Scene 7

Efficiency City, February 10, 2084. 1807 hours.


− Quiet! Daddy’s had a long day at work, shush down now, all of you.

The kids hiccup in their shouts and look down the table at Hubert, who does not look up. He looks down at his meatloaf and peas, fork and knife in his hand. He grips them like the little boy in Struwwelpeter.

− Aren’t you going to say Grace, honey? Hubert looks up at his wife and his three children. The family take hold of their hands in a ring.

− Um, Lord, Bless this meal, and bless us one and all. Amen.

− Amen, echoes his family. Hubert scoops up some peas and starts eating. Hubert’s somber mood spreads to the others, and everyone eats in silence.

− What you learn in school today, Billy?

− Um, some ‘rithmetic, and the teacher told us about Corporate Headquarters Metropoplis. It’s the biggest city in the world, and the supreme leader lives there, and it’s got a giant pyramid, and he takes care of us.

− Wow, he taught you a lot.

− Billy fell asleep in class, his twin brother, Calvin, says.

− No I didn’t!

− Can I have some dushbars? I need to buy some supplies. We’re having an art project tomorrow, little Dana says.

− Sure honey, her mom, Liz, says.

The kids help Liz with the dishes. Hubert gets up. He walks to the living room and sits down in an easy chair. Watching him from the corner of her eye, Liz reaches in the fridge, pops a Budweiser, walks into the living room, and sets it down beside him. His eyes are closed. He sighs, reaches for the beer, and takes a long drag. Liz rejoins the kids in the kitchen.

Hubert takes a headset out from a compartment in the easy chair. He affixes the diodes to his skull and takes another drag of beer.

−Hi, Hubert, where do you want to go today?

− To the desert island, again.

Hubert walks down a beach on a beautiful desert island. No one else is around. The azure water laps lazily on the beach. A thick jungle covers the island. The sand is perfect, a soft golden kaki. Hubert is dressed in rags, as if he just spent weeks floating on flotsam, drinking rain water out of the cracks, eating seaweed. Far in the distance on the beach is a human figure. As he comes closer, he sees that it is a young woman. She has amber skin, chestnut hair, and eyes like garnets. She is wearing an emerald-colored sarong. She smiles brilliantly.

− Are you lost on this desert island, too? he asks her. She just smiles and says something in a language he does not understand. Her voice is soft and melodious. They gaze at each other for a while. She takes him by the hand and they walk through the jungle until they come to a meadow by a mountain stream. She unclothes him and bathes him in a pool.

Then her sarong falls at her feet. She is a young girl, perfect. She must be about 18. Her soft round breasts are not too large. She has a motherly belly. All her limbs are voluptuous. A dome of pubic hair is garnet, the darkest part of her body. She kneels down in front of him on the soft grass and begins caressing his by now very erect penis with her little fingers and with her pointy, pink tongue.

− Maybe being stranded on this desert island isn’t going to be so bad, after all, Hubert pants. The girl pulls him on top of her. He feels her warm, welcoming flesh under him. He enters her – she’s a bit tight, and she moans. He kisses her and adjusts her hips for a better angle. Gently he works it in. As he moves faster, she clutches him close to her, her arm pulling him to her along his shoulder blades. He hears her breathing fast, almost into his ear. Her body is entirely pulling him in, welcoming him. She is utterly submissive to his body. He loses all thought and after a few moments of thrashing uncontrollably, all his semen jets into her hard.

Hubert gives a lurch. His eyes open, and he sits forward, almost knocking over his Budweiser. He pulls the diodes from his skull and looks around. No one is in the kitchen any more. He does not see anyone. He feels hot sticky fluid in his boxer shorts. He settles back into the chair and sips his beer.


He walks around the house. It’s quiet. The kids’ doors are closed. He takes a shower and tosses the mushy boxers in the clothes hamper. When he comes out, Liz is already in bed. She is lying on her side, facing the wall. He climbs in behind her. He pulls her tight to him. He lifts his head to see her face. It looks peaceful. Her eyes are closed. He falls asleep, his face buried in her hair. She opens her eyes. In her line of sight is a bedside television set. She sees her head, distorted by the convex screen. It looks like a balloon. She hears her husband snoring softly, feels his breath on the nape of her neck. She feels his entire body against hers, even his flaccid organ, even the spot of post-cum on its tip.

Deep in her womb is a warm place. Like a fire. When it gets big and burns hot, it threatens to burn her whole. It is like a red-hot knife thrust deep inside her. Tonight, thankfully, it is just a small fire, a camp fire with two logs. It just feels like a teaspoon of acid on bare skin. She gazes at her distorted reflection on the TV screen until dawn.


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