--- 2210 ---

July 21, 2010
By Connor Balistreri BRONZE, Mukwonago, Wisconsin
Connor Balistreri BRONZE, Mukwonago, Wisconsin
1 article 1 photo 0 comments

2210 Much of the land has been exhausted of its nutrients and only the ghosts of civilization remain. The last of the scavengers cling to the dregs of humanity. While they desperately hunt for sustenance, they occasionally spend their time pondering what happened to this once beautiful planet. Some consider that that either a solar flare or nuclear attack caused Earth’s demise. This subject matters little, though to those focused on survival.

One forager, Cole Balistreri Jr. has been frantically pursuing anything resembling edible food for most of his life. He happens upon the remains of was what once a Midwest subdivision amidst rubble and ashy dirt. One white house in particular draws in his focus. Metal letters representing his surname adorn the paneled surface of the battered building. Thinking that this is a sign, he quickly stumbles toward the house.

The door falls off its frame once he presses against it with his weight. Cole’s optimism soon flees once he discovers that the house has already been rifled through. Nothing remains in the cupboards and closets but dust. After ripping apart the dry remnants of the home, he makes his way outside to the back yard. The scavenger blocks the white, hot sun from his eyes and descends to his knees. The hunger has weakened his body, his morale. He opens his eyes and witnesses a glint of red metal in a sea of grey sand. His coarse hands tear through the loose soil until he uncovers a metallic box corroded with rust.

An ancient lock breaks free with a tug and Cole lifts the lid. A golden, porous material wrapped in some sort of transparent, yet flexible material rests inside the container. His trembling fingers grasp the object. The red letters on the wrapping read, “Hostess.”

Two hundred years ago, Cole’s ancestor buried a product known as a Twinkie in his back yard. The pastry cost twenty-five cents and was purchased at the local Pick ‘N’ Save. Little did he know, this treat would become one of the most priceless items in the future.

Cole scurries to his feet, package in hand. He clutches it to his chest, peering around the wasteland in a knee jerk reaction. This wave of greed and paranoia passes after realizing the chances of finding another inhabitant to this desolate planet are slim. If, on the off chance he were to happen upon another, they would surely either give their last breath or take his in order to possess this source of sustenance. Its value is beyond any number. It’s worth life and death. Life if he consumes it, death if he’s discovered holding it.

Without further thought, the survivor in this dystopia rips the clear covering off and shoves the nourishment into his mouth. A moist filling escapes from the yellow, spongy pastry. Cole’s taste buds flare unexpectedly at its sweetness and his stomach disagrees at the sudden introduction to food, yet he can’t help himself from engulfing this discovery.

Cole lies down, painfully digesting due to a stunted metabolism. He feels a physical sense of satisfaction through the discomfort, but more importantly, this moment instills hope. Hope is the only thing to hold on to while foraging for food in this barren land. A twenty-five cent Twinkie, something that could be found in any convenience store two hundred years ago, inspires Cole to persevere, keep searching for hoards of food. It allows him carry on in a world that’s given up.

The author's comments:
This is a piece written for a scholarship prompt asking, "What would you bury today that would be worth a fortune in the future"?

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