Story Carnival

This is taken from Shafali the Caricaturist’s blog. In case you didn’t know, every month she posts a caricature, inviting authors to write the story of the drawing… So here is this month’s caricature (and the rules):

After putting my thinking cap on, I decided to rewrite a scene from a novel-turned-screenplay (which means I took both from the original novel in Italian and from the screenplay in English to write this short bit of prose). Hope it can stands on its own. I haven’t rewritten the whole thing yet, because it’s sci-fi and I’m still mulling about this future. It is our planet, though… enjoy.

Robin & Beth

extract from Soul Stealers by Barbara G.Tarn


The terrace restaurant was almost all for them. Robin and Beth looked down from various angles, admiring the 22nd century landscape: New York was now only the isle of Manhattan, all around it the buildings had been destroyed and nature had taken back the land. The bridges were still there, taking few futuristic flying cars into the wild.

The sun set and robots switched on candles on the restaurant tables.

“I’m hungry, how about you?” Beth asked.

“Yes, let’s go,” Robin smiled.

He offered her his arm like a perfect gentleman.

“Where did you learn such old fashioned good manners?” she inquired, pleasantly surprised.

“I saw a movie,” he grinned. “It’s called A love-story from the past, very useful on 20th century manners.”

She took his arm, amused. The movie that had made them meet. If only he hadn’t forced her to retire it. She was still fond of it… especially now that he had looked her up after their not so great last meeting.

“Really? It’s not just another Cinderella story?” she asked.

“Maybe, but I like it.”

“But we’re not in the 20th century anymore.”

“We are where we want to be. We only have to ask and we’ll have 20th century waiters attending us. We can have anything we want thanks to computers, remember?”

They stopped by a table for two and sat down.

“So, you’re looking for a friendship now?” Her smile slowly vanished and she felt nervous again.

“Yeah. What about you, what are you looking for?” He was serious too now.

She shrugged.

“Friendship, I guess,” she said. “My mistake, I should have stuck to my holograms.”

“Why? You don’t like real people?”

“Not really. I don’t like being touched.”

“Can’t blame you…”


In the control room Shadya sat at the computer, with Bolton standing behind her, curious.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Instructing the kitchen,” was the cold reply. “They’ll never make it without a little help.”

“Are you blaming me for damaging one subject?”

“They’re both damaged. An aphrodisiac in their meal will take care of it.”


Dinner over, Beth and Robin left the table and walked towards the balcony again. They looked at the city lights and the ocean.

“My house is over there,” she said, pointing down.

“Mine too at the moment,” he said.

She smiled. They were very close.

She shivered, he noticed.

“Are you cold?” he asked.

“No, I’m fine.”

He held her closer and kissed her.

Breathless, Beth hugged him, sinking her fingers in his hair. She thought she hated kisses, and here she was, hungry and eager and happy to feel his body against hers. It wasn’t like her virtual lover, he was real, warm, and so different from what she had imagined…

She pulled back, keeping him at arm’s length to catch her breath.

“Are you all right?” he asked, concerned.

“Yeah, give me a minute,” she panted.

“I’m sorry, I got carried away. I forgot I have to be careful.”

“You… remember what I said?” she worried.

He smiled.

“Every word. There’s nothing wrong with it,” he said.

“My friends advised me not to tell you.”

“When you told me, there was nothing between us and no reason to think there ever could be. And it doesn’t change anything now, I should calm down myself. I’m excited because I haven’t felt like this in years, but I don’t want to spoil it all by hurrying.”

Of course, he had never looked for a substitute for Pauline, therefore he had had no sex for five years.

He averted his eyes and pulled back a little more.

“I think we had enough emotions for tonight,” he added. “Maybe we should go home before we overdose…”

No!, someone screamed inside her. She grabbed his face and started kissing him all over, overwhelmed by her own desire. On that roof, under the stars, she discovered reality was much better than imagination.

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  1. Wow! What a beautiful story! I never imagined romance in the 22nd century – but it would be there I guess – and then it would be quite like in your story.

    Great story Barb. Thanks for writing it – and of course, you’ve got a new fan:)

    Warm Regards,


    • I stared at the caricature for a long time and then saw the pills in the glass (or what looked like pills in the glass…) and had one of those “A-ha!” moments… sooo happy I could find something that fit one of your neat caricatures! πŸ˜€
      Yes, eventually I’ll rewrite that story as well… next year… maybe… gotta go back to Air NOW,argh! 😦


  2. What a lovely sweet story. And what a great idea! The caricature was fun and I had several story ideas pop into my head when I looked at it.

    Great stuff!



    • It’s actually supposed to be creepy! πŸ˜‰ But there is a happy ending… although NOT after this scene!
      The Sadist Writer with Very Damaged Characters (mwahahahaha)


  3. Thoroughly enjoyable. Love it when stories take off on us! Hope the sex was great!!


    • uhm… can’t say. Would spoil the novel! πŸ˜‰ But it will come out next year, so you will all know how this story goes! πŸ˜€


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