‘Jonah’, Soren James

Illustrations © 2018 Miguel Santos

 [ Pickled and Wired, © 2018 Miguel Santos ] “I’m gripped by mortality.
Researching it in outer-space—that
most immaculate place
to look at death. I’ll
gather my things and
get right on it, but…
Where is this?” asked
Jonah—her remains pickled and wired
across four jars elaborate with pumps
and computers. Expectant, her avatar
turned to the doctor.
He shifted in his seat. “That’s
not important right now.”
“But my research! I’ve never felt
more engaged in a subject. I’ve plans
to make. Where’s the door?"
The doctor shrugged. “I’m
sure you’d be happier
staying here: relaxing, playing chequers
with our other guests, and also
helping us answer a few questions. Besides,
you must know that such voyages are grisly.
As the saying goes: Space-
travel torments identity, and time-travel
invalidates it.
Journeying is black torture.”
Jonah pulled
a virtual dressing gown
tight around her sorrow. “Where’s
my wife? I can’t live without her.”
“We know,” said the doctor,
“we just need a little more data
on the accident
before we let you go.”

© 2018 Soren James

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