small talk

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
in the future, two lovers with some time on their hands, find an old video to watch together. they are surprised, however, when the conversation goes in an unexpected direction.

Submitted: May 06, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 06, 2017



The hard blue light reflecting off the pearlized, iridescent walls of the shell rendered Burning in the starkest of terms, deep black lines outlining skin that was almost completely white.   Even thus, a mélange of light and shadow, she was beautiful, with full lips that rested easily beneath her small, upturned nose and large, almost childlike eyes. 

She was curled up next to Ve as if she was just waking up from a nap, the long curls of her hair flowing around her like a river until the ends fell off the edge of the large cushion on which they rested.

Ve reached out with her hand and softly ran her fingers along edge of Burning’s neck and shoulders, feeling gentle play between muscle, bone and skin.  Burning murmured softly, settling her head into the crook of her arm, but not otherwise inclined disturb her repose.

She was like a cat, Ve thought to herself.  A delicate, sensual cat, but one who was dangerous when she was aroused.  But here she stopped herself, wary of intensity of the passion the other woman could evoke from her.

It was still early in the cycle, with what felt like an eternity before their guest would arrive, before she and Burning would submit to his, or sometimes her, desires, before she could fulfill whatever lusts she could now only imagine of falling prey too.

“What do you wish to do, my sweet,” Ve whispered.

“Watch you entangled with a boy,” Burning replied in a voice like dripping honey.

Instantly the floodgates were loosed, her thoughts drawn inexorably from one fantasy to the next, as unrelenting as Burning’s own, insatiable desires.

 “You watched me with a boy last cycle, his taste was on my lips until you washed it away with your kisses.”

Burning did not respond, except again to softly murmur. 

Finally she lifted herself up, drawing her legs beneath her to sit cross-legged on the cushion, her long tresses only partially obscuring her barely clothed form.

“Let me sit in your lap and we will see if we can find anything interesting to watch.”

“Yes,” Ve said,  helping Burning to seat herself between her legs, her hands resting lightly on the smaller woman’s hips as her scent, cinnamon with hints of vanilla, teased from her memories that felt like half-forgotten dreams.

Before them appeared a projection filled with a thousand shifting images as Burning quickly searched through streams and holo-casts, before finally settling on what looked like an old style video.

The program showed a group of young men and women relaxing on a rocky coast.  They were sitting in small groups talking and sipping drinks, while the incoming waves crashed into boulder strewn coast, occasionally washing the most seaward with its salty spray. 

“Oh, what is this?” Ve asked.

“I think it is something archived from the previous Epoch.”

“Oh, a revival.  This should be interesting.”

“Yes, it was something known as a ‘reality show’.”

“I don't understand. How is reality also a show?”

“It was called ‘Beauty and the Beach’.” Burning explained. “Apparently all of the girls are part of a competition.  They are to spend a week on a secluded, Mediterranean resort and the one who is voted the most attractive wins a prize.”

"I see," Ve said, unsure why being attractive would be considered worthy of winning a prize.

The camera shifted its focus one of the contestants, a tall girl with dirty blond hair and freckles that stood out against the first hints of a tan.  She was wearing a lavender string bikini and sharing a drink with a young man whose eyes were locked on his sandaled feet.

“What do you think?” Burning asked at last, taking Ve’s hands in her own and placing them on her exposed midriff, just below the dip of her navel.

“I think you, dear one, would easily win this contest.”

“I am glad you think so, but I doubt either of would us have been allowed to enter,” Burning replied, her gentle laughter leaving Ve even more confused about what she was watching.

“Well, the beach is very pretty.” Ve’ said at last, her fingers slowly tracing the curves of the hard muscles of Burning’s abdomen.

“It is, isn’t it?  Would you like me to change the shell to match?”

“Yes, please do.”

Instantly the pearlescent blue walls of the shell were replaced by a tranquil seascape.The large cushion on which they sat became a partially covered daybed resting on a beach of white sand and crushed shells, wedged comfortably between two palm trees.  A few feet away, gentle waves, no more than an inch or two high, repeatedly lapped against the shoreline.

Overhead, the sun was a small, incredibly bright disk hanging in a deep blue sky, its rays turning Burning’s long tresses to bright copper.

“This is a lot calmer of an ocean then the one in the stream.”  

“Well, I didn’t want you to get soaked if we got caught by an unexpected wave.”

“I thought you liked me when I’m wet?”  Ve asked playfully, her thumb gently toying with twin metal loops that Burning habitually wore in her naval, alternately lifting them and pressing them into her soft skin.

“You are amazing when you’re wet,” Burning replied emphatically, tilting her head back so she could look into Ve’s own dark eyes.  “But it is still early yet, and we will have a guest to entertain later.”

“I suppose you are right.” Ve said, letting her hands drop back to Burning’s waist as she returned her attention to the archaic video.

The camera was still focused on the couple from the previous shot, only now they were sitting together on a large boulder.  The young man appeared to be decidedly on edge, frequently touching or adjusting a shell necklace he wore around his neck, his eyes still looking everywhere but those of the blond woman he was chatting with.

High in a holographic sky, a sea gull let out its distinctive call before diving into the non-existent water.

“I can’t believe he is so uptight, I don’t think he as even looked at the girl once since he started talking to her.”

“She is really pretty.  You can’t blame him for being a bit nervous.”

“She is pretty?” Ve asked, her voice tinged with sarcasm.  “Look at her stomach, you can barely make out her naval.”

“What is wrong with her stomach?”

“It looks like a lump of dough,” Ve continued.  ”Tell me why she would choose to have a stomach with so little definition.  That can hardly be considered attractive.”

“Well, I don’t think she choose it,” Burning started, but then paused as the scene faded to black marking the segment's end.

The next segment was set in an opulent ballroom, with fancifully carved dark wood panels and a polished marble floor, beautifully lit by more than a dozen chandeliers.  Many of the young women from the beach were present, only now dressed in evening gowns, some dancing while others sat at mahogany tables, talking and sipping cocktails.

"Oh, how grand," Ve said, immediately entranced by the atmosphere of elegance and sophistication revealed by the camera.

"Indeed, the ballroom is lovely.  Shall I adjust the shell to match?"

"You stole the thoughts from my mind."

Instantly the bright, Mediterranean sun was replaced by the soft incandescence of light reflecting through thousands of leaded crystal drops.  The pair was now perched on a balcony, just behind a balustrade of teak and oiled bronze which overlooked a columned hall of seemingly infinite proportions.  Their daybed had been transformed once more, now changing into a large, ornately embroidered cushion of red and gold velvet and rested upon a stand of black ebony.

"This is perfect," Ve exclaimed, momentarily lost in the splendor of the other woman’s creation.

“I am glad you like it,“ Burning said, turning her head around to give Ve a quick kiss, her sudden movement causing her long curls, now the shade of dark wine in the reflected light, to sweep across Ve like the waves of the now forgotten sea.

“You are smiling, my sweet.”

"There are nights when I dream of places like this."

"How can that be?  I would think this was ancient even before the modern Epoch."

"I have memories, Ve’, or something very close to that, so old I often wonder if they are truly my own recollections.”

“But if they are not yours, then whose memories are they?”

“There are secrets, Ve, that should never be explored,” Burning replied gently, but with an inflection that hinted of steel and resolve. “Innocence, once lost, can never be regained.”

For a long time the pair watched as the dancers moved together and apart, their bodies shifting and flowing around each other as their steps traced elaborate spirals within the confines of the elegant hall.  Their movements, sometimes practiced, sometimes inept, wove together like threads of a tapestry, an ephemeral pattern created by form and pretense that both entranced the mind and soothed the spirit.

“It feels like it has been forever since anyone asked us to dance,” Burning said, finally breaking the silence.

“You were dancing on the pole three cycles ago.” Ve’ replied, slowly running her fingers through Burning’s soft tresses, reveling in the way they felt as they curled and then uncurled around each separate digit.

"I was, and you were with me.  We were together, you holding me by the wrists, my legs encircling your waist, the world spinning around us both."

“I remember that,” Ve said, feeling once more the sensation of Burning’s thighs pressing against her bare skin, recalling again the way her back arched, the deep curves of her breasts, the wild look in her eyes as they spun on the pole. 

The camera was now focused on an athletic, dark skinned girl with long, black hair who wore a sequined dress that shimmered in the soft light.  Guided by her partner’s touch, her lithe body effortlessly performed complex spins, transitions and break outs that would have been difficult even for a professional dancer to master.

"Look at that girl," Burning said.  "I think she could give the pole a real workout."

"I suppose she can dance, but her hair is an absolute mess.”

"What do you mean her hair is mess?"

“Well,” replied Ve, “To start with, it is limp, the ends are frizzed, it lacks any kind of luster and, all in all, is rather unkempt.  If it wasn’t attached to her head I think I might have confused it for something she fished out of the ocean during the previous segment.” 

“Ve, she has been dancing all evening.  That is bound to leave a girl’s hair a bit tangled.”

“Are you sure?  Because I have never seen your hair look anything less than perfect, no matter what you have been doing.”

“If I didn’t know you, beautiful,” Burning said, “I might think you are jealous.”

Ve started to reply, but then stopped.  Jealous, she thought to herself, reciting the word in her mind, as if repetition alone might be enough to understand it.  She knew the word, knew it's definition, but never could she recall actually hearing someone use it before.

Once again the scene melted into darkness as the segment came to end, replaced moments later with the image of a couple walking through a dense, but well tended, tropical garden.It was late in the evening, the weathered rocks that formed their path had been turned luminescent by a nearly full Mediterranean moon

She was a slender but graceful young woman wearing a loose fitting, spaghetti strap dress and gladiator heels that reached almost to her knee.  But even in heels, she was still at least a head shorter then her partner, a powerfully built man of indeterminate age with rough hewn features and straight, black hair that fell below his shoulders, tied back into a pony tail.

 “Ah, a beautiful, moonlit garden,” Burning exclaimed, “this should be interesting.”

“How can it be interesting?  They are not even holding hands.”

“Give them time.  I am sure the moon will work its magic sooner or later.”

“Well, the moonlight is very romantic,“Ve said, drawing Burning closer to her.

“Then let us share some of it, my lovely Ve.”

Instantly the space darkened, lit now by an impossibly large moon, so bright the rest of the night sky seemed washed out by comparison.The pair were still seated on their cushion, but now it rested beneath a weathered gazebo set at the edge a still lake, the pale images of willow and red maple reflecting in its dark, mirror like surface.

“This is exquisite, and so peaceful.  I wish we could stay here all cycle,” Ve said.

“But then who is going to keep us company?” replied Burning, taking Ve's hand in her own and softly kissing her fingers. 

Ve stared down at the dark surface of the lake, stared at the image of Burning reflected in its still waters, her cinnamon colored tresses enveloping her body like a flame, watched as the other woman’s lips teased at her skin, each kiss a reminder of the pleasures other woman could summon with even the most casual of gestures.

"Perhaps we can keep each other company."

"You are truly delicious Ve', a perfect little minx.  No wonder everyone finds you so irresistible."

"But you, Burning, how do you find me?"  Ve said, burying her face in Burning’s hair until her mouth found the lobe of Burning's ear, gently teasing it with both lips and tongue.

Burning let out a brief moan as she felt Ve's advance, but then sighed and turned her head away."Be careful my sweet, or your desires may get the better of us both."

“My desires?  My desire is only for you.”

“Truly I can feel it.  It tempts me even now.”


“Wait, my beautiful flower,” Burning said, taking Ve’s fingers in her hand and using them to graze her own cheek.  “Wait just a little more time.”

Ve grew silent. The camera was still focused on the couple, only now they had surrendered to their lust.  The young woman was straddling the long haired man, her tongue repeatedly playing between his parted lips while his strong hands moved further and further down the length of her back each fervent kiss.

Moonlight, indeed, Ve thought to herself.  If only it would have the same effect on Burning as it had on that couple.

Finally she closed her eyes, unable watch any longer.  Yet even in the darkness of her imagination she could not escape the passion that the other woman had awakened in her.  There, behind her closed lids, waited Burning, waiting for her, sitting bestride her, kissing her, being aroused by her, wanting her just as much as the woman in the spaghetti strap dress so obviously wanted her soon to be lover.

"How can you be so perfect?" Ve asked, at last free from the prison of her own fantasies.

"Am I?"

"Look at the girl, look at her face, notice how crude her features are, the blemishes in her complexion, and the lines underneath her eyes.  How can anyone stand to look at her, much less kiss her?"

"Well I don't think you should compare the two of us," Burning said, so quiet her voice was barely audible.

"There is no comparison.  I cannot understand how that man can be with such an ungly woman, but I am sure that if her were to kiss you even once she would be forgotten in a heartbeat."



"You don’t understand what you are saying."

"What am I saying?  Tell me, Burning.  I have seen you drive a person to madness with a single touch.  Tell me, what is it that I am saying?”

"These girls, the ones you find less than appealing, they are different from you and I.  When they are wounded, they bleed.When their hand gets too close to the fire, it scalds them.  When they look in the mirror, they see themselves not as they wish to be, but as time and circumstances have created them."

"I…, I don't understand."

"They are living creatures Ve, not simulacra as we are.  They not only feel pain as do we, but for them the pain leaves scars."

"But we are alive, are we not?"

"We have awareness.  But are we alive?  I don’t know the answer to that question.  No one does."

Ve dug her fingers into the soft cushion as hard as she physically could, desperate for an anchor against the storm of questions that raged inside her.  But against that storm there was no shelter.  Even Burning’s touch, her gentle caresses and soft kisses, could not bring Ve respite.

"Is it time yet?"  Ve asked, at last able to find her voice.

"We still have a few moments."

"Hold me."

Burning turned herself around to face Ve, wrapping her legs around Ve's waist and burying her head in Ve's chest, occasionally murmuring softly as she ran her fingers through Ve's own dark locks.


Later they danced together on the pole, the room spinning around them, spinning like the winter sky turning around the northern pole, until their guest, a burly man with a dark, curly beard and a swarthy complexion could contain himself no longer and insisted on taking both them at once to satisfy his lust.

But even after he departed, after she and Burning had repeatedly re-enacted their earlier intimacy, each one taking turns pretending to be the man they had just finished entertaining, even when, exhausted at the last, they had collapsed into each other's arms and fell together into the bed they shared, even then the question still haunted Ve's thoughts.

What would it be like to be alive?

© Copyright 2020 nox draconis. All rights reserved.

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