Carry On

“Done yet?” she sighs.

I drift for a moment longer before resurfacing. I take a deep breath of ocean air, damp and organic. Did it really smell that way?

She bangs on the door, “hello?”

I cut off the simulation, my droid lifts my blackout glasses. Dark walls rush in and I blink away memories of bright blue sky. What’s the world like now?

“I’m coming in,” she flings open the door, and we start our tense dance. Pills, limb adjustments, sponge bath.

I don’t react, focusing instead on the ocean, carrying me like my body no longer can.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


November 11: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch
In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase “carry on.” It can be an expression of perseverance or behaving in a particular way. It can even be luggage you take when traveling. Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full collection here.

If you enjoyed this piece, please consider supporting the author via ko-fi.

16 thoughts on “Carry On

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  1. I’ve wondered why there hasn’t been more work done to develop technology like this? We have VR and from what I’ve heard it’s fairly realistic, but it seems all limited to just another way to isolate and play games. What caught me the most about this flash was the strong contrast between your characters. One who (I’m guessing) has everything and is horribly impatient, and the other who (I’m guessing) has close to nothing and can travel to places of joy and beauty. Your last sentence is very powerful, and not that I think your other stories aren’t good, but I thought this was one of your better stories.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The concept of tactile input is being studied and has been explored often in sci-fi, such as Ready Player One, how they can feel what their avatars feel. I love the idea of being able to one day upload our consciousnesses to exist in a digital world indefinitely and to utilise androids/avatars to help us feel and see and experience the “real” world, and worlds beyond our own, whenever we like. I’m not sure how close we are to the tactile VR experiences, but vibrations through gaming controllers, and “treadmill” platforms that move with our feet is a fantastic first step. I wonder when smells and tastes and temperature changes will be optimised for general public use, I’d imagine temp wouldn’t be too hard, but seamless smell and taste experiences would be an award winning accomplishment.

      Thank you for your kind words on this piece also, it’s humbling to know you enjoyed it and that it had such an impact for you.

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    1. Thank you Charli. It’s astounding how much strength something so fragile can give us, and yet that same strength can be taken, or aged away, so much easier. This piece came to me as I wrote each word, I thought it would be a different one, but I’m grateful it turned into what it did, that I didn’t force it to fit what I wanted, and that you enjoyed it several times over.

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