Virtual Eclipse

Chapter 1 of an unbound story. Write the story with us.

He awoke to a dream. The day stretched before him, pristine, and pregnant with unrealized potential. This alliterative prospect made him smile, as he gazed at the gap in the window blind where a piece of a slat had broken off. Sunlight streaked through the gap, landing on the duvet enclosed down comforter where it would have lit his penis if it weren’t for the Winter lingering into early Spring.

The coffee machine clicked on, and soon he heard it percolate. He felt fortunate to be living in a time when gadgets could anticipate the needs they needed to fill. After stretching quietly under the comforter, arms and feet slowly creeping out so as not to perturb the morning of possibility, he slipped out from under the comforter and expertly assumed a position orthogonal to his previous plane of being while locating and slipping on yesterday’s boxer briefs which he had discarded in his sleep.
In the kitchen, the perfect cup of coffee was waiting for him in the domed coffee bay -- half full, precisely creamed and sugared, and at the temperature that would keep it in the tongue burning range that he liked for the duration of the sipping. The dome opened upon his approach. A tray emerged from a slot in the base, it presented a spoon. This was the latest interface innovation that finally seemed to be stemming the decline of the intangible quality (IQ) factor of the world’s qualities of life, which he still liked to call by their old-fashioned name, "gadgets." He stirred the coffee with the spoon, and watched the cloud of cream rise up and dissolve into the black of the coffee, forming a steaming, rich, milky brown. Having stirred it himself, his coffee now had the human touch of imperfection, and the ability to add this organic IQ was worth every pretty penny he paid for the gadget.

He carried the coffee to the living room, where he had pulled up all the window blinds the previous night, in preparation for today. He wanted the light to come right in. Sitting down on the world’s most comfortable couch, he activated his quality hub to connect to the world. A holographic portal appeared before him, as he took his first sip of the enhanced IQ coffee, a fitting start for his first day of nurturing all that constituted his neglected promise. His eyes welled up as he peered into the portal. This was it. Everything everyone had put forth to make their mark in the world was within the reach of his senses.

Behind him, outside the windows, the sun moved and shone on him. He did not notice. Soon the coffee ran out, and more was made. He found himself bewildered in a world created by others. There were qualities of all stripes everywhere, with values leveraged by all kinds of stalwarts, in all manner of groundbreaking creativity. Eventually the sun gave up, and left. The replicated daylight that came on didn’t single him out to shine on. Although weary and dejected from his first day of world skimming, he would not let himself avert his bleary senses from the portal.

The sun returned the next morning; but this time, when its light landed on the comforter, he wasn’t under it. The coffee bay had learned not to offer the spoon, since he never used it after the first couple of times; he had ceased to discern the IQ factor. When the sun moved, it found him on the couch, exactly where it had left him the previous day. It shone on him again, in vain.

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