Fairy Tales – The Speakeasy at Yeah Write

Written for The Speakeasy at Yeah, Write. A story about a clash of generations begins after the image.

Genre: Science Fiction

Fairy Tales

The family Christmas tree shined bright in the family room. Beyond the tree, outside the orbital habitat’s window, Earth hung in space like a giant blue Christmas ornament. Nineteen other habitats sparkled near and far like smaller ornaments anxiously waiting to be hung on the tree.

Jennifer finished programming the processor and entered the family room where adults lounged and children chased each other. “Who’s ready for eggnog?” she called. Hands went up from everyone. “Well then…” A muted ‘ding’ interrupted her. “Eggnog’s ready. C’mon and get it!” The kids piled into the spartan kitchen, removing steaming mugs that, moments before, didn’t exist. Allan, Jennifer’s husband, finished his eggnog quickly. He dropped it in the disposal where nanites disassembled it to component atoms in seconds. The microscopic machines stored the elements for later use as food and dishware.

“Hey! You kids ready for stories?” called Grandpa from the family room. The sound of an ancient Christmas song started playing, sung by a guy named after an old search engine.

The youngest kids, Illuminada and Werner, squealed with delight and charged off. Twelve-year old Fujiko chased ofter them, grinning wildly. Jennifer smiled. Grandpa told the best stories. The kids loved them.

The eldest, Rajesh, stayed behind looking sour. “What’s wrong, Raj?” said Jennifer.

“Grandpa’s stories aren’t real,” muttered Raj.

“They’re called fairy tales, Raj. It doesn’t matter if they’re real.” She swatted him gently but forcefully on the butt. “Go on. Grandpa will feel bad if you’re not there.”

The last three joined the kids on a mound of pillows and Grandpa’s feet. At 279, Grandpa was weak and reaching the end of life. His was the first generation receiving life-extension treatments. His children’s children would easily clear 600 years. As it was, the old man seemed happy enough telling stories to eleven generations of grand kids.

“A long time ago,” began Grandpa. His voice creaked like a rusty valve. “There were 192 countries in the world.”

“Why so many?” said Fujiko. “Isn’t one enough?”

“Well, they divided themselves up by race, religion, and political ideas.”

“What were they racing for?” said Werner.

“There weren’t ‘racing,’ Werner. Back then, people had different religions and they looked very different from one another. Some were white, some black, some brown or yellow.”

“Awesome!” squealed Illuminada. ” I want to be colorful like that. I’ll be pink.”

Raj rolled his eyes in disgust. “That’s crazy grandpa. People are people. There’s no such thing as people with different colors.”

“Oh yes there was!” roared Grandpa. “Now, people look and act mostly the same, but before, the people looked and thought and sounded differently from each other. Many thought these differences were scary. So they used to have wars because they thought killing people from a different country or religion was justified. Airplanes dropped bombs and suicide bombers blew up crowded markets. The wars killed millions over the years. A lot of people lived in fear.”

Fujiko covered her mouth in shock. “But not the mommies and babies, right Grandpa?”

“Even them!”

By now, the three youngest had begun crying. Jennifer stood up with a glare at Grandpa. “Okay that’s enough. Grandpa, that’s silly. Nobody killed each other because of some weird color-codes or over religion.”

“That’s what happened!”

Jennifer pulled her crying children close to her. “Now kids. It’s just a fairy tale. It’s not real. Besides, there’s no crying on Christmas! Santa Claus is coming.”

“Santa Claus is the fairy tale!” complained Grandpa.

“Santa Claus IS real,” grated Jennifer.

“Yep,” said Allan as he pulled the curtains aside. “Here he comes now.” A starship, converted for cargo, cruised past slowly. Small red dots by the thousands spilled out. Gradually, they moved closer until it became clear they were man-shaped, all dressed in red with white trim. The kids became nearly uncontrollable as they watched thousands of Santa Clauses approaching the habitat. Before long, the family’s main hatch opened and Santa Claus stood there laughing uproariously, his arms loaded with Christmas presents.

While the kids tore into the gifts, Grandpa pulled Jennifer aside. “Someday you’ll have to tell them Santa Claus is a pack of clones who only live a couple weeks before they’re disassembled. Will they cry then? Who’s telling the fairy tales?”

“But at least he’s real!” countered Jennifer. “Grandpa, you’re getting older. But your stories…maybe things are getting mixed up in your head.”

“It’s all true!”

Jennifer cocked an eyebrow. “If only your stories were half as true as Santa Claus!”
____________________________________

This week, the Speakeasy prompt must include the phrase, β€œGrandpa told the best stories.” It should also include a reference to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” Here’s the original prompt: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/139-open/

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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30 Responses to Fairy Tales – The Speakeasy at Yeah Write

  1. I like this very interesting future. In a few words, you have created a future world layered enough to both be fantastical and have its issues that would spill out if someone peeled the curtain away.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. It does have it’s own issues. One being that it can’t believe it’s own past well enough to learn from the mistakes. But at least they have Santa Claus. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for stopping in!

      Like

  2. Awesome! Really enjoyed this piece:)

    Like

  3. ranu802 says:

    This is an amazing story. I liked the questions of the kids. From beginning to end I laughed 279 years old and then 600 years old. It can truly be called fiction,I have no doubt in my mind.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks Ranu! Of course it’s fiction. It’s as much a parable or cautionary tale as anything else. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if the things we take deadly seriously now, would be considered ridiculous to a future generation, and something like Santa Claus be considered more plausible.

      Like

  4. ym1611 says:

    Poor Grandpa! Sounds all to real for me though– I just know the generations after us will be ridiculing our existence.
    Awesome story. Loved it!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, I agree. The stories we can tell for later generations may be too difficult to believe.

      Glad you liked the story. Thanks so much for your thoughtful words! πŸ˜€

      Like

  5. Stacie says:

    I love dystopic stuff! This was so clever, I really enjoyed it.

    Like

  6. J. Milburn says:

    Love the last line. Truly, if only half the stuff were as true as Santa Claus the world would be a little better off. Also love the name Illuminada πŸ™‚ Great story!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      I think you’re right. We could use more Santa Claus in the world.

      I actually read that name somewhere. The full name was, Illuminada Sonico. I thought it sounded like a superhero name. I’ve never forgotten it.

      Thanks much, J. πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. jannatwrites says:

    “Nobody killed each other because of some weird color-codes or over religion” – if only she was right.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      I sometimes imagine what it would be like to travel into the future and talk with the people there. I think it would be hard for them to believe what people do now makes any sense. Grandpa in this story is the result of these musings.

      Thanks much for visiting!

      Like

  8. Suzanne says:

    This is fantastic! Love the creepy innocence in the future you’ve created – the thought of all those Santas spilling out into space is really disturbing. Awesome take on the prompts!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks so much Suzanne. Yeah, I admit the image of so many Santas is strange to us. That future culture is as strange to us as we are to them.

      I do appreciate the glowing critique. Thanks so much for visiting!

      Like

  9. I could feel Grandpa’s frustration! Intense.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Poor Grandpa. He just can’t make them believe him. The culture clash is just too great between them. Perhaps this is why we don’t live so long.

      Thanks so much for your visit and your thoughts!

      Like

  10. mandyblake95 says:

    Great story, very creative.

    Like

  11. Indira says:

    Very very, interesting travel in the future, very imaginative. Why can’t people realize now that they are fighting for silly things.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      It’s a question I ask over and over. My only answer is, we’ll be embarrassed to explain our behavior to future generations. That’s where this story originates. Thanks kindly for stopping in! πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Pingback: Winner of the Speakeasy #139 | the speakeasy at yeah write

  13. tedstrutz says:

    Some fascinating sci-fi here, Eric. The thought is even more fascinating.

    Like

  14. Shey says:

    Awesome!

    Like

  15. Pingback: The Speakeasy #140… ETHEL & CHERYL WRITE A STORY | TedBook

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