[a short story]
This really hasn’t been a great assignment, as I knew it wouldn’t be, but an important one nonetheless and it therefore had to be dealt with just the right amount of fake-responsible, pseudo-sincere attention. In the end, his outrageously vile body convulses and he grunts like a chimp, as he comes in my mouth and all over his golden, severely maltreated bedsheets. I have teased and caressed his strange looking organ for the last twenty minutes or so, knowing that he’d generally like it quite soft and tender. It is always again amusing to see that the more of an arsehole they are, the more they prefer the slightly gentle approach when in the end it all becomes terribly physical.
I’m really glad that it’s over. Still I pretend some affection by absentmindedly stroking the rubber-like skin of his body. Then I murmur some soothing words, “well well my cute little bear, you did really well, didn’t you?”, tracing my finger down from one of his nipples to the end of his shrunken member, full-stop on the crown – when to my sheer surprise I discover that he’s started to sob like a baby. For a wonderful moment he just lies there, pathetic and useless, on the most disgustingly expensive bed-sheets I’ve ever seen.
“Don’t you worry, my teddy, everything’s gonna be fiiiine”, I quickly gather myself, again portraying routinely my false concern. My lips wander towards his tightly squeezed eyelids which are meanwhile soaked with tears, dripping. And without any emotion – not even disgust – I lick them all off. God only knows what he’s crying about. Perhaps the thought of his staff pissing themselves over his hideously tacky shoes? Or that his breakfast this morning was ruined by another assassination attempt during which his favourite testing gimp had sadly to die. I don’t think my art made him cry – although somehow we ‘artists’, as we hookers are known here, would usually try to create such full-on, primal emotions.
Whatever the reason, I can’t really be arsed and mechanically stroke his huge forehead instead. He silently seems to enjoy it as he’s starting to calm down a little. Still sniffling, he ﬁnally raises his arm.
Instantaneously in come the guys from palace security. They’ve been monitoring my every move to such excruciating detail as to whether my arsehole perhaps suspiciously cringes while working Sir Arnold’s heavily insured sex organ. Although I bloody well know the routine it’s always again pretty scary how those chunky guys look completely the same. They’re the precious, muscle-packed elite-clones of good-old Sir Donald – in loving memory of Sir Arnold’s great-grand nephew who initially co-founded the empire.
After getting dressed and powdered again I’m ready to leave the dark chamber – with the faceless, identical clone-weirdoes escorting me through the vast building. In silence they march me through vacuous high-security corridors, squash me into recluse backstage-elevators, and I keep shivering with tension and unease. Until we at good last reach the ground where I more-orless straight away head to the exit. To my relief I notice that they were decent enough to order me a taxi again. It’d be terrible without one, since the streets are quite rough now, particularly around the palace. There’s a war going on, resistance and stuff, day in and day out, twenty-four hours a day. And the tensions and stakes are constantly rising.
If we look at it from the outside, it is probably quite funny, the way how we live now. In the middle of a mindless regime where reproductive cloning is the only way to get born, we’ve been left with a smooth, hairless skin down where our genital organs were once to be found. I’m aware that the image of people without balls, penis, clitoris or vagina sounds quite like a complete fascist nutcases’ nightmare – clean-shaven Barbie and Ken dolls aimlessly roaming about. But for us Normals here, in this world, it is the reality we’re doomed to call our lives. The systematic de-sexualisation of an entire population and the ruthless control of gene-pools are the final attempt in a series of strikes by just a handful of people to maintain the power they’ve gained forever.
My name is Skent and I’ve lived with this reality all my life. Although I’m indeed a product of genetic engineering, I’d still like to call myself a ‘human’. Rooted inside me, there’s also a programme responsible for rendering me genetically a ‘female’. It’s still some kind of XX chromosomes, that hasn’t been changed.
Although initially, they’ve tried to create only male clones. At some point, they were convinced that a framework of masculine prevalence would be the most efficient for their ludicrous heinous agendas. But in an ironic triumph of nature they had to discover that the best-equipped slave-clones evolved if a factor of sexual encoding was essentially left to chance.
Due to the countless generations of alterations they undertook, though, it has become almost impossible to tell from appearance alone which sex we’re carrying inside. There might be an inkling in somebody’s voice, or someone’s nipples are thicker and stiffen more quickly. Yet on the very surface, we’d all look pretty androgynous – also feel so – and it is therefore left for ourselves to decide under which sex we like to live our lives. As well as which sex we’d fancy being with at the end of the day.
Although it has to be said, having a partner is a luxury no-one can usually afford. Not only would you’ve got to have spare-time to offer but you’d also have to have at least some headspace left to allow another person in on you. Most of the assignments simply don’t allow such an elite-level of freedom. Instead you’re meant to survive with a bed in a cell, nano-made food in the fridge and the obligatory, bubbly-chubbly media-kit in the midst of it all – which mercifully turns itself off should you’ve successfully managed to fall asleep.
From inside the taxi, the faces I pass look all empty and sad. Most of us are alive only because a hardwired programme ensures that we by all means avoid our own physical extinction. After all – we’re an asset. This particular genetic programme has been tweaked numerous times now, after waves of collective suicide occurred on several occasions. They then simply extracted the responsible – ‘guilty’ – set of genes, ‘neutralised’ it. Until a new and improved breed of clones was again manufactured. Thus far we’ve been behaving really well for them – enduring without much reflection what has been laid upon our shoulders. Although there are rumours again, about some new waves of resistance to living. This time, the problem seems to be rather more complex, ruled by the forces of life itself. Beyond or underneath the genes, something seems to be adamantinely revolting against the ascribed happy-only version of how we’re supposed to look at this filthy world. Perhaps this is why I feel so strange sometimes?
After we stop, the guy driving my cab turns around to mumble robotically, “have a good day, ma’am”. I’d usually openly express my sexual identity with the outfits I’m wearing, partly due to my job but also I do really like dressing up, I honestly have to say.
“Thanks, you too”, I murmur, also without expression, because I don’t really want to create any emotional bonds, not even false ones, between me and this other person – male? female? – who cares. No one wants to create any connection – and everyone’s got so used to it that they‘ve come to like it like that.
I take a long shower and well-deserved, much-craved relief washes through my entire body. Then I curl-up on the couch and summon my media-kit with its fat, red-plastic button. It is the one thing that everybody must possess if we don’t want to risk prosecution. Pictures of wildlife randomly flicker into my room. A ‘documentary’, voiced-over by the usual educational propaganda-blurb. As I always do, I’m muting the sound to avoid consciously following what’s going on on the screen. Finally, I pick up the pod. And with a gesture quite clearly bordering almost frenetic excitement, I press speed-dial ‘1’ – connecting me at once with my sweetie – Twisp.
He’s the guy I’m in love with – if there’s any such thing – and twenty minutes later, about the same time it earlier took to finish Sir Arnold, Twisp is here, naked and thoroughly splashed-out on my favourite, sheepskin living-room rug. Holy shmoly – how much I love this cute guy. As ever, he smiles his coolest, sexiest smile while silently receiving the kisses I’m covering his tasty little bum with.
“How’ve you been?”, I ask softly after a while, not really wanting to break our precious moment. We’re hugging each other ever-so-tightly, as if there was no such thing as tomorrow.
It is only after he’s been caressing my body for a spell-binding eternity that he’s eventually bothering a reply, “I’m ﬁne Skent. It’s all really going ok”.
He obviously doesn’t have the energy to even try and convince me that what he’s saying is actually true. Behind the surface of his outlandish beauty I can already glimpse first signs of the bitter person he’s slowly turning into. In one of my terrifyingly reoccurring visions I recognise my beloved Twisp as the shattered remains of this once most wondrous ‘human being’. The only ‘crime’ he’s ever committed, the only ‘sin’ he’s ever had in mind, is that for some reason he just seems to be born too honest into this sick world built on a whole bunch of lies.
In a brief, silent moment, as our eyes solemnly meet, I have again this horrible vision and something deep inside me suddenly breaks down completely. The feelings just keep flooding in and I cry, petrified and despaired, clinging onto my poor, beautiful Twisp. Fuck the system. Fuck fucking everything. I so much wish I could change it for him. What credit and love can do I’ll do but there’s so much more he needs than just be in my arms for one night or two every week whilst I’m hopelessly drowning in sadness.
Strangely enough, as we lie there entwined, in one of the most intimate moments we’ve had for a while, I notice that I’m about to be turned on by this closeness – wonderfully, ticklingly aroused. In an instinct that must be as ancient as when the first single-cell felt compelled to split in two, I start throbbing my bland pubic region against his. Gently at first, but then with increasingly more grappling affection. The sensations transmitted through the dry skin are merely a kind-of itching, very much like having been stung by a mosquito. Although I rub harder and the partly unsettling feeling doesn’t go away, I do eventually lose control and hungrily plunge my lips into his. He replies, as he always does, with his mouth to taste like a fruit you just bite into and smile.
After having had something which could’ve been an orgasm if I only knew how that feels, more tears keep draining my eyes. I’m tenderly stroking his body and soul – and he’s doing the same to me.
All I want is just to be with this person, the love of my life.
And I begin to realise that if nothing changes within the forthcoming weeks we’ll both just be withering away from here – vacuumed mysteriously into some hitherto undisclosed vortex of time and space. Leaving once-and-for-all any of the Sir Arnolds sadly to it – and thereby this whole fucking existence in shame.
london, october 2004 – april 2009
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