• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 10

Freedom 2021

The lake doesn't exist. The clouds are all fake, the wind stirred trees and green grass artificial constructs drawn from the unit memory banks. Look closely enough and you'll will see a bumblebee perched unmoving but watchful on a leaf and a moorhen skulking in the reeds. Silver monitor fish dart in the shallows—all part of the triple-locked system fail safe mechanism. Outside is not safe anymore so we bring it into the VR chamber and dream our socially distanced thoughts. Plugged into a better reality, if only for a little while, to dance our cares away.

Freedom is expensive but we glide over the ripple haunted water, bathed in sunlight. We can do anything we please, somersault tumbles or make strange shapes with bodies light as the herb and honey scented air. Weightless, unfettered by the laws of gravity, lost in the moment. We both remember a lake, or one very like it—in the time before the world changed for the worse and being part of a crowd might be a death sentence. Death stalks the city now but he will just have to wait his turn—we paid for the full hour.