Seoul Station

More fiction. Because I can. And because it’s August and all of you are probably off vacationing anyway.

If you think it’s unsettling to suddenly find yourself in a strange place, with no idea how you got there, try doing it with no idea where you came from. With no sense of there having even been a before.

I don’t mean waking up groggily in an unfamiliar place after an evening of drinking. Or waking up after having been administered ether. I know those sensations.

I mean suddenly having no answer to the question, what is the last thing you remember?  Because suddenly being, fully formed, is the first thing you remember.

And for good measure, try arriving, as I did, to find yourself suspended in mid-air, and falling.

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The Heirloom Lounge

A short story. A sci-fi short story. A kitchen-sink sci-fi short story. You’ve been warned.

The flight had been delayed for another hour and my glasses had just been bricked by yet another update. Plus the rim was cracked from when I’d sat on it earlier. There was a printing and service station at the other end of the terminal, but I didn’t feel like leaving the lounge and weaving through the crowds of uncannies to get it fixed, just so I could read. So I sipped the free coffee, fiddled with the glasses, and looked around idly.

The SeaTac heirloom lounge had been renovated since my last trip. There was now fake wood paneling. The snack selection was more varied, but cheaper. No more fresh fruit. Worst of all, sections of the opaque corridor-side walls had been replaced with floor-to-ceiling etched glass sections. You could see passersby peering in through the gaps in the etching.

Well, I had nothing to hide, let them watch. At least I didn’t have to see bits and pieces of the uncannies if I sat facing the back wall.

The older man across from me was pretending to read a magazine, but he seemed bored and annoyed by the delay too. We were the only ones in the heirloom lounge. He tossed his magazine aside.  I glanced surreptitiously at it. Real paper. Letterpress. What looked like hand-stitched binding. Nice.

He looked me over with a benign, patrician air.  Sixty or seventy, I guessed. Not much anon there.

His eyes rested for a moment on my hat, making me wish I’d worn my other hat. The one not emblazoned with the chain logo, and without transcranial leads showing under the fraying band. But I needed to do some thinking on this flight, and the older hats still worked better than the cheap new ones.

He seemed to hesitate for a moment. Then he spoke.

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