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There, Here, and Beyond

Jennie Hunter lives and writes in Saskatchewan, where the wide-open skies leave plenty of space for thinking. When not consumed by her day-work in the field of environmental protection, she is often thinking of ways to protect the future through fiction. Her writing has previously appeared in Broken Pencil Magazine and is forthcoming in Blank Spaces.

She had eyes like the moon and iridescent skin over her plump cleavage. He'd wanted her for weeks and now Stevel was going to have her. He pushed her up against the doorway and felt her body wiggle as she reached to the side to swipe the Gencan. The door hissed open and they stumbled inside her place. The gin still burned hot in his veins, making edges smooth and colors pop.
"Oh, Baby. Yeah. This is the moment I've been waiting for." Stevel muttered against her skin. "I'm so present, here, now. I'm with you."
Zendra pressed a finger between their lips and pulled back. "That's the problem: you're too here. You need to be there, here, and beyond."
Stevel felt the shock in his toes. "Entex?"
"Have you tried it yet, Hot-pants?" she pulled away from him and moved into the kitchen where she tugged open a drawer next to the AutoCook5.
"It hasn't been approved." Stevel felt the ten years he'd spent as a food inspector fall on him. What a horse and carriage he was, so old fashioned, so boring. Zendra would never sleep with him now.
"I have a connection." She smiled and slunk back to him, hips popping side to side like she was accentuating her body in anticipation of their moment, like she was already screwing his brains out, past, present and future. And hell, if she was on Entex she probably--possibly?--already was. "You have to try it. It'll blow your jail cell wide open. You'll be out of there," she tapped his skull firmly, "And in here." Zendra held her naked arms out and Stevel followed the tight lines of her flawless dark skin.
"I don't know," Stevel shook his head. "Being in the present's never done me any wrong."
"That's the problem, Honey-plum. We're taught to be in the present, but yet when you have such narrow vision it's so easy to make all the wrong moves. Don't you want to feel my pleasure before it comes, while feeling it pass through me, shake me, and leave me all at the same time? Multiply your passion, Stevel-doll. Live the timeloop with me."
She held out a stickler sheet with two blue, round pieces of temple tape. She parted her lips and took one, running her moist tongue over her cherry red mouth. God, that cleavage, that body, those legs. If this was what he had to do to be with her, he would do it. He took the tape and pressed it to his left temple. He felt the world shatter, his body divide. He felt Zendra press her body against his and move it away. He was back in the club dancing, noticing Zendra brush past the leggy blonde he'd been watching. He was drinking coffee the next morning with naked Zendra. She was leading him to her bedroom. She was taking off his clothes and she was putting them back on. He'd done this already, he'd slept with her before, and it was fantastic. He'd already heard her anger from three days later. Zendra climbed on top of him. Stevel placed a hand between her naked breasts and stopped time.
"This moment," he said, but it had already passed, was still coming, and gone.
He woke in the morning, the Entex spent. There was the coffee, Zendra, smiling.
"How was your first time?" She leaned forward and kissed him. Stevel could remember how much greater his passion had been, infinitely beyond any previous experience. "You were right," he mumbled against her bare shoulder. But what he was thinking--had already thought--was that you couldn't physically recall sensations, you could only remember your reaction to the pleasure. He could remember visuals, though, but he found the Entex had left his mind-pictures blurry, confused. Past Zendra, future Zendra, naked Zendra, clothed Zendra, all overlaid one another so that his memory was like double vision, making him dizzy, making him numb. He already knew how it would end, and so must she, but she still kissed him before he left, still asked to see him again. Entrex had touched a fraction of his life, great in the moment, but only a movie the next.
He stepped back into the present, touched the door with his hand, felt the wisp of air behind him as it closed, felt the ground under his feet as he walked the long, exhausted, hung-over walk to the street, he felt the sun on his face. He paused and took a break, recalled his hand on her chest in the night. It would have to be enough.
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Author Comments

In the year after my father died, I found myself in a constant whirlwind of thought that circled from past to present to future and around again. What if I could experience all of it at the same time? What if I could know how all my relationships would end before they even began? Would I take Entex? Would I like it? This story holds my answer.

- Jennie Hunter
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