I haven’t slept in weeks. Eight hours a night, in fact, seems like a distant memory. A cocktail of over-the-counter medicines helps to keep me alert and every waking hour is spent fighting for survival in a world where supply cannot meet demand. Sequence, rhythm, these things are far behind us… almost.
British towns have failed to expand at the same rate as the population. Females have permission to enter the city streets between 00:00am and 11.59am. Males are stricken to the suburbs during these hours and are obligated by law to remain in the outskirts until 12:00pm. Return there by 11:59pm, though, or risk paying with your life. The night is as busy as the day and the year is 2101.
Three-fold was the collapsing government’s justification for this harsh sanction. Primarily it was hoped that dividing the genders would decrease overcrowding and the overwhelming of vital services. Transport, schools, offices, banks, shops, hospitals, morgues and centres of worship to name but a few. Secondly the prohibition would reduce the spread of disease. Finally, and most depressingly, by keeping women and men apart they are unlikely to form new relationships, lowering the risk of further population increase.
It was predicted that oil reserves in Britain would last until 2082, that date came and passed nineteen years ago and time is running out to find an alternative source of fuel. Despite our greatest efforts green energy could not support the nation. There’s barely enough room on our once desirable island for everybody to have a double bed let alone for solar panels and wind turbines. And if the living have limited space affording it to the dead in the form of sprawling graveyards cannot be warranted.
Room is of a particular premium in the UK. Australia, Russia, Brazil and most other large countries overcame the dilemma of what to do with their deceased by digging mass graves and resorting to group burials. The luxury, however, of hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of Siberian badlands, uninhabited outback or Amazonian rainforest in which to tip bodies is not afforded to us. The dead are piling up.
People long ago grew tired of living in anticipation. When precious oil reserves are finally exhausted, which could happen at any time, how will we generate the power we need to live? The anticipation shared by millions developed into fear years ago. Fear is now beginning to morph into anger as our country struggles to find a solution.
To me, an ex-government advisor and a realist, there seems only one resolution. We must begin to harvest power by burning the corpses of the dead at a temperature of 400 degrees. This would trigger a series of complex exothermic reactions which would eradicate unnecessary body matter while compressing certain elements – carbonising them. That carbon could in turn be used to power Britain. Renewable energy at its finest.
I don’t believe we have any choice. Look at the positives, a never-ending supply of fuel is guaranteed and with such a shortage of room in the country burning bodies would free up valuable space. The growing number of people who have been taking their own lives could sacrifice themselves legally and for a noble cause. We could find a use for the rising number of bodies which are discovered murdered and dumped. If we do run out of fuel more could be imported from overseas.
What would be more selfish, revolting against these radical plans or accepting that for our children and grandchildren to survive drastic measures must be taken? The population of the living is 113 million, the population of the unburied dead is around four million and counting.
Call me sinister and soulless but I’m no pessimistic preacher, I suspect officials and experts already know that this is Britain’s destiny. Apocalyptic as it may seem, enlighten your sons and daughters that they face a forbidden future or accept the morbid reality that for our country to go on, the only way to live is to die.