Dear John

Dear John,

I loved you John, I want you to understand that.

The Core wasn’t wrong to match us as marriage candidates; it just didn’t understand who you were really, the physical you. When we spoke and wrote and sent all those mad pictures over the Core – that was some other John. You used to write to me like a mad lover. You told me you would carry me though fire. You treated me like a partner, you told me you would always have my back, and that you could always trust me to have yours. I had compatibility with seventy-eight men over the Core, but none of them wrote like you, none of them sent the kind of beautiful pictures you did, or the songs you composed, or the mad videos you hacked together for me. No one was like you. That’s why I married you John, you were singular.

When we bought this house on the floating islands, I thought I was about to enter a dream. I was going to be living with the most amazing man on the pacific islands in a planned community. We dreamed up a thousand adventures for when we got here, do you remember?

I told myself a lot of excuses when we moved in together. You were adjusting, it was a new place, and it would take a while for you to find your feet. You were rude because you were nervous. The drugs were just your way of making yourself comfortable, the way you yelled was just your passion. You said you would carry me though hell, but you couldn’t love me enough to clean your clothes or rub my shoulders when I was tired.

After a while, I began to feel as if I had been tricked. I invented odd fantasies, that someone else had written those words, had sent those videos. I was being played on a trick, a terrible lie. Perhaps it was a program designed at seduction that you had bought; perhaps you bought me for the price of a cruel hack.

You asked me why I haven’t been bringing you meals, why I haven’t set the dials to clean the house, why I haven’t been talking to you. I thought you were a big liar, that I was wrapped in a lie, and I wanted you to suffer for what you have done. But that’s not the person I want to be. I don’t want to live as a bitter woman, angry about the life I keep choosing to trap myself in. I have to go away.

You are not the person I love, you are some strange, twisted imitator, some dreamer who dreams himself better than he is. You are so good at this that you fooled the Core, with all it’s wonderful psych tests and profiles. You fooled me too. You might even be fooling yourself.

I have to leave you. I cannot stay with the John who lives in that house; he is not the man that the Core matched me with.

When you become the man in those messages, find me.

-Tara

Random Story :

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