Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Nu Skin - flash story

The amino acid readers had levelled the playing field for love. You saw someone you fancied in the arms of another man. At a glance you can see you do not match up to her physical type. So you merely whip out your reader and scan the paramour’s DNA. His reaction would inevitably be conflicted. Flattered that you recognised him as a superior looking man worthy of emulation. Moderately perturbed that you were about to challenge him. The reader’s particle field serving as a gauntlet being slapped across the love rival’s cheek. For, after a single night having your DNA reconfigured under the auspices of the machine, the next morning there you were a perfect physical replica of the beau. Then it was solely down to charisma and personality to swing the women’s choice between her two identical specimens.  


Yet it wasn’t quite so simple. The body might have changed overnight, but the psyche had to permit itself time to get used to it. In the same way that first time you shaved your new face and its unfamiliarity would trip you up time and again and lead you to slice your visage to ribbons, you also had to project your new features appropriately. You could not carry yourself the same way as you had with your former body. You had to ease into your gait, figure out the space it inhabited, how it moved and gestured. Too precipitant and you would sink any chance you had with your object of desire, since your mismatched clumsiness with your own self would paint you as inherently undesirable. For all the instant  transformation, the shrewd suitor still had to play the long game of love.

13 comments:

Helen A. Howell said...

Well I hope she was worth it! Because he would have to spend the time in that relationship, not being himself. Interesting concept, one changing the way they look to get what they want, but like a new car one has to get use to the controls and what it does. ^_^

Clara Zane said...

Quite an interesting story and concept! Of course, if one finds it necessary to change their appearance for the sole reason of landing a lady, their personality has already doomed them to failure.

kymm said...

What a crazy, but fun, premise!

Larry Kollar said...

The endgame: convergence to a single ideal. Every man is Adonis, every woman is Venus. Then, out of boredom, people try different types to stand out from the crowd.

Me, I'd just like to jigger my metabolism to keep my weight down. And keep my knees working. And not need sleep. And…

Obviously, Marc, you got me thinking with this one!

Deanna Schrayer said...

'Careful what you wish for' comes to mind. I'm with Larry, I'd like the same things he wants, and then some. :)
Fun one Marc!

ganymeder said...

Oh dear, it hardly seems worth it, does it? :D

Katherine Hajer said...

Reading this is worth the first sentence alone. It makes the rest of the story seem like... dessert. A very big, wonderful treat after that distilled main course.

Definitely what Larry said. And yeah, if only you could speak at this conference. Knock some sense and dazzle 'em at the same time.

Tony Noland said...

I always relied on my personality to overcome the limitations of my physiognomy.

Stephen said...

Sadly, too many relationships start out on false premises and the suppression of the true self. It never works. The real self always finds a way to overpower the fake. I like the concept here, and the writing has a nice vibe to it, as well.

Steve Green said...

a brilliant concept, nicely penned Marc.
I think though, given the amount of effort to get used to the new self, and no guarantee of success, it would be much better to search for love in someone who would love them for what they already are.

Casey said...

I love how the first paragraph makes it seem such a good thing, then the second one sobers everything up again with the ol' mental health aspect of it. Good stuff.

Cindy Vaskova said...

This is frightening on a whole new level and I love it. The mentality of it is...wow. Bold and unique way to manipulate someone. Great story, Marc!

Hawksword said...

Showing your deeply romantic side again, Mr Nash...?