When Love Cheats

Author : Samuel Stapleton

“Megan! Sweetheart! You’re on time!?”

“Not here to chat.” She hissed as she paraded in.

“I know, I know. I’ve got your new look ready, stand still please.” She complied as best she could, but every now and then quivers of excitement would dance down her limbs. As the computer AI finished its calculations I set to work alongside it. We began recoloring her hair and skin first, then played around with the nanoes that were ever so slightly reshaping her face, neckline, and bone structure. “You said they want you to hide in South Africa this time?”

“Did I? Well if I did I said too much.” She answered. When I was done she moved over to the mirror to view her transformation.

“I have a few other clients staying in that area, would you like their contact info?” I offered.

“I have a request.” She countered.

“Of course, name it!” I said.

“This time send him to Japan would you?” She said with a grin. I stared at her.

“But won’t that make it impossible for him to find you?” I asked warily.

“Would you believe me if I said no?” She replied as she raised an eyebrow in my direction.

“Probably. This seems like foreplay for you two more than anything that would jeopardize your chances.” I quipped.

She replied, “Mmm. No one understands us like you Aaron. Just remember. Japan.”

I nodded and echoed, “Japan.” She turned and leaned in close to the mirror, focusing on something specific.

“Ugh. I do love green eyes. I wish I could have them all the time.” She mentioned wistfully. “Wonderful work as always. What’s the damage?” She held out her palm for digital exchange. I shrugged her away.

“You can have this one on the house. I’m sure I’ll see you in a few weeks.”

She blew me a kiss for the gift and practically flew out the door. The company fraud expert, Mr. Mayline, waited a moment before appearing from his hiding place.

“You should’ve charged her.” He said. I shook my head.

“They’ll win again, and both be back, and you’ll have to pay me for the work I do on them, again. I’ll tell you what though, I can’t believe you thought I was helping them cheat.” I said harshly.

“It made sense at the time. We do apologize for that mistake.” He replied as he sat down.

“So did your investigation uncover anything? Are they using tech to beat the memory wipe, or do they have accomplices?” I asked. Mr. Mayline looked over at me and tilted his head slightly. “We hired all kinds of outside consultants. Tech experts. Even ex-military. As far as anyone can tell, they’re not cheating. They’re just finding each other. New skin, new eyes, new voice, new everything. It doesn’t matter what we do to them physically. He finds her. She somehow knows it’s him.”

“What did they say when you questioned them?” I’d been waiting to hear back for weeks now. But he laughed at this question. “We got frustrated by the end of the interview. Mockingly, I asked him what is was like to fall in love with the same woman nine times in one life…”

“And? How’d he react?” I asked.

“He looked back and forth between my partner and I, then looked his wife right in the eyes and said, Gentlemen, don’t be ridiculous, I’ve only ever fallen in love with her once.”

“Well, if that doesn’t make the ratings go through the roof I don’t know what will.” I concluded with a grin.

3 Comments

  1. xdhz8

    Original idea and something you can believe might come to pass one day. Well done.

  2. SimonJM

    It took a while to realise this was some form of game show, or at least so I presume? Nicely done, and fascinating idea!

    I have a lit of people who can be sent to Japan … 😉

Submit a Comment

Random Story :

  • Patchers

    Talia looked out over the cacophonous melee of engineers in …

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member

Submissions

We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact ssmith@365tomorrows.com