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Concrete Dust

metaphorical_cowboy's picture

Her ORACLE results and stats remain acceptable. Still, the new prescription compensates for hormonal deviation. The diluted sea breeze greets Paprika as she leaves the psychology dept’s building.

Her cell’s social radar temporarily blips as Dustin’s icon borders the designated parameter. Paprika shouldn’t show on his implant.

Either way, she’s hungry. The drive through screen shows the new salt restrictions. Home cooking sounds better.

The transposed levee winds make the moped ride home all the colder. At least this way doesn’t take Paprika near R-ghetto. Statistically safe isn’t safe.

At any given time, amateur tunes reverberate through the apartment complex walls. Right now Lisimba’s hollow blues show how easy creativity is copied and pasted. He’s mono-racial. It’s almost un-American. Doesn’t matter, Paprika’s good at filtering. His audio fades. She throws away the church of euthanasia pamphlet jammed in the door

Dinner’s a green apple, meat apple, and some rice. Her mom’s liquor is lying around but drinking’s pointless. After eating, Paprika goes to her room. She stares at the picture. A slightly older Paprika stares back. If that car hadn’t splattered Paprika’s mother’s Paprika, she would’ve stayed an aborted fetus. Instead, her core was replaced with most of Paprika’s traits.

She checks her messages. Dustin’s sorry for cheating, mom’s entertaining, and one’s a survey about decreasing the multiple a employee can be paid compared to the lowest paid employee. Paprika’s doesn’t resent the adultery; she resents the lack of discreetness.

She’d like to rest. Twelve hours until class. Paprika’s still not used to the increase in hours of mandatory volunteering that comes with college scholarships. It’s not much harder than being a federally licensed prostitute like her mom and pays for about the same number of college hours.

She hears a crack. Before she can get up Dustin pushes her back on the bed. Never took his pills. Paprika used to like that quality. It reminded her of dad. Dustin’s ORACLE test ranked him in the forty percentile for potential violence.

Strange to avoid the “reformed” rapist havens only to have Dustin press her against the bed. Under different circumstances Paprika would space. Not the case. This isn’t the Tokyo pyramids.

She feels a phantom reaction in the back of her head. Paprika’s eternal poker face robs Dustin of any conquest displaying facial expressions. She doesn’t involuntary react giving him biological “justification”. Dustin just stares, then punches holes in the wall and runs.

Paprika feels the phantom reaction. She doesn’t break Paprika’s picture frame and stab him with a glass shard. It’s gray being saved from an act by a previous act. She calls the police. There’s an unseen camera for every four people. It doesn’t take long to spot him. The police fire an NL-round. It’s tough fighting and violently losing control of all bodily functions at the same time.

Paprika’s mom comes home as soon as she hears. She offers hugs, kisses, and a drink. Paprika politely refuses. Instead she sends a text message for her professor. She won’t be in tomorrow. She sends a link to the police page.

Everyone leaves. Paprika tries to sleep but gets the usual ticks. She’ll hear her cell even if it’s off. It’s ok, there’s a prescription for it.

hmmm i like it, but a little

hmmm i like it, but a little confusing.