Prompt for April 15, 2016

Complete the short story/flash fiction, that has the following opening:

He looked around the lobby of YBU and was drawn into the various displays of virtual reality vacations that could be purchased. He remembered the movie Total Recall that he would watch with his grandfather and while the movie and reality were slightly different, the idea was the same: purchase a vacation and “live it” without actually being there in person. Unlike the movie, however, there was no implantation of these memories, you had to experience them at the same rate at which you normally experienced life. You couldn’t fool the brain into thinking that a memory absorbed at twice the normal speed was a real memory.

He adjusted his suit jacket and tie and bypassed the customer entrance to approach the corporate receptionist at the back of the lobby. Flanked by two security who looked like they were hired for their brawn, not their brains, the receptionist looked up at him and he was immediately stuck by her purple eyes. Contacts or genetic engineering? He wasn’t sure which, but they were perfect for her almond shaped face.

“Can I help you, Detective?” She titled her head slightly to the side when she asked the question.

“I’m here to see the CEO, Brian Happerson, with regard to a police matter. If you could help me,” he glanced at her name tag, “Kari, that would be appreciated.”

“I’m sorry, detective, but Mr. Happerson is busy all day, but the company’s Vice President of Legal Affairs will be glad to assist you in any inquiry you may have into the organization.”

“No,” he said, leaning forward to lend an intimidation factor into his words. The security stepped forward slightly, their relaxed stance immediately changing into more of a threat analysis approach. So they weren’t just brawn after all. “No, I need to see him today, unless, of course, you’d like me to tell the press that your boss is creating snuff films for the private VR market?”

“That won’t be necessary, Detective Trundel,” said a voice from behind him. A voice that sent chills up his spine. “I’ll take care of this Kari.”

He knew that voice and when he turned around he confirmed it with his eyes. His knees shook a little as he stood there. He had been married once, to the love of his life, an independent VR film director with whom he shared all of his hopes and dreams. An accident on a film set, however, took her away without him giving a chance to tell her how much he loved her. And now, standing in front of him, was his wife’s identical twin sister.

“It’s good to see you again, Jerry,” she said in the same voice his wife used whenever they were apart for more than just a few hours: breathy and full of expectation. For a brief moment he saw his wife lying battered and bruised on the morgue table as he identified her for the police and for a second, just a second, he pictured her standing in front of him.

This case was going to be the death of him.

Post a link to the story in the comments.


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