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Chapter 8: Where no Man Has Gone Before
Dave relaxed on the couch, while the late morning sun beamed in through the open blinds. He had a cold towel on his forehead, dressed in his running shorts and a tank top, while perspiration gleamed on his skin. On the TV, old reruns of Saturday morning cartoons played. Autobots battling Decepticons registered on some level in his ears, but his mind was drifting, replaying the feel of Erin’s light little kiss the night before. Suddenly, the cartoons stopped. A white, horizontal line stretched across the TV screen. Weird.
“Do not attempt to adjust your TV…” a voice said, and Dave sat up straight, wondering when this channel had taken up replaying The Outer Limits.
The line went vertical, but then began to pulse in time with Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” which began to blare. He set the laptop aside and stood up. What the hell? Just then, the front door opened, and the sound of two laughing girls filled the entryway.
“Good morning, Dave!” Erin crowed.
Casey followed her in, both of them dressed in cotton pajamas with the top two buttons undone, big fuzzy slippers on their feet. Casey tossed her overnight bag onto a chair, and they each hugged him tightly.
“You know, there really ought to be some kind of control on those things. Unexpectedly taking away a man’s Saturday morning cartoons is a big no no, and a nostalgia killer.”
“We are in control,” Erin said, evilly, “We control the vertical, and the horizontal!”
He sighed, defeated, but not in the least put out.
“I take it you two had fun?” he asked.
“Loads!” Casey answered, and Erin stifled a giggle.
“We got you a present!” Erin said, digging in her purse.
“If it’s a World’s Greatest Grandpa mug, you can keep it.”
“It’s only slightly better than that.”
She handed him a little black box. He took it, opened it. A set of shimmering contacts lay within.
“Are these… those things?”
The two girls swiped and poked at the air, and Dave watched as the color drained from their eyes, leaving them empty, black, and soulless. They approached him slowly.
“Dave…” Erin droned, “Join us, Dave…”
“It will be good for you, father,” Casey added, “You must join uuuusss…”