By Guest Contributor

T he dream was a bad one. Not a nightmare. Nightmares were fine. They were little horror movies in your head, they were fantastic flights of adventure with a dark twist. She could get into that. The bad ones were something else. They were real. They were dreams that expressed the banality, the sad flat pathetic blandness of what her life.

Getting up being a bit of an ordeal, she lay in bed for a bit, propped up to see the wall play out a beach scene. She liked the beach. Gentle crash of distant waves in the direction of the far corner. Sunset.

The little butler rolled into the room, beeped and tottered up to the nightstand w/ a glass of water and her pills. She ignored it. The butler put the things on the nightstand, wheeled around and left. The door slid to.

She opened the nightstand drawer and produced the week’s worth of pills she’d been saving. She swept the two into the palm of her hand and studied the small white mound, turning them so their happy cartooned faces all looked at her, maddeningly. She considered her suicide to mainly be an act of aggression toward those damn happy pills.

She tilted her hand, painfully, toward her mouth and tipped them in. While they sat stupidly on her tongue, she reached for the water and brought it to her lips. She took a long swallow. The last pill went down and the door slid open.

The butler rolled to the side of the bed and tilted its wide, flat head at her. It’s big round lenses– cute, as far as appliances went– blinked amber, red, amber again. The butler raised an arm at her, half way between accusation and supplication. Somehwere, a server awoke, responding to the butler’s medic alert. Deactivation codes were relayed and the butler beamed them straight at her, shutting down the nanite tablets and causing them to dissolve before they finished their slow, chalky journey into her belly. It spun around and beeped at the wall as it left. The closing door seemed to hiss louder as the beach scene disappeared, replaced by the mathematically precise pleasantry of her therapy app.

“Good morning, Miss English. You appear to have attempted self harm again. That’s really unfortunate. Please. Let’s talk.”

She lay back and closed her eyes.


–James Smith