Listen. This could be like any other time-travel story and focus on paradoxes, and I’d have some ingenious way of describing just how I got to a different time. I’ll just tell you now, the whole detailed event is very boring and mathematical and wouldn’t make much sense to anyone who hasn’t studied the topic their entire lives. The whole process would take much too long to explain, and by then, all the readers would have lost interest or died. To keep it simple, my dad worked for a secret governmental project that was trying to build a time machine. When dad said he thought it worked, unbelievable as this might sound, I snuck in and stole it. I was trying to get to the past but—oops!—I went to the future (after a math blunder that happened only because I dropped a negative). This is my account of what happened in the four years I was stranded in…
When I was first stepped out of the machine, not too much looked different. The sky was still blue, the grass was still green, and people still looked like people. However, the fashions were scarily different, and everyone’s hair was a little too perfect, their teeth too blindingly white. To spare you from scanning a whole one-hundred pages of literary flabber to find out what the main changes were, I will provide a list.
In the future… (I apologize for using past tense. I’m just confusing people, I know. But from my perspective, I went to the future then came back and wrote this, so technically, I went to the future in the past.)
-A machine was invented that enables electrons to be added or subtracted from any pure element to make another pure element. (Think, elements in the periodic table.) The means that gold is essentially worthless, and right after the machine was created, the world fell into complete economic upheaval. The world’s economy reverted to barter of services that only people could perform, such as artistic and musical feats, human interaction, and other services that only could be harvested from humans.
-Computers and machines could do just about anything that humans could do, with exception of those services that can only be served by humans. (a complete list of these on page 92).
-One of these machines completely eliminated the random component in human reproduction. Thus, everyone was perfect, especially after generation after generation of this kind of reproduction. Many genetic diseases were completely irradiated this way, but unfortunately, so were many desirable qualities that were also completely erased in favor of other desirable qualities. For example, (almost) everyone wanted their children to be out-going, so the shy people died out. Everyone wanted strong, sporty children, but most people forgot about artistic abilities. Those artsy people became an endangered species, and everyone paid big bucks for anything artistic that was done well.
That’s how I was able to survive during the four years I spent there. I’m an artist, so I was able to sell my work for food and a place to sleep. I actually got rather rich, for a young person. Sadly, time machines had been illegalized long before the year I went visited, so I spent most of my art trying to buy a ride on one of the only time machines still working. It was on the black market, and was suuuuupeeer expensive. But I got back okay. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) I had forgotten to take into account that I had spent four years growing older in the future, yet I went back to the day after I left for the future. From my father’s view point, I disappeared one day, then came back the next four years older. That allowed for some pretty complicated paperwork. My story ended up being that I had a freak growth spurt, and I didn’t age any years. I ran away from home when I was 16 and came back 16, but looking a lot different. The government told us to blame hormones.