All Fortnightcaps are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. So if you like the story, please feel free to link people back here. And if you didn’t, maybe the one in two weeks will be better.

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Fortnightcap: An Announcement

An Announcement

A Fortnightcap by DL Thurston

Creative Commons License

Scientists Announce Final Invention

At a press conference this afternoon, a team of scientists, engineers, and inventors announced they had invented the last item that will ever be invented.  For centuries thought an impossibility, the moment has been anticipated by philosophologists for the past decade as it became very clear that there are only so many possibilities that can exist within the human imagination.  The invention in question is a new musical instrument that converts thoughts into musical notes.  There followed a brief demonstration by the inventor, Mary Forth, who chose to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto Number 3.

The announcement set off immediate reactions from people worldwide.  When approached for this article, Harold Maude, a holovision technician from Hoboken, said, “Come on, there has to be something someone hasn’t invented.  Like, I don’t know, some kind of combination hat rack and computer server.”  Computer and sartorial engineer Lucas Freemont, when approached, responded that such a device had in fact been invented in 2117, but proved to be a financial failure.

“Anyway,” he continued, “we aren’t looking at notions of ‘what if we combined this and that’ but at the creation of new and completely novel devices.  There will always be some room for improvement of existing products.  There just won’t be anything completely new ever again.  Which is something we’re all going to have to deal with.”  Mr. Freemont was unable to comment further as he was finalizing his application for a job grilling soy patties at McDonalds.

There are still some holdouts within the scientific community who believe that there can’t possibly ever be an end of invention.  However, this final invention has been foreseen for several years during a period of complete inventive sterility from the scientific and engineering communities.  It was merely a matter of which enterprising person finally realized the concept and could reap the rewards.   Mrs. Forth will receive a prize of $5,000,000 from the federal government, which can now get out of the business of rewarding inventors and get back to the serious work of declaring national weeks of recognition.

And what of all the inventors?  All the hard working men and women who toil and sweat in the hopes of creating something new?  Many are continuing on, unaffected by the news.  Whether this proves to be a futile use of time and resources, or whether they may still prove the establishment wrong is yet to be seen.  Jordan Lauerbeck, for one, is undeterred.  “I was so close to finishing my own thought horn, and I really hope that I can use some of those concepts to, perhaps, create a new form of dentifrice.”

To Mr. Lauerbeck and the other plucky inventors still struggling on, all we can say is good luck.

Fortnightcaps are biweekly experimentation into short form fiction. All Fortnightcaps are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. So if you like the story, please feel free to link people back here. And if you didn’t, maybe the one in two weeks will be better. Picture of Kepler’s Supernova courtesy of NASA, released to public domain.

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Fortnightcap: A Warning…

A Warning to CIG Users

A Fortnightcap by DL Thurston

Creative Commons License

Local area police are issuing a warning to users of cochlear implanted GPS devices, commonly called CIGs, after a recent mutilation and subsequent home robbery in the Tysons area.  Leonard Cohen was assaulted by three unknown men on Tuesday night while walking alone through a parking garage back to his car.  The assailants, two armed with baseball bats and the third with a scalpel, knocked Mr. Cohen to the ground and beat him unconscious before conducting amateur surgery on his right ear.  Their target: his CIG, an older model that still used a small external antenna.

“It was such an old model, I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to steal it,” Mr. Cohen said from his hospital bed at Tysons General.  “I’d been meaning to buy an upgrade for a year now, I just never got around to it.”

It turns out that it wasn’t so much the device the thieves were after as the information on the device.  When Mr. Cohen’s wife Jessica received the news that her husband had been assaulted she rushed to the hospital.  Shortly thereafter she got a call from her home alarm service that there had been a break-in and police were being summoned.  “I could go back home, or I could be with Leonard, there wasn’t really an option.  At the time it all just seemed like the worst possible timing.”

The timing was not coincidental, however.  Police arrived in time to interrupt the home invasion, and were able to apprehend one of three subjects.  Under examination, the suspect admitted that they had used the “go home” function of the device to lead them to the Cohen residence, then waited in the bushes across the street. When Mrs. Cohen left for the hospital, they took their chance to strike.  This matches other reports nationwide of individuals being assaulted for their older model CIGs and having their houses burgled on the same day.  Police suspect thieves are targeting the older CIG models as the external antenna makes them more obvious than newer, entirely internal models.  They recommend that users of these models consider an upgrade, or at least change their “home” location to the entrance of their subdivision, a nearby grocery store, or even the closest police station.

Mr. Cohen will require a derma regeneration of his ear, but is expected to make a complete recovery.  The other two suspects are still at large.

Fortnightcaps are biweekly experimentation into short form fiction.  All Fortnightcaps are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.  So if you like the story, please feel free to link people back here.  And if you didn’t, maybe the one in two weeks will be better.

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