The Talon

Living The Dream: A Short Story

Matthew Herr, Staff Writer

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One normal morning waking up to a beautiful world that everyone seems to hate, humans spent their time in the daily routine; brush your teeth, pick up the daily paper, eat breakfast, and then head off to work. Life for anyone and everyone was in no way bad, as the newfound president- Matthew Herr, owner and founder of Herr Corp.™ had cured most diseases and eliminated unemployment. However, the idea of “the perfect life” was nowhere to be found either. The products were always just too under-packaged or just too out of date that whenever something was bought, you could always find the same customer back the next week to buy another version of practically the same product. Herr Corp.™ was a massive company that produced everything that the modern world needed. They employed over 98% of the population, had no competitors, and distributed products on a global scale.

While Herr Corp.™ was a large business that could be seen everywhere, it’s main product— which was newly released—was named Cloud Nine. They claim that this device is easy to manufacture and will be available to the public for a small price, since the fuel and materials it required were cheap. The product is said to make anything you want a reality, how they did it nobody knows and it was already on high demand with distributors. When it came out the first thing the general public did when they got their hands on it was take it apart to see how it worked. What they found, however, was that the machine itself was empty except for a gasoline tank and a couple loose metal rods. It didn’t even need to be plugged in! The idea behind it was that the user deposited an old item into a slot in the machine, declared what they wanted, and then left the room for a few hours. Upon returning to the room what they wanted would have arrived in perfect condition. If the user never left the room the item would never appear. And it didn’t matter if the Cloud Nine machine was taken apart or put together, no matter the condition of the machine it always delivered what you asked and it was always in perfect condition.

The first things people asked for were small. They wanted things like bottled soda or new shoes. After people realized that they could ask for anything they started to ask for more and more; people quit their jobs and asked for money, they left their partners and asked for the perfect spouse. Soon you could walk down the street and see noone, everyone would just stay home and ask for what they needed. After about a month the majority of employees of Herr Corp.™ had quit and it showed; factories were shut down, nuclear plants went into meltdown, the machine that caused everything couldn’t even be manufactured because there was nobody left to make it. Nobody wanted anything, because they had everything. The government was left without a head, nobody noticed since they had no reason to watch television or pay attention to the outside world with their “perfect lives” if they could be called that.  With nothing left to accomplish even the people who didn’t buy the Cloud Nine didn’t leave their houses often. Even if they wanted to it was nearly impossible since the outside world was irradiated, hostile, and descolate. There was no crime because there was nothing anybody wanted to steal. There was no conflict because there was nothing to fight over. There was no love because nobody ever desired anything. That was their idea of the dream, our idea of the dream.

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Living The Dream: A Short Story