iZone 2022

iZone 2022

2022; the year in which Smartphones and social media reached a popularity beyond our imagination. Social media is everything . . . and everything is social media. Planet Earth has become one big zone, fascinated by devices.

This is intended for the Quibblo story contest, and if you think this story should be one of the winners (it's a long shot, but if you do, thanks a bunch!), please do rate! (: I appreciate any constructive criticism. Enjoy!

Chapter 3

Alkmaar, 2022.

Peter de Hoogh stared absentmindedly at the screen in front of him and rubbed his chin wearily, reaching for the mug filled with watery coffee next to him and pulling a face as he realized it was empty. He spun around in his chair (well aware that the superintendant, Mr. Jansen, would have his throat for it later) and snapped his fingers. “Konijn? I need more coffee.” He swiveled back and sighed wearily, peeking out of the window for a brief moment. Opposite him, the Grote Kerk resided. This building was fairly new, as it’d been built only two years ago. The design was terrible and unattractive—it’d scared many tourists off, who now usually just went sightseeing in Amsterdam, The Hague and Groningen—but it was comfortable to those in it, and that’d been the point of it all along.

Well, Peter thought, it being cheap and that.

The news was on behind him, which was rather irritating. Peter de Hoogh did not like to be distracted, and if he was sidetracked for too long it might even cost him his job. And who would he turn to, with the crisis in Holland still ongoing? Personally, he blamed the damned government. Voting for the PVV in the hope that turning out immigrants would solve everything had turned out to be a bad idea. He was sure seventy percent of Holland agreed with him.

“ Now that most of the dams and dunes have been flooded, emergency protocols have been activated,” Anne Streefkerk, the newswoman, said solemnly. “Especially in Egmond aan Zee, Bergen aan Zee, Schoorl and most of Zuid Holland, the situation is dire. Many people are preparing for evacuation, and Geert Wilders himself has asked to open our doors to them, although he stated that you are to report to the police if, ‘any Afghans, Turks, Moroccans or other unwanted immigrants knock on your door’. Protest regarding this declaration have been made by various countries, including England, Canada, Afghanistan, Morocco, Turkey and Germany. The President of the United States refused to comment.”

“This country is going to hell,” Peter muttered, refusing to look over his shoulder. He heard several of his colleagues cluck their tongues and make sounds of disapproval, as was usual. Most cops still believed fervently in Holland. Surprisingly enough, Mr. Jansen had agreed with Peter two weeks ago. He’d proceeded to growl something about following the Nazi’s footpath, too. Big shocker there—the more intellectual people in the Netherlands had seen that coming a decade ago. Peter was still baffled that no one had shot that bastard of a politician. Everything about him, from his bleached blonde hair to his double chin and sneering face, now seemed repelling to Peter. He refused to admit to himself that he had been one of the most loyal voters of the PVV for years.

Noticing something move in the corner of his eyes, Peter de Hoogh leant forward and squinted. The police cap he was wearing—required in this building—sagged over his forehead and he pushed it back impatiently. “I think I’ve got something here!” he called excitedly. This particular screen showed the Langestraat—the exact street he’d been assigned to, of course—and at the moment, a robber was attempting to tug a heavy handbag from a middle-aged lady. What excited Peter so much was that the thief wasn’t wearing gloves, and could therefore easily be found; if the woman was smart enough to raise his hand to the camera, at least. “C’mon,” he muttered breathlessly. He wasn’t willing to send out some rookies—last time, they’d lost their way.

The woman detected the camera at last and with a movement that seemed desperate, she swung the bag up. As anticipated, the shoplifter automatically lifted his hand to grab it and then ran away hurriedly. He disappeared from Peter’s screen and the lady leant against the wall of the Hema, obviously on the verge of tears.

“Klein! I’ve got a print, run it through the database quickly. If nothing comes up, scroll through Facebook and check all statuses of average sized men in Alkmaar. Do you understand?” Peter de Hoogh scowled at the rookie as a bonus and then turned to a young woman that had appeared next to Joris Klein. “Moniek,” he said curtly. “Can you go to the woman and console her? Tell her we’ll find her bag soon.”

“Already on it,” she responded, adjusting her hat. It was ridiculously big on her pointed face. Moniek de Groot, at 5’7”, was the perfect example of what a Dutch woman was supposed to look like. Tall and broad shouldered, with straight blonde hair and blue eyes; the kind of woman Wilders approved of. Anyone dark and small was silently judged these days, even if their forefathers were a hundred percent Dutch. It came as a surprise to most inhabitants of the rainy country that no one had declared war on Holland yet. Most nations were, most likely, frightened of the USA. Chances were that they would support Holland if the arguments escalated into something more sinister. And with all the nuclear power continents had these days, the outcome was something no one dared to think of.

This goddamned world, Peter thought, is going to be the end of us.

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