Automatic traslation from the original story in Spanish. Not checked manually

Robert looked amused at his four-year-old son John who was trying hard to build a ball with old newspapers and a piece of rope.

It reminded him of the stories that his grandfather Peter had told him… So many times about how they made toys themselves in the time of scarcity, which he had lived through… And now it was his son’s turn to build them, although the truth is that, doing it, he had a great time.

Every time he finished something, whether it was a ball, a wooden sword or even a marble made of clay and dried in the sun, he showed it to her, proud of his “feat.”

Yes, he had to admit that the little boy seemed happy and enjoying preparing the toys that he would play with his friends.

At least much happier than those half-alienated little ones who, fifteen years ago, fixed their eyes on the screen of any mobile phone or tablet. Of course, with a look of absolute boredom, but without being able to stop doing it.

The only thing missing was the appearance of artificial intelligence to finish idiotizing all of humanity. There came a time when, even to talk to the person next to them, they were unable to do so without using the AI chat on their mobile phone… In exchange, most mobile phones had 3D screens.


Robert, seeing his son, felt happy to have been lucky enough to leave the “comfort” of the city and his job, to relocate to the countryside… Yes, the countryside, that countryside so abandoned and vilified by almost everyone. …

It had even cost him a lot to convince his wife and also his parents. None of them were aware of what was coming. Only he saw it with crystal clarity.

And, furthermore, he was lucky to have chosen the right moment to do it. He remembered with gratitude that August 1, 2030, when they got into the car and began a vacation with no turning back. Starting a new lifestyle.

It took Hanna months to forgive him… Well, more than forgiving him she had to surrender to the evidence that she had been right to do so.

Just during the Christmas holidays of 2030, the energy system collapsed. The amount of energy required by AI, electric cars and the entire series of “advances” and “achievements” of human beings made the energy production and distribution system unfeasible and the world turned off.

Everyone thought it would be a one-time problem that would be easily resolved, but it was not like that.

They tried to repair the power lines, but the same lack of electricity prevented the manufacture of the copper cable necessary to do so. They tried to increase the production of alternative energies, but they could not even manufacture solar panels or windmills, nor take advantage of the energy of the sea or rivers.

Furthermore, the small botches they managed to make to continue distributing energy were immediately collapsed again by the energy-hungry AI. Since the human being was not capable of doing anything without it.

Shortly after, food shortages began; there was no energy to run the machines for tilling, sowing, harvesting, nor the means to distribute the small crops that were obtained in an artisanal way.

Many people died of starvation. On top of that, madness set in among the politicians who, trying to manage the famine, used the few remaining means of war to try to take away from other countries the resources they might have…

Not only was it useless, but it also complicated the subsistence of human beings, who were unable, since they did not have cars, to travel to rural areas to obtain new forms of livelihood.

Yes, of course, some had arrived. Thanks to that, John had a good group of friends and they had a great time… Not only them, but also his parents felt better for having adapted their lives to the logical biorhythms… to those of the Sun.

Robert hoped that in 2045 and, even better, at least for a few centuries, no one would think of being “creative” again and start a new era of “prosperity” with his inventions.

Collapse – Short stories series – Copyright ©Montserrat Valls and Juan Genovés

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