Paul awakened with a slight jolt. The foot of the white bed appeared to be a part of the stark wall. He glanced left. The water pitcher by the bed blended into the sidewall, and the view out the window was limited by the frame. Paul’s visual capacity was changed as if life had been reduced to a two dimensional painting. Paul smiled. Good! The 2D/Blocker implant was working. Soon his innate perspective would be gone. The vacation could begin. It’s official name was “Vacationer’s Flat Island, “so-named for the vacationer’s two-dimensional perception. Everyone called it “The Island.” The Corporation established the Island quite some time ago. It had taken a long time to develop and make habitable. The Executive Office believed it was worth the investment. All levels were required to vacation on the Island as an integral part of their growth and development in the Corporation. Some, many times. The purpose of the vacation was simple: enjoy yourself. And, Oh yes, see if you can overcome the handicap of no perspective. The Corporation surgeons would give you a 2D/Blocker implant. In addition to the loss of perspective, the memory of the Corporation, your function in it, and any previous trips to the Island were blocked. Paul thought for a minute that he had heard a rumor that the blocker had an intermittent fault. But that was just a rumor. Or was it? He couldn’t remember. He smiled again. The blocker was beginning to work. He really needed this vacation. He was so tired of… tired of… He started to laugh softly. “I’m going to enjoy this one,” he thought. Vague memories of the last vacation nagged at him. Water. Blood. Was I hurting? I know I screwed it up last time, but how? Oh yeah. I didn’t enjoy it that much. Got sucked into some 2D political scam on the Island. It was crazy! They were on vacation, just like me, but you’ve thought the Corporation itself was being destroyed to hear them rant and rave. That was a joke! Well, this time it will be different. I won’t… A soft knock interrupted Paul’s thoughts. He was working hard to keep focused. The interruption pleased him. “Come in.” The door parted smoothly and a small jrawul in white garb said, “Your transport is about ready, Sir. As you know, we have located the exact proper delivery system for your journey to Vacationer’s Flat Island to insure your arrival at the exact right place and time. Further, we have provided that you will have an environment compatible with your specific growth and development needs in the Corporation.” Paul thought he had heard this speech before. He couldn’t exactly remember. He was still excited about the vacation but didn’t know why. “Yeah. Yeah. Let’s get on with it.” The jrawul walked along Paul’s side with his left arm outstretched over the bed. Paul felt as though he were being encased. The jrawul gently touched his eyelids and said, “Sleep now, and awaken on Vacationer’s Flat Island.” Paul slept fitfully. Tossing, turning, and poking at his encasement. He knew when his journey in transport was coming to an end. He could just tell. The encasement began to extrude him. He entered a cold room with bright lights and strange sounds. He saw some giant vacationers standing around. He heard the muffled voice of one say, “It’s a girl.”
………………………………………….. Art Noble — Born in Los Angeles, Art grew up in Key West where he lived four years in the Hemingway Home. He is the son of an internationally known artist, Van Noble who opened the Hemingway Home as an Art Gallery before it became a museum.