Zen’s Log: September 8, 2026
This is the one time I hope I’m wrong, but I am impressed that I am more right than I ever wanted to be. Why in the hell did I… never mind that Zen, it doesn’t matter. These past six years have been strangely quiet, but strangely long as well. What on earth possessed me to watch the numbers? Math. Just Math. I like math. Actually, I liked math, now I think I hate it, but I don’t understand why. I want to be right, because, well, I like being right. I also want to be wrong, very wrong. But the numbers. Numbers don’t lie, they never have. Math, equations, graphs… Three more days.
By the year 2026 humanity had become completely apathetic. Yes, the cars now flew, and the first travel portals were finally being used in the airports. Airports… That’s the old name, sorry about that, but it’s only been a year since the last airplane flew through the sky. Now, what used to be airports, were large Portal facilities. There was no such thing as flying, just facilities with hundreds of doorways that you walked through to get to where you were headed.
Humans fell in love with portal travel, and didn’t mind paying ridiculous amounts of money to walk from LAX, in California, to the now Beijing Capital International Portal facility. Try to wrap your mind around this: A trip from California to Beijing was about thirteen hours by plane.
Now, for a nominal fee of $4,000.00, you could get to Beijing, from California, in about 45 minutes, and most of that was spent going through the portal facility. The actual portal trip was mere seconds once you entered.
The year 2026 was amazing for technology, but distressing for everything that the earth used to be. There were no more animals, literally no more. Peta got their wish. No more animal cruelty, nor the eating of animal flesh or products. I don’t think they meant for it to happen like this though. You would think a world without birds, fish, pets, horses, bugs, worms, anything, would be a cause for concern, but it wasn’t.
Humanity got over the loss of the animal kingdom quickly, sadly, within a year from when the last bee was spotted, in 2023, it was as if animals had never existed.
Then the Amazon forest was completely destroyed and the earth got hotter. Winter ceased to exist by the middle of 2024. Spring was just barely holding on, but plants? It had become extremely rare to see a living one. The only people who actually got to ingest plant based food were the elite. And still, humanity plugged on. Scientists had learned to make food supplements out of rocks, soil, and the bones of the dead. Rocks, soil, and skeletons were the one thing that was still plentiful.
It may sound bad, but there was the technology! It was the scientists that kept humanity alive and humanity was content. They seemed to forget all that the earth had been and continued to live day to day with what it had become. The only thing that didn’t disappear was the water. There was plenty of water and, interestingly enough, fasting became the norm and not the exception. The people lived and they made the best of life as they had since the beginning of time.
Not everyone was content. There were a literal handful who were concerned, who were scared. You would think they would be hidden away from everyone else, but life had taught those, who would listen, that hiding in plain site was best, and so they did. They hid so well that they weren’t even in contact with each other.
Zenith Lawrence was concerned. In December of 2020 she turned 21. It was now September 8, 2026 and she was terrified. She had been in school, finishing up her degree coursework to become a biochemist, when the earth began to change for the worst. She remembered her first insights. She was plagued with nightmares, shadow walkers coming through the walls, feeling afraid and yet sometimes protected, maybe even blessed and cursed at the same time.
Numbers, space, thoughts, time… signs… She spent years pretending it was nothing. But for the past month the impressions had been getting stronger and stronger. She couldn’t deny what she was hearing in her sleep, and seeing in her waking hours. Three more days.
September 11, 2026: The World Harvest Moon Festival
The world had stopped being divided by countries and borders at the end of 2025. There was no USA, Russia, China, Japan, Australia, or any other country of old, in the sense of separatism. There was now one world, one ruling class, and country names were no more important than the names of cities had been up until 2021. World War 3 never happened. The loss of the animals and plants took care of that. Humanity had come together to survive and accept their new lot in the universe.
But here they were preparing for the World Harvest Moon Festival. Even though there was no such thing as harvesting food anymore, they celebrated the time when the moon was large and close and lit up the fall sky, seeming to lengthen the day, as it had during the harvest times of old.
Zen had thought that 9/11 of any year would be a day to fret, but it wasn’t, it was now just another day. The only thing that made it important this year was the festival. The portals were flooded with people. This was the year that everyone on the planet was going to be in the western hemisphere to welcome the Harvest moon together. The American continents had never been so full, and the rest of the world, with the exception of those manning the portal facilities, was completely empty.
The moon began to show her face by late afternoon, even before the sun had begun to dim even minutely. It was amazing to see! The sun and the moon, large and side by side in the sky. Astronomers had NEVER seen or recorded anything of the like! The sun seemed to cast a small shadow on the center of the moon. It was beautiful to behold.
As the sun began to descend into the western sky, the moon slowly began to rise. It seemed close enough to touch and the shadow in the center became darker. Now the light in the sky was only mildly less bright as the sun set. The moon lit up the early evening sky just as the sun had done for as long as the sun had provided light for the earth. But the moon, unlike the sun, did not provide heat and the normal evening chill set in, even in the brightness that surrounded the inhabitants of the earth.
When the sun completely set and only the moon remained the people began to cheer. You could feel the electricity of their excitement. But not everyone felt the excitement. The shadow on the center of the moon was dark black.
A handful of people stared, and those few, unbeknownst to each other, shed tears at exactly the same moment. In moments the first scream was heard, then the multitude began to scream and run. There was nowhere to run. All of humanity stood in one spot.
All of humanity saw, whether in person, or on the big screens provided for the few who manned the portals, the moon began to roll back and forth. Just back and forth, then slightly up and down, as if it were looking for someone in the vast crowd. The moon then disappeared from sight! But came right back, disappeared and came back.
The screams stopped. It was as if humanity suddenly remembered their apathy. They watched the moon flash in and out and seemed as if they were about to begin celebrating once more. This was something new, and they loved new things. It had to be the scientists. This must have been why the push for them all to come together in one place. Planet earth had never known such excitement! Electricity seemed to flood the air.
The earth began to sway back and forth with the rolling moon. Golden beams of light, a very few here and there in large crowds, seemed to dart into the sky from the ground, then the waves began to come. The end came quickly. Mercy abounded.
“The experiment failed.” “No it didn’t”, Eli stated out loud to everyone in the room, after he flooded the petri dish with acid. All of the people in the room had gotten to take one final look into the petri dish, through the microscope. They had carefully extracted the organisms that survived and seemed to even thrive, so that they could grow them in another petri dish and try the experiment again. All were hopeful that it would turn out right the next time.
For a moment, Zen’s stomach had turned. She had thought she was going to pass out. Thoughts had begun to flood her mind as she watched the moon. Right before everything went black she had seen the golden light. As she opened her eyes, not yet able to focus, the thoughts came back. The Harvest moon and the numbers. She had remembered the things she had learned at her mother's side about numbers, energies, and celestial bodies. Numbers. Math. 10, the number of the union between being and non being as well as the completion of a cycle. 2026. 2+0+2+6= 10. Something was done and something was new.
She took a deep breath, cool, sweet, clean air, then went back to sleep.
Copyright © 2020 by Mia J. Mitchell/Mia Multiplied
All rights reserved. This story or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.