Flash Fiction: The Idealist

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In the future, the government has invented a device that can predict people’s destiny. However, it comes at a hefty price so expensive that only a few people have tried it. Scarlett Walters, age 28, works at a fast-food diner making minimum wage. Scarlett is a single mother with two children living at home. She struggles and tries to make a better life for them.

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Scarlett knows about the device and is curious if her future will change. She goes to the universal bank and takes out a loan. Scarlett is at the bank, discussing what she will do with the money. The loan officer advises her not to let the government predict her future because many people have done that. Scarlett lies and tells him that she will need it to buy a new condo. The agreement goes well, and Scarlett becomes excited.

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She calls into work one morning and goes to the government building. Scarlett approaches the front desk and says, “I would like to know my future, please?” The man in the front desk demands the money immediately, and Scarlett gives him the money. The man takes it and gives her an outfit with a barcode on the back of it. He escorts her a room and tells Scarlett puts on the outfit. She lays on the bed and closes her eyes. Scarlett’s thoughts start racing, and she can see her future. Her destiny consists of a luxuary house, cars, and lots of money. She can see her children all-grown-up and successful. The procedure lasts about five minutes. Scarlett faints, and the man comes in and sits her up. He shouts at her to wake up, and she does. Scarlett shakes her head and is thrilled about her future. “Oh my god, I saw my future! Thank you!” while crying and kissing the man. The man keeps a straight face and says, “It will happen when you least expect it.”

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Scarlett moves on with her life and is waiting for the moment to occur. Years go by, and Scarlett is 68 years old and still working as a waitress at the diner. Her children have moved out and work for minium wage. Scarlett thought her life would change, and can still remember what the man told her. Did the machine predict her future or painted a pretty picture of her imagnation. This is a technique used by the government to trick people into making them believe that one day, they can be rich like them. For Scarlett, she still keeps a big smile on her face waiting for the right moment to happen.

© Daniel Sanchez 2019

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