I nervously walked the dawn. I'd been without my
connection for fifty-eight hours, but it felt like
fifty-eight years of colorless, emotionless need.
At sixty-two hours, fifty-nine minutes, and twenty-four seconds I stared at the shining tip of the plug as I drew it to my implant. The voices of the kids faded from my consciousness. I had no choice. I hated this. I loved it. I could be strong. I was lying.
I connected. It was almost sexual, this anticipation of pleasure to come, this act of sweet submission.
But there was no rush. No contact. I stifled a scream and frantically checked the clock. I was early, that was all. Thirty more seconds until eight AM. An eternity.
The monitor screen came on. I felt that first tingling surge. I lusted for more, but, at the same time, I knew that by five p.m. Friday I would hate this damned, horrible, wonderful connection.
'Monday morning work downloading, darling,' Helene said deliciously, seductively, tantalizingly. 'Two hundred and thirty-four case-files ready for processing.' Two hundred and thirty-four hits, each providing an orgasmic rush. I started work with a sob of relief.
Story Copyright © 2007 by Bud Sparhawk and Ramona Wheeler. All rights reserved.
About the authors
Bud Sparhawk's stories and articles have appeared frequently in ANALOG, Asimov's, and other US magazines as well as anthologies, two more of which will appear later this year. This autumn his first published novel will appear. He has been a three-time finalist (1998, 2002 and 2006) in the SFWA Nebula's Novella category. More (and possibly too much) information may be found at http://sff.net/people/bud_sparhawk.
You can buy Bud Sparhawk's books from Amazon.co.uk or from Amazon.com
Wheeler also writes nonfiction work on ancient Egypt and comparative mythology. Her website, WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN, (http://hometown.aol.com/tokapu/) has been a popular resource since 1994, providing her own translations of Egyptian texts, as well as the only horoscope based on the ancient Egyptian calendar. WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN, A MODERN GUIDE TO THE RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY OF ANCIENT EGYPT and its companion volume, MY DAILY HORUS SCOPE are published by Wildside Press. Her books are available at all major online venues.
Her latest fiction projects involve a series of novels set in an alternate history, in which Egypt, rather than Rome, became the primary influence on Western civilization. She lives in Massachusetts with the requisite number of cats, and has been married since 1971.
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