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Stacey walked in the grass on the side of the road. The clouds were graying becoming darker by the minute. The air grew colder much like it had in her dream. She power walked confident she would make it to school before the rain. A red pickup truck zoomed by loud music screamed from inside. It was the same one she saw every morning on her way to and from school.
Once a boy from the truck shouted out an innuendo to her. Compared to what the guys from the bus that picked up the kids in her neighborhood sometimes said when they passed her walking it was nothing. In front of her two stories off the ground stood a lonely billboard that had its advertisement changed almost periodically.
Recently though the image and message it conveyed was unnerving. It featured a tramp begging an extraterrestrial being for food and shelter. In the background a large globe of the Earth had the words: Sorry No More Room in large red lettering. Everyday Stacey passed that image she shuddered. The scary thing was that the message it stated was crystal clear to Stacey. The government was telling the public that the world is overcrowding.
She knew so because it was an advertisement for Planetary Estates. She and some friends used to drive around the place freshman year, when it was in the building process. The construction sites became more and more less like dirt and supplies spits of land into actual homes. There had been so much activity going on at once. It was kind of like watching worker bees going in and out of bee-hives. Where there were worker bees there was a higher power. In this case the Government.
Of course the bike she used wasn't hers. Stacey borrowed it from a friend who didn't know where she was going so no questions would be asked by her other friends. Her friends didn't know she lived the way that she did. She could have asked one of them for a ride to and from school, but she didn't want them to think less of her. What did it matter that they were from different social classes? Nothing for her, but her friends wouldn't understand they were so swayed by the Medias way of thinking for the new modern age. If only they could understand that it’s the person inside that counts not their wallet size.
Stacey felt the tiny bulge of her wallet in her jeans. She didn't have any money in it at the moment, but what it did contain was priceless. In it she had various old miniature photos. One was an aged family picture. At the time when the photo was taken she was six years old, and her father had not taken up drinking yet. Another photo was of Stacey and her mother both dressed for Church. Her father wasn't in it not because he was the one taking the picture, but because he would not do anything that even hinted of involving.
A Government that spent more money on seemingly thinking up new ideas to further chop down land, and cementing the whole place over. While the concrete jungle expanded, land that during these times of need could have been cultivated for agricultural use disappeared. The average person didn't care that the land becoming increasingly more valuable by the minute was being buried in concrete. When a time comes when it becomes essential for their survival that the fertile earth they have condemned to an early grave be dug up all that will be found is dry broken dirt. If even a quarter of the cemented earth throughout the states was to be uncovered it would result in a catastrophe that would make the Dust Bowl look like a speck of dust.
If not enough food can be produced in the farmlands currently in use today to feed the world’s people, what will the Governments of the world do? So far they were just waving a finger at the people telling them it's their fault for making too many descendants. From Stacey’s knowledge the United States was only at a miniscal risk of becoming overpopulated enough until they officially ushered in famine conditions. It may not really be her knowledge, if the conspiracy obsessed people were right the Government was going to actually create a state of famine themselves.
It was almost like the Government regretted that miracle cures for once incurable diseases where discovered during the early days of the Greater Depression. There were also the vaccines that eradicated a few of the most deadly diseases that used to kill hundreds of thousands of people yearly. The world mortality rate decreased dramatically as a result. It resulted in a world full of more people, but a lot like her who were poor, were looked at as less than worthy of being alive. Those people considered themselves the dominant beings and the rest were killed off by natural selection.
Almost everywhere Stacey went there were illustrations and disguised text about overpopulation in plain sight. It reminded her of how the Government would spread propaganda about communism in Russia. They gave it the dramatic name of the Red Scare and posted up posters featuring creepy pictures of how communism was threatening to spread throughout the world like a plague. Fear over communism was understandable, but this? This was just preposterous.
Stacey didn't know who was to blame. What was certain was that some political figure or group was not happy with the number of people alive today. Stacey wondered why. If they were concerned about being unable to feed the poor it shouldn't be too much trouble to transport food. The depression wasn't a good excuse for not being able to spare a few food goods. Tons of foods are never consumed and just ends up in landfills. And acts of kindness shouldn't have price tags attactched to them. Were people really so heartless they could allow less fortunate around the world to starve?
She already knew the answer. Of course they could, they were doing it now. They might even be making it worse. Whatever happened to Democracy? And why hasn't it's death been covered up? As Stacey walked along the nearly vacant road she felt a chill that had nothing to do with the wind.