Day 4 of The Literal Challenge aka Like The Prose

This writing addiction is taking a hold: awake at 5am, I’d written today’s piece (just flash fiction this time at 349 words plus title) before I got out of bed. Would this have been Britain’s future if we’d all voted ‘Remain’, I wonder? Or if we’d all voted ‘Leave’? One thing I’m certain of is that this writing challenge is certainly keeping me on my creative toes. I’m looking forward to seeing what Day 5’s Brief is …

Susie Sunshine

Susie Sunshine’s birth was a joyful experience for all concerned: unicorns pranced and scattered gold dust from their ivory horns as the future World’s First President of the Happiness Party slid down a rainbow and landed at her mother’s feet in a wicker basket decorated with pretty, pink bows. At least, that’s the version of events Susie’s telling in 2091.

The world in 2091 is very different to the one where Susie grew up. Back then, there were still such things as hunger and homelessness; today, there is plenty of food for everyone and each child lives in his or her own gingerbread house – mortgage free, of course. In the Dark Ages of Unhappiness, tears and torment existed, alongside mayhem and misery; but nowadays, thanks to Susie, everyone has compulsory wellbeing lessons from the age of five – which, coincidentally, is also the age people are when they are born. (Genetic engineering has got rid of all the negative elements of parenthood, such as sleepless night, teething and nappies.)

One of the things that has catapulted Susie into becoming World President of the Happiness Party is her determination to give every individual the happy childhood that she’s carefully constructed for herself in her memoirs. In Susie’s version of events, her drunken mother has metamorphasised into a benevolent angel, doling out lollipops and lullabies in equal measure, surrounding her with hugs and kisses, all but smothering her with love. It’s important for everyone’s wellbeing that she models the ideals and aspirations at the heart of her mission statement.

The history books of the future will look back on the Golden Age of 2091. They will wax lyrical about Susie’s positive innovations: the removal of death and decay, the absence of old age. They will laud the fact that she eradicated misery, outlawed pain. Thanks to Susie, 2091 is full of shiny, happy people, all of them aged between five and thirty, inhabiting a world of eternal sunshine and endless lollipops. Happiness is the only disease in this brave new world – and Susie’s done her best to make sure that everyone’s infected.

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