Half Moon Bay (by Krys Giang)
by Brett Welch
This “Invitations” story was written by the lovely and talented Krys Giang. She usually writes over here. You should go check out her blog.
I rolled the holosphere between my palms before flattening it and folding it up. I put it into my jacket pocket, and then pulled it out again.
“You need to upgrade,” Thomas had said during Christmas, and handed me a box. “Who uses touchscreen phones anymore? Seriously.”
“TS phones might be bulky. And they might have a static shape and volume. And they might be old fashioned, but holos are too flashy,” I countered. The crinkly bow and crisp gold wrapping paper were easy to tear off. Once the box was opened, an orb of light drifted up and hovered at chest level. It glowed a faint blue, but in the center was a gold holographic button. Thomas pushed it and the sphere bloomed.
He lifted a holographic camera from the pile and took a photo of himself. When he turned a knob on the camera, the orb of light shifted into a holographic bust of him. “There, now you’ll always remember me when you use your holo,” he said smugly.
“You’re such an idiot,” I said and laughed.
“Here,” his tone softened, “let me show you to set another back ground image. You can even go into amorphous mode.”
“I think I’ve got it,” I said and set it to “Balloon” mode. It drifted to the ceiling.
I looked out the train window. We passed under a tunnel, and then the sunlight came crashing through the windows. It rolled around on the floor, before climbing up the legs of other passengers. It reached for me too, and I stuck out a toe to touch it. The train passed under another tunnel before I could.
“Have you made up your mind?” I asked impatiently.
“I just, I don’t know, I just feel like you always want me to make these snap decisions,” Thomas said impatiently.
“So that’s it then? Here take this,” I pulled the bracelets off my wrist. “And these,” I pulled two small bags from the closet.
“No, no, no these were for you,” tears welled up in both our eyes.
“And the holo,” I said.
It shifted into a sharp dagger and I stuck it in his chest. “Now you know what it feels like,” I said as I walked away. It was just light tricks, completely harmless. He felt it anyway.
The train pulled up to the platform and the speakers played a bell sound. I spotted Thomas immediately. He waved and I put my holo away. Earlier that day, I’d received a handwritten note from him on my holosphere. There were few words on it, and I never wrote back.
Krys and I will be publishing one ultra short story each, every week, here on this blog. The theme for this month is “Invitations.”
If you’re interested in following along, feel free to subscribe with your email address at the bottom of this blog.