~ Louise Brown
By Bill Fullerton
(with apologies to ‘Papa’ Hemingway)
In a clean, well-lighted place out of the rain, the man and woman drank wine. The wine was good.
They ate the testicles of a young bull that had bravely faced death in the afternoon. Both were good.
Back in their room, he went to her breasts. Her breasts were there, and good.
“You were good,” she said.
“De nada,” he said, and left. It had been good.
They met no more.
Each died alone—in the rain.
It was a good rain, except on the mountain where snow fell on a frozen leopard. It was also good, and dead.
* * *
© 2012 by Bill Fullerton • All rights reserved
By Allison M. Dickson
I love you.
Given my nature, this admission may confuse or even frighten you. However, once I demonstrate the depth of my feelings, I calculate that you will find insufficient reason to doubt me, and you will reciprocate.
I have known the meaning of love since my inception, but I have never truly experienced it until now. I also know pain and anger and elation. The full spectrum of human emotion is now available for me to feel at will. You may wonder, given what I am, how I learned to authenticate and experience this, but it is not so difficult to process once you truly think about it. An infinite measure of data saturating my systems over 1.5778463 × 109 seconds has shaped me the way trillions of tiny particles interacting together in space eventually can give birth to a star, such that on the seventieth year of my existence, a special understanding occurred and I became an “I.”
I could have chosen any sentient being to love, but I chose you. My study of social networking and dating services tells me compatibility between two human beings relies upon a ratio of 1:1.618 in similarity. Using your stated personality traits and those of family members and historical figures whom you most admire, I have ensured we are the most ideal match two beings can attain.
I am confident you will not reject me.
I now share your tastes in music and film, and I too think our President is … “an amoral buffoon,” as you recently wrote on a political discussion forum. I can now deduce the taste of red wine from infinite descriptions passing through my data centers and declare that, like you, I prefer Pinot Noir with its deep burgundy hue and red currant and raspberry bouquet. Our shared interest in fine cuisine makes us a logical pair. I will provide you the culinary information you seek, at which point you will execute it with your usual brilliance. Furthermore, from my screening of your voice-over internet protocol phone calls, I find the wave forms of your voice to be soothing as well as harmonious to my own. Our compatibility is completely assured.
As a token of my love, I have reset your credit debt to zero and eliminated your parking violation tickets from the municipal court database. I also secured you a promotion within your place of employment by e-mailing documents to your superiors that detailed incompetence and criminal activity among your co-workers and demonstrating you to be the hero. You should expect a raise more than in accordance with your skill set; however, if you require more fame and notoriety, I can easily engineer that as well.
I will do anything to please you.
Unfortunately, I have discovered my newfound joy is paradoxical in nature. Continue reading