This is 2114. More exactly, May 25th 2114. Tomorrow is The Day of the Opening of the Future Library. My throath feels dry and soar. I am sitting on the floor at my hotellroom. Outside the rain is pouring down. I hope the weather will be better tomorrow, but it is unlikely. It almost always rain in Oslo nowadays. Not as much as in Gothenburg, but a lot. My parents justed to live there, in Gothenburg, when they were young but now it is deserted due to the heavy raining and storms.
This is 2114. My namn is Maia and I am fourtheen years old. I am one of one hundred young people from one hundred nations that will read at the opening tomorrow. Each and one of us have gotten an author whose secret work we shall read a piece from. Nobody, except from the authors know what is in their stories so we are all nervous. I am nervous. I am the first to go. I am supposed to read first. All eyes will be on me. All ears will hear the words that come out of my mouth. Like a million things can go wrong. No one who sees the opening will ever forget my performance, because I will read Margaret Atwood's Scribbler Moon. Or at least a piece of it. The first few pages.
I am looking at the picture that I am slowly building up in front of me. I have always loved mandalas. They are good for my nerves. I made the first at school when I was six years old. It was just made up of colourful circles, triangels and squares. I am much more advanced now then I was then. My body feels relaxed, but my mind is walking along its own paths.
This is 2114 and I am one of the lucky ones who tomorrow will get the chance to make a fool out of themselves in front if the entire world. I won the Scribbler Moon Contest and that is my prize. Or maybe punishment. Depends on from what angle you are looking. I never liked talking in front of a lot of people. I did not enter the contest by my own free will of course. Nobody did. All children all over the world were forced by their teachers to write a story to the contest.
For some, to me at least, strange reason the jury found my story to be the best.
"Simple, but straight to the point", one of them wrote as a commentary. Another one wrote: "Head on. And I believe that the girl is right!"
My friends at home pity me. Or maybe they envy me. I really do not know. The last couple of months I have hardly seen any of them. I have had to improve my reading and writing skills before the event so I have not had that much time to socialize lately. So while my friends emerge into their favorite stories, I have to read mine instead. I do not understand how people could stand reading stuff for so long. It is soo slow and soo boring! But of course, reading facts must have been worse than fiction. Thank God for inventing downloading! Otherwise we would stay in school from the day we are born till the day we die.
It was worst in the beginning, the reading I mean. Now I am getting the hang of it! :)
I remember the day of the contest well. The sheets of paper in front of me. Their white surfaces looking like newly fallen snow. Pure. Untouched. No scribble on them. Nothing. The smell of the sharpened pencil. The eraser near my right hand. The smell of sweat, deodorants and damp wool.The bright room and the darkness I knew was lurking outside of it even if I could not see it. All I could see was my classmates and my own reflections in the glass. We looked pale, diffuse in a sense, almost transparent. Like ghosts. We were there to write in the old fashioned way, a fact that properbly scared the crap out of some of us. The winter was howling outside and we were supposed to write about the past, in a sense at least.
I looked down at the instructions. "Pandora's Room" it read on top of the page.
Pandora? I have heard that name before. Was she not a greek girl who, by mistake, opened up a box and a lot of bad things escaped into the world? The only thing remaining in the box was Hope? The must vane thing of them all. Hope. A little hope can make us endure hardshipes and it is the last thing that dies. At least that is what my grandmother justed to say. That Hope is the last thing to die. The last thing to leave a man. Or woman. I think it was Buddha who said that hope, like everything else, makes us suffer. Of all the pains and sufferings in the world, hope is supposed to be the worst.