The Future is Dark

Vignette #1:

Jones woke up in the middle of the night before the last day of school. He knew what came of this day, all of the bullying he had endured throughout the year, all of the times he had wished that this year would end, and all of the times he wished to not have any more homework, it would all come to an end today. Since it was the last day, he thought about skipping school. He had already pre-completed finals week just in case he wanted to skip, but he thought he might as well go, sort of like a goodbye kiss to something he had once hated.

Jones stayed up for the rest of the night, working on some final adjustments to his tree house’s blueprints and sitting in the lonely room with nothing but excitement generating throughout his entire body.

In the morning, Linda, Jones’s mom, came to wake him up for school, but he was already up and Linda was surprised to see that he had built an entire wall full of LED Lights that spelled out the words “thank you, mom,” Linda burst into tears and hugged her son. She then exclaimed, “Thank you, son, thank you so much.”
“You deserve it,” he replied
“No, I really don’t, you have been forced to provide for me my entire life because of the circumstances I have put you in. You are what keeps my life together. Without you, I don’t know what I would do.”
“You don’t need to thank me mom, giving birth to me was enough.”
“I love you son.”
“I love you too ma.”

They then both got into the car and drove to school together.

The drive was pretty awesome, the energy between them was very healthy, and they were on the verge of bursting into tears again. After a while Jones, who was the driver, started to drift off. It was from a mix of being extremely tired, thinking about the future, thinking about his father, and his friends. Suddenly, his drifting off caused him to go over the yellow line in the middle of the road and a pickup truck crashed into the car.

Jones woke up a couple of minutes later, he looked around and saw his mom unconscious. “Mom, Mom, are you ok.” He yelled in fear. Suddenly, Linda woke up, she was bleeding badly with her white shirt almost completely red. “Everything will be ok son.” Linda replied
“Are you sure? you don’t look too good.” He asked. Linda then looked down and saw her belly, he could see the look of fear from her as she saw herself.
“I’m not going to be okay son.”
“Don’t say that mom, believe.”
“I love you so much son, and if I die, I will die knowing that I can trust you to live on your own.”
“I love you ma.” He replied with tears pouring down her eyes. Seconds later, Linda took her last breath. Jones collapsed of guilt, his mother had just died and it was entirely his fault.


Vignette #2:
The Realization

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, birds chirping, people out in public, but Jones didn’t care about any of that. Instead, he was in his treehouse looking over the escape plan for the last time with Cooper.

He and Cooper, his best friend, had been working on his escape plan for about 4 months now, in fact, he knew basically everything there was to know about the ships that enter the Port of Urares, but now more than ever, he needed to remember everything because it was the day that he was finally going to leave this terrible land.

Once the boys finished looking at the escape plan, they headed over to the Port. It was usually a 45 minute drive to the port but because of the weather, there were more people driving and 45 turned into well over an hour. “Geez, look at all of these people,” said Jones, “Their lives must be so sad that the one day they leave their house is the most perfect day in the entire history of Urares.”
“To be fair,” Cooper said, “We can’t really be talking. We basically spend all of our time in a treehouse.”
“Good point, but this is literally the worst traffic I’ve ever seen and it comes on literally the worst day possible, it’s as if someone orchestrated this.”
“What if someone did?”
“And how would they do that?”
“I don’t know, but your dad is the king and I bet that Groverland has developed some technology that we haven’t even heard of yet.”
“Still not possible, we literally only made our escape plan in the treehouse, and I don’t care how advanced Groverland is, you can’t possibly develop a technology that is unnoticeable to the human eye and can scan images.”
“Well, we can definitely make sure that if we just do this plan tomorrow, there is a shipment that comes in at the same time tomorrow and tomorrow is going to be a very rainy day which shouldn’t attract as many people to the roads.”
“I guess you’re right, let’s try again tomorrow.” The two boys turned the car around at the next light and headed home, hoping that tomorrow would be just as good of luck.

The next morning, Jones woke up to the sound of Cooper yelling for him to wake up. He then got out of bed, brushed his teeth, took a shower and ate breakfast. After this, the boys headed up to the treehouse where they once again went over the final product of their escape plan. They then repeated the same steps and went right back onto the road and sure enough, there were a lot less cars on the road. The boys knew what was up after they passed the stoplight that they had previously turned around at with having to pass through basically no traffic.
“I think this is it, this might be the last day I see you.” Jones said in an excited yet sad voice.
“Yep, it just feels surreal, I’ve known you for so long, and I will miss you so much.” Cooper responded.
“Well, we are about 10 minutes away from the port, why don’t we just enjoy these last few minutes together.”
“For sure”

About five minutes later, They were about to cross the bridge to the port when all of a sudden, just before they crossed it, it exploded.

Jones stomped his foot on the brakes, praying for the best, he had already lost his mom this year in a car and he couldn’t lose his best friend. He thought about all of the great times they had spent together, building the treehouse, working on projects together, playing video games together, and everything else. He thought about what Cooper’s family would think, his mom already didn’t necessarily love Jones and this would probably push her off the edge, even if it wasn’t his fault . Luckily for him, the car stopped just in the nick of time and they were basically hanging off the edge, about to fall into the water.

The two boys got out of the car and had a quick glance at each other before hugging. After the hug, Cooper said, “Well, now we know for certain that someone is on to us, and that someone does not want us leaving.”


Vignette #3
The Escape

Jones and Cooper arrived at the port at 11:36 AM, about one hour before the boat arrived. The two boys, exhausted from staying up all night revising the escape plan, had very low energy and although they knew that getting to the port was a huge accomplishment, they showed minimal enthusiasm through mumbles and some hand movement. With this being said, they both looked at each other, it was the same look they shared when they did something great, the look they had when they finished the treehouse, and the look they had when they discovered the person who was stopping them from exiting Urares. These looks speak for themselves and it felt to the both of them as if they were communicating through their minds.

After Jones and Cooper had this moment, they got out of the car and started walking to the dock. They walked to the port without talking to each other and instead in a cool manner. They knew that there were people out there who tried to make them fail, and this moment just spoke for itself. It let their haters know that they failed in their mission. Their hair blew with the wind, they wore sunglasses and had synchronized footsteps as well as the same hat and stone-cold faces. Everything about this moment was perfect.

The boys arrived at the dock a few minutes later, very few people were there, which made their chances of success much higher. After a few moments of silence, Jones said, “Coop, if I succeed, which I will, we both know that I will most likely never see you again, and I just wanted to take this moment to tell you how much I ca-”
“Save it for later, let’s just enjoy this moment” Cooper interrupted.
“Ok man.” Jones responded.

The two boys just stood there in silence for the next 30 minutes, occasionally glancing over at each other simultaneously, but instantly looking back out onto the ocean. Just then, a Boat appeared in the distance. “Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Jones asked.
“Yep.” Cooper responded
“That boat is a timer for our time together, once it arrives, we split up.”
“You good Cooper?”
“Yeah totally, I’m fine.”
“Then what did I just say?”
“I don’t know!” Cooper responded in an aggressive matter
“Woah, did I do something wrong?” Jones asked
“I don’t know, why don’t you ask your dad!” Cooper said even more aggressively
“What are you talking about?” Jones questioned
“I know how my dad died.”
“Damn, how did he die?”
“You seriously are pretending you don’t know.”
“I swear, I don’t know, how did he die?”
“Your dad killed my dad. It was right before I was born, my mom and dad were poor and needed food, so my dad stole from a food store. A couple of days later, your dad killed him.” Cooper said as his aggression started to drop and he became more sad than angry
“I’m so sorry, I really am, in fact, when I get over there I will confront my dad about this situation.”
“Thanks bro, now, let’s start with this mission.”

The boat arrived minutes later, and thousands of tons of supplies were taken off the ship which took a while, but as people focused on that, Jones started step one of his plan. Step one was to set off a distraction, in this case, the distraction was an explosion. The only problem with this plan was that he didn’t want to hurt anyone, so, with the help of Cooper, they had developed a technology that could explode upon any impact to a surface, but didn’t hurt anyone. The explosion went off and it worked perfectly, people were freaking out and basically everyone in the area was focused on what caused this explosion. While people were focused on that, Jones had to get onto the ship quickly. Luckily for Jones, the guy at the entrance of the boat was distracted by the explosion and off to the side for a brief moment, so, he booked it as fast as he could onto the boat.

He was on the boat, and it was the best moment of his life. All the hard work and hours that he put into getting onto this exact boat, all of the many trial and errors that he had faced in the past, they all paid off. Jones later found a hiding spot that nobody could find him in and at that moment in time, he knew that he had done it.


Vignette #4
Where is Cooper

Jones got off the helicopter that his dad sent him to Urares in at midday. Cooper, who said he would be there when he landed was nowhere to be seen though, instead, it was just him. He thought not much of this at the time, maybe Cooper just lost track of time, maybe he had some other thing at his job that he needed to do. Jones waited a while for his friend to show up, but even after trying to call him, he didn’t know where Cooper was. Jones, a bit weirded out at the moment, called Cooper’s mom, Patricia. “Hey Patricia, I was wondering if you’ve seen your son lately.”
“Yes, is he not with you, he told me he was on his way to see you like an hour ago.”
“That is weird, he for certain is not with me, maybe there was just a lot of traffic.”
“Yes, that’s probably it. Goodbye.”
Patricia hung up the phone abruptly, and with him not really able to speak that much, but, he was more focused on where the hell his best friend was. He waited for another hour until he finally decided to give up. He thought maybe Cooper was already at his house and it was a miscommunication. That doesn’t explain him not picking up the phone. Maybe Cooper forgot his phone at his house. It’s possible but highly unlikely. Maybe Cooper knew they were supposed to meet where the helicopter landed but wanted to surprise him at his own house or the treehouse. Probably. So he headed out for his house.

Jones had been driving for about an hour and he was starting to realize how bad the traffic was. He started to regret his decision to leave the Heli-pad because he thought that maybe, just maybe, his friend truly did have terrible traffic luck. Jones didn’t decide to turn around though, he might as well go home and check first before heading back because by then his friend would surely be checking his phone and see the 20 missed calls.

Jones arrived at his own house and was extremely relieved when he saw Cooper’s car out front. He then entered his house and began checking his bedroom, nothing, he checked his basement, nothing, he checked the attic, again, nothing. There was only one other place his best friend could be, and that was the treehouse.

He looked up at the treehouse knowing that he was about to see his best friend for the first time in months. Instead of rushing up the ladder though, He took it slowly, as if to build up the moment of them seeing each other again. He finally got to the top and opened the door to the treehouse. Cooper was there, but he was hanging from the ceiling with a rope around his neck.

Jones rushed to Cooper’s body and got the rope off as fast as he could, he checked for a heartbeat, none, he found a note but threw it aside for the time being, he was more focused on his friend. Jones accepted Cooper’s fate, and that he was in fact dead, but this felt like a shot in the heart. This year, Jones had endured more pain and suffering than ever, and all because of some stupid plan he had been working on.

Jones dealt with the body, and by then he was able to build the courage to read the note. It read:
“Jones, never would I have thought to have a better friend than you. This whole time without you has been miserable and I truly feel like I need you. With the combination of finding out how my dad died and realizing that my life is terrible without you, I have made this decision. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I know you will be heartbroken, but I want you to know that I really appreciate you and really can’t live without you, like actually (get it, ’cause I’m dead). But in all honesty, I haven’t been the greatest friend. I got mad at you for something you didn’t do, and I didn’t help with the treehouse at all. Hopefully you’ll remember me in a positive way. I know you think I can get help, but I think that I can’t unlearn what I know. Goodbye old friend, Cooper”
Jones dropped to the floor, first his mom and now his best friend, the world really is a fucked up place that will twist with your mind until you feel as if you’re having a nightmare. Just before Jones put the note down, he said, “Goodbye old friend to you as well bro.”