TE21 Serbian Moments

M. Caterina Mortillaro

Virtual Truth

crevice. Thank God – if there is one! The storm roars closer, but that’s not the problem. This is a trap. Aliens in camouflage surround him, wielding guns. Their faces are horrendous, but no worse than others he’s seen elsewhere. They point their guns at him and fire.

rush of sensations. He could die, but who cares? It’s all part of the game. He holds his breath until he’s bursting, then feels himself being lifted violently. He’s on top of a geyser. Howling ecstatically, he does a somersault mid-air. Now the landscape beneath him is more rugged, yet no less beautiful. Ice and fire. Iceland? There’s the mouth of a volcano, lava bubbling inside. He can’t resist. How much closer dare he go?



SCENE TWO – EXT. – DAY Flying. An exciting sensation. The ground, the sea, the forest, it all flows beneath him. Jack is weightless. He stands, vibrating with speed, with a thrilling knot in his stomach. Trite as it may sound, Jack loves flying. It’s where he takes refuge when he needs to recharge his batteries. He stands alone, unsupported, in the void. All he has todo is shift theweight of his body and he can turn, dip, soar, slow down; but there’s no way of stopping. Attracted to a thicket of mangroves beneath him, he dives boldly between their branches, avoiding aerial roots, pushing further. He cries out with joy. He’s alive! He’s alive! There’s the coast again. He skims the white sand, then hovers above the water. I’m God! he thinks, grinning. A darker, well-like patch, beyond the barrier reef: he stares at it. It’s too inviting. He plunges in. The water is cool, but not cold. Bubbles, streams, fish; a whirlpool, he’s sucked in. Jack abandons himself to the 216

SCENE THREE – INT. – NIGHT Jack awakes feeling groggy, aching all over. He staggers into the kitchen, presses a few keys. A light goes on; the appliance produces a steaming cup of oriental soup. He eats. Though cramped and dull, his digs have all he needs to not think about survival. All automated. He throws the bioplastic cup into the recycler, goes for a pee, gets dressed, walks out into the night. The street is teeming with the usual rabble: tarts, beggars, pushers, peddlers. He doesn’t mind; in fact, he likes it. His flat is cheap and the neighborhood intriguingly underground. And he’s sure to find what he needs here. He ventures into a tunnel that stinks of all sorts of human secretions. Chemical odors, too. Toxic stuff.


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