Future Express

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 15; the fifteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

The station wore a deserted look when I arrived. There wasn’t a soul on the platform on this cloudy day, and the breeze blew a few stray leaves into my path. Autumn was just setting in. The station itself looked very majestic in its architecture, the damp bricks lending it elegance. I occupied a lone bench near the station master’s office, which, I noted, was also empty. The wind brought with it an echo of the siren, and I knew the train was on its way.

There was a scarlet engine pulling into the station, and just one compartment followed behind it. “Well, it is the only train that comes through here… this has to be it”, I thought and moved toward the opening doors. Just as I was about to enter, I slipped, and tumbled into the compartment..!

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re in the 21st century now… what you witnessed was the effect of a simple banana peel. We call it the slip-n-tumble effect, when the platform itself, at times, had trash on it”, said a familiar voice as I picked myself up and sat on a vacant seat.

“Welcome to the Future Express, mister!” he said, taking the seat next to me. “You look surprised. Anyways, you’re coming with us till the train returns tomorrow. I’m the guide… learnt all of this past through my ancestors.”

“You mean I’m actually headed to the future, or to the past? And who are you?” I demanded.

“I’m James Baskin-Robbins. My great-great grandfather was a soccer commentator. I take my voice from him, I think…”

“Oh you’re the ice…” I started but he cut me off.

“No, I’m not that ice cream. And yeah, we’re headed to the 22nd century. This was the last stop. Glad you stumbled in, he-he! We’re here, time sure flies fast!”

The automatic doors opened, but I didn’t feel anything had changed. We’d just arrived back at the same station, only difference was that the platform was very crowded. The brick walls, the wooden benches, the greenery around the station, all were very much unchanged. I turned to James, “Are you sure this is the future, man? It looks so much like the old station!”

“We kept it the same. Some things are beautiful without change”, he said, “Come on! I’ll keep you company till the next train out.”

Outside the station, the parking lot had become bigger. There stood many vehicles, but strangely none of them had wheels. “Well, hop on! Hovercrafts are the thing now. Rubber became too much on demand, and the vehicles using wheels felt too slow”, James said. Just as he lifted off the ground, another craft hit the rear of the vehicle. “You lunatic driver… wait till I’m out of the space!!” he yelled. Oh no, he scratched the bumper! I’d just got it repainted.”

The air felt clean as we hovered over the city, and the craft was quite smooth. “Earth friendly fuel, friend… no smoke and less pollution. Forgot to ask your name, what is it?”

“I’m Calvin. It seems nice here. The future turned out better after all… If you see the world I’m in, apprehension is justified”, I said, admiring the view as we passed above a lake, but I may have spoken too soon, for he braked suddenly and I nearly went over!

“Damn this rush hour traffic… the air highways ought to be clearer I feel”, James cursed. I’d a sense of déjà vu as I saw the long line of hovercrafts ahead. Looking below, I saw some cars drive past on the road below. “Can’t we descend, and use the road, James?” I enquired of him. “Traffic rules… We’ve to be at least a hundred feet above ground level”, he replied and I knew the wait was endless. I was used to that by now…

“Let’s stop at Luigi’s for coffee”, he said, as the traffic finally cleared. He flew in to an open cafe, and said “Two coffees to go, one without sugar” into a speaker. “Are you diabetic?” I asked him, taking a sip of the coffee that came. I spat it out, just as he shook his head. “That sugarless one is for you, man! You look like you need to cut down on calories.” I turned to look at the menu on the wall, and saw the sugarless coffee was the cheapest. “Even in the future, people are stingy. This guy is worse than Maureen! At least she makes me eat right”, I thought to myself. I took care to bump into him, and a shriek gave me satisfaction, as his coffee fell on his leg.

As we headed out later, I saw the hoardings had posters of movies which were famous in my world. “Don’t be misled. The movies now are fantastic, just that these old hits are popular with the previous generation”, James said. I just nodded. It was bound to happen. The movies were going below par even in my world, to my delight, they had gone even low then. “Score one for our time”, I said to myself. “If I say one time, I say a thousand times”… the echo rang through the air. “RIP OFF!!!” I thought to myself! James didn’t notice me or the hoarding, as he soared right through it. Moments later, I was laughing as a rotund cop handed him a digital ticket to appear in court!

“I ought to dump you someplace. You keep ticking me off, Calvin. Last chance…! Keep out of my hair!” he shouted. We pulled in to an assigned space over a huge stadium. The scoreboard read, “Air soccer night! Devils 0 – 0 Falcons… Referee: Kip Kipper. I watched as 24 hovercrafts flew though the air. Each player guided his craft quickly and with agility and then positioned himself for the kick. The match saw three black cards, and a single goal as Roon Wayney scored then fell of his vehicle in celebration, leading to a black card.

“Is that a Blackberry?” I enquired, seeing his mobile after the match. “Nah, those phones are obsolete! No privacy in them. This is the latest Gooseberry dude. Fully hands free and voice controlled. That keypad is just for decoration. Watch”, he said and folded the set and placed it in his ear! “Susan Evilley”, he spoke. The stadium resonated with the ring and the sweet sexy voice that answered, “Hi my darling cuddle bear! Where are you? Missed me? Mwaah!” My laughs were lost in the crowd’s laughter. “So much for privacy Jamie… it has a wonderful speaker though!” I mocked him as he pulled out!

The craft sped through the air as we headed back to the station. “You can sleep on a bench there! I’ve had enough!” James fumed. I couldn’t care less. A minute out, he braked. The traffic in front stretched to a mile. “Hey Jamie… looks like we’re stuck here for a while. The President will be passing by soon, so they’ve halted all traffic till then!” a girl in the next craft said. Ah, that déjà vu again! “Good Lord, these politicians… they want the nation to move forward and they halt it every time they pass by!” he cursed. “Now I will be late…”

“Are you awake, honey?” Maureen’s voice drifted in as the announcer’s voice sounded, “Train number 1313 to Greater Manchester will be late…” I rubbed my eyes and stretched out. I was at the station still, sitting on that very bench. Three suitcases were between me and Maureen, who was nonchalantly playing Sudoku on her mobile. “Go back to your nap if you wish. These trains are never on time. Even in the future, I don’t see it happening”, she murmured, “and this mobile is not that nice. You’ve to buy me a Blackberry soon.”

I leaned back on the bench and closed my eyes.

“Sure. Be the wonderful wife you are, and I might just get you a Gooseberry…”

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Image – Alston Station by Wandering Soul
Courtesy – www.deviantart.com via www.blogaton.in

Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

50 thoughts on “Future Express”

  1. Ah! I see a lot of humor and sarcasm there. Did make me smile and giggle at times. 😀
    A different side of you seen here. Your travelling in time works well.
    Nicely narrated and retained my interest up to the very end.
    Especially loved the Gooseberry!! 😉

  2. Truly entertaining one Leo…’back to the future’ huh! 😉

    I even love-hate the reality where…. “Good Lord, these politicians… they want the nation to move forward and they halt it every time they pass by!” he cursed. “Now I will be late…” 😀

    Oh, so let me snooze too so that when I wake up, I’d have a gooseberry… he he he…goosebumps I guess! 😛

    This is so much fun Leo…really! ..’Future Express’… 🙂 😛

  3. I loved your take on the picture.. Interesting and wonderful tale.. Particularly when i read, “Are you awake honey”, I enjoyed…

    “Sure. Be the wonderful wife you are, and I might just get you a Gooseberry…”

    I enjoyed it totally.. So good.. wonderfully written..

    I am starting BAT with a wonderful tale, hoping to enjoy all the posts..

    With lots ot love wishing you a good luck for Blog-a-Ton 15..

    –Someone Is Special–

  4. A very different kind of post from what you usually write. Enjoyed reading it as I always like futuristic fiction. Btw, I was curious why you se most of your stories in the Western world?

    • thanks The Fool 🙂 glad u liked the different take on the image, and from my usual style/theme!

      I’m actually taking a break from Indian characters.. the last two BATs were desi world..
      and you’re right, most stories of mine base in Western world, possibly coz I’ve a fascination with those names perhaps! 😀 comes easier to me maybe!

  5. I turned to look at the menu on the wall, and saw the sugarless coffee was the cheapest. “Even in the future, people are stingy… This is so damn funny

    “Sure. Be the wonderful wife you are, and I might just get you a Gooseberry…” another line that made me laugh.. He he

    I liked the concept, a complete different thought.

    He he.. I’m still laughing 😀

  6. Your article brings recollections of Jack Finney’s,’ The Third Level’, the core idea is very much similar. Its beautifully narrated with a touch of humor and sarcasm. Gooseberry is a real hit, wish the mobile companies get to know the term and Gooseberry will be launched within no time with upgraded technology. A very witty coinage. An amusing read. All the best.

  7. You have quite a sense of irony … this is well done, I enjoyed the story … Agree with Cherry Blossom …

    I must be getting tired. I don’t see the “like” botton. If I did I would definately click …

    Good stuff. Thank you!

  8. Hey Leo!

    Thank you for writing something on the lighter side of things! 🙂 The interpretation of the picture has turned out to be spooky in most of the posts I’ve read so far so this one is refreshing 😀 Sarcastic and how! Couldn’t stop giggling throughout 😉

    ‘Gooseberry’ is sure a hit! 😀 I see almost everyone going ga-ga over gooseberry..hehe..so here I’m, one more on the list.

    “Good Lord, these politicians… they want the nation to move forward and they halt it every time they pass by!” ~ Now that’s what I call a slap in face.

    Looks like you are a top contender for the BATOM title 😉 ATB with BAT! Cheers! 🙂

    • hi Raksha, where were you? didnt see u at the Indimeet..! 😛

      glad you liked the lighter side 😀 I think I needed the change too… yeah, lots of “gooseberry” fans already.. thanks for dropping by and appreciating the lighter side to things.. 😉 top contender? I hope so.. but its gonna be close contest I think! 😀

  9. I wonder what Lalloo would say if he read your subtle diatribe against the railways!
    But yet again, a lovely piece of writing !

  10. Ola! Loved the last line! “Sure. Be the wonderful wife you are, and I might just get you a Gooseberry…” A very light and fun read in fact. I couldn’t stop thinking about ‘The Jetsons’!

    • hmm.. similar perhaps, but not the same.. 🙂 I’ve read the post, Lol-Land.. I’m an office blogger, so commenting on other blogs from there is very rarely happening..! Good perspective though.. ATB for BATOM!

    • I think making my BAT debut on the Time Travel prompt has given me an obsession with time travel sort of posts, Tavish 😉 glad you liked it..

      hope you get your Goose real soon 😀

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