Author : J.D. Mraz

A man snores on his pseudo-leather recliner, the remote dangling between his half closed fingers. He is bald, the white of his stomach hairy and stained with unwashed sweat. The light of the TV dances along the wall, ballerinas at play. His stomach rises and falls at uneven intervals while popcorn kernels and false salt cubes fall between the cracks of the seat.

“Remember to always Fly Excelsior Air. Why fake it?” The commercial says as it fades out.

A woman’s face fills the screen and an ambient hum calms the room. A blue shadow tints the wall. Her skin is smooth, silken and tanned. A pleasant hazel surrounds her pupils. Her hair is flat black and cut to the chin. Water is flowing, running over cold stones whilst fish follow, her face comes in and out with the ripples in a smile.

“Hello.” She says. Her lips move effortlessly. “Have you ever wanted peace but can’t find the time? Have you ever wanted adventure but thought it too costly or dangerous?”

The image pans to familiar desires: The Coliseum, Eiffel Tower, Great Wall, The Mediterranean. Her face returns, soaring like an eagle over the Grand Canyon. “Welcome,” her smile grows, “To a new reality. Here at the Virtual Reality Foundation we strive to make the world a better, more accessible and, most importantly, safe place for everyone.

“Here at VRF we work with you in the most affordable and comfortable manner possible based on your needs and goals, your hopes and dreams. Be it a day trip to Bermuda or a weekend extravaganza at Oktoberfest, you are certain to come back satisfied and fulfilled. Why waste time with travel agents and ticket counters? Why risk the chance in a public bus or taxi cab? Noisy kids on the plane? Not anymore.

“Call NOW to receive our fifteen percent off coupon and save on our most popular trips…” The Caribbean and Alaskan adventures appear side by side along with smiling couples and families.

“Don’t put off your dreams any longer. Let’s make them reality, together. Why do, when you can see?”

Her voice pans into a quick paced male. “Call today at…”

The man snorts and cuts off the voice, he licks his dry mouth and settles further into the cushion. Outside, a pigeon’s head turns in semi-circles as it stares into the window. A hawk circles overhead, waiting for the perfect angle.

“Prices may vary upon availability. Ask your doctor if VR is right for you. You should not try VR if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. VR is not recommended for anyone under twenty or over fifty-five. Common symptoms of VR include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, vertigo, loss of appetite, thoughts of suicide, loss of fulfilment, depression…”

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