Daily Archives: October 9, 2014

Writing prompt: An elderly diatribe

Time: 7 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“An elderly diatribe”

“The children are not ready to inherit this planet. By their age, I had my second doctorate and a dozen papers. It isn’t their fault that no universities exist on this compromise of a planet, and yet none do. They are experienced at excavating and earth works and weatherproofing, but so was my general contractor in Seattle. I would not choose to leave the fate of a civilization in her hands.

“The young will say, who, then? Us. It still has to be us. The masters of physics and chemistry and psychology and metallurgy and meteorology. These aren’t fields where hunches suffice.”

I paused. I rubbed my aching, weary hands. My grandmother hadn’t looked this bad at 110, and I was only 80. So many from my generation had already died. We didn’t have real universities, and we didn’t have real hospitals. These things hadn’t occurred to us when we left Earth, full of vigor and zeal. Now what I wouldn’t give for an anti-inflammation treatment at an Appalachian spa.

We would have to hand over the reins at some point. But everything seemed so perilous still. Food supplies were a constant concern, weather still dominated every day, and the foggs were still deadly in the east. As my generation died, the next struggled to replace their skills. They were failing.