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Contents Page: July 1, 2011, vol 7 no 2

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Shelly Bryant

 

Transmission

"Sir, we have a transmission from Europa."

"Send it through, XG5," he says, turning from the console.

Before his eyes, she appears, just as real and full-bodied as she was that night — the last night before her mission to the moons of a distant planet.

He stands and walks to the hologram, consumed by the same impulse he always feels in her presence. He wants to melt into her being, to explore every inch of her, inside out. He wants a merging of bodies — two becoming one — in a way that a physicist like him should know is impossible. "Love's unattainable science," he'd once whispered into the soft skin of her neck, just below the ear.

He reaches his hand to that same spot on the hologram, the tip of his finger piercing her throat. He caresses the airy light that makes up the length of her arm, stopping only when his hand reaches hers. He traces her gestures with his own, as if squeezing his hand into a glove just a little too small.

Stepping up onto the platform, he enters the light of her form, fitting his body — matching his every move — to hers. The lift of his chin, the brush of a lock of his hair, the lowering of his head almost imperceptibly, the look out from under his lashes. He imagines himself a marionette, as pulled by the strings between them as is she, his puppet.

The computer's voice returns, "End of transmission."

The holo is gone in an instant.

lost in her light
unheeded every word
of the whole message

 

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crane