iZone 2022

iZone 2022

2022; the year in which Smartphones and social media reached a popularity beyond our imagination. Social media is everything . . . and everything is social media. Planet Earth has become one big zone, fascinated by devices.

This is intended for the Quibblo story contest, and if you think this story should be one of the winners (it's a long shot, but if you do, thanks a bunch!), please do rate! (: I appreciate any constructive criticism. Enjoy!

Chapter 1

London, 2022.

On Carlingford Road, Turnpike Lane, stood a respectable looking flat. It was built out of small red bricks and had an odd grey roof, which was shaped as if the home was a castle instead of a common, snug home.

Several square windows decorated the front to let in a proper amount of light, but a previous owner had—very cleverly—grown a tall hedge in front of the main floor to avoid any peeping toms. There wasn’t much space for a garden in the front, and where once rosebushes could have resided were now cold grey flagstones and a wooden bench that looked particularly uncomfortable. It seemed to be there more for the purpose of being pretty than actual convenience.

In front of the windows of the first floor the blinds were drawn, but the slits let in just enough light to show that beyond them lay a charming sitting room with a highly polished floor and white walls. It was sparsely decorated with a smart couch, coffee table and a very distasteful carpet. A glass bookcase stood in the far corner, but in it there were no novels. Instead, three kindles stood carefully on the upper shelf, and under them were various appliances ranging from iPods VII’s (still fairly new) to iDours (to control the odour in the room; they came in scents such as Pleasurable Pine, Mystique Mint and Cheery Candy Canes) and iSpots, the latest invention which enabled citizens to follow their family members, friends or colleagues through town and see what they were up to.

Apart from that, a large television hung on the wall and a heater was cramped up under the newly built window ledge, made of chic Delft tiles. Even at one glance, it was obvious that whoever occupied this house liked to leave a neat impression on visitors and neighbours.

The pristine, quiet room was disturbed by the slamming of a door, and in rushed a boy who seemed around the age of fifteen. He seemed to be in a hurry, because he didn’t notice neither that his underwear was visible above his tight jeans, nor that part of his black coat was stuck to his bag, which bulged with the weight of what were presumably thick school books. A tie hung loosely around his scrawny neck.

“I’ll tweet you to let you know when I get back, ma!” he called out, sprinting to the front door and ripping it open. The neighbour’s cat meowed indignantly and stalked off, its tail high and stiff in the air.

“Sorry, Lucy,” the boy, whose name was Callum Spencer, muttered. He gazed about himself nervously and peeked at his watch before breaking out into a hasty sprint. His young face was creased with worry, which didn’t add any charm to his common features. Callum, however, didn’t seem to be aware of that. In fact, we can assume safely that at the moment, looks were the least of his worries.

“Bugger.” He remembered to wave at the camera positioned on the corner of the street just in time, so that people looking at his Facebook profile would know he was on his way to school. Taking his Smartphone out of pocket, Callum began to text his friends on iSpeak, the app which allowed you to enter a free chat room designed for a group of people sharing the same interests.

On my way to school, he tweeted, keeping the jog up. It took him quite a while before he reached Park View Academy, which was a large building with many windows currently open to let in some fresh air before the lessons started. High, mighty and modern seemed the right adjectives to portray the school.

From where he stood (jumping apprehensively from one leg to the other), Callum could spot the football field behind the school clearly. Many students were sitting lazily on the green grass, waiting to be called inside. Relief swooped down on the boy once he realized he wasn’t quite as late as he thought he was—in fact, other students were filing in behind him, appearing calm as they stuck up a hand to the camera in front of the school and updated their statuses.

Callum relaxed visibly and went over to his group of friends. Charlotte, a chubby girl with fiery red curls, stuck out her tongue at him. “Where’ve you been, nancy boy? We’ve been waiting for you! What were you, detained at His Majesty’s pleasure?” She fiddled with her Smartphone and then held it to her ear, cocking her head to the left. A stone’s throw away, her boyfriend picked up.

“I thought you were going to be late,” remarked Walter quietly, dark hands stuffed into his pockets. The tie around his neck looked snug and neat, as always. As Callum responded by a careless shrug, he looked over his shoulder. The small earpiece, designed to keep him updated about Facebook, Twitter and MySpace at all times, was barely detectible.

Then the bell rung loudly and students began filing in, chattering loudly and stuffing their phones in their pockets with some reluctance. Each looked into the small screen on the wall and halted for a moment so the computer could register that they were in the building. Down the hallway, girls giggled excitedly and gossiped about the camera crew, who were filming the school for a reality show about teenagers in high school. The angst of adolescents sold well on the telly, and many kids these days were dramatic enough to gain an interview. Social media, in 2022, was everything; and everything was social media.

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