Short Story: Somewhere Over The Rainbow

As I put on me respirator to leave, I think, “I’m so lucky to be alive in this day and age. A hundred years ago, I’d be dead. We’d all be dead.”
I watch indulgently, as Stefan slips the mask over his face. Even through the mesh of plastic and squirm of plastic tubing, you can tell he is handsome. Striking. I’ve never been assigned to anyone I am actually proud to call my Partner before. It’s early days yet, but the gen-tech has flagged us as highly compatible, and so far, not to kiss and tell, it has proved right. Not to count my chickens, or anything. My last compatible partner is ruining in The Waste somewhere. Dereliction of character, they told me. It was a shame. He’d been fun. He loved Judy too.
All this while, the lyrics are flowing through my head. “Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high…” A night at the Entertainment. Just the thing to bond over. The oxytocin and serotonin pumped through the air fermentation conditioner always leave me feeling satiated and happy. And horny. I grin under my mask. Stefan would be in for a wild night.
Judy had been amazing. Better than I remembered. Stefan and I take it in turns to pick shows. He prefers Hendrix or Presley. I love Judy and Billie. We’ve got Ella next week.
“There’s a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby.”
Some of the older Comrades reminisce about new music. The idea leaves me cold. Who wants to see something you can’t sing along to? Or risk seeing a singer who might be rubbish? It’s a preposterous waste of time and money. So we only have Dead Acts now. If you’re not deceased, you’re not getting on the bill. My dad used to make that joke. He was a funny man.
“Where happy little bluebirds fly, over the rainbow…”
You’d never know they were projections. Better than real. And the shows are always perfect. Identical every time. I’ve memorised the whole of the dance routine for the Trolley song. I can perform it in perfect sync with holograms. It probably drives Stefan mad, but I think he secretly finds it charming. Not that he’d say.
“Why, oh, why can’t I?”
Why would anyone want to see actual humans on stage? It’s beyond me. Stefan takes my hand. It’s clammy cold. It makes me shudder. His touch always makes me shudder. But we’ve tested compatible, and besides… He’s perfect. Why would I want anything else?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s