The sun started evaporating the sweat on my skin as soon as I went outside. The air conditioning had spoiled me. With a pencil and notebook in hand, shadowed by the guards, I sauntered towards the park. Its surprisingly lively foliage would keep me from shriveling up in the heat of late spring.
The guards were there to protect me from harm. Not for my well-being, but for my utility. I imagine our boss believing I wasn’t aware of them, but how could I not? It was like they weren’t even trying to stay out of my notice. Initially they made me more nervous, like there was something I was supposed to be afraid of. But if there really was, I surely would’ve known it by now.
I sat down under an acacia tree and pushed my needless protectors out of mind. The park wasn’t empty, but the enthusiastic yelling of playing children worked to ease my thoughts further. Reminded me of simpler times. But those times weren’t now, and reminiscing wasn’t the task at hand. No, I had to write. I had to let the words come to me and write.
Write grand tales about droughts and misfortune, miracles and relief. Intricate plots, unexpected betrayal, victories and defeats. Not for the pleasure of writing, not for the thrill of imagining. For powerful people to read, and try to cheat with. But try as they may, the stories they live won’t be different from the ones I’ve written. The future is unavoidable, even to those who know it.
I can’t get over how trope-y the “you can’t change the future” thing feels.