• Nanci Arvizu


Updated: Apr 26

Dystopian Diaries is a serial fiction story I had to quit writing because too much of it seemed to be coming true.

The idea for the story started a long time ago. I’d write what life would be like in a post-war/apocalyptic era where I live.

Where I live, is currently a piece of paradise. North east of Phoenix where the desert starts to rise and you can get to a place and see off into the distance: There’s mountains in Arizona.

Yes, you could say this place is like living in a bubble. The people are affluent, most of them owning more in horse flesh than the average family owns period. Many more only vacation here in their second, third or fifth homes when the weather back home is sucking. The restaurants, grocery stores, and golf courses are all better up here. Ask anyone.

But what if it was no longer better? What if it just barely managed to survive what took out what could possibly be everywhere else? What if the people out here really had to pull together to really survive?

I asked these questions because I’ve seen feuding over things I thought I’d never see, and yet, I can see why they’re so important. Like Water.

Know what the number one cause of war is?


Know what the number two cause is?


Or maybe it’s the other way around, Water is number one, Religion number two. But when it comes to war, does it really matter what started it? After starting a war doesn’t the number one thing become Ending It?


*The links provided below to Dystopian Diaries are “free links” and will not count towards the three free reads Medium allows non-subscribers. Thank you for reading!

I had written one entry, We Saw It Coming and Let it Happen before I saw a call for serial fiction based on a prompt. The story grew from there.

I decided to tell the story from different perspectives, which gave me the opportunity to use different voices. But most of the story so far is told by Nicole.

Dystopian Diaries Nichole, Entry 2

Part of the prompt was to create the story as a ‘free write’ project and allow others to write for other characters they created within the story. So there had to be rules of engagement.

Dystopian Diaries Rules of Engagement

The goal was to bring the story to a mystical place, created by the prompt master. Which I did, eventually. But first, I had to establish where the diaries ended up and why they were being shared now. Welcome to the future:

Presenting The Dystopian Diaries

And the story developed from there.

Nicole, Entry 3

Nicole, Entry 4

Nicole, Entry 5

Nicole, Entry 6

Nicole, Entry 7

Nicole, Entry 8

Then I got caught up in the mystical part of the prompt which was fun taking the story in a different direction.

Home Between Homes

Fates Converge at Never End Tavern

I decided to write the crazy Michael character. I might have gone a little overboard, but if you’d had the conversation with the crazy guy the day before that I had, you might have written something like this too.

Michael, Entry 1

But dang if crazy shit didn’t start happening in the real world. Like takeovers of governments by hostile powers while the ‘good’ people stand by and do nothing. Like a friggin pandemic. I can’t believe I wrote that into this, and how I did it too, pretty weird. The stealing of women and children has always been the rules of war but right now people are being stolen off the streets of Portland, Oregon.


I have another diary entry from another character, Michael’s mother, who lives a pampered life on the east coast. But that story takes place on a special date in the U.S. in January 2021. Since I don’t want it coming anywhere near fruition, I haven’t published it. Yet. I might submit it to a horror magazine or something, see what kind of response I get from people who are used to really scary shit.

UPDATE - Here's a link to the above entry on Reedsy.

For now, I’m taking a break from the story, or at least creating more of it. I don’t want my Great American FICTION Novel to be found later by some far-off life forms discovering what’s left of our planet and say, “wow, that’s one heck of a story.”

Because then it will be too late.

Photo by Rich Smith on Unsplash

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