Cities of Dystopia at The SFR Brigade's Summer Cafe

Welcome to week 3 of the Summer Cafe and thanks so much for visiting my stop on the tour! I love dystopia sci-fi, especially when the hero overturns the status quo to make a change for the better.

As an appetizer for today's feast, I'd like to present my soon to be available Romantic Sci-Fi Thriller Novelette, City of Simplicity. What looks like a utopia on the surface is a controlled society lacking any love, intimacy or human emotions. Two people will challenge that system forever.

Citizen 52701 once had a life that is now a distant memory in her dreams. All that remains is the name she carried over from the time before the change: Lyn. As a by-the-book law enforcer of a newly controlled futuristic society, everything is available at one's fingertips. Except the one thing that matters most of all.

A renegade is on the loose, moving amidst the shadows to stay alive. His one goal is to find the wife he lost when the change took over the city. The problem? She is one of the enforcers eliminating renegades trying to escape the system's control. He'll risk everything to try and bring her back to him. No matter who or what he has to take down to do the job.

Although the society within City of Simplicity offers many comforts to make life easier, that leaves out a nice home cooked meal. Replicators are the order of the day whether one is grabbing drinks or a bite to eat. At the beginning of the story, our heroine Lyn has a dream (or is it a memory)? She shares a picnic of yummy food with a man that recurs in her dreams. Friend or foe? Real or imaginary? Check out the book to discover which one but in the meantime, keep on scrolling to check out the delicious sloppy joe dish from Lyn's dreams as well as an excerpt from the story!

Dystopian Futuristic Joes (Of Simplicity)

2 LB - Ground Turkey
Spike Gourmet Natural Seasoning to taste
2 TBSP - Oil (Coconut, Grapeseed or Olive Oil works)
1 1/2 C - Ketchup
1/4 C - dark brown sugar
1/4 C  - lemon juice
1 TBSP -  Worcestershire Sauce
2 TSP -  Mustard (I use French's Yellow) 
1/2 C - Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ Sauce (I started with just a half a cup but apply more depending on taste and how tangy & BBQ-y I want it)
Bread Slices


Heat pan and pour oil, making sure you coat the bottom surface. Add ground turkey and season all over with Spike. Brown ground turkey until you see no more pink on the meat. Drain the grease and let the pan sit while you prep the sauce.

In a separate medium saucepan, add the rest of the ingredients together and mix well over low to medium heat for about 5 -10 min. Apply more SBR Honey BBQ to taste. Once satisfied, add sauce into ground turkey and stir


Bright trees stood high above the couple, splitting the sun’s rays into tiny specks of light among the leaves. Green grass surrounded them and a nearby lake echoed its sounds of water along the richly soiled banks.
The smooth cloth of a spread out blanket sat beneath them. A picnic basket full of food lay out near her outstretched feet. All of their favorites were laid out. Everything from homemade biscuits, corn on the cob, Sloppy Joe sandwiches, green beans, and a marble cake slathered with buttercream frosting for dessert. He looked at her with a smile and loving eyes that, to this day, still haunted her.
She couldn’t keep her legs still. The quick fidgety movement of her legs on the picnic blanket matched the rapid beating of her heart. “There’s something I have to tell you.” Slowly she licked her lips, the news eagerly hanging on the edge of her unspoken words. “We’re pregnant.”
“What?” He scooted closer and wrapped his arms around her. His soft gentle kiss made her giggle before he held her to his chest, like a strong wall of muscle. “Baby, this is great news. I love you so much.”
“I love you.” Her mouth didn’t move but she clearly heard the echo of her own voice within her mind.
“What shall we call it?”
She forced herself to think of names but nothing came. All thought and feeling disappeared like a swift wind that blew away any semblance of emotion. The grass around her then turned to concrete. The clear blue sky darkened with black clouds, blocking out the sun. The green trees changed into tall buildings made of cold glass and steel pillars.
And then she was alone.

“Wake up! Your time is here once again. To cleanse the world of the bile that dares to go against the strict order of our new and perfect world. You are a part of the human race and it is your duty to enforce the law and the boundaries of this world. It is your job to set the example.
“Citizen 52701, you have maintained the appropriate body mass of 22.15. If at any time during your duty you exceed this by the maximum allotment you will be terminated on sight. Your shift starts now and will end in 12.50 hours.”
Lyn tapped the button on top of the sensory device that cradled her head like a thin, wiry cap wrapped in clear plastic. The same dream had haunted her that night. The same cursed dream she'd tried to shake for months now. She recognized the man in the dreams. Spenser. He meant something to her, but what?
No, she wasn’t allowed to have these feelings. In this new world, it wasn’t necessary - not to mention it was forbidden.
She shook her head, hoping to shake the eerie echo of the dream.
As she sat up, the small media bar lifted to the ceiling and began its daily monitoring.
The past few months had been good and relatively simple. Lyn had adapted to the new world with ease, but that feeling of a certain man’s closeness never left her mind. Every night for the past few months, she awoke with a familiar memory tingling in the back of her mind like an itch she couldn't reach to scratch. It bothered her and no matter how much she tried to push it to the back of her mind, it was there calling to her. Even now, it lingered in her mind...
She had to shake this feeling. What kind of enforcement officer would she be if she couldn't judge runners guilty of trying to revive a dead past?
Dismissing the dream, she went along with her morning rituals; splashing her face with cold water and dressing for the night’s work. She crossed the dimly lit studio apartment to the kitchen where she started the coffee machine to fill one cup. A quick check over the media bar told her it was working properly.
Lyn went over to the dresser machine and clicked to activate it. She peered through the window to the revolving closet and selected her uniform for the night. A jumpsuit with matching boots. Once it swung around, the outfit jutted out toward her and she stepped in, turning around to let the closet arm zip her up. She pressed her work badge against her chest and slid the small watch-like device on her wrist.
After making sure she looked well enough to work, Lyn crossed over to her dining area. A cup of coffee was already brewing on the java dispenser.  Just like any other morning ritual, she grabbed the small yellow vial from the cabinet overhead. Emotin. Her lifeline for each day. Emotion containment fluids that helped keep the populace moving with clear heads. Free of emotion and irrational thought. One drop did the trick. She waited until the dispenser finished and added her dosage before taking a sip. Once the liquid entered her bloodstream, her body felt at ease and cleansed. No more distracting dreams or the inkling of longing in her stomach.
*          *          *
Darkness was his sanctuary. It wasn't easy moving under the media's eye. He spent months perfecting its movements and even then it was still unpredictable. Already he lost count of the many comrades who died by the enforcer's hands. Rage nearly killed him, but he had to stay focused. The one thing driving him was her...

He kept his head down, leaning close to the buildings to bathe himself in the shadows. Cars rushed along the streets ahead and every now and then a siren would go off, signaling a new enforcer was on the beat. He didn't have much time. This was one of the few times he climbed out from underground and he had to make the best of it. He had to find her tonight.

Thanks again for stopping by and don't forget to enter this week's giveaway and check out the other stops for the event!

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