Flash Fiction Challenge: Doing the Subgenre Twist, Once Again

Posted: June 27, 2014 in Fiction, Flash Fiction Challenge

“I like to watch. This is humanity at it’s best. Look at them.  All that tension, all that anger and mistrust, forgotten for one perfect moment when they come off that plane. See those two? The guy doesn’t even know that the girl cheated on him while he was away.”

“She did?”

“Yeah. Twice.”


– Dogma, Bartleby & Loki on airports


I meant to post this a couple of days ago, but I’ve been busy with the day job. So, as I sit here in the airport terminal waiting for my plane home to board, I figured I’d take a moment or two to get this up here. This week’s challenge was to once again roll a d20 twice to randomly pick to different subgenres and use them to cook up a story. I rolled “Dystopia” and “Erotica”, and though I was a little reticent about the prospect (which made the boy of my Catholic up-bringing swoon and go: “What erotica?! Oh dear!!”) I decided to sack up and do it. I’m an adult. I assume y’all are adults.  And it’s not like it’s anything overly kinky or far out there, so…yeah. Proceed at your own risk, as the following story, “Feeling Human”, is definitely NSFW.




No. Seriously. It’s NSFW. Turn back now if you don’t want to read it.





I’m super cereal here.




You’ve been warned:


Lara numbly watched the quantum lithographers endlessly etch their patterns in the continuous lines of flat silicon, waiting for the nigh-unthinkable moment when something might go wrong in the fabrication process and she would have to step in. It was a process that was largely automated and though there were robots now that your normal Joe On The Street might assume could do Lara’s job, she’d been assured by her superiors when she was hired that in a process as delicate as this, a human touch was still preferred.

And so, she sat and she waited for the possible emergence of a scenario that had only happened once in the five years she’d worked in the factory. The humdrum dullness was only slightly punctuated by the cleaning procedures she had to perform every few hours in order to keep the room pristine. But even then, after a few months that much activity became so rote as to be no more stimulating than watching the machines.

She sat in her suit upon a simple stool riveted into the floor, barely aware of her own breathing in her mask as she watched the machines in their monotonous task. The clean room was all white walls and floors, no windows or computers (ones that weren’t tasked to the effort of the fabrication process, of course) through which she could find some form of distraction and entertainment. Not like she would have seen much if a window had existed in the clean room. The factory complex was situated in an area of the Western Allegheny Metroplex that was all steel and concrete towers and boxes as far as the eye could see. Being able to gaze out a window would’ve been trading one featureless, artificial substance for another featureless, artificial substance.

When her replacement came and the simple console at which she sat dinged out the saccharine alarm marking the end of her shift, Lara grunted out a hollow platitude of greeting and comradery about the dull task which she and the similarly-suited man had to endure in order to make ends meet. When she’d first started, her routine at the end of her shift had consisted of showering, applying make-up (something forbidden by her manager in order to ensure the pristineness of the clean room), and throwing on new clothes. But after five years, Lara simply exited the airlock, wandered sedately to the locker room, threw on the clothes she’d been wearing when she’d arrived ten hours previous, and pulled her honey-colored hair back into a loose ponytail before making her way to the factory’s exit.

She hopped onto the predictably crowded train, full of similar workers from her own factory and other factories in the area. Lara watched the lights of the industrial complexes flick by and change to residential towers that rose a hundred stories into the air, each one filled with the working poor that made up the bulk of the population in this area of the Metroplex. Eventually, the clacking, jostling ride came to an end and she exited the steel behemoth into a subterranean platform that had once been clean and neon-litten and pretty, but that had been more than twenty years ago. Now, the platform was a dirty, smelled only of urine and stale sweat on the best of days, and the flashy neon lights and LCD displays had either burned out, been damaged, or stolen. Ancient paper flyers for various small businesses that scraped by in the area were plastered on the concrete walls and pillars, along with notices of various churches and spray-painted calls for revolution or the abstract tags of one gang or another.

Emerging above ground onto the street that barely had more airflow than the subway station, Lara slid her way through crowds of similarly broken-down and poor people just trying to eek by on the low wages and government handouts that they could snatch up. She made her way to a small, hole-in-the-wall bar that was filled with other post-shift workers looking to drown their memories of the previous work-day and their fears of endless drudgery in the bottom of a beer glass.

She’d been sitting at the bar for more than half an hour, watching a soccer game from somewhere in equatorial Africa while nursing a beer and eating her fill of a steak sandwich, when she suddenly became aware of someone talking to her. He was a dark-haired man who looked to be on the front doorstep of middle age, much like herself, and was looking at her with a crooked eyebrow as he leaned on the bartop next to her, apparently awaiting some kind of response. Lara awkwardly apologized for not hearing him, to which the man informed her that it was okay, he’d simply lobbed a cheesy pick-up line at her, and when Lara asked him to repeat it, she almost fell from her stool as she laughed.

His name was David and he was an overseer in one of the graphene factories. He took the stool next to her and as they talked, Lara noticed her awareness of the soccer game, of the jukebox music, of the other patrons, fading away as she focused on David’s face and the laugh-lines that etched his brow and the corners of his eyes, two orbs of vibrant emerald green that sparkled whenever she laughed at something he said. For the first time in a long while, Lara felt engaged with something – anything – in a way that completely consumed her attention and made her feel like she was vibrating with life. When she reached out and flicked a fly away from his ebon hair, her fingers brushed against the soft, thick mass and she couldn’t resist running her fingers through it, to which David didn’t protest. And she felt the stirring she’d already been experiencing in her head and her heart spread downward into her loins.

It was almost suprising how quickly she found herself pressed backward against the door to her small apartment, David’s mouth on hers, his tounge slipping sensually into her own, as his hands held her sides. They had paid their tabs quickly and all but sprinted the two blocks to her apartment building, kissing in the long elevator ride up, which continued as they made their way down the hall to her door. Slipping inside, Lara unzipped David’s coat and tossed it on the floor, followed a moment later by his T-shirt. She kissed her way from his mouth down his thickly-haired chest, and over his stomach as she dropped to her knees and quickly undid the fastener and fly on his denim work pants. He was already harder than stone when she yanked his underwear and took his member in her hands, gazing at it for a long moment (a small voice reminding her that it had been four years since she’d last held a man’s penis) before she reached the tip of her tongue out and lovingly licked from base to tip several times. They both moaned loudly in appreciation as she took him into her mouth – he at the glorious sensation, she at having the taste of a man on her tongue again – and worked David like that for several long minutes until he grabbed her under her armpits, almost bodily lifted her up off of the ground, and kissed her passionately.

Lara squealed in surprise and delight as he gently tossed her back onto the small, ragged couch that graced the main living quarters of her apartment, before David knelt and repeated the process that she’d just performed on him. She gasped and groaned as she felt his lips and tongue on her inner thighs, his teeth gently and devilishly nipping at the soft flesh, before she felt his mouth on her mound. She wrapped her fingers in that thick, ebon hair of his as she felt his tongue slipping between her folds, flicking across her bud. Orgasm washed electrically over her and Lara involuntarily ground herself against David’s mouth. A moan that was almost a petulant whine of protest erupted from her lips as she felt his tongue leave her, but it was quickly replaced by a long groan of approval as she felt him press into her, his shaft filling her quickly and completely.

Time seemed to blur and stand-still as they twined together there on the couch, her legs wrapped around David’s waist as he thrust powerfully into her, sending her into a long chain of orgasms that left her near-mindless. Then, she felt his thrusts come harder and faster, more desperate, before his entire body tightened, embracing her in his arms as she screamed into his shoulder, and then he erupted.

At some point in the dark of night, the room lit only by the lights of neighboring apartment buildings that flowed in through the small windows, they collected themselves and stumbled sleepily into Lara’s bedroom. Later, they woke – Lara pressed against him, her head on his chest – and made love again. Slower that time, less desperate and animalistic. When morning came and Lara’s alarm sounded, she rose and took a minute to watch the sleeping man in her bed, before slipping into the bath to shower.

As the subway train slipped out of a subterranean tunnel that morning, Lara watched the sun shining down the reflective, artificial valley created by the enormous towers of steel and glass. She idly played with her hair – artfully done in braids with some thin ribbons of various colors worked in, a touch she’d be inspired to do as she dressed – and smiled as she saw the joyous, golden-orange light of dawn.

“Good morning, Sun,” she said softly to herself. “How are you, old friend?”


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