A Kitchen

23:17 on a Monday evening.

In an apartment somewhere, there are four people. We’ll observe them in a specific order.


Amelie has turned 18 three weeks ago. She’s sitting in the living room and she’s worried out of her mind that her boyfriend Giuseppe is going to leave her after this night. She’s sitting on a sofa and she’s only marginally aware of another person named Ericha whose sitting a few meters next to her, drawing with her crayons. Amelie is also fantasizing about having Giuseppe fuck her in various ways while her mother is away. She wants to be fucked first on the table in the kitchen, because she thinks it sounds dirty. She wants him to fuck her from behind and treat her like a total slut as she imagines herself to be. (Amelie hasn’t be exposed to much in the way of sexual education or erotica.)

As she hears the mildy annoying rasping of Erichas crayons on the paper, she feels a pleasant warmth between her legs that she knows she’s going to take care of before bed. She already has plans of running away because she hates her mother so much. Her mother just wants to keep her locked up all the time. LOCKED UP, like a damn slave! Like she isn’t 18! She can do what she wants now!

Amelie has no idea how to live on her own though, because her mother has sheltered her from real life. But she still harbors these thoughts none the less.


Is Amelie’s mother, she is sitting on an uncomfortable wooden chair in the kitchen and she’s talking with Amelie’s boyfriend. She’s currently very angry and as her conversation with the young man continues, she is contemplating just throwing him out or calling the cops or maybe both. She’s very old and after her husband died, she was immensely relieved that she didn’t have to have sex with anyone ever again.

Soba is an asexual, not that she’s consciously aware of it.. This means that all of her life, she has forced herself to endure sex in the hopes that she would “get it” someday like the others. The reason that Soba is an asexual is rooted in a chemical dysfunction in her brain that makes certain parts not respond when others parts of her body are stimulated. Medicine will find a way to cure her particular condition in a year or two, but at that time it will be too late for her. This is what most people would consider a tragedy.

Part of the reason she is also angry at the young man sitting opposite of her is because he reminds her of her late husband and is thereby triggering feelings of guilt and shame in her. That guilt is then transmuted into the religious zealotry that she has been practicing for the last decade and a half. She is currently not aware of Ericha. She’s vaguely aware of her daughter, but most of her attention is focused on the young man in front of her.


Is a 21 year old male whose found himself in quite an embarrassing discussion according to his own opinion. He’s currently talking to the mother of Amelie in a kitchen that’s a bit too brightly lit by a naked lightbulb. He’d rather be anywhere but here right now, because he’s scared of the old woman and her religious fervor. He’s trying to explain to her that he’s deeply in love with her daughter and that he envisions a future with her, but it isn’t working. He’s also attempted to explain to her that he’s got a job down at the warehouse packing crates and that he’s going to go places soon. He’s afraid that she isn’t going to let him see her daughter anymore.

He’s also sort of daydreaming about Amelie and how their future could be. In his daydreams, they are talking while taking a walk on the country side and enjoying life in the sun. Her warm smile, her beautiful hair, her body underneath her clothes that would respond to his touch.

He tries to keep his composure and not drift away while simultaneously being afraid of her. Through the drapes leading to the living room he sees Amelie look at him from time to time, but mostly she keeps her eyes downcast. He is not aware of Ericha.


Is a girl whose 16 years old and considered mentally underdeveloped and likes to play with crayons when she’s visiting Amelie. She lives downstairs with her old father. She also doesn’t know it, but she has a sister coming as well soon who will have the same altered mental state as she has.

As she draws increasingly abstract geometric symbols on the paper, she’s aware of everyone in the apartment and she’s thinking intently about all of them. Her hands seemingly move by themselves as the crayons leave traces on the paper in front of her.

She wants to take out the big kitchen knife she knows is usually kept in a drawer in the kitchen and stab Soba in the eyes, she never liked how she looked at her. She then wants to eat the eyes for herself. Then she wants to skin the body and hide the skin because then she thinks that nobody will be able to find the body after that.

After that, she wants to take Giuseppe and slit his throat and watch him try and speak as blood flows out of his neck. She wants to stick her fingers into the hole and feel the insides of his throat as he dies. Then she wants to cut off his cock and stuff it in the hole so he’s “doing it” to himself.

Finally, she wants to stab Amelie as many times as she can before she dies. She fantasizes about it never ending, so she can stab her forever and see the blood splatter everywhere and hear her scream. She doesn’t really like the idea of screaming, but someone told her that it’d be fun if there was lots of blood coming out at the same time. She imagines seeing herself from the third person view from behind as she’s leaned over her and stabbing, stabbing, stabbing, stabbing over and over and over.

Ericha has been imagining this for weeks now, she has also imagined other things, but primarily her thoughts have been focused on this over and over, like a song on repeat.


??? is an invisible entity hovering slightly behind Ericha. It is aware of everyone in the apartment.

It wants blood. It hears their heartbeats.

Tucked away under Ericha’s cushion in the sofa is the big kitchen knife from the kitchen.

Unknown Caller

I thought the first voice message was a wrong number when I heard it. Some young-sounding woman said she was going to meet “me” at the pub in three hours. Then a few hours later, a more angry voice message from her saying that “I” stood her up, but that “I” probably was attending some medical emergency. The thing that made me concerned was that my phone hadn’t registered any missed calls, nor had I gotten any SMS notifications from my telco either. Weird.

And really, me responding to a medical emergency? As if! I had a shitty job working at a warehouse where OSHA was a laughing stock “because of their sissy rules” and where pay was an even bigger joke. But I made do, it wasn’t a bad life considering how hard I’d had to fight to get there. Dad hadn’t always been able to make ends meet after mom walked out on him when I was six. Not that I remember mom that much, but still. I’d always harbor hate for her for doing that. He’d never been alright after that. The few times we’d been out and had a few too many, he’d sometimes confess that he still loved her. I remember asking him angrily how he could love someone that would just walk out on her family, his response was that I’d understand once I fell in love myself one day. He quit drinking after that one.

Yeah right, as if that’d ever happen when I was basically living paycheck to paycheck and never had the time to do anything but work and sleep most of the day. Sometimes I’d have a free weekend where I’d meet up with either dad or some friends at the pub. I just didn’t have the time for something as complicated as a relationship.

The phone buzzed and I picked it up, ah, missed call from dad. Shit, that’s what I get for spazzing out. I called him back and he wanted me to help him out with his new smart TV. I sighed theatrically and asked him if he’d tried the manual. After a few minutes of him complaining, I told him I’d be over after work the day after and that he’d better have some of his famous Coq Au Vin ready to make up for it. My heart warmed as I could hear him agree to it with a smile in his voice. We hung up and I realized that it was almost time for bed. Man, what a day!

When I woke up the next day, as I was going through my morning rituals, the weird messages from the other day had begun to fade in my mind. On a whim I called up my voice mail only to hear another one from the young woman, now thanking “me” for the thoughtful gift and that she was SO ON for going on a trip with “me”.

Enough was enough, I wasn’t about to hear about some romance crap like this, I phoned my telecom provider and talked to their support for a while. They promised to investigate the issue and get back to me with an update at a later time. Yeah whatever. As I hung up I considered that I was paying really well for my plan and that maybe just switching to a new number at a different telco would fix it. Ugh, what a pain in the ass that would be. Meh, I resolved to check prices later when I got home after visiting dad.

The rest of the day was mostly a blur, a big shipment of fresh groceries had come in and we were working our asses off packaging them and putting them on pallets while truck after truck came in to haul them off. By the time the bell rang for our shift, my arms were feeling like playdough. I headed out to my car and hauled up my phone to see a missed call from dad. Oh fucking great. .. I’d forgotten all about that. What a damn pain to go there when all I wanted to do is go home and just pass out. As I heard dad on the voice mail reminding me that we had a dinner planned, I briefly considered giving him a call with the excuse that I wasn’t feeling too well.

But all those thoughts evaporated like smoke when the automated voice said “one more message received on ” and then read a timestamp of a few hours earlier. It was the young woman again… gushing about how she had all these plans for the trip, asking a million questions about what “I’d” want or what we should do. I hung up when she lowered her voice suggesting more intimate stuff.

I was in a sour mood when I arrived at Dad’s. Hearing about someones perfect life really wasn’t my idea of fun. Not being able to even block this perpetual wrong number was even more aggravating. When he saw me standing there in the doorway, tired and miserable, he just laughed and gave me a hug, and asked me if I’d had a tough day. I nodded and while we were figuring out the TV, I shared the weird story with him about the mysterious woman calling me.

During dinner, he made up this elaborate fantasy about her being a ghost woman who was mistakenly haunting the wrong guy, forever bound to call me about things that had happened in the past. I shook my head and gave him a sharp look and told him that was oddly specific. Dad blushed and tried to play it off as a joke, but I could tell he was somewhat bothered by it.

After I’d stuffed myself with both chicken and red wine, I told dad that I was about to pass out. Since we’d already fixed the TV (of course it was easy once you read the manual!), he offered to drive me home since I’d had a bit too much wine. I graciously accepted and thought about how good it was that dad never really was too interested in alcohol that way. Having some of it in food, sure? But if he had wine or beer or anything, he made sure it was always alcohol-free.

When he dropped me off and handed me the car keys to my own car, I thanked him again and offered him cab fare home, as always he declined saying that if he ever stopped taking the subway “I’d become a stuck-up rich person like my successful son!” We shared a laugh and I made him promise to call me when he was home again. About an hour or so later, he called me and we wished each other a good night. I passed out immediately after that on the sofa and woke up to the alarm a few hours later, hating the fact that mornings… were in fact mornings.

The day after was calmer and in the lull in the afternoon, I got a call from the teleco support guy who told me that they hadn’t been able to find anything wrong with my voice mail. When I asked him if he could at least give me the number of the person that had called me, he said that the only recent calls had come in from one specific number, which turned out to be dads.

After we hung up, I sat down on a nearby stack of pallets in a state of disbelief. Was this some kind of joke? No, there’s no way anyone would construct something that elaborate just to mess with me right? The telco couldn’t be in on it too, that’d be paranoid. I called up the voice mail and pushed the buttons to start reading up past messages and the only messages present were those from my dad and my friends. As I hung up again, I broke out into a cold sweat. This… this couldn’t be happening could it? It had to be some kind of prank .. or hack .. or something!

I gritted my teeth and looked down at my aging smartphone, yeah, someone had probably gotten into this thing and installed some kinda prank software, it had to be. Well, the jokes were gonna be on them, because I knew a guy that specialized in fixing phones. I resolved to take it to him as soon as I could.

On Friday I went over to my old buddy Pike, who heard my story and laughed at my dad’s theory of the whole thing. He nodded when I described the call with support, their inability to find any data, my own inability to find any previously saved messages. So while I played some half-decent FPS game on his console, he got to work and checked out the phone’s software. A few rounds later of me constantly dying over and over and he came into the living room and shook his head.

He couldn’t find anything wrong with the phone, nothing at all. He’d even pulled the internal hardware cache logs that showed the interactions between the phone and the telecom equipment and nothing was out of the ordinary there. At this point, I could tell he was hooked as he practically begged me to let him borrow the phone for a day or two while he’d give me one of his other smartphones to borrow in the meantime. I shrugged my shoulders and told him that as long as I didn’t have to fiddle around with that hideously small SIM card, it was all good.

A few hours later, I was home when the phone rang. It was dad again, wanting to know if I was free the following weekend. I told him as usual that I had nothing planned, but that I couldn’t really guarantee anything because of work. Dad chuckled and cracked a joke that I didn’t have to pretend to be single anymore, because of my “new” girlfriend. I told him to get bent with a laugh and then we hung up.

But that had reminded me either way, I decided to call the voice line again in a fit of curiosity and sure enough, there was a saved voice mail from a few hours ago. Damn, changing phones hadn’t helped, so whatever this prank was, it must be someone from the telco that was in on it! All of my thoughts about digging into it stopped though when the woman started describing that she was lost, where was “I”? Why hadn’t “I” met her at the prearranged place? I could hear her walking around outside as she complained that it was getting dark and that being in a forest by herself really wasn’t her idea of fun. Then the call cut out mid-sentence and I realized that she’d reached the maximum length of the voice message. The automated voice stated that there was another message saved, this one from a minute ago, which meant that it’d come in while I’d been listening to her previous voice mail. I pressed the key to listen, with fingers that felt cold.

Her voice crying now, begging, pleading, saying she wanted me there, that she needed me there. That I was cruel to put her through this and then a sharp banging sound as the call cut out again.

My hands now felt like ice as I put down the phone on the table and stared at it. What the hell was this? What kind of a sick person would play this kind of prank on someone?

Then the phone rang unexpectedly, the display read “unknown caller”. With hands that were shaking, I pushed the answer button and said “Hello?” with a voice that I barely kept steady.

There was the sound of the outside, with some animals in the background, and then the sharp slamming sound of a door closing. I heard footsteps on wood and the creaking of a chair as the caller sat down.

“Oh my beloved son, I had to do it for your sake. She really wasn’t worthy of you at all.”

The voice was old and wizened, but I somehow managed to reply to it, “Who.. who is this?”

The reply came with a happy tone of voice “Oh dear, don’t you recognize the voice of your mother? I know it’s been a while since we saw each other, but I promise you, we’ll reunite soon enough. Just don’t invite your dad to the party.” and then a sharp click as the line went dead.

I looked at the phone in terror, what’d happened here? I almost dropped the phone when it buzzed in my hand, the screen lit up with an SMS from an unknown number.

As I opened it, my stomach churned when I saw the numbers in front of me.


Meditech #3

The sun outside the window is a blinding white, so much brighter than anything I’ve ever seen. The buildings are a stark bright white, the only sense of scale and depth that I have is from the shadows which are sharp as a razor. I realize that this window exists in a room, it’s a kitchen.

A clothed middle-aged woman is on her back on the kitchen table. A nondescript man talks into a recorder as he pushes open her mouth, shining a light inside of it. She is continually producing gagging noises. “Menopausal structures present, no fluid build-up noted. Artificial joining seems. . .” and here he pauses for a bit before he continues, “Wait, we have confirmed breach on the alpha and zeta welds. No ganglia are visible. Some swelling on the upper parts. I will administer a light massage to attempt to induce emissions.” The man said with a dispassionate tone of voice.

I can’t do anything, I would shudder if I could. What I hear is some strange, wet, and crackling noises as he unexpectedly turned her whole mouth inside out, somehow making it easier to get to the back of her throat. My field of view zooms in, following a thin strand of gleaming metal that shows more and more of something that has red stripes as it trails up the throat structure of the woman.

Eventually, I see something metallic slightly protruding from the back of her throat as the doctor places his thumbs against it. But, first, he turns her grotesquely deformed head to the side so he can look into her right eye, which is now watering and rolling around in a panic. He attempts a smile that strikes me as very forced. Then he speaks to her. “Don’t worry Mrs. Bimolá, this is all quite safe. I will administer a drug to make you forget this afterward. This is for the good of the state, do you understand? Blink once for yes, two for no.”

The woman blinks twice at him, shaking like a leaf. It becomes horrifically apparent to me that she’s being forcibly paralyzed. My field of view zooms out slightly so I can see that one of her feet is bare and that it has a small thin tube coming out of something attached to the back of it. I want to scream, to struggle, to do anything, but I’m forced to be a muted observer.

“It is too bad, that you do not understand then. It still must be done. Please do not resist. It will only prolong the procedure,” he said with an odd sense of finality to it.

And here my gaze zooms in again as he started massaging the metallic piece in her throat with both of his thumbs. Her gagging turned into gargling noises and several times, the man reaches over to pick up a small tube which he sticks down her throat, siphoning out drool. After a while, he stops, sighs, and again in some weird grotesque way he turns her face right again, the noises are as sickening and revolting as before. She lets out a faint monotone moan that is almost like an eternal exhalation since this procedure seems to go on forever.

A long time passes as he watches her face intently, checking his watch. Then he shakes his head and picks up what looks like a stapler. He quickly puts it to her head and I can hear a sharp click. To my horror, I see that her gaze instantly goes still as he slowly lowers her head against the table. A drop of blood runs down the right side of her temple where he previously placed the device. I can faintly see something has been pushed in there, instantly killing her. As his breathing gets lighter, he takes off his surgical gloves and touches a device on the table, and then speaks. “Upon administering treatment, the structure came even more undone. This necessitated the cancellation of the subject. I’m afraid this is yet another botched attempt. Please inform insertion techs that method 41 is to be discouraged as it has universally resulted in rejection in all implantation hosts. That is all.

ASA 3 Meditech signing off.”

And here I wake up, stifling a scream. No kitchen, no woman, no man, no strange and creepy neon-white dystopian city outside. Just the darkness of my apartment. It takes me a very long time before I can get up from my bed. What I want to do is to go into the shower and let the warm water rinse off this horrible nightmare. But I set my course for my office instead, I sit down and I type this all out. While some of my dreams make for great horror and fantasy worlds, this one didn’t make me feel anything but pure hatred and disgust. So I sit here, wanting to kill a man that doesn’t exist for a crime that never happened. What was that world? Who was this poor woman? Who was this man? Why did he do the things that he did? Was she even human? Was he? Either of them?

The kicker is that I can find out about all of those things, I just have to turn my mind’s eye back to that terrible world. I push the save button in my word editor and sigh deeply. I need a damn shower first.