All characters reflected in this story have never lived, never will live (hopelessly) and any similarity with any known and or unknown living or recently living humans, felines, canines or bacteria is purely coincidental.
The setting is sometime in the near future, planet earth and somewhere vague fictional coastal England, not that the coast is fictional. It is nowhere near my hometown.
Chapter 1 Manson
Manson’s hand reached stretched lunged in a hop skip jump fashion across the chasm that separated his semi full Kings sized bed from the mock mahogany dressing table. The old seldom washed duvet mirrored this athletic display in sympathy. The dark chasm contained an assortment of matching colourful boxers’ socks and ties and needed tidying sorting and generally washing. Reaching his buttock sculpted gaily printed tin of cigarettes, his first two yellow encrusted nail chewed finger stumps fumbled for one while the second two masterfully grabbed the lighter in a delightful display of well practised finger gymnastics. Such skill; he marvelled subconsciously. His cracked lips parted enthusiastically for the yellow papered joy of life with some humorously silly beer advert message that would become readable to him as he smoked. Smoking had been declared to be good for the happy citizens of the state at last righting the wrong when it was considered unhealthy. Smoking provided comforting relaxative moods as now scientifically proven and the lung bile could be cleansed by simple regular medical check-ups which the local General Practitioner (medical technician service). Cancer from ciggies was curable and people no longer died from that. A tablet did all that. Tablets did lots of things.
What had been a vertical finger of rum filled tumbler now knuckle high stared back at him darkly still moodily from the table as he proceeded carefully to take a large mouthful, gargling softly gently and swallowed decorously in a near dangerous return to memories of prior night semi wild upon reflection activities.
The room had been tastefully decorated with a firm not too softly feminine touch by his maternal grandmother many decades previously, a woman that had had a strong and somewhat twisted influence on the once and still fragile personality of Manson. Worshipful memories of her mothballed curry chanel-5 existence were woven into the fading wallpaper. An expansive same shade mahogany largely unfilled wardrobe still occupied mutely much of one wall together with a matching bosom of drawers together again with a variety of dead squatting bulb oriental lamps.
Sunlight filled the upper half of the room aided by the non intervention of the ever open blinds that adorned unused the two large windows which overlooked a stunted tree lined house filled straight street The lower half of the room were firmly filled with ancient months of once powerful smoke. A dual ecosystem of two very different worlds. Manson preferred the calm and security of the lower venturing into the upper only as a risky necessity.
Gently swinging his legs from the bed towards the pock marked carpeted floor, he gently raised his body into the vertical position but his headless body still encased safely in the lower atmosphere and his head peered above like a frightened rabbit. Were rabbits ever unfrightened? He thought. Across the room he saw himself in the full length vertical mirror. Slowly he dreamt smoked of what had happened in the last 24 hours as he contemplated the next in a frequent exercise of his faculties. One more effort and he was now vertically erect and able to see his body-shape in full outline. His lime green Kermit printed pj’s were the only bit of colour that jarred the eyes into focussing in the room. They had been a first and only anniversary gift from a not so recent lover as Manson had intentionally forgotten to reciprocate in childish revenge for some careless words. Removing these he contemplated his full length pale body. His chin was morphing into his moobs and large protruding gut whilst his man-gens shamelessly receded on a zero hours verbal contract. This was now typical of the population and had been part of a trend in society, all of society, all societies over the previous 2 decades. People were becoming bigger grosser fatter. A small elite in the political-economic remained small in girth but all others were at various stages of shape change. Everything in society was changing to accommodate these blobs. It was rumoured to be the water or the genetic coded food or the melting ice or the poisonous asteroid that had hit the Falklands a few years earlier and these rumours were refreshed and regurgitated never ever endingly. All stories were repeated, denied, buried temporarily and resurrected: a new religion of eternity and evasive salvation lingered the newswires and gossip channels.
Inhaling exhaling was an important part of his exercise routine as he lit another pale pink this time cigarette wandered with lethargic exploratory purpose to the bathroom where another mirror challenged him. In it he could sideways see his non majestic frame as he stood to urinate skilfully hitting the dropping ash with the aroma rich powered jet flow of tarnished golden nectar. Satisfied and relieved as to his physical prowess he descended to the lower half of the house which had in contrast just one ecosystem of stank darkness. Breakfast urges called out as he checked the fridge for remains of last night’s take out take home take nowhere. Was it noodles or vindaloo he quizzed himself carelessly? Hard to tell as his bowels were still asleep. Empty fridge, emptier cooker, surprisingly bacteria busy microwave: must clean he carved in the atmosphere and then he found it: in the washing machine safely resting in the paper trays. Chinese Laundry thoughts filled his mind, exited, re-entered exited excitedly as he munched on the once flavoured noodles. Tasteless odourless the food filled a biological need whilst he awaited the frequently temperamental coffee machine. Triple espresso required to enable facial expression upon triple chin. Another cigarette and he was feeling good, confident and semi-keen for the day.
Returning upstairs he showered in the recently enlarged shower, towelled dry the layers of layered fat and dressed in a new tracksuit adorned with red trim and his favourite gin brand logo whose sanctity would never be violated by the presence of a sweaty track. At weekends he preferred not to shave: the chins were too challenging for wandering razors.
Downstairs again he entered his garage and stepped into his “mubble” or mobile bubble. These were a vast improvement on the old fashioned cars which were so difficult to enter and exit due to the expanding girth of all. They came in a variety of 2/4/6 seat (8/10 less commonly) models and after opening a tall door at the side one stepped in resting the bodily bottom cheeks upon a high seat whilst pressing in a destination code to the control panel. The electric powered mubble would then engage and the passenger in single or plural would be conveyed speedily to destination without any human involvement. For longer journeys the seats could expand into a recliner. A microwave on board offered dining sustenance opportunities particularly for longer journeys. Getting the wrong destination was the only risk as all were controlled by a single corporate entity which had the public contract for this activity. There were plans to make the mubbles airborne (airubbles) and tests were underway elsewhere. For now they were the perfect way of getting around. Accidents did still occur as with cars but they were living proof of how life was improving, along with tablets