A Cautionary Vision

I woke to the sound of gunfire.  Looked at the clock — 4:17 a.m.  Waking to gunfire is nothing new here, but still, it took several cigarettes and about 25 pages of reading before I calmed down enough to get back to sleep, and it seemed like only minutes until my alarm clock awakened me.

The date is November 15th in the year 2030.

Today is an important day for me and my two children, Eddie and Beth.  Today is either the first day of the rest of our lives, or else it is the last day of our lives.  I do not know which it will be, but I know that I am willing to risk not only my own life, but that of my children to get us away from the living hell that has ensued since 2024 when a true madman took over the nation.  We have friends in Canada who have told us where to cross in order to avoid detection, and who will help us with shelter and food until I can find a job and we can get back on our feet.  What, you ask, has led me to such a dangerous and traumatic decision?  Let me tell you about the year 2025, the first year of hell.

The 2024 election was won by the Democratic candidate, but he and his family mysteriously disappeared less than three weeks after the election.  Six years later, and there is still no sign of him, his family, or his body, but it is believed that he and his family were murdered.  I still do not understand how the election results were overturned, but they were, and long story short, the Republican candidate took office … and he is still there today with no plans for any future elections.

What changed, you ask?  So many things have changed that I cannot even keep track, but a few of the most crucial things are the nightmares that invade my sleep each and every night.  First, the new ‘president’ was inaugurated on January 20, 2025, and he gave a lengthy speech thereafter, promising (warning) that ‘big changes’ were coming.  He was surrounded by ‘his people’ who applauded until I thought their hands must surely have blisters.  Among those ‘big changes’ that came in the first year were cuts to such things as Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, housing and food assistance for the poor, and programs that provided financial assistance for college students whose families couldn’t afford college.

But the next year was worse.  2026 would normally have been a mid-term election year, but as we neared November, something didn’t smell right.  I had a bad feeling, a bad vibe you might call it.  And sure enough, in late October, there were six school shootings resulting in the deaths of 223 students and the injuries of far more.  This led to protests in nearly every city across the U.S. as people demanded gun regulations.  But, instead of responding with any degree of empathy, even false empathy, the ‘president’ called out the National Guard and put the entire nation under a lockdown.  We were allowed to go only to work and back home, or to buy food, medicine, and absolute essentials, and even then we had to show ‘passes’.  What followed, of course, was that the president declared the nation to be in a ‘state of emergency’ and the election was cancelled.  When the state of emergency was finally lifted some seven months later, the ‘president’ had appointed the new members of Congress using ‘emergency powers’ that he created and the U.S. Supreme Court, such as it now is, supported.

Schools are now regulated, meaning the only science courses that can be taught are such things as Physics, Astronomy, and Oceanography.  Biology is taboo.  U.S. History is now a joke.  Our children are taught that white men brought Black people here to rescue them from the horrible conditions in their native Africa, and that white people treated them so well that they begged to live and work forever on white man’s plantations.  Indigenous People are no longer mentioned in the history books and such men and women as Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington are not found in any book in the schools or public libraries.  Such books are considered ‘contraband’ and possessing one can send a person to prison.

Legislation has been passed and signed into law making Blacks, women, Hispanics, Asians, Muslims and Jews basically 2nd class citizens.  If a white person is caught out in public with one of these people, they can go to jail.  The 2nd class citizens can only hold certain jobs, such as maintenance, auto repair, sales clerks, restaurant and factory workers.  They are not allowed to enroll in any college.  Colleges and high-level jobs, government positions, are all reserved for white males only.

There is a state religion that everyone is forced to become a member of and adhere to.  It is a very intolerant religion that praises white males, calls for subservience by the rest, and calls for the execution of LGBTQ people.  On August 20, 2027, more than 12,000 LGBTQ people were rounded up in every city around the nation and executed in a very public manner.  It was replayed on television endlessly for days.  I’ve never cried so much in my life, for my brother was one of those who was murdered so brutally before a firing squad.  I watched with tears rolling down my face, while the crowds applauded and cheered and said they were “making America great again.”  Perhaps my definition of ‘great’ differs from theirs.

We live under a brutal regime, our every move watched 24/7.  Our lives are not our own.  I cannot live like this any longer.  My children and I are so hoping for a better life north of the border, but if we fail, we will have no life and will fade into the annals of obscurity.  Either way, we will be free of these chains that bind us.  Our world is on fire and there is nobody to save us.


Fiction?  Yes, this is my nightmare of late, or some variation of it.  The things I wrote about above … well, my friends, those things or some semblance of them could come to pass if we don’t guard and protect our Constitution, our republic.  Today, there are so many in positions of power who are, at heart, autocrats and who have whatever it is that brings followers, ignorant souls who do not know history and cannot envision the future, to their cause.

63 thoughts on “A Cautionary Vision

  1. Ray Bradbury, move over.
    This is brilliant, Jill, on many facets. After reading and appreciating it for what it is – I also realized that your concerns, your anger, your stress were the catalyst to inspire this very original piece. It/you deserve a much larger audience. Now I will go back and read it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Lisa, you’ve made me both smile and blush with your high praise! Yes, my concerns, angst, and nightmares are what drove this piece, but frankly I don’t think it’s far out of the realm of possibility, given the situation today. Fingers crossed that I am wrong … I really hope I am wrong. Hugs, dear friend!

      Like

      • I worked really late last night, and slept for more than half of the daylight hours – but at some time between sleep and dreams and awareness of the real world, I thought of your story again – and wondered, ‘Hmmmm. How does that find a way to reach a magazine or filmmaker (for an itty bitty step into another realm) or someone who could take that to the next level… I also think of Orson Welles’ radio War of the Worlds.. Now if you could write a script and scare the fire out of people before they realized it was fiction.. hmmm, what about Steven Colbert? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • You are entirely too kind, Lisa! My work is, at best, mediocre and amateur, but your compliment has definitely made me smile! 😊 But, if you think of a way to reach a magazine or other venue with it, please let me know — I’ll try anything once! Well … within reason, that is.

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          • nope nope nope.. you earned that praise. i actually searched for half an hour, and the rest of the week has been a polar opposite — the country continues with teh indiginous protests that have paralyzed most of the country, the transportation of products, etc… and friends are unable to leave the andes — while others wait for a window to be able to drive back. i have been helping an absentee friend with his property — and off line most of the time. i’m back in the city for the weekend then will be heading back to ‘the finca’ on sunday afternoon. you’ve been busy and i’ll be catching up tonight with your posts and those lovely comics!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Sounds like there is much going on in your world, not all of it happy! You’ve definitely been a busy lady! Take care, my friend … and thanks so much for your words of encouragement … they mean so much! Huge hugs, my dear friend!

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    • Thank you, Mary! I, too, frequently say I am thankful I am old and will not likely live to see the outcome of all this chaos and corruption. But then other times I wish I were younger and could make a difference. Sigh.

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  2. Unless gas prices and inflation adjust downward by Nov, i’m afraid the impressionable masses may vote the other way b/c of pain in the pocket.
    The phrase, “it’s the economy stupid” coined by Bill Clinton’s political strategist James Carville in 1992 may apply this time around. Clinton’s campaign advantageously used the then-prevailing recession in the United States as one of the campaign’s means to successfully unseat George H. W. Bush.
    Let’s hope Biden has better luck by 2024 than the old warmonger President Bush Sr.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    “The date is November 15th in the year 2030.” — This part is true: “Today, there are so many in positions of power who are, at heart, autocrats and who have whatever it is that brings followers, ignorant souls who do not know history and cannot envision the future, to their cause.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Everyone has posted what needs to be posted here, way ahead of me Jill. So I am taking a different tack.
    What a heck of a good piece of writing. You really brought out the fear, the worry and the confusion of one guy. Not too sure just how he got here, but hoping to get away from it.
    The theme of his dry desperation with an underlying air of near incomprehension, is very powerful.
    This is a prescient, rich and very good piece of writing.
    Will there be anymore from Eddie and Beth’s parent?

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU!!! You’ve made me smile with your compliment, my friend. I thought it was mediocre writing, at best … just thoughts coming out of my troubled mind. I rather wish I had used the word ‘scar’ somewhere in here, then I could have submitted it for this month’s Blog Battle. Ah well, there’s always July.

      I am sorry to have brought fear, worry, and confusion to that one guy … he didn’t need that!

      Hmmmm … I certainly didn’t consider writing more about them, but … now that you mention it … let me ponder. Maybe … just maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Those words of yours came from the heart Jill so no way mediocre.
        A great deal of fiction by the non-professionals comes out of our thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
        My own trilogy was essentially a collection of my own. (And aided by The Girls).
        You should keep on Jill, it’s surprising what you can work through when writing fiction.😀

        Liked by 2 people

        • Thanks, Roger! And yes, you better remember to credit the girls … heh heh … I sense that Arketre gave you a poke in the ribs as a reminder!

          Thing is, though, that I am much more comfortable writing non-fiction … doing the research, finding the applicable facts and precedents, and then drawing a conclusion. I think I have zero talent at such things as defining characters to be believable, and writing dialog, for mine always sounds so stilted, even to my own ears. However, I will keep trying from time to time and maybe someday I’ll feel that I have something worthy.

          Liked by 1 person

          • ‘Jus’ a lil’ tap on his shoulder sweetlin”👱‍♀️(Well mebbe a smidge o’ leanin’ in there)👱‍♀️

            Actually Jill, defining character writing and teaching it is similar to getting folk to stow fog into a box. No point in the exercise.

            It’s all down to the individual writer and their motivation. What is also important is where a writer’s strength lies. I’ve encountered successful writers whose strengths lie in plots and imagery while their characters are straight out of ‘central casting’.
            Others have the thinnest of plots and sparse ‘country’ but their characters come right out of the page.
            If you feel you have a story, you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard ) then rattle away.
            Remember the adage of most honest writers ‘The First Draft is Rubbish’. You tune into the part you work best with, and the rest follows.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. A frightening piece, no less so because it could actually happen, given the way things are going over there at present. As you’ve said elsewhere in the comments, this isn’t just a US thing – people in other countries are being conned into voting for autocrats without realising what they are doing. Hope is in short supply.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It could actually happen … or something even worse could. The ‘populist’ movement gave voice to what I suppose must have been pent-up dissatisfaction that has been simmering for decades, and ‘leaders’ like Boris, Trump, LePen, and others have figured out how to manipulate enough of the people to accomplish their goals. Here, I believe the goal of the GOP is to take away our rights to vote, and turn the government into a plutocracy/autocracy. I’m not sure what the goal of Boris and his party is, for I haven’t followed it as closely as I might have if all my attention wasn’t drawn to matters on this side of the pond. Sigh. Yes, hope today is in short supply, but it isn’t gone … yet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • It seems to be a global movement. I used to say that it all hails back to the Arab Spring movement that led to the refugee crisis. I still think that played a role, but there is something else at work here, and I haven’t figured out what. But, we’re seeing it in so many places, the U.S. & UK, but also France, Germany, and then there’s Ukraine vs Russia. I don’t know if the human species can survive even to the end of this century. Sigh. We better try to get that coffee in soon, while we still can!

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  6. Pingback: A Cautionary Vision. |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  7. Very Prophetic Jill. here’s hoping that a great awakening happens amongst those who can’t get children into college and/or can’t use their intellect to improve their job hopes..THE DISILLUSIONED might just rise up against their overlords.and bring the house of cards crashing down.. In the meantime I hope none of the MAGA crowd read yoiur story for ideas.

    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, David. It was weighing on my mind … happens a lot these days. Something must change, but what and how? I have a bad feeling about the next few years, the next decade or so. A bad feeling that I cannot shake. Heh heh … I hadn’t thought about the maga buffoons maybe using my post for inspiration, for ideas … I doubt any of them bother to read it, so we’re probably safe there.

      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good writing, Jill. Dystopian Future Fiction can be so depressing. Hope you are okay after writing it. I find it can have 2 effects on my. One, getting rid of all the garbage in my head. Two, making me realize how damn close we are to losing “Life As We Know It.” Here’s to the first option. I hope you chose it!

    Liked by 4 people

    • THAT’S IT!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! ‘Dystopian’ was the word I was looking for last night as I wrote this piece, and it just would not come to me! My mind is calcifying, I do believe, and sometimes a word hovers on the periphery but just won’t let my mind grab it!

      I almost never write fiction … it is not my forte … but every now and then something like this comes to mind and I put it to paper, let the chips fall where they may. One of my best efforts was a few years ago, an imaginary conversation between Trump & Putin, and it was pretty good, if I say so myself. This piece was … meh … but it was weighing on my mind, so I wrote it. I’m as okay as I can be under the circumstances. I have to be okay for the next two months, anyway. Yes, it was the first option that drove this piece … getting the garbage out of my head. LuL

      Liked by 1 person

      • I lose words all the time, most often two milliseconds after I thought of them. I finish typing the word before th3m, then draw a total blank on what I wanted the next word to be. And I end up using a poor Substiute. (Song by the Who!)

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    • There are too many guns in the hands of the MAGA crowd for a takeover not to be a possibility, at least in the early stages. By the time some of them realise they’ve been been conned, it will be too late. The rest will convince themselves that every restriction actually gives themselves more freedom. It’s already happening state by state by way of voter restrictions and in what can be taught at school, not to mention gerrymandering and vote buying.

      Liked by 5 people

      • You are so right, my friend. I don’t know what’s coming down the road, nor when, nor how, but I know that our current situation is not sustainable … something must, something will give, and I think there will be a very ugly time ahead for us. Guns, voting rights, racism, religious fervour, conspiracy theories, an attempted coup, women’s rights … all of these are very real issues that are not being addressed. There will be a price to pay. Sigh. Can I come visit you for, say, a few years?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agree to a point. The conservatives don’t have a monopoly on guns, and the higher death rates in their areas will continue to erode their support. How businesses react to lower quality of education will be a factor. you can’t eat bullets for lunch. We may see some parts of the US reduced to wasteland.

        Liked by 2 people

        • The conservatives don’t have a monopoly, but they do own the largest portion of the guns in the country and are the vast majority of those who carry concealed weapons. But to your point … you’re right … the lower quality in education will produce less-qualified employees down the road. The future 15-20 years down the road looks grim to me, but fortunately I won’t likely be here to see it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’ll be 70 in March and will probably be gone as well. Having a civilian population that has no clue about war and can’t see the value of what they do have is a huge problem. It’s akin to the insane celebrations at the start of World War I. However, back on point, there are Hispanic and black veteran groups who would hold their own easily in a fight. In a complete free-for-all we might even have the drug cartel paramilitary come to play. Right now, all the right wing domestic terrorists have proven is that they can kill the defenseless.

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            • What I see when I try to envision the future of, say 10-20-30 years from now looks pretty dark to me. I hope I’m wrong, but if I were a young woman of child-bearing age, there is NO WAY I would bring a new life into this world.

              Liked by 1 person

                  • Sorry about the rant that follows: I’m not sure anyone understands what we are doing. We’re changing the world, but into what? There’s a libertarian vision which appears to be pure chaos. There’s a tech vision of a world run by machines. It closely resembles a fascist model with the noted exception that people become largely or perhaps completely redundant. That’s Musk and his Mars colony. Pollution doesn’t matter so much in a machine world as long as there is energy, but solar flares could terminate that world. Then there’s the former guy supporters who want the 1950s back. That can’t even be graced with the term, vision. The nihilists think we will crash and burn before any change can take effect. And of course the ostrich segment, taking its playbook straight out of Voltaire’s Candide. Who needs a vision when everything is perfect?

                    One real possibility is a gradual or sudden, massive decline in the number of humans. In Japan and now in the US and China, that’s kicking in, and it’s going to require a major rethink about the economy. Market economies require expanding markets. How do you maintain profits when markets are shrinking? To date, nobody has figured that out.

                    In Japan population decline led to economic “lost decades”.

                    At the other extreme is a new Black Plague that kills 60% of the population in less time than it takes to build a vaccine. Imagine walking through a town where half of the homes are empty and there aren’t enough workers or buyers for anything.

                    Yes, we made a mess, and we’re making more of a mess by failing to be conscious of what we are doing and plan.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Thank you, Vic, for this well thought out response … you are spot on in some ways. I guess my thought is that … the market economy is the least of my worries. IF we are destroying our environment, and there is no doubt in my mind that we ARE, and IF we are reversing the progress that has been made over the past 250 years in areas such as human rights, then I think we will come to a point where new products and services, even jobs become lower on the priority list than survival. The planet is already over-populated and in some areas cannot sustain the population in terms of food/water/housing. But alas, I am neither a scientist nor an economist, only a humanitarian.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Agreed. Unfortunately, many of our peers don’t want to make the effort to think about the big issues, instead entrusting decisions to people unworthy of that trust.

                      That said, people want to survive, both individually and collectively. That means remaking both the physical and the socioeconomic environment so that they can. The economic system has in fact been the instigator of much of the physical harm humans have done, so we need to address that in conjunction with the other issues.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think that if we don’t get busy, stop bickering constantly about such things as the price of gasoline and other minutiae, it will be too late once we wake up and realize what must be done to save our planet, our lives, and our futures. If we work together, set aside our differences, forget about bigotry and racism, then we might stand a chance, but … do you see that happening in the foreseeable future? I hope you do, for I really don’t at the moment.

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    • Agreed on all counts. I’ve imagined many a scenario, but this was just the one that was in my mind when I put fingers to keyboard. Yes, Vic, there are way too many guns … more guns than people is a recipe for disaster.

      Liked by 1 person

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