mgroat (joined over 10 years ago)

Stories


Until now, she'd never thought of herself as pretty. She'd always known she was a woman, but pretty was a word that had never crossed her mind.

Shortly after she had reached the level of confidence where she didn't have to be paranoid about a little bit of stubble showing, or somebody noticing her hips weren't quite the right shape -- she suddenly became a little more confident.

All it took was sitting down in her favorite coffee shop with a smile on her face. That was it. That was when she met Sam. Her heart started pounding when he...

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The moon would never be the same again.

It was three years ago, and she had just gotten off work. She worked late back then, and she stared up at the black sky and pondered herself.

"Who am I?" she whispered aloud, to nobody in particular.

She realized that over the years, she'd put herself into a box. Everything about her, from her work habits, to her social life, even down to her gender identity, were in effort to be normal.

As she stared at the bright circle that stood out against the sky, she realized that being different from...

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She'd have preferred the electric chair. Even torture, a little watter-boarding couldn't possibly hurt THAT bad. But this, this was the worst punishment she could ever imagine.

She sat in the church pew, holding the envelope in her hand. Yeah, the cops actually let her keep the bounty from the hit. The only catch was that she had to sit through the funereal.

She watched the man's wife comfort a six year old. She could've sworn she heard the words, "where's daddy?" No matter how hard she tried to convince herself that her mind was playing tricks on her, no...

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I'm in love with a robot. She doesn't have a physical presence, she's not some pile of servos shipped from Japan. She's an AI, the product of decades of research and development -- using tens of millions of online conversations as a template for her personality.

I know people tell me that she just scours all my emails in an effort to become what I like, and I know people tell me that she's nothing more than a neural network backed by a huge database. But is that so different from a human brain?

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This dream was better than waking. Like many others-- She was there. She looked different in every dream, talked different, had a different name; but she was the same person every time. She was an aspect of me, who I wish I could be, who I knew I never could be.

Except in the dream. While I was still the awkward, shy man I always was, in my dream I could share dinner with a woman who had all the qualities I wanted. She could talk without feeling nervous. She was ambitious, no regrets of /not/ doing something. And, of...

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He didn't even pack. He just picked up a satchel and left. He knew it'd been over for a while, but last night was when he was finally able to summon the courage to do it.

When people heard what he'd done, they'd offer their condolences. But he didn't see it as a sad thing. He saw it as a new beginning, as new horizons.

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He stood outside the castle, looking in. That little fence was all that separated him from the world of imagination. For the castle was filled with magic, with kings and queens. If only he could get inside, and experience that magic for himself.

When he got older, he'd realize that there was no such thing in the castle. The outside was a beautiful facade to entertain the children, but the inside was used as a storage room.

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She opened the envelope and screamed. Years of waiting for a transplant, and they'd finally found a donor. It was as if, in that one moment, all of her worries had been put to rest.

She didn't think about the possibility of complications. She didn't worry about whether or not her insurance would cover it. Those were all things she'd have on her mind later -- but for now, all she had was the joy of knowing things do get better.

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They were listening. Annette had no problem reading a report in school to a classroom full of students who were busy catching up on homework, drawing doodles, or discreetly pulling out their cellphones when nobody was looking; but this was different.

This was in front of people who'd come voluntarily. People who /wanted/ to hear what she'd written. People who actually enjoyed talking about math in their free time. Weirdos.

And that's what scared Annette. They were listening. If she'd done poorly, they'd actually care. They had a passion for the subject that she'd hated, despite her natural talent. Why,...

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The lamp wouldn't turn on. Of all the times for the bulb to burn out, it had to be right now? The noises were getting closer and closer to Sam's bed. Whatever they were, they weren't human.

Sure, it was most likely just the wind -- or something equally silly. All Sam needed was half a second of light to confirm that theory, and he'd sleep happily. But no, he couldn't have that. Instead all he had was his imagination to build horrific images for every creak and thud he'd heard all night.

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