A Case for Divinity
by Oscar Deadwood
forum: A Case for Divinity
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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A Case for Divinity


           The virus-alert siren blasted through the speakers of Simon's Rover Aerocar, disrupting his Friday commute over the Cotswold Hills, dampening his start to what had been a perfectly planned weekend.

           "Fucksakes," Simon mumbled, unable to drop the wheels on his car. Simon had a bit of romanticism for the past. He wanted to drive on the vacant roads of the English countryside and pull up in front of his semi-detached flat in his little community of flats that lay surrounded by the now brown and bare and scorched earth.

           Simon had purchased some flowers at the gift shop of GCHQ before he left work for the weekend. Simon worked as a sifter for the British government, sitting in a windowless room at the end of a row of computer monitors, pulling out key words from the telephone conversations and emails from a close-mouthed nation that knew it was under constant surveillance.

           "Bollocks," Simon mumbled. The siren meant there would be no travelling out of doors; there would be no walking up the steps of his flat with flowers in his hand. He wanted to start the weekend off on a romantic foot. His mum had taken the kids for the weekend, and he hoped he and his wife could lounge around the house all weekend in a slothful and carnal bliss.

           But that would take some coaxing on his part. His wife, Maggie, hadn't been interested in sex lately. In fact, she had let Simon do little for the past six months except peck her on the cheek.

           So, that's why he wanted to walk through the front door, flowers in one hand, a bottle of Riesling in the other. He wanted to prepare a special meal of sorts, something akin to her favorite take-out dish of chicken vindaloo.

           But no, the siren meant he would have to park the car on the rooftop, and he would have to enter the flat via the hollowed out and expanded chimney.

           The radio announced the virus alert; some sort of sexually transmitted thing that he had heard of vaguely, the disease had made its way round the continent and had managed to hop across the Channel. The disease had a scientific name, but the media had called it The Peeler. And it was deadly and spread rather quickly.

           The early stages of the disease caused one to feel quite aroused and sexually aggressive, as if the disease was designed to be spread easily.

           "Fucksakes," Simon said to the radio. He didn't have to worry about an STD, he had been monogamous for all of his fourteen years of marriage and Maggie had been practically frigid for the last five.

           Simon thought STD's humorous, in the grand scheme of things. His theology, his belief in God was based solely on one observation - sex was pleasurable and sex was for pro-creation therefore, whomever created the human race wanted it to continue, otherwise sex would be like taking a piss or a crap, just routine and without pleasure.

           But along came something like The Peeler or AIDS early in the century, something that made sex deadly, rather than life giving. Did a divine or a demonic hand deal those diseases?

           Simon saw the roof of his flat as he flew over the ancient and barren farms and pastures of long ago. He docked at the chamber just above the chimney and let his body fall down the chimney, the decelerators causing his body to drift into the expanded and disused fireplace as softly as a feather.

           Maggie stayed at home as Simon's government job paid them just enough to survive without her having to work, but it didn't pay him enough to ever get ahead. His savings were constantly being robbed to pay off credit cards and repairs to the Aerocar, retirement was sure to be wrought with penury.

           Even though his wife didn't, she wasn't exactly a housekeeper. The flat was always far from tidy when he would arrive home, the television blaring some soap opera or children's cartoon, the sitting room cluttered with gossip magazines and dirty dishes and yesterday's newspapers.

           Simon was quite surprised on this Friday, when he landed in his sitting room and was greeted by a candlelit silence. The flat appeared to be picked-up and tidy, as if they were getting ready to sell the place. Soft and delicate harp music played from the speakers recessed into the ceiling and his wife sat luxuriously on the couch, her body cloaked by a long and white terry-cloth bathrobe. She held a wineglass in her hand and he spied open-toed and stiletto type heels on her feet that appeared to have been freshly pedicured.

           "Well hullo," Simon said, handing the flowers to Maggie with a flourish. "What brought this on?"

           Maggie threw the flowers over her shoulder. "Nothing," she said, "just did a bit of shopping today and I'm in the mood."

           Simon felt confused and a bit alarmed.

           Maggie was never in the mood.

           "Where did you go shopping?"

           "Oh, you know, the mall. They had the cutest new shop there, a boutique of sorts." She pointed to the countless candles that were lit around the sitting room, casting large and nearly holy shadows on the plain white walls of their flat.

           "The shopkeeper chatted me up," Maggie grinned slyly, crossing and uncrossing her legs.

           Simon felt his face redden. His thoughts drifted to The Peeler. Did the shopkeeper do more than chat Maggie up? Impossible, he decided in a slow instant.

           "Did he now?" Simon asked and he felt so very clumsy in his wife's now confident presence.

           "He did. Jealous, you?" She stood up and undid her bathrobe.

           Simon's confused gaze turned to open-mouthed shock and delight.

           His wife was wearing black stockings and garters attached to a black teddy, the black of her lingerie a stark contrast to her pale and fleshy and dimpled skin.

           But it seemed to work, somehow.

           "Did the shopkeeper help you pick this out?" Simon asked and he was kind of excited with the thought of his wife flirting with another man.

           "He might've" and his wife stood face to face with him, and started unbuttoning his shirt and undoing his trousers.

           He shifted his gaze from her imperfect figure and studied her face, trying to look for a clue in her pale blue eyes that sat underneath a head of dark and long and full wavy hair. Had she been unfaithful? Or had the attention of the shopkeeper awaken a sleeping and sensual giant that hadn't existed inside his wife since first they married.

           She stripped him down to his boxers and pushed him on the couch. He was fully aroused, her predatory advances breaking down all of his reservations and he let himself go. She sat on top of him and he felt himself go inside her for the first time in so, so long. His hand explored her body, he grabbed her breasts and squeezed them and the heat emanating from her skin felt like a severe fever, but it didn't alarm him.

           And this moment of passion ended just as quickly as it had started.

           The heat from her skin became almost unbearable, and he saw her face turn crimson red as it bobbed up and down in rhythm with their lovemaking.

           And then it happened.

           The skin of her face started to smoke and peel and curl, and she got off of him and started screaming, her body starting a slow and agonizing burn and smoke seemed to drift out of her pores casting a fog across the candlelit room.

           Her face became a charred and bloody mess and the rest of her body followed suit, causing his flat to stink horribly of burnt flesh and hair and polyester.

           She collapsed on the floor in front of the fireplace and started convulsing, the burnt and peeled skin revealing the red of her flaccid muscles.

           Simon should have felt frightened and angry. His wife had brought The Peeler into their house. She had been unfaithful, and that meant his death was soon to follow.

           But he wasn't angry or frightened. He was still aroused.

           He put his clothes hastily back on and cast a glance at his moaning and smoking wife, death but a near certainty.

           He gathered up the flowers, and picked up the unopened bottle of wine that he had left on the coffee table.

           He decided to call on the widowed and lonely grandmother who lived next door.


copyright 2005 Oscar Deadwood.

Oscar Deadwood:
I have had some non-SF stories appear in Wanderings and Darkervision, and hope to have my first novel "The Trinity" released by Silverthought Press soon.