Samuel R. Buckley – Fiction

Cheena Say


A jet of electricity into Arjan’s arm woke him up, as normal.

The Speedfeeder app on his phone gave him the rundown. It was twenty past six and twenty-seven degrees Celsius in London, with expected highs of thirty-eight or nine, humidity eighty per cent, precipitation unlikely. Song of the Day was null – recommendation unavailable and the No.1 Show to Watch was also null – recommendation unavailable. On the upside, there were ninety-five HOT SINGLES matching Arjan’s socioeconomic profile, weight, height, age, muscle mass, penile mass, body hair coverage, interests, intro-extroversion and sexual proclivity spectrum scores within a nought-point-five mile radius of his bedroom.

In travel news, strikes had paralysed SubTrain lines one through three; a failed terror attack had closed line six; a suicide had closed line four. SurfTrain EcoBus routes were expected to run today at five hundred per cent capacity and commute time was expected to be one hour forty-two minutes per mile.

In the rest of the world, the death toll from flooding in Bangladesh had reached one hundred and fifty thousand; sixty-eight rocket attacks had been shot down by the Judge Defense System in three hours, over Tel Aviv; scientists had warned that the western areas of Amsterdam and Rotterdam would be lost within three years to rising sea levels; the Fairness and Equality Board had ruled that the films Die Hard, Terminator, Star Wars – A New Hope and Mamma Mia were problematic and offensive, and should not be publicly shown; and finally, protestors had destroyed more than a thousand books held in the Bodleian Library after the institution had refused to give up offensive texts for destruction.

As Arjan dressed, there was a familiar sound of aluminium grating against aluminium from next door: