Jimmy woke up with a start. He lay there with his eyes closed and tried to recall why today was meant to be so special. And then he remembered. It was New Years Day! January the First . It was a New Year, A New Century and a New Millennium. It was the Year Two Thousand. As his eyes flicked open he was already scrambling out of bed. He stopped. And then whooped with delight. Folded neatly over the end of his bed was his new suit. He’d never worn anything like that before but it slipped on easily. It was the most comfortable thing he had ever had to wear. It seemed to be warm yet cool, delightfully soft and of the brightest silver colour he had ever seen.
He rushed to the window and flung back the curtains and gave a little gasp. The cars were all gone and in their places a row of gleaming metallic hovercraft were lined up neatly next to the pavement. Somebody had been busy over night! And as he looked around his jaw dropped even lower. Arching up above the whole town was a great plexiglass dome through which the sun shone brightly and the blue sky and fluffy white clouds rolled by. Through the plexiglass in the far distance where the aerodrome used to be he could see a red plume of fire as a silver cigar shape hurtled upwards. it was followed every few minutes by others until the blue sky was crisscrossed with their white smoke trails. They had started work on the space station already.
Jimmy ran downstairs. His mother and father were already there, both wearing their silver suits. “Morning Jimmy!” boomed his father “Welcome to The Future.” His mother kissed him on the top of his head. “Why, Jimmy, I do believe you’ve grown over night. And if you want to keep on growing you must eat your breakfast.” They laughed and then she motioned him towards the table. Jimmy was a little taken aback to see that all there was on his plate were two pills, one green and one purple. “Is that breakfast?” quavered Jimmy. “If I’ve read the packet correctly, yes. But I suppose it could be supper or Sunday Lunch” They laughed again. Jimmy swallowed the tablets and was astonished to find that they did indeed taste like breakfast. And a very delicious one at that. He closed his eyes and savoured porage with honey, bacon and eggs and waffles all washed down with what seemed to be tropical fruit juice.
Suddenly Jimmy noticed the new computing terminal in the corner of the room. It was a large silver box with red blue and green lights winking on and off. “It will allow us to find out any piece of information that we need including bus time tables and what’s on at the cinema.” Said his Father proudly. “Crumbs” said Jimmy, “That must have cost a pretty penny.” “Not a penny!” Laughed his mother. “Twenty Credits.” You’ll have to get used to the new money but it’s quite simple. A hundred Units to One Credit. All the money in you savings account will have been changed over automatically.”
“Look,” said his father pointing to a large glass plate on the wall, “We’ve even been supplied with a new televisor screen. “Crikey,” said Jimmy, “Can we turn it on?” “We shouldn’t really watch until this evening but I’m sure no-one will mind as today is so special.”
The televisor screen glowed and hummed for a few minutes and then an enormous colour picture nearly three feet across came into focus. It was someone talking. The Prime Minister! And he was talking to them.
“Welcome citizens! Welcome to The Future. As you can see, our operatives have been busy over night. I expect you can understand now why we asked you all to go to bed early last night. There was a lot to do. It’s not quite finished but we’re a good way there.” Jimmy’s parents smiled at each other and nodded.“You’ll be glad to know, however,” the Prime Minister went on “ That as from today, all disease has been eradicated from the world, peace treaties have been signed in all wars and airships and hover trucks are delivering much needed supplies to poor people all over the world. Naturally, today is a holiday for everyone.” Jimmy whooped with joy and his parents smiled and nodded “And all the operatives will be having the rest of the week off for working so hard. As this is The Future there won’t be a great deal of work to do but you will find plenty of money in your bank account even if you are at a bit of a loose end. We have made sure there are a lot of libraries, museums, bathing pools and other leisure activities. I suppose, that there won’t be very much for me to do either as there are no more problems to solve, so join all us politicians by the bandstand in the park and I’ll buy you all an ice cream. Toodle oo.” And the screen went blank. Jimmy smiled. The Twenty first Century was indeed a marvellous place.