22nd century

December 2, 2010
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We enter the 22 century. Amongst all the teen pregnancies, the drug overdoses, and the internet scandals, our society now faces the biggest struggle it has ever known: no businesses.

Quinn Rivers sits on his bed contemplating his reasons. The world he lives in isn’t going to get any better, he thinks silently. He just can’t take sitting around anymore: it just seems pointless. He has five kids and no job. His wife is dead because she had cancer. His eldest daughter, Miranda, is pregnant with her second child and she’s only seventeen. His daughter Lissa is in rehab at the age of fourteen. And his son Kaleb is in the hospital after a major drug war- he got stabbed severely. He doesn’t have much to live for anymore. But leaving his kids alone to struggle unsuccessfully seemed rather cruel to Quinn.

Quinn didn’t even have any money to call his own. Back when he had a job, the family was well off. But six months ago every single business disappeared- nonexistent. Back when jobs were available and businesses still existed. Quinn is lucky to still have his home- a falling down cabin in the middle of nowhere.

Quinn quickly hides his weapon as the door of his small bedroom opens with a loud ugh-squeak sound. The last thing he needed was his children worrying about him and his problems. He had never heard anything more selfish. His daughter Rachelle comes in with tears running down her face. She thrusts the paper in her hand to Quinn so he may read it. It’s a foreclosure on the house.

“Dad, I’ve had enough of this.” Rachelle sobs in a tiny, upset voice.

Quinn’s mind drifted back to the previous thoughts. He didn’t know what to tell his daughter and he didn’t want his daughter to see him so upset. He took a deep breath and looked at the paper again. He had a wonderful idea.

“I know what we’ll do, Rachelle.” He told her in a high-pitched voice which startled Rachelle.

He grabbed her hand and pulled her out of his room into the living room. He went into the kitchen and started riffling through all the kitchen cupboards. His daughter Miranda came out with a very confused look on her face. She had no idea what was going on. She glanced at her younger sister Rachelle for a moment before going back to her room to grab her twelve month old son.

In a flash Miranda was back with Jacob in tow. She looked more frightened than confused now and didn’t get too close to her father, instead she stood cautiously in the door way. Rachelle had backed up too. Quinn wasn’t talking, just opening up drawers and flinging them onto the floor when he was through with them.

Rachelle, only fourteen years old (twin of Lissa) had always had excellent decisive skills. She sensed trouble ahead and went into the bedrooms belonging to Sara and Dalton, Sara ten and Dalton fifteen. Rachelle dragged them out to the kitchen. Although they probably didn’t want to, they should be together, all watching their father going about the kitchen almost like a lunatic would.

Quinn finally found what he had been crazily looking for: the box of matches. He had a gleam in his eyes and was smiling like the Cheshire cat. Both of his daughters just stared at him for the longest time before they did anything. Quinn made the first move by stepping gracefully across the kitchen. He moved fast.
Miranda set Jacob down on the floor and stepped towards her possibly suicidal father. She was the eldest. She felt obligated. “Dad, what are you doing?’

Quinn just chuckled, as if his daughter was making a joke of some sort. He didn’t stop to care about his daughters or his son. Instead he just pulled the match out and struck out on kitchen counter.
Miranda took her son outside and her siblings flied out after her. They were in complete shock and they didn’t even know what was going on. All they knew was this: Quinn was going insane and the cabin was going down in flames sooner than they knew. Jacob the two year old was crying so loud no one could think properly.
Inside Quinn was running through the house with passion, knocking things over and ruining just about everything imaginable. He didn’t stop until the house began to really burn. Flames wrapped themselves around the front and the back of the house.

Seconds later he came out and collapsed on the front lawn in front of his children. He hadn’t wanted his children to witness his death; technically he had done just that. He had left his children to suffer, the exact opposite of what he wanted.

Being the eldest, Miranda stepped up to the plate and unnervingly made a quick plan. She took her siblings to the nearest place in town that wasn’t on fire yet, the local wildlife park. This is when Dalton speaks for the first time in months. He is the quiet one.

“Guys, “he starts, his voice very clear and understandable. “We’ve had our laughs. Our fun. Mom’s dead. Dad just died right in front of us like two minutes ago. Lissa is in rehab. Miranda, you’re pregnant. Kaleb is in the hospital for stab wounds- who knows if he’ll ever get better. Don’t you think it’s time to move on?”

The surrendered look on every ones face told that they all agreed with young Dalton, everyone except Miranda that is. She held her blond-haired head high and proud. She wasn’t about to give up. She wasn’t throwing in the towel. Not just yet, she had a son to a raise, and a daughter on the way. She crossed her thin arms and narrowed her eyes.

“How can you all stand there and just give up? You haven’t even lived yet. I haven’t even lived yet.” She spoke with a very certain tone.

Her siblings stared back at her. They didn’t care. All hope was lost and to be 100% honest, they had nothing to live for anymore. Or so they thought.

“What’s there to do, Miranda?” Sara asked all matter-of-factly.
She was going through a stage where she thought she knew just about everything there was to know. Like usually, Miranda proved her wrong.

She smiled bright at her siblings and kissed her young son on the cheek. She was happy to be able to say this.

“We have each other; family. And that’s a lot more than anyone else has.” She declared happily.

Her young sister moved closer to hug. And a moment later, Rachelle did the same thing. Even Dalton got in on the love fest.

That very day, Dalton made a discovery. He found an apple in the park. What did he do with it? He ate the apple. But the seeds in the apple he planted into the soil. Miranda savaged around and she found some acorns and grain.

The Rivers family learned three important lessons that day. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems. You can grow food with seeds you find in the park. And matches really aren’t something to play with when your depressed.

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