You wake up 10 years in the future and find only a note that says ‘carpe diem’. Continue the story.

The ultimate Brain Game winner will win a pair of Apple AirPods Pro

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Every Wednesday we ask our Brain Game contestants one interesting, thought-provoking or just plain quirky question. Their answers will be published anonymously in Young Post. Then readers vote for their FAVOURITE answer. We will eliminate the contestant with the LEAST votes every week until we have a winner. The ultimate Brain Game winner will win a pair of Apple AirPods Pro.

Votes close at midnight on Sunday.

The contestants

Contestant 1

I’m woken up by the throbbing of my own head. My eyelids feel glued shut and it takes all my strength to pry them open. I roll over, fumble for my phone, and squint at the screen. It’s dead. But a curling Post-it note stuck to the bathroom door gets me out of bed, fast. It has the words “Carpe diem” scrawled on it in red marker. I remember why.

“Carpe diem!” my heart sings, despite my headache. I’ve been called many things – fat, lazy, foot-in-mouth – but never a girl magnet. So I was blown away when a girl agreed to go on a lunch date with me today. I’ve booked a table at the most romantic restaurant I know (Pizza Hut, of course) and stocked up on cologne. Today’s the big day! 

I step outside, fresh from a 30-second shower, my body smarting from the slathering of Old Spice. My clothes, fresh off the dirty pile, feel loose. Perhaps I’ve lost weight in my sleep. Brilliant!  

As I speed-walk, I focus on practising my opening lines. I’m so engrossed that I hardly notice the hovering cars and flashy skyscrapers that seem to have sprung up overnight. 
I get to Pizza Hut with a minute to spare. It looks oddly new and less tacky than usual. 

“Hi, I have a reservation,” I say, then add with emphasis, “for two”. The usher eyes me nervously.

Before I know it, he sticks a Q-tip into my mouth, swirls it around, then removes it again. 
“Let me confirm your DNA and you’ll be good to go, Mr…”, the usher glances at his screen, then narrows his eyes. “Whoa! You’re completely off the grid! Who are you?”. 

I chuckle nervously. “Dude, be serious! I have a date here!”

“A date? At Pizza Hut? Sir, you be serious. The last time someone ate here was in 2020,” he says. 

And just like that, I’m overwhelmed. The display on the wall flashes the date: 20/03/2030. Carpe diem: seize the day. But the day has seized me.

Contestant 2 

“Uhhhhhhh…..”, I groaned as I heaved myself out of bed, my head still reeling from the attack. I looked around the unfamiliar room. Dark and empty, with a tiny window at one end, the room had an eerie feel. There was no furniture except a small table. As I approached it, I saw a note written in unfamiliar handwriting. 

“Carpe diem,” it said. “Covid-19 has taken over the world, turning everyone into zombies. You have been gifted with the Chain of Power, a chain that enables you to do whatever you wish. To allow its power to grow, we have been feeding you the Draught of Sleep for 10 years, morning and night. Now it’s time to get out there, Agent X.”

Overcome with a sense of duty, I began searching the room for the chain. Suddenly, I tripped over something. Stumbling, I looked back to see that it was the handle of a trapdoor. The door creaked open, revealing the top of a ladder.  I heaved the door all the way open, and began to climb down, brushing aside old cobwebs.

Inside, there was a chest, which I opened. There was a note, and the chain. I put the chain on and took the note, dusting off the grime. It said: “Carpe diem. The world does not need people who keep thinking. The world needs people who do stuff, NOW.” As realisation dawned upon me, I climbed back up the ladder and ran out of the room, knowing what awaited me.

Outside, there were zombies everywhere; they were stumbling across the streets, their steps matching their moans. I walked around, trying to remain unnoticed. Out of the blue, I sneezed! As if on cue, every zombie bored their eyes into mine, and started stumbling towards me. 

Murmuring softly to the chain, I said, “Wipe the virus and turn every human back.” With a flash, the zombies became humans, walking around as if nothing had happened.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge

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