Deserted streets. Tumble weeds. Over-grown yards with rusting toys. Homes covered in dirt and leaves. Stores with open doors and a single sign in each window "BANKRUPSY BLOW-OUT." All across the country this is what is seen- the east coast is hit by hurricanes no one cleans up. Swamps have reclaimed the south. Forest fires and earthquakes in the south and forests in the north have laid claim to the west coast. The west is now wild.

What happened to America the beautiful? American the great, America: the land of milk and honey where the streets are paved with gold and there is a job for everyone.

Some say it was the weather that got them. Some say they didn't like the people here any more. Some say they just wanted to get away and forgot to come home. Honestly though- come closer so I can tell you- it was outsourced. Yup, the whole place moved over seas because they couldn't afford to live here, because of the "tax breaks".

Once the jobs started going over seas, the economy started to tank, jobs became scare and the government couldn't support the hundreds of millions of people in the good ole U.S. of A. anymore- so they started handing out incentives to those willing to leave- guaranteed passport, something that once took months to get; payment of one-way plane tickets; contact information with someone on the other side to help with job and housing placement.

At first it took a while to catch on- "Why should we leave now when we fought so long for this country? For our rights and freedoms? For the right to bear arms and work where we want and say what we want? Why should we leave?" However, while those blue-collard workers were hollering and demanding to stay, they were also collecting unemployment, defaulting on loans, and weren't always sure where their next meal was coming from.

Meanwhile those higher up in the economic food chain started to slowly, quietly back out from a tanking United States, quietly packing up and heading for greener pastures, taking the government incentives to leave- moving to the Caribbean, Western Europe and the places that were only pipe dreams of the lower classes. The higher-ups abandoned those who helped get them up in the first place-"Its my money- why should I spread the wealth? It's not my fault they don't have a job. They should look harder, work more and stop buying drugs and booze and stop having children indiscriminately."

As a side note, the "war on drugs" had been "won" and booze, while still legal, wasn't quite selling like it used to and what was selling was sold cheap- every one needs their escape. And family size across the board was at a low- nobody had more than two children because they could no longer afford it.

So- the higher-ups packed up their businesses and moved, leaving behind a trail of destroyed towns, broken dreams and an uncertain future. What was there left to do but leave? Pack up and move to a place where the grass is greener and where there are jobs.

Not all chose to leave though- some bought up land with their last savings and started farming again- going back to basics. Computers were sold, cell phones canceled and video games traded in for cash and books. Whole families, sometimes two or three, would move out to the country to live their lives free of the once necessities of a lost time. Radio once again boomed, and television was scarce. These people who moved out and away from the decaying cities were soon forgotten and slowly census numbers dropped until no one was left. With the population leaking out of the States for higher ground the government itself fell into decay- with all the incentives they gave out there were no people left to govern so it too disappeared.

But what of those who stayed? What'll happen to them? Where are they?

Some inhabit large cities which are little more than ruins in jungles of concrete and steel, making the best they can with what they have, setting up a sort of governing hierarchy of their own. Those out on the farms are self-sufficient, keeping what they need for themselves the trading excess for what they can't produce or small luxuries.

"But what of the country- will it ever grow again?" Maybe. Maybe those who left might one day come back. Maybe those who stayed will build a greater nation on the ruins of the one they now sit on. Who knows- time will tell.