Archive for November 9th, 2011

9th November
written by amber

My Neighbourhood

“Louise, will you get that cat to stop barfing on the front step,” Amy griped at me.

“You said you wanted the cat to be as real as possible,” I countered.

“Why do you think I asked you to design that self-cleaning litter box? I like My Neighbourhood because everything is perfect there, I never have to clean or do chores, the weather’s always the way I want it to be. And no one’s allowed to be unpleasant.”

“Okay, I’ll fix the cat,” I said and sat down at my desk, biting back the comment I’d really wanted to make – don’t you think you’re spending way too much time in My Neighbourhood? She wouldn’t have heard it anyhow – she already was wearing the glasses and the ear plugs, lying in her chair while her limbs twitched as she dreamed about walking and jogging and dancing in her perfect life. The perfect life created by me.

Yeah, she’s my groupie. I’m not a bad-looking gal, but sitting hunched over a keyboard 12 – 14 hours a day, eating quickly but not wisely, rarely getting any sun, dressing for comfort rather than for fashion – you don’t end up with a great self-image, and so when a gorgeous woman comes up to you at a convention and says she’s crazy about your work, you get a little bowled over. And when it turns out she’s not annoyed that you have an eye for gorgeous women, it’s positively a revelation.

It didn’t seem wrong to show her the new features – after all, they were going to be announced to the world the following day. And when she tried them out, she pointed out a mistake that would have been embarrassing, but was easy enough to fix. I was grateful. Possibly more grateful that she liked my mind than I was for the physical aspect of our relationship, nice as that was.

I convinced the company to hire her as my tester, and she moved into my apartment. Well, in retrospect, I’d have to say that her body moved into my apartment, but her self moved into a product of my mind.

And I’ve never been more lonely.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

Thank you for this first line to Kathy Sinclair.