John P Marentay Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

John P Marentay is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.)

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:


gumbydome montreal 1994 flash fiction prompt copyright KSBrooks
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

The Dome
by John P Marentay

I remember the day she arrived. I remember watching for the ship to pull in. Sitting there on that March day, with the fog rolling in and the rain pouring down. Just waiting for the love of my life to arrive. Minutes stretching into hours, I waited.

A true internet love story, living lives separated by light years, baring our souls through the buffer of a BBS-197. We claimed our love was purer, more true than those distracted by the physical form. We got to know each other.

Our pieces fit. We ended each other’s sentences and made each other laugh. We had our own ‘in’ jokes. Shared stories.

So we took the next step and exchanged pictures. She was beautiful. She said she thought I was cute. We took 3d scans and got to know the curves and crevices of each other, getting intimate with simulacrum where we imagined the souls of our lovers would reside.

In tune, in touch, in love. I asked her to marry me in the old fashioned ‘death do you part’ way. .

So she came. We went from the port to the justice. Swore the contract. A deputy threw rice.

I took her home. We made love, but something was off. She didn’t smell right, didn’t taste right. She wasn’t as responsive as she was in my head. I wasn’t as smart or clever as she thought. Nothing was right. We didn’t fit.

It would have been better for her not to have come.

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