Dann Lewis – Deakin University
‘I didn’t choose to be this way,’ he chews a cigar butt, smoke weaving around implants. A holo-disc betwixt steel fingertips – an image of a former love. Her lips are red, puffy and pouty lips, succulent lips, luscious lips, fleshy lips he once suckled and kissed. Her skin is untainted; pale as ivory, pale as anything. Not silver. Not chrome. Not like him. He is not like her, not no more.
‘I didn’t want this,’ he blows more smoke, clouding his crash space with cheap, Eastern cigar smoulder. Nabbed it from a China stall, ‘round the imperial district. Can taste the filth, can taste the shit they used for this wrap of synth tobacco.
Not much meat on his titanium bones, not even much brain in that tin can either. He is nothing more than a vessel of human memory, a vessel of downloadable consciousness, a soulless vessel of organic and inorganic components. Still eats, still shits – just rubs his ass with a metal claw now.
The hologram moves, she dances barefoot amid the holographic grass. She blows a kiss; but he cannot catch it. Not no more. ‘I didn’t want you to-’
‘Come dance with me, please dance with me,’ she interrupts, smiling at someone who can no longer keep her warm.
He blows one last puff of smoke and places the hologram on the ground. He watches for hours, doesn’t move, doesn’t make a sound. Just watches and watches, red tears streaming down his cheeks. ‘I didn’t ask to be this way. I didn’t want to be like this.’
A PhD candidate, Dann Lewis writes poetry, prose and fiction specialising in blending the fantasy, science fiction and the Gothic genre. His thesis is currently titled Neon Pink and it examines the culture of the cyberpunk genre, claiming that it is a product of both science fiction and Gothic anxieties.