Her luscious lips quivered in anticipation; she wanted to rest her lips upon his badly. There was a certain amount of tension in the air. Thick, so very thick. A chainsaw probably could not cut through it. She wondered if she just leaned a little closer… Just a little closer and their lips would touch. Yet could she cross that line? Could she break the sexual tension that had been building up? Lust was in the air and she wanted to taste those sweet, sweet lips of his.
His lips quivered in anticipation; he wanted to plant his lips firmly on her scarlet red lips. He wanted it bad. The tension in the air was thick, and a Ginsu knife would not do the trick. The air was drapped in anticipation and sexual energy. If he could just edge his lips a little closer to hers… Just a little closer and their lips would touch. Could he do it? Could he actually bring himself to test the relationship? Lust was in the air, and he wanted to feel those red hot lips on his.
The dog licked its lips in anticipation; it definetely wanted the snack. It really wished the dish would be on the floor. The tension was there, and its owner better hurry up and put that bowl down. The air was full of anticipation and hunger. If only it was a little closer… Just a little closer and its lips would touch the food. Could its master just hurry up with the food? Could its master's friend stop staring at the master? Hunger was in the air, and it wanted to eat its food already.
Will they or won't they kiss? Can they? Should they? Will the dog get fed? Who knows…
I close my eyes and lay my head upon the pillow, and by that act the distance fades away.
In the Land of Dreams, we roam free. Young, innocent and, most of all, free.
Gone are the pains, the hurts, the sorrows and what ifs.
Gone are the scars that we bear and the hardness of our souls.
In this Land of Dreams, all things are good. Beautiful and Sweet.
Instead we are reborn, free from guilt and sin. Free from all that dirt and grime.
I closed my eyes and there you were, arms out wide awating our embrace.
And hold each other that we did, in that, that Land of Dreams.
Your tender touch, your sweet carass. All so real, so true, so sure.
I held you in my arms that day, and was lost in your soulful eyes.
Our lips mingled and we tasted sweet Ambrosia. As if it were our first kiss.
Stone shattered and Steel melted, when we first held each other close.
I swam in the stillness of your soul and drank deep from the well of you heart.
In the Land of Dreams, we are free. Free from the chains that seek to bind us.
In that Land of Dreams, where Day and Night lingered in a perpetual Dawn and Dusk.
I dreamt of you. You special, simple, sweet, you.
“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”
“It is sweet and fitting to die for the Fatherland. Those Uppers really are full of crap. Eh?” Simon quipped, looking at the man in the long trenchcoat. The stranger took a long drag from his cigarette and shot back, “Vir sapit qui pauca loquitor. I’m not here to talk philosophy. Did you bring me what I asked for?” Simon handed a brown package over to the man. “I think you Mr. Simon,” the man said and flicked his cigarette into the drain.
“Who was that man Simon?” “I don’t know, and what the hell did he quote? He doesn’t seem like your usually Lower,” Simon replied with a shrug.
Joshua took out another cigarette from his breast pocket and lit it up. Joshua Leonid, missing scion of the Leonid family, took a short puff from his cheap cigarette and decided he didn’t like the taste and tossed it. How does someone from the upper levels end up in the lowers? Just how does the son a relatively well-to-do family end up in the dingy streets of level 182?
The door was jammed as always and needed a slight push to get it open. Josh threw the package on his bed, if you could call it that. It was just an old ratty mattress on the floor. He took his trenchcoat off and flciked the Vidscanner on. The news was on…
“IntSec today called off the search for Mr. Joshua Leonid after a year. Meanwhile, in other news, IntSec is still trying to figure out the who the mastermind of the level 86 Hermes relay station was. Also our beloved leader visited a nursery on level 154. He praised WelCare staff of the facility for raising strong, healthy citizens for the Fatherland…”
Josh turned the Vidscanner off. He opened the package that laid on his bed. It was parts for his ThinkBox. Not many people had a ThinkBox at this level. It was a luxury of the Uppers. Up there you were connected to the NatNet, but down here, down here you watched the Vidscanner and listened to what PropInfo told you. You were a Lower, the only thing you needed to know was your place in the Fatherland. Let the Uppers worry about the bigger problems. You just hurry along and sweep that floor or process that meat.
Josh affixed the part to his ThinkBox. The screen read, “Welcome to the NatNet citizen. Please enter Personal ID for access.” Josh entered the number he got from some guy who “owed” him a few “favours.” “Welcome back to the NatNet Mr. Solaris. It has been 6 days since you last logged in,” a pleasant synthetic female voice greeted him. To the NatNet, Josh was a level 68 citizen. A minor government functionary who worked for AgriFood ministry, important enough to be allowed access to the NatNet. “You have a message from a fellow citizen. It is of a private nature. Would you like to read it, Mr Solaris?” The irrtatingly pleasant vocie queried.
The message was from a lady who lived on level 33. Josh had gotten to know her on one of the many NatNet forums. All filled with empty and innane banter, full of mundane worries and concerns of Uppers. The two of them got along very well. The only difference was she was a cynic, and he a skeptic. She knew that the system was rotten to the core, but she had been disappointed by it so many times that she just gave up and turned inwards. She lived the life of a proper Upper, but she hated it. Deep down she wanted to be free of all that disappointment, that hurt. He on the other hand hated the system as much as her, but he believed that it could be changed. It may be cold and dark today, but the sun could once again rise tomorrow. That was what seperated them, but it also drew him to her like a moth to a flame.
Josh had quit his Upper life and hid in the Lowers because he was tired of living out those lies. As the Young Master Leonid, he was expected to be a good son, a good citizen, a good person, as good as the State wanted him to be. He was a son of the Fatherland and a level 25 too. He was expected to become an important cog in the system, but he grew tired of the illusions. He wanted to be free. Free of all those disappointments, hurts and frustrations that his station in life brought him. And so one day he just disappeared. So here he was Mr. John Kropotkin. A level 182. His job meant that he worked as a low level mechanic in the IntSec MoTran department. He got that job from the same guy who got him his Daniel Solaris persona. It helped that before he took a plunge down the depths of the great city, he found some dirt on an employee in the IdPer department of IntSec. Josh switched the screen of his ThinkBox off, got up and picked up his bag. He put on his trenchcoat and walked out his apartment door.
“ID,” the guard gruffly asked. Josh handed over yet another fake persona over to the guard. “Citizen Thomas Fawkes, sir, what brings you down here? It is very far down from level 51,” the guard asked, now very cautious not to insult a social superior. “Oh, I just came down to see a lady about a cat,” Josh replied with a wink. The guard laughed knowingly. Many Uppers had mistresses, girlfriends and one night stands down here in the lower levels. The many benefits of being a citizen, unlike the Lowers, who were members of the Fatherland, but not citizens, was that they could use the BoomTubes without a Elevation Permit. Josh rode up to level 51, making small talk with another level 51 back from his “inspection of the plumbing” on level 165.
Josh walked out the BT station. Unlike 182, 51 was a picture of pristine sterility. No one was hacking away with a bad cough. No grime anywhere. It was heaven to a Lower. To his left was a beautiful park with mother pushing their baby strollers along. An IntSec officer greeted Josh politely as they passed each other.
Josh walked up to building whose style indicated that it was a PropInfo building. This building was the broadcast station for level 51. It was also where a few serials were filmed.
“Hi. Can I help you, sir?” “Erm. Yes. Could you point me to the office of your Station Manager? I have a package for him.” Josh indicated to his bag as he replied. “Third floor, sir. Room 306A.”
Josh walked into Room 306A to find a pretty receptionist sitting behind a nice wooden desk. “Yes?” She asked. “Oh. I’m a member of the gym that Mr. Sinde belongs to. We play tennis together. Anyway… He left his bag in the locker room, and I thought I’d just drop it off,” Josh answered cheerfully. He left the bag by the door and invited the pretty young recpetionist for a cup of tea. How could she say no to a citizen of superior breeding?
“Today a PropInfo broadcast station experienced some technical difficulties. Broadcasts from level 50 to 75 were interrupted between 1530 and …” Josh turned his Vidscanner off. He knew exactly what “technical difficulties” the station experienced. He took another puff of his cigarette, threw on his coat and walked out of his place.
“Officer, sir. I think you should adjust that banner up there,” Josh pointed up. “Thank you. We will do that soon, Member.”
“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”
Jun was walking past rows and rows of trees, slowly admiring the each and everyone of them. Jun had been to the grove many many times. When the nut trees were flowering, when they were bearing nuts, and when they were bare. Each time he walked through the grove it gave him a different feeling.
This season had been a surprisingly cold winter. Jun could almost see the trees shivering, although he knew it was the just strong North wind blowing. Jun inspected the bark of the younger almond trees. They had hardly seen many years in their lifetime, but they bore the marks of the harshness they had to suffer in their younger days. The village had gone through some tough times, and the trees bore witness to that.
Not many people knew, but the almond is from the rose family. It also is a close relation of the peach. No one ever believed him when he took his dusty botanical tome of the shelf and showed them, they would say, “It’s a nut, Ming Jun , how can it be a rose? Peach? Silly Jun.”
Jun was always partial to those almond nuts. When he was young, his grandfather used to sit with him in the middle of the grove and talk about everything under sun. Those times though past, still evoked a warm feeling in Jun. Despite the cold, Jun felt warm amongst the trees.
“Just like a grove full of roses…”
“Through Grace we are saved.”
Ah Eng walked under the gates of St Bartholomew’s College. He had left the village to come to the city to study Philosophy and English at St Bart’s. He always thanked his lucky stars that he had won a scholarship to study in the city’s best school.
“Eng, have some of these. These are yummy,” Jack, his classmate and best friend, shoved a bag of roasted Almonds into his hand. “Oh yeah. Mei stoped by earlier. She was looking for you,” Jack added. Ah Eng’s mind wandered to the letter he had written to Mei just the day ealier. The letter he had hurriedly placed in her hands as she was rushing off to her dance class.
Since our serendipitous meeting that night at the Youth Forum, I have found it hard to take you off my mind. Every waking moment of mine is spent anticipating a glimpse of you. Whether it’s you rushing off to class, or to a meeting with your friend, I wait by my window just for a glimpse of you.
Everytime we talk my heart beats a little faster, a small smile spreads across my face. This feeling of serenity washes over me whenever we talk. You take me away from all the problems and troubles of this world. In your eyes I see a tranquil garden, and I can only imagine where your tender carasses will take me.
I know you’ve always seen me as the happy-go-lucky, silly kid, but if you look deeper you will find a soul that understand the very nature of your soul. Just look harder and you will find me waiting right there for you.
“Eh? Eng? Are you ok?” Jack asked as he threw an Almond at Ah Eng. “Oh nothing. Yeah. I wonder why she’s looking for me,” Ah Eng replied somewhat dazed. “Ha. Ha. Women. Who knows what the hell they want,” Jack quiped.
Jack and Ah Eng passed under the gates of old St Bart’s, munching on Almonds.
“Through Grace we are saved.”