Sin Of The Flesh
By John McDonnell
“Flesh? You mean to say people in the future expose their flesh?” Darcy said.
“They are nearly naked on the beach. I saw it with my own eyes.” Professor Smythe pursed his lips disapprovingly.
“Such immorality! They must have no sense of decency.”
“Quite. It made me long for the example of our dear Queen Victoria, who is the pillar of modesty. Which is why I have decided to hide my time machine. The future is an immoral time, not fit for anyone of our era to see.”
“Yes, but in the interest of Science, perhaps a trip or two. . .”
“No! Those sights are not meant for men’s eyes. I will lock up my invention and that is final.”
“As you wish.”
Later, though, Darcy snuck into the carriage house, took the tarpaulin off the machine, and started it. He told himself he was doing it for Science. He couldn’t remember which year his friend had told him he visited. No matter, he simply set it for several hundred years in the future.
The machine whirred and clanked, it’s wheels and rotors spinning into life. They spun faster and faster, and the air seemed to shimmer and blur. Then, everything stopped, and Darcy saw sand, and heard the nearby surf.
What luck! He was on a beach, and would be able to see--
Something bit into his shoulder, and he was jerked out of his seat and up in the air. He found himself dangling ten feet up, staring into the eyepiece of a shiny metallic thing that seemed to be studying him. There was a whirring sound coming from the region behind its eyes. Another sharp claw sliced through his clothing, and in seconds he was naked. The thing examined him more closely, touching his flesh with another appendage that had long, cold fingers.
“What is it?” a voice from below said. “What have you found, Rex?”
Darcy looked down and saw a squat, black thing looking up at him, from a group of other squat black things. They looked like enormous beetles. Somehow, they could talk, although he didn’t know where their voices were coming from.
He was suddenly lowered almost to the ground, where the beetle things could see him with their large insect eyes. Their antennae swayed back and forth, and the sun reflected off their smooth black shells.
The first voice said: “Interesting case. Most of them don’t try to camouflage themselves anymore. Their mating rituals require nakedness.”
“Disgusting,” the rest said, in chorus. “Get it away!”
Darcy wanted to cover himself, but he could not. Then he was raised high in the air and flung hard to the ground. He broke several bones, and was in an agony of pain.
The last thing he heard before being crushed to death by the droid’s 10 ton foot, his insides splattered across the beach, was: “Sorry that you all had to see such an obscenity on our beach. We’ve eradicated most of them, but there are still a few stragglers.”
- - -
My biography: John McDonnell has published fiction in many genres, including: sci-fi, horror, romance, humor, and literary. He has had more than 30 stories published, and writes a story a day. He lives in Doylestown, PA.
Labels: John McDonnell