New flash fiction on the website today – City of Lights by MM Schreier. Thought provoking science fiction.
Here’s the first few paragraphs. Click the link for the rest.
Rose folded her hands on her lap, the skin spotted and papery thin. Her knuckles were swollen and fingers stiff.
I won’t miss all these aches and pains.
Her foot twitched and the blanket covering her legs slipped. One of the nursebots zoomed over to tuck it back in but she waived it away. “Let me feel the cold one last time.”
The machine whirred and tilted. Rose chuckled. It looked like a golden retriever trying to make sense of her words.
A knock came at the door and the nursebot flitted back to its docking bay as the Technician entered the room. He glanced at a handheld screen. “Miss Rose Austin?”
Rose gave him a shaky smile. “It’s time then?” Her voice sounded reedy in her ears, but she remembered when it had been a rich contralto.
The Technician crossed the room and straightened the blanket over her legs. “I can give you a few more minutes if you like, but we’re in the optimal transfer window.”
You’ve done this before. It’s not a big deal.
“No, I’m fine. Best to get it over with.”
Tapping on his screen, the Technician pursed his lips. “It looks like this is your seventeenth Transfer?” He looked up and let out a low whistle. “You must be a pro then.”
Rose tried not to roll her eyes.
Do they all have to make that joke?
She watched as he bustled around the bed, checking wires and documenting her vitals.
“So, I know you’ve been through this all before, but just a few reminders. While it will feel real, everything you experience during Transfer is a vision, nothing more.” He glanced at the screen and his eyes widened. “It looks like you’ve ordered a Premier Organic BioPrinted vessel over a recycled model. Excellent choice. I’ll just have you sign off here, giving Transfigure Today full possession of your discarded vessel and any residual memories that do not complete Transfer.”
He pointed to the screen and for a moment Rose hesitated.
After so many Transfers, how much have I lost?