black history/futures: first day of school

it's feb! that means it's black history/futures month. my goal is one flash fiction story every day. all stories from the month here.

inspired by an on-air sci-fi session last night with gamaal smith

the loudspeaker blared the announcement: all students who are year of 2042 please proceed to the entrance hall for orientation!

i slung my sack onto my back and walked slowly towards the convention center map kiosk. even though i had been around all morning (it was almost noon), i still couldn’t help oggling all the other students.

it blew my mind that we weren’t the only ones! i thought our family was the only group who read our family trees as we did. not only wasn’t i alone, i was with hundreds of other students who could also read their trees.

the entrance hall, like the rest of the convention center, had no windows. as i followed the flow of youngish students (looking at the map had been totally unnecessary), i stared up at the high ceilings and puzzled over what was keeping them so well lit. even though we were hundreds of feet below the surface, the ceiling looked like the sky.

i tripped and fell face into the bag of the student ahead of me.

“hey! watch where you’re walking!”

“i’m sss….sooo….sorrry!”

as the student turned to face me, i couldn’t believe what i saw. their tree was somehow glimmering above them. translucent and huge, but definitely there.

“woah! you can carry your tree with you?”

“of course, can’t you?”

“i don’t… i don’t know? i just passed my initiation and haven’t learned anything else…”

the student giggled. “oh wow! so you just barely made the cutoff for this year, eh?”

words / writing / post-processing
254w / 11min / 3min