February 3, 2015

Short Story: Las Vegas Troubles

Prompt: It's the near future in 2048, and just outside of Las Vegas you get pulled over by the police. The police offer looks pissed.

Just great, you thought, the first time I've been to Vegas since I was a kid, and instead of enjoying the Angry Birds convention I get to deal with Angry Cop. Now that you think about it, it is strange that the American History Association would host their now annual Angry Birds convention in Las Vegas, but it's even weirder that you've only been to Vegas 2 times. You'd think that as someone who always wanted to be more irresponsible, you would have gone more often, but life caught up to you and your youth was wasted doing a boring desk job.


Even stranger was the fact that your parents took you to Vegas when you were 4. You suppose that probably makes sense, as they were new to the United States back then, and definitely were still pretty enamored by the touristy elements of being in the country, but who brings a child to this kind of city? So much of your childhood now makes sense.

Then you realize it's been 8 minutes since you handed over your license and registration to the cop, and now you start getting worried. You've never liked cops. Actually, that's probably not true, but as you grew older and read more stories about cops shooting unarmed teens, cops beating people for no reason, cops using civil forfeiture just to fund their departments, cops who in general have an us versus them mentality, you've started to realize your dislike of police in general. Not that any of your own personal interactions have been bad, but that's mostly because you're not black, which, unfortunately, you guess is just a benefit of the lottery of birth. Especially since they outlawed being black last year.

For a brief moment, you start reminiscing about how life has changed since you were 16, the last year you were really sure of anything. But then the police officer comes back, still looking mildly unhappy, but perhaps restrained by the fact that it was still illegal to beat you (and fortunately for you, that your car recorded every police interaction).

"Sir, do you know how fast you were going?" she asked.

"I don't, officer, but I was pretty sure-" you started, before she interjected.

"Sir you were 32 miles over the speed limit," she replied, curtly.

"But officer, the most recent sign I saw said the limit was 64 miles per-"

"Not in this zone. That zone ended 128 miles ago."

Well, it could be worse, you thought to yourself. I mean, after driving for so long, you'd think that you would have been pulled over earlier during your trip. "I suppose I'm in the wrong here, officer. How much is the fine?" you ask.

"It's going to be about $256, and you'll probably get some points on your record." she answered.

That last part made you wince. It would probably take about 512 hours worth of driving classes to get those points erased, which was time away from doing what you loved, which was anything but being in a driving class, which is probably why you were in this mess in the first place.

The officer left, and you drove on. About a thousand miles later, or 1024 more miles to be more precise, you finally reached Las Vegas.

Las Vegas in 2048, of course, was merely a giant hotel and convention center, situated next to a mega brothel, with a giant hat the size of the old Mount Rushmore (before they added President Putin), whose sole purpose for existence was hosting the conventions of cults like the American Historical Association and their mass suicides, but you already knew that.

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