In The Program

Zara gasped as the cold syringe touched her temple.

“Shhh, love,” the nurse crooned. “All done soon, and there’s no nerves in your skull – just a pinch and a sting, and it’ll be all over…”

Zara bit her lip, feeling the promised pain only, but still imagining the feel of the needle piercing through skull and into her brain pan. She repressed a shudder, knowing she needed to stay still and silent.

Then her world turned inside out.


She woke up in a warm, dark place. A dim green light glowed nearby.

Zara frowned. She felt her body – still there. So much for the promised fast turn-around between procedures. Maybe something had gone wrong?

“Knock knock!” said a cheerful voice, and a head peeked through a sudden slit in the wall. “Can I come in, darlin, or do you need more time to acclimatise?”

“Come in,” Zara said. “Umm… what happened? Didn’t the transfer work?”

The young man entered, put a hand on the dim green light and brightened it, revealing a plain, unfurnished blue room. He sat down opposite her and smiled reassuringly.

“You’re fine, darlin! It all worked beautifully, as far as we can tell. And even if it didn’t, we’ll look after you – OK? You’re a Lost Girl now! You’re in Paradise!”

“Paradise? Like, heaven? Aren’t I supposed to be in a machine?”

The man laughed. “Sure are, darlin – PAR slash DIZE slash 401, if you want it exact! Paradise for short, see?”

Zara nodded slowly.

“So… what is this place? This room?”

“Just the orientation room, love – this life is a bit overwhelming at first, so we try to help out the noobs by providing a nice safe place and a guide – we’ll both be here as long as you need us! Nice, isn’t it – when I got here I was thrown in the deep end, but someone read In Heaven As On Earth – M Scott Peck – and nicked his orientation room idea, and it’s lovely, isn’t it?”

“I guess…” she said uncertainly. “So… we have bodies? Or is that a – noob – thing too?”

“No, standard issue!” he said, “They don’t need feeding and they don’t wear out… even if you rub them together lots!” he winked suggestively.

Zara laughed.

“You’ve tested that theory, have you?”

“EXTENSIVELY, darling! It’s great fun!” he said, grinning. “Oh, damn, I knew I forgot something important! I’m Parlie,” he said, extending a hand. “Nice to meet you, Zara!”

She hesitated, then touched her hand to his.

“OH!” she said, eyes widening. Parlie was 18 when he died, decades ago, from something incurable – cancer? He’d joined the new program from a desire to live on, rather than a desire to be useful, like her. And… he wasn’t sure that she’d like him, and he wanted her to because she was – cute?

“No secrets in this place!” Parlie said with a wry smile, disengaging gently.

“We share information when we touch?”

“Yup, it’s part of the whole point of this place, isn’t it? It’s a bit twee, if you ask me, but it adds a whole new dimension to sex!”

Zara snorted. “A tad obsessed?”

“No! just a lover of fun, and beautiful people! Anyhow,” he turned serious, “I’m getting too distracted by you, darlin. We need to get you acclimatised. Come on!” he gestured to the slit in the wall.

Zara hesitated.

“Oh, it won’t bite! Tell you what… I’ll let you hold my hand!” Parlie said.

She laughed, and took the proffered hand. All she sensed this time was reassurance and a memory of a VERY rude sexual encounter.

Zara’s story is continued in Piped.


  1. This is getting very interesting, liking it muchly Naomi 😀

  2. Oh wow, so she is in a life after death place now ?

    But why ????

  3. That’s a damn good question, WS… 😉

  4. I like it – the mind boggles though.

  5. […] In The Program […]

  6. I like.

  7. Despite what he may claim, I DO believed he is quite obsessed. XD

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