We had ourselves beamed to far off places. Through our thought process we drove our cars and cooked our meals. We took a pill at the beginning of each school year and by the next day we knew everything we were supposed to know so we didn’t have to attend classes.
There was no television–just a blank wall in every room where we could watch the program of our choice by speaking into the TVPhone.
Food was a projected picture of what we wanted and the protein pill made it taste as good as it looked. Nothing was ever overcooked or too rare.
Our bikes didn’t have wheels or pedals but we got around by leaning or looking in certain directions.
Birthday presents could be gotten through Amazon Instant. I asked for a wish instead and the family went along with it so we “drove” to the Wish platform and sat around on invisible couches that were incredibly comfortable. I wished to go back to our regular life in Connecticut and it was explained by Robot Leader that if we went, we would have our memories of this episode of our life erased–all but the wisher, which in this case was me.
I thumb-upped the Robot Leader and we were back in Connecticut just waking up for Sunday pancakes and arguing over how the family was going to spend the day and who got to use our one car. My family is none-the-worse for wear but now I have to walk to the kitchen for a snack instead of projecting my snack picture on the wall and tossing down a protein pill.
Perhaps I made a hasty decision.
Paul Beckman’s story, “Healing Time” was one of the winners in the 2016 Best of the Small Fictions. His stories are widely published in print and online in the following magazines amongst others: Connecticut Review, Raleigh Review, Litro, Playboy, and Thrice Fiction. His latest flash collection is “Peek” and is available from his websites. His published story website is www.paulbeckmanstories.com and blog is www.pincusb.com Paul hosts the FBomb NY flash fiction reading series monthly at KGB in New York.
Image by susannp4