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Inspirational Coming of Age Speculative

You’ll wake up in the morning and sleep at night. You’ll go to work, read sappy romance on Metro trains, and scream daggers at the radio. On sunny days, you’ll go on a walk and then eat a bar of chocolate afterward because that’s how you are.



But that isn’t your story. The very meaning of “a story” can be controversial, but you won’t realize that until 2056, which is still an improvement since most individuals never get it at all. You see, understanding the future is like telling a story that hasn’t gotten written yet, and stories are words that haven’t stuck together yet. People can’t predict the future because it’s the future, and Oracles are no better. We can tell you what you will do, but we can’t help you understand why you’ll do it, and they’re always those little surprises that come in heart-shaped boxes at the end of each day. But that’s not your story either. You came here and paid me good money to whisper into a crystal ball and—-here, let’s explain it like this.



Boxes. You all want to put yourselves in boxes for some reason, check off words to explain who you are, but some words can’t define who you are.


I can’t go tromping around town saying I’m an Oracle, and that’s who I am because that’s plain stupid. I ain’t just an Oracle; I give advice and move on. You, humans, are more than restrictive boxes. Why do we all go and describe our race as some adjective? So you’re kind, funny, and your race is ___? That’s why I should like/dislike you; because of your race or because you’re kind and funny. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably like you, but if we put a screen in front of our eyes, we won’t be seeing any colors. It’s about time we start seeing ourselves as human beings that need love and respect.



So, you wanted a story of the future, let me give it to you. Truth to power; bah. Hope for the human race? Bah. Future isn’t a fortune cookie. You don’t pull out a slip of paper, read your future, and everything ends happily ever after. Believing is important, but there isn’t one straight road either way. No, wait, actually there is, and it’s called a rocky road. They’re people who are racist, sexist, and homophobic, but they’re also the multicultural, unprejudiced, and humanitarians out there. You decide which future you want to follow (but there’s no cheating life or the future for that matter)



Before I go on and on about whatever you want me to tell you about your future, let me say one more thing. You’ll always keep this knowledge stored in the back of your heart like this shop is the back end of the building complex. I’m not telling you your future; I’m just explaining it to you—because in my world, you write the story, and I read it. I’m only reading what you wrote and are writing to this day. Walking the line between past and present is dangerous. There ain’t no running away from change, either; it’s the only thing that stays constant as each wrinkle marks your face.



Because when I tell you this, I’m not predicting anything. I’m explaining what already happened.

*



It’ll be sunny and cloudy and full of rainbows. Gosh darn, I can’t explain the weather! All I can say is you’ll be angry at it because human emotions can get complicated, and whenever you want to be happy, you can’t. The windows will get shuttered closed, mail collecting on that depressing desk of yours which you haven’t opened, but today, you’ll take a deep breath for the first time.

Sometimes you’ll leave your bed unmade, and heart wrapped up in old patchwork quilts. Other times, the birds will be singing and your heart soaring right along with them, but today you’ll realize the fridge is empty and there are bills to pay. A pipe might’ve burst or a window might’ve cracked beside your unmade bed, but that’s a small price to pay to be living.



And as you’ll walk outside on that rickety porch and look up at the sun, you’ll realize you’re alive with your heart still pumping and oxygen still flowing. It’ll take you a while, under that cracked open ball of flaming light, but you’ll realize you’re still living and the life you’re living is going to be worth it.



One day you’ll make up your own once-upon-a-time, and roll out from unmade covers, realizing you’re alive. You’ll feel your chest thumping to the beat of birdsong, flaking off the night’s cape as a way to greet the dawn. Parables and playlists will lead you into the near future, a present you must now acknowledge and nurture. Shuttered paper butterflies will unfold, and the tightly woven quilt around your aches lets go of its mold.



Maybe tomorrow you’ll walk barefoot in the dew-heavy grass, in cut-off overalls proudly grinning through your mask, understanding breath for the first time, noticing the clear skies and nature’s gifts; it must be a sign.



You’ll take someone home and comfort them on the way there; hold their hand, put the puzzle pieces together; join a community and carry a purpose, tell their stories, weave words into happiness. One day you will understand the meaning of life. It’s the human race’s most precious prize.


*

How’s that for a collaged future explanation—because tomorrow will be the same. You’ll read your sappy romance, scream daggers at the radio, and bite your nails anxiously every time you accidentally open your umbrella inside the house. Who knows, you may crack open fortune cookies and tape the good ones to your plain, shuttered walls?



All I can tell you is that nothing is going to change if you don’t understand it. It’s my job to wait, alone under street signs and lamposts, waiting for the right person to ask me a question. I know who the right person is, and who it’s going to be, but they don’t, and I have no right to mess up their future like that.



You’ll soon realize, under your own lampost on a rainy day, that you know who that person will be too. They could be painting swirls on slabs of stone, writing a tangled script on the road, or staring out their window into the wide expanse of the world.



One day, you’ll know when to change up your genre, take a different Metro line even though you aren’t going anywhere, but you’ll wind up somewhere, and that’s the point. So get out of here child, and look out your window. There are stories left unfinished, lives to save, trees to grow, and bridges to mend. Don’t come here to ask me to tell you about your future, because one day, you’ll be able to explain it to yourself. 

April 08, 2021 13:59

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62 comments

15:37 Apr 09, 2021

Author comment alert! *Okay, so if you're wondering how this story speaks truth to power, the ordinary person is the Oracle. If you get the message, the Oracle is just a regular human being trying to tell the higher power (the rest of the human race as a whole), the meanings of life. Even though she's an "Oracle", she is just a regular person. She can't exactly see into the future, but she's pretty good at estimating it. The Oracle is a type of symbolism, in a way. It can be anyone in your life that assumes this position of Oracle and is t...

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Cole Lane
17:07 Apr 10, 2021

When I saw this prompt last week, it had me thinking 'a story about some kind of outspoken voice, pushing back against the regime', but you took it to a place that was pleasantly unexpected! This is so well written.

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12:43 Apr 11, 2021

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked reading this.

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Kelly Dennison
18:48 Apr 09, 2021

Wow...this is really something. A firm but supportive inspirational summary of potential futures. "Don’t come here to ask me to tell you about your future, because one day, you’ll be able to explain it to yourself. " What a fantastic way to end this... Thanks for sharing! :)

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21:11 Apr 09, 2021

Aw, thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked reading this!

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Michael Boquet
16:38 Apr 09, 2021

This really blew me away. I love that you used second person for the predictions. I think the rambling prose works well too. I think an Oracle would be a bit scatterbrained, considering they can see the future while interacting with the present. It did take me a few paragraphs to pick up the rhythm of the Oracle's speech, especially once she started using first and second person in the same paragraph. Perhaps consider starting a new paragraph the first time this happens, to help your reader acclimate? Just something to think about. Once ...

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21:10 Apr 09, 2021

Thank you so much for the feedback! I separated the first time she uses the first person, and I like it much better now! Thanks again, Michael.😄❤️

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128 Ve980 Fvr.
04:09 Dec 05, 2021

It pushed me too far today. WTH am I involved? Enangled? Magnetized? Superglued? or Drowning in?

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Moon Fox
15:36 Sep 02, 2021

Pretty cool :) I can feel the moral/purpose. Life can be horrid, but there is light, good people who care. Be glad you're alive, because you only live once.

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Marianna Mills
17:57 Apr 15, 2021

Liked how you incorporated "Oracle" into a deeper being, well done, short and not drawn out. "I know who the right person is, they don't, but I do", nicely played out sentencing structures.

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17:59 Apr 15, 2021

Thanks! A sequel to this is coming out tomorrow :)

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Marianna Mills
23:28 Apr 15, 2021

look forward to reading it, I just posted a very short one earlier, I wanted to focus on putting present to past tense, I work fast - I need to slow down a little but I get excited when I write. cheers

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11:51 Apr 16, 2021

I'll definitely check yours out today!! I have a whole long list of stories to read from many of my favorite authors on this site :) Yay!

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Marianna Mills
13:52 Apr 16, 2021

No worries, I know what you mean, lots of wonderful stories and writers - its very motivating. Cheers

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13:56 Apr 16, 2021

I'm actually heading over to yours right now :)

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Cookie Carla🍪
16:55 Apr 15, 2021

Heyo!!! I just wanted to say Malini S. asked me to shout you out in my bio!!! Congrats!

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17:17 Apr 15, 2021

Oh, really? 😅Thank you Cookie!! I'm saying thank you to Malini right now!! ❤️

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Cookie Carla🍪
17:23 Apr 15, 2021

YASS!! YAY!!

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14:05 Apr 14, 2021

I have those moments! Yes!

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Radhika Diksha
17:00 Apr 12, 2021

New story out would love your feedback.

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17:31 Apr 12, 2021

Sure, I'll read it tomorrow :)

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H L Mc Quaid
13:21 Apr 12, 2021

Really interesting take on the prompt, and some compelling descriptions. I like how the Oracle complains that people are attracted to boxes, seeking to categorise things that shouldn't be categorised. Only thing I tripped over a few times was "ain't"...somehow it didn't seem consistent with the Oracle's voice, but that might just be me. Great job. :)

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17:32 Apr 12, 2021

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed reading this... I wanted the Oracle's voice to sound less philosophical and more annoyed middle-age-woman type, but maybe it didn't work that well. :P

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H L Mc Quaid
18:11 Apr 12, 2021

Ahem, speaking as a middle-aged woman, I tend to swear more than use "ain't" when I'm annoyed. ;) 'Ain't' is more common in certain dialects (Southern, rural and Black American come to mind). Some of my family have a more rural dialect, and say 'ain't' regularly, for example. I didn't detect a dialect from the Oracle, that's why 'ain't' seemed outta place, but I'm pry the only one who tripped over it, so I'll just keep my trap shut. :)

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18:24 Apr 12, 2021

Haha! I always try not to swear when I'm annoyed ;)

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Gerald Daniels
12:03 Apr 12, 2021

Great story, brave angle on the brief, and it worked well. Lovely to read something 'simply different.' Super.

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17:32 Apr 12, 2021

Thanks😊

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Amarah Friedman
22:09 Apr 10, 2021

This is beautiful. It DOES speak truth to power-- the power of life. We are here to coexist, to experience anger and sadness, to live the best we can. There's something precious and unique about living simply for the sake of being alive, and you've capture it. I particularly enjoy the Oracle's mild frustration with audience's lack of understanding of their power. Nice touch!

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12:43 Apr 11, 2021

Thank you so much! I love how you summarized my story in your own words...they're beautiful!

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Amarah Friedman
16:55 Apr 11, 2021

I can't wait to read more of your work :D

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16:34 Apr 13, 2021

Thanks! Well, you'll be seeing more of the Oracle soon. See my bio for more information :)

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Valerie June
19:33 Apr 10, 2021

Wow. I loved this so much. I can't find words to express how much I needed to read this. I also read the quotation you put in your bio; it's so true and I love it. Thanks again for writing this wonderful story.

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12:44 Apr 11, 2021

Thank you!!❤️🙂

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Ann Tillinghast
02:55 Apr 10, 2021

Great story! Can you read mine and like it if you want?

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12:43 Apr 11, 2021

Sure!

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Aurora Spencer
04:59 Apr 09, 2021

You've portrayed this concept so well; it can be considered almost masterful. I just love the imagery used here, and the way you weaved the story in second person. My favorite part was definitely the last line because it stands out very powerfully. I can't wait to see what you write next!

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21:11 Apr 09, 2021

Thank you so much! I'm also looking forward to your first story!

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Aurora Spencer
11:02 Apr 12, 2021

No problem. And thank you!

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22:42 Apr 18, 2021

:) Just letting you know...the new part is out!

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Aurora Spencer
04:42 Apr 19, 2021

Awesome! I'll read it soon

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12:48 Apr 19, 2021

Thanks! I just commented on yours!

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22:22 Apr 08, 2021

I'm sorry, I asked a question instead of telling you how much I love this story-- you are amazing. Never take this down. Never forget that.

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22:22 Apr 08, 2021

Have you seen isaac?

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23:13 Apr 08, 2021

Hey Em! Thank you so much for your above comment! After some hunting around, I found Isaac, but he deleted his stories for some reason :( https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/isaac-aaron/

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Frances Reine
21:25 Apr 08, 2021

Oh. my. gosh. I love this concept so hard. And how the tiny things stored everywhere are the most relatable. This could be a journal and I'll read all the other entries too. This is so precious. As human as writing gets. Bravo!

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23:26 Apr 08, 2021

Thank you so much!!! I wrote this while listening to sad, classical music 😝 Sometimes I just want to reminiscence on the human race in general...

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Frances Reine
23:23 Apr 09, 2021

Well music does make all the difference, haha. Love your bio by the way!

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22:46 Apr 12, 2021

Aw, thanks :) Music does make all the difference.

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14:13 Apr 16, 2021

Oh, and the sequel is out!

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Gosh, I love this. The use of future tense makes for a new and interesting read, and your imagery is totally improving! Something about the first sentence of this story totally pulled me in. If this doesn’t get a shortlist, ima be *mad*, sis.

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23:21 Apr 08, 2021

Aerin, this is such high praise! Thank you so much! *smiles awkwardly* I'm glad you liked reading this :)

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My pleasureeee and of course I did :D

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16:35 Apr 13, 2021

:) This is going to become my reedsy series soon.

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