Lucy. A short story for Twenty-four hour short story contest

in twentyfourhourshortstory •  11 months ago  (edited)

Dear friends, I leave my participation to this challenging contest, organized by @mctiller: Writers win Five Steem! Feb 19 Twenty-four hour short story contest-A man comes home and finds his wife has turned into a cat. Within the time limit. So, without many introductory words, I invite you to review your rules (here) and participate.

I am grateful... and I run.

Zentangle. Ilustración propia. 2013. No conservo registro del proceso.


Juan caressed the cat's head with a trembling hand. It was a cheap cat with a soft semi-long coat. The cat stretched the neck with soft flexible force to intensify the contact. The low-frequency vibration of her purring was warmly pleasing to her and, for a second, she felt full. However, he withdrew his hand.

He went to the window and watched the celestial spectacle of bullet-cars at rush hour. The lights weaving an incandescent net in the sky had fascinated him since he was a child. Due to a combination of circumstances that were not favourable to the Southern Dome, the painting that unfolded in front of his window was superior to that of his children's memoirs. The pollution generated by fracking added to the thick atmosphere of the South American quadrant and the result was mind-blowing.

"Like a Pollok painting", he thought and felt somewhat sad beneath the layers of laziness that enveloped him at the time. As soon as he got home, he allowed himself to loosen the rubber mask that his face had become in the last few days. With resignation, he knew he had to assume that he was this and could not help it: a middle-aged man, who could enjoy celestial shows, who could make very archaic plastic comparisons... He was also the chemical engineer who had designed Lucy from fracking residues and had made her a very successful drug of popular design among the extraction crews. It was someone who, in spite of the present circumstance, preferred to live outside the induced overreality, and who yesterday, for the first time, had injected his own drug.

He knew he was about to need another dose. The effect subsided, revealing reality as a sharp certainty and emotions began to take shape. The pleasant flotation of the senses began to be crushed by the weight of the world and the over-reality produced by the neurosensors (included in Lucy's kit, a marketing detail) wrinkled like a film about things. A certain disorientation invaded him, a little vertigo. Was he in the office? No. The cat, who turned in the armchair and uttered a pitiful meow, reminded him that she was at home. And the house was a place where he preferred not to be now. Not since Martha left him.

He made a parenthesis to take mental note: Also, above all, it was someone whom his wife, at some specific moment that she could not see, had stopped loving him.

How could he have been so wrong? He assumed that everything was fine for her. That she was relatively happy with the life they were leading. He took it for granted that she enjoyed a kind of happiness similar to his. There were no children, but she thought she didn't miss them. Although perhaps the absence of offspring had nothing to do with it... He was wandering. Martha had had enough of being alone. She had looked for a lover. She was gone.

No. Martha had succumbed to loneliness and depression and he had not been there to love her. She had gone away from him... Where?

He was having a paradoxical reaction. He was feeling horribly bad. And he had this stabbing sensation of withdrawal. Something wasn't right and I couldn't pinpoint what it was.

He took a deep breath. Lucy was designed to produce well-being. The neurosensors in the kit (enhanced for VIP experiences) did not cause anxious or violent states. Tests on experimental subjects had surpassed all standards...

He ran to the table and emptied the contents of his briefcase. There was an unopened kit. Was it convenient to inject himself again?

Martha gently stopped her hand. She was sitting on the couch, with the cheap cat comfortably asleep on her lap. I hadn't heard her come in...

Emotions mixed in his chest until they almost burned him. His heart was pissed off.

As Martha looked at him, she lay siege hanging from the edge of time. Her emerald pupils are fixed on her face. The sunset light was reflected in the glass of her gaze and the bursting of the lights caused by the combustion of the bullet-cars was a hallucinatory spectacle.

She did not speak. For a long time they only looked at each other.

Juan felt his legs wavering.

He sat on the floor and rested his face on his wife's thigh. His agitation gave way to a sudden calm that soon became uncomfortable because it was as if his emotions, so freely unleashed a moment ago, had been imprisoned under a thick layer of calm. And he could not discover the edges.

The cat awoke from her sleep, jumped gracefully, and, with a liquid movement, landed at Martha's feet. The animal slipped into his hands, which rested motionless without daring to touch his wife. The fur of the cat was so soft ... Smoothness that captured the senses.

He closed his eyes. Martha's thigh, covered by the thin cloth of her skirt, was firm. She slipped her hand into his hand. Her thin bones were fragile. They would break easily. They could be made

Her thin bones were fragile. They would break easily. They could splinter under the pressure of his fingers. They could dust and travel through the ventilation ducts and no one would know. He would tell everyone that she was gone. That she had had enough of him and found herself a lover and left.

He opened his eyes. The cat looked at him from the empty chair. The cat's green eyes reflected the light of twilight. The glass of those eyes caught the explosion of the lights caused by the combustion of the bullet-cars. It was an amazing spectacle. Like a painting by Pollok.

Behind the cat's eyes, Martha looked at him and mocked his anguish. He knew without a shadow of a doubt.

He felt bad. Perhaps he was suffering a paradoxical effect. This certainty uncovered an attack of convulsive laughter. The poor devils of the Domo Sur extraction colony, condemned to toxic syndrome, survived in fantasy paradises for years before their organs gave way. All thanks to Lucy. It was a sea of fun.

Behind the cat's eyes, Martha looked at him and mocked his anguish.

The emerald in Martha's eyes reflected the light of twilight.

He nailed the kit's hypodermic to one of those eyes.

Gracias por la compañía. Bienvenidos siempre.

¡Que pueda ver pronto libre a mi país!

Soy miembro de @EquipoCardumen

Soy miembro de @TalentClub

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Congratulations on the curie vote, @adncabrera. More than deserved. This story, like all your stories, carries the brand of excellence.
Very disturbing future painted here. You were able to capture the rarified interior and exterior atmosphere.
The merging of images from past and present, from conscious and induced states of mind is as hallucinatory as the alluded drug itself.

PS. I forgot to mention, your illustration alone deserved a curie vote. Just incredibly beautiful art.

Well said!!!
You should take over my former career as a book reviewer, @hlezama, and you should get paid for it too (stupidly, I invested thousands of hours of my life UNPAID reading and reviewing). I especially like your comment below: * We are about to lose our ability to dream nice dreams, bombarded as we are with so much crappy reality.* It's a daily struggle for me - I volunteer at Iowa Cold Cases, keeping the horrific details of unsolved murders in the public''s awareness, hoping Someone Who Knows Something will finally speak up and get whoever walked free Apprehended at last. But I digress. You're a great reader, and @adncabrera is a great writer. 'Nuff said! (but wait: thank you @curie for recognizing writers and artists when the rest of the world only recognizes iGadgets!).

Thanks :)
I need that job badly now :)
I celebrate your voluntary work. Things like that are badly needed.
It will always be beyond my understanding why anyone in a possition of power or with economic means does not do what is needed to really make a difference in our world. We have spread and accepted as undisputed truth this mantra, according to which change starts with oneself. Well, there are millions of oneselves who can't do much even if organized, let alone in isolation.

Yes! People like Jeff Bezos who net billions of dollars a year will avoid paying Federal income taxes. Because, it's legal. Meanwhile a doctor I know grosses $700,000 a year and pays $350,000 a year in taxes. Why is he in such a high tax bracket but not billionaires? Furthermore, low-wage workers at Amazon pay income taxes, but Bezos legally gets away without paying. A Flat Tax would solve that problem. It's both Democrats and Republicans who keep these tax laws in place. Meanwhile, we can only hope those with billions or millions will remember to fund after-school programs and Pets for Vets and that sort of thing.... sorry for the rant. I'm just having another one of those days. Thank you for spreading the goal of making a difference!

Thank you, my dear @hlezama. As always, your reading excites me. I'm so glad you thought my story was good. Indeed, the future projected by history is quite miserable. Somehow, when I imagined the drug, everything else came with it. I hope it's just a terrifying vision and that our future is the complete opposite.
A hug!

We all hope so. We are about to lose our ability to dream nice dreams, bombarded as we are with so much crappy reality.
Big hug

Hi adncabrera,

This post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Have a great day :)

Visit or join the Curie Discord community to learn more.

It is an honor for me to receive the support of such a prestigious team.

Knowing that my text has been taken into account by you commits me and motivates me to continue working and improving.

Thank you.

Nice story and image 👍👏

Posted using Partiko iOS

I think you mean to say nice imagery - "image" = that final line with the needle, to me, and it is NOT NICE and I am going to go outside and play with my dogs now and not look at my green-eyed cat for the next 48 hours.

Thank you very much, @bidesign, for reading and commenting.

It was a cheap cat with a soft semi-long coat. OMG I love this! You startle the reader with a fresh, original voice - this is what publishers seek, to the point that they publish some really weeeeeird prose like Katherine Forbes Riley's debut novel The Bobcat by a New York house, Skyhorse Publishing | Arcade Publishing. "Haunting and lyrical" prose, they call it, but I call it tortured. You however are coherent and articulate. Ok, this is getting long.... I love your Zentangle graphic, and that you mention Jackson Pollock! But I have a phobia about eyes. No fear of needles whatsoever, but needles near eyes.... squeeeeee!!!!!!! Ok, I'm gonna forgive you for that final image. eeep!

Dear @carolkean, I am very touched by your words. I'm very glad you found my story interesting. Indeed, language works a lyrical register within the nightmare that this man lives. He is really having a bad day. The final image is cruel (it's true, I also have a beautiful green-eyed cat called Neem), and I included it as a logical outcome for a character who denies his violent condition and superbly denies that his drug triggers such effects.

The mention of Pollock, apart from the fact that his work is mind-blowing, was made because it seems to me that he works in those margins where language becomes insufficient. He works in a limit state of language in its communicative configuration.

Thank you also for appreciating my drawing. I love drawing and I'm glad it's pleasing to others.

P.S. We agree: @hlezama is an exceptional reader and commentator and should earn a lot of money with those skills!

Hello @adncabrera, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

It is an honor for me to receive the support of such a prestigious team.
Thanks, I'm very glad you found my story interesting.