A Dystopian Creative Writing Challenge

I wrote ‘Felix 120’ as a contribution to the writing challenge ‘Write like Kazuo Ishiguro a dystopian piece of max 500 words’. I received encouraging feedback: ‘Your darkest and best piece so far’, which surprised me because I do not favour dystopian literature. That said, I highly admire Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never let me go and The Buried Giant. Allow me to share my writing with you.

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FELIX 120

Once upon a time there was a man named Felix, and goodness, did he live up to the meaning of his name happy and lucky. Felix rode the waves of the economic boom following the Second World War which meant that he could afford the life he had in mind. He loved his life. In fact, he loved no one or nothing more than his life. This wasn’t surprising after all; he had been able to turn disadvantages into advantages. Felix was the embodiment of the principle that effective egoism is best achieved by calculated altruism. Thus his life was long and fortunate. Health-wise he was lucky too. Not only had his deceased wife helped him through all the minor health troubles he had had during their time together, Felix was also blessed with a strong immune system. He survived a war and two pandemics brilliantly. In fact, so blessed was he that it was hard to glow in his shadow.

Felix set out to become a centenarian, which he did with ease and in good health. It slowly became obvious that he stood a good chance to become 120, even 122, which scientists regard as the limit of a human life. When Felix turned 100, a few remaining children attended his birthday but when Felix turned 118 it was a lonely business. His last children had expired in their eighties due to a combination of fragile health and the four year lasting nuclear winter following North Korea’s bomb.

The mayor of Felix’s town paid his annual obligatory visit to his city’s oldest man, Felix. Cheerfully the major advised to all that were in the room, a medium sized cooled cell, to enjoy each other ‘whilst they were still alive together’. The director of the retirement home quickly whispered to the mayor that there was no family present. Later, after Felix was hauled to bed by his robotic nurse, the mayor and director walked to the exit exchanging some facts and figures.

‘Any children left?’ the major inquired.

‘No, only a few grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Rumor has it that they all moved north’. The mayor was well aware of the ‘moving north’ phrase; it meant escaping global warming by moving closer to the arctic circle.

‘Who pays for his Aircocoon and assisting robot then?’ asked the mayor.

‘He himself’ said the director, ‘Felix is a man of great self-preservation’.  

The director and mayor continued their walk to the exit passing tens of cocoons. Soft neon lights and whooshing sounds of bleeping assistive nurses emanated from the cabins.

Outside a scorching sun burned down on the roof of the former warehouse.

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

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Whilst googling for illustrative pictures -to my surprise- I found photos of a Japanese assistive robot that is capable of putting immobilized patients to bed. During my writing, I had projected these robots in the future, however after I had written my piece, I learned that their implementation into nursing homes is well on its way.

Paula holds an MA degree in Philosophy and she is the owner of mindfuldrawing.com. Her pen and pencils are always fighting for her attention nevertheless they are best friends; Paula likes her art to be brainy and her essays to be artistic.OTHER BLOG POSTS AND LINKS:

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P.S. My wood duck composition is ready and available at Etsy.

My shop is at ETSY. Please, feel invited to contact me directly should you be interested in my art.

I am currently very inspired by our recent stay in the Cotswolds. Expect some lovely medieval paintings before the end of this year!