Free Story: That Thing

That Thing


September, 2110

“Janelle, it’s time,” Jonathan said. “We should be on our way to the Reproduction Center.”

Janelle sat with her hands folded on her lap, gazing out through their domicile window. She sighed and said, “In a moment, Jonathan.”

“We have to hurry Janelle. If we want our son to be born on June twenty-first so that he can enjoy his birthday on the longest day of the year, we have to complete the fertilization process within the next six hours. Doctor Winters said so.”

“I-I’m not sure, Jonathan.”

“You’ve changed your mind about our son’s complexion again? Well, I still think we should go with medium brown with a hint of red.“

Janelle turned in her seat to face her husband. “No dear, not about that. I mean about the entire process.”

“’The process?’ I don’t understand.”

“Jonathan, do you ever think about how people did it in olden times – how they created a child?”

“You mean physical intercourse?”


“No, not really. I mean, why would I? From what I’ve read, that was such a messy process, and so unpredictable. Back then people had no control over what their child would look like, how intelligent they’d be, or even their gender. For goodness sake, why would I think about a process as archaic as physical intercourse? The modern way is so much better. That’s how we were conceived, and look at how well we turned out. And now our combined, edited DNA is ready for activation at the Reproduction Center. All we have to do is go sign the approval documentation and nine months from now –“

“Jonathan, I want to feel our baby grow inside me.”

“Janelle, that’s not rational. No one in this country has done that in over three generations. It’s primitive and dangerous. You could die…actually die.”

“I don’t care. I want to feel like a mother.”

“But you will, Janelle. Once little Jason reaches the nine-month development stage we’ll bring him home on June twenty-first, just like we planned. And then you’ll get to hold him and cuddle him and give him his dairy extract injections just like all mothers do. Trust me, your maternal instinct will be fulfilled and completely satisfied.”

Sci-Fi Black

Now Janelle rose from her chair. She looked at her husband. “What about our satisfaction, Jonathan? Do you ever think about that?”

“I don’t understand.”

“Physical satisfaction. They way people felt in olden times when they conceived a child. Don’t you ever wonder how that feels?”

“You’re still thinking about physical intercourse? You know the government advises against that. It’s unsanitary and leads to disease and mental distraction from our work processes. Studies have shown that since the creation of the Reproduction Centers people are better. You know that, Janelle. After all, you’re a physician. So why are you talking about this? What’s the matter? Are you nervous about our becoming parents?”

“I’m not nervous, Jonathan. I’ve just been thinking about things.”

“Physical intercourse? That thing?”

“Among other things. I want you to listen to something.”

“What? What’s that you have?”

“It’s an ancient device. It’s called an iPhone 136.”

Now Jonathan smiled. “A telephone? How quaint. What else have you been playing with – two cans and a string?”

“No, silly. I found this in my great-great-grandmother’s safety deposit box. It still works. Well, not the communication device, because of course no one uses telephones to communicate anymore. But the mp3 player works, and it still had music data files on it. I transferred them to our home aural system.” Janelle went to a touch panel on the wall, touched the screen and said, “Listen to this…”

The apartment filled with sound. Startled, Jonathan jumped and said, “Oh my goodness! You call that music? That poor person is screaming like he’s being killed!”

“He’s not being killed,” Janelle said. “That’s James Brown. He was a black man with an Afro. An Afro, can you believe it? This music was his signature style, something called funk. According to the liner notes in the iPhone, he invented funk and held the title The Godfather of Soul. Listen to the music, Jonathan, to the rhythm. Isn’t it just wonderful?”

Jonathan shook his head. “I don’t know. It doesn’t sound anything like binary jazz.”

Janelle said, “That’s because the sound was created using real musical instruments. In olden days people didn’t use data processors and binary code to create melody. They used musical instruments. This is a composition titled, Get Up – I Feel Like Being Like A Sex Machine.”

Jonathan crossed his arms and grumbled, “How primitive.”

“But you like it,” Janelle smiled.

“No I don’t.”

“Yes you do. You’re tapping your foot.”

“What?” Jonathan looked down at his feet. “Oh well…it does have a certain feel to it, I suppose.”

“I’ve been reading about that in the National Digital Library,” Janelle said. “It’s called the groove. That’s what you feel – the groove. Come on, let’s dance!”


“Yes, dance with me Jonathan. I know you feel it. Look, watch me…”

Jonathan watched as his wife twirled around and shook her posterior. He thought her movements were odd; quite strange actually, as if she’d lost control of her motor skills. And yet, there was something about the way she moved her hips in a circular fashion and made her posterior muscles bounce that he found…captivating.

Very captivating.

Janelle wiggled closer to him and urged, “Dance with me Jonathan. In olden days people often danced in gender opposite pairs. Let’s try it.”

Jonathan tried to imitate his wife’s movements. He raised his hands in the air and waved them like he just didn’t care.

Janelle smiled and said, “That’s right Jonathan – get down with your super bad funky self!”

“What? What do you mean?”

“It’s what they said in olden days while listening to music. I think roughly translated it means that you should have fun while you dance.”

“Oh, I see.”

“Are you having fun, darling?”

“Well, actually yes. That James Brown fellow is quite primitive and yet, there is something about his melody…it makes me want to move. How odd.”

“Don’t analyze it,” Janelle smiled, “Let’s just feel it!”

They danced until the song ended. Then they stood looking at each other, gasping and smiling.

“Wasn’t that fun?” Janelle beamed.

“Well, yes. Yes it was. Very interesting.”



“Let’s make our baby the old fashioned way.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes, very serious. Wait, listen to this…”

Jonathan watched as Janelle went back to the panel and touched the screen again. Another ancient song began to play. This one had a slower rhythm, and no one was screaming. She said to Jonathan, “This composition is titled, Do Me Baby. It’s by an artist named Prince. I looked at the photo in the liner notes. I think Prince is a male, but I’m not really certain.”

As the music played Janelle spoke to the apartment command center. She said, “Lower lights to forty percent illumination.” The lights lowered.

Jonathan listened to the song and watched Janelle dance for a couple of minutes, and then he asked, “Is he or she singing about physical intercourse?



Janelle moved closer to Jonathan. She turned her back to him and pressed her posterior into him and moved her hips in a slow circle.

“Janelle, what are you doing?”

“I’m feeling this wonderful music and I’m feeling you, Jonathan. Do you like it?”


“Do you enjoy us having physical contact like this?”


“I think you do, Jonathan. I can feel your penis. It’s become engorged. Let me see it.”


“Let’s take our clothing off and dance naked together.”

“That’s so…so…”

“So what? You’re my husband. It’s legal.”

“But no one does that anymore. People don’t –“

“But we can. Let’s get naked and play together. Wouldn’t you enjoy seeing me naked?”

“Well, yes, but –“

“Then let’s do it, Jonathan. Let’s take our clothing off together. Let’s have physical intimacy.”

“Well um, the dancing to James Brown’s melody made me perspire. I’ll go to the hygiene chamber and –“

“No, don’t.”

“But Janelle, you want to –“

“I like the way you look right now.”


“Yes. Something about it is quite…alluring. Primitively so.”

“Oh. I see.”

“Jonathan, let’s go to the sleeping quarters and take our clothes off. I want to do that thing.”

“Really? You do?”

“Yes, I really do. I want to conceive our child organically. I don’t want to plan his or her gender, or how smart he or she will be, or what he or she will look like. I want to leave that to the will of God. I trust that He will make a better determination of what our child should be than would the reproduction center. And I want to experience the pleasure of having physical intercourse, of doing that thing with you, my husband.”

“But Janelle, have you considered what you’ll have to go through – the pain? I’ll have to rupture your hymen, you know.”

Janelle smiled at him coyly. She said, “Do you remember two years ago, when you lost your Z-Box vibrating game controller?”

“Yes. The thing just up and vanished. I can’t imagine where I misplaced it.”

“You didn’t misplace it. It’s in my personal storage area in our sleeping chamber.”

“Why is it there?”

“Well, it’s six inches long, and it vibrates, and well, I was curious, so…”

“You mean you…you…broke your hymen with it?”



“I was curious.”

“And you still have it.”

“I’m curious almost every day.”

“Oh. Oh! I see.”

“I’ve been a bad girl, Jonathan.”

“Yes, you have.”

“Let’s be bad together, all right?”

“Well…as you stated, we are married, so it’s legal.”

Janelle smiled and pulled down the zipper of Jonathan’s jumpsuit. “Yes, perfectly legal,” she cooed.

“And if you become impregnated we can make special arrangements for delivery. I understand that women in New Brazil still do it the old fashioned way.”



“Jonathan? What’s the matter?”

“You’re touching me there. It feels so…hmm…”

“Do you enjoy me touching you there?”

“Yes, very much so. Very m-much…”

“You feel much larger than your game controller.”

Jonathan tried not to smile. “Are you afraid? I wouldn’t want to hurt you when I penetrate –”

“Shh! Come with me, darling. Let’s go do that thing.”

© July 2010
The Black

  1. Deloris Harper.

    I like this its very interesting are you going to finish it?

  2. Your imagination is awesome!

  3. Gladys Sledge

    You are Crazy unbelieveable what a waste. All those recommendations Oprah gave

  4. Gladys Sledge

    I was truly complimenting your body of work. I wished I had discovered you years ago how we suffered years of bogus recommendations from others who were supposed to be experts.
    In other words you are great.

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