Today I am taking off from work and going shopping! It’s been eight years since the Great Quake of 2032, or the Apocalyptic Quake as it is more popularly called, rocked our nation. Massive rebuilding efforts in every city from New DC, where I live in the East to Reno, Nevada, our county’s new coastline in the West, are currently underway. When it’s all said and done, most major cities will be situated on massive concrete pilings able to withstand a magnitude of more than ten points on the Richter Scale. In my city, we’ve pretty much completed a majority of rebuilding, thanks to special aid from congress.
If you live in the suburbs of DC, where I used to live before I moved into a brand new high rise in the heart of the city, you access the city by driving up a two and a half mile ramp. I used to get so excited to climb up to our city in the sky!
Our streets have been constructed using solar panels instead of concrete. These panels now power most of the cars on the street that run off energy from the sun. People simply pay a monthly fee instead of having to pay for gas to drive on the streets. It’s really cool at night because the street lane dividers glow a soft indigo blue, instead of white, which was thought to be too harsh on the eyes for night driving.
Except for the Capitol District, where all the government buildings are now clustered for security reasons, every building looks like a mile high skyscraper, constructed of white concrete, glass and steel. There are some amazing architectural structures in my uber-modern city. I’m always in awe as I drive past beautiful cylindrical and octagonal shaped buildings–a tribute to our city’s desire to marry art with architecture. However, most of the buildings to me look like imposing rectangular bastions of forward thinking and sci-fi imagination. The city is alive with green spaces, fountains and sky railway systems which whizz passengers over traffic below. Billboards and other forms of advertising displays are more personalized. I downloaded an app on my IDA (Independent Data Assistant) that when I pass by any one of the advertising displays around the city, I only see things that I would be interested in. Yesterday, I passed by one display announcing a major one-time sale at my favorite store, hence, the reason for the shopping trip today!
The sky is a gun metal gray, but the lack of sun and light rain has not at all dampened my spirits. Though I am but a speck between towering buildings, sky transportation and bustling cars and people, I walk with purpose and consequence. I parked my car a block away from the clothing boutique so I can take in the scenery and feel the vibe of the city. It smells of fresh rain and newly brewed coffee. I pass by cafes, bistros and luxury high rises. As I arrive at my destination, I shake off my bright red umbrella. Light sprays of rain water wet my black high heeled ankle boots. The glass doors part and I am immediately welcomed by a 3D female hologram named, “Glenda.”
“Welcome to Marse Lejoix, April”
“Thank you,” I reply, as I enter the small foyer of the posh boutique.
A large glass chandelier hangs overhead and the floors are a highly polished black marble. I walk into the main show room which is awash in soft pinks. Large black and white photos of models in gilded gold frames surround the room. There are several white tufted leather sofas donning black silk pillows stamped with the Marse Lejoix logo situated around the room. For a mere twelve hundred dollars, I can take one of the pillows home. A few mannequins featuring his couture collection are strategically placed around the room. I love this place. It’s like being in my own personal closet. I am greeted by Charmaine, a tall slender young girl with black hair slicked back in a bun who’s wearing lavender lipstick that contrasts nicely on her light mocha colored skin and matches her high heel shoes. She wears a red leather skirt with matching tank. She is pretty and eager.
“My I offer you champagne, Mrs. Pilgrim?” she pipes.
“Yes,” I reply.
I sit down on one of the sofas and cross my legs. I am wearing a black leather Marse skit, white button down shirt and two strand pearls around my neck. Soft Bossa Nova music plays in the background. The air smells like expensive French perfume with soft notes of Ylang-ylang. I shift some of the fluffy pillows around to make myself more comfortable. Charmaine returns within minutes carrying a silver tray topped with a single glass flute of champagne. I am offered the champagne and I gladly accept.
Next, Charmaine takes out her IDA and starts tapping on it. 3D images of models appear with my exact height, weight and appearance wearing outfits that match the preference profile I completed online a month ago. After several minutes of reviewing fabulous outfits and light banter with Charmaine, I decide on a pair of casual jeans, a beautiful eggplant knit top and two gold cuffs. With a quick swipe from my IDA, my outfit will be delivered to my high rise later that afternoon.
A light bell chimes and Glenda, the holographic image comes alive to greet another customer. In walks Congresswoman Edara Quace. She is more attractive in person and gives off an air of power. Another salesperson rushes over to her. I decide not to bother her with political questions, even though as a producer at channel WWDC, I am working on a segment about the infamous Parker Bill, which she has stated she is not opposed to but wants more research done before she will vote to take it out of committee. The Parker Bill will make all US citizens wear a chip implant in the wrist. No more need for carrying around IDAs. She has cited possible health issues surrounding putting digital implants into human beings. Some people think her stalling the bill in committee is a tactic which has more to do with the religious folks in her district who are likening the chip implants to taking the mark of the beast than health concerns. Oh well, today is my day off and I will leave work for another day. I thank Charmaine, say a polite hello to the congresswoman, remark on her cute navy blue Marse suit, grab my red umbrella from the foyer, leave the warmth of the boutique and head out into the wet city.
The world created here appears in a fictional novel I just completed. It is in the editing process and I look forward to having it published or self-published this Winter, 2014. My working title, The White House Deception.