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By Willow (willowashmaple.xyz)

Have a good day, Amanda (a flash fiction)

Have a good day, Amanda

a flash fiction

by Willow

June 19, 2024

The sky was deep blue when Amanda woke up just after 11 a.m. The sun was shining high above her lakeside cottage.

She emerges from the cottage, in a leisurely stride, to a grassy meadow full of colors: the wildflowers are in full bloom, in purple, pink, blue, yellow, and white. There are distant songs of birds coming from the nearby woods. It is so serene, far from the noises of the big city; she can even hear the tiny splashes of the lake.

Amanda watches two birds glide across the sky, from atop a tall Douglas Fir tree to a deep green hillside. "It's such a perfect day, what else can I ask for?"

Her friend Lauren quietly appears from a small, shiny trailer, bearing a basket filled with two loaves of bread, fruits, and a pot of coffee. Lauren silently places the basket on the porch of Amanda's cottage, then sneaks up on her to cover her eyes.

"Ahh!!" Amanda squirms in surprise.

"Good morning Amanda Panda," Lauren greets her, in an almost flirty tone.

"You scared me," Amanda protests, then laughs.

"I brought us some breakfast." Lauren points to the basket.

As the morning turns into an afternoon, Lauren and Amanda take in the beauty and calm of nature. Lauren finds a pear tree, climbs it with the playful energy of an athletic tween girl, and begins to fill her basket with fresh, ripe pears.

Amanda watches Lauren with an amazement.

"Get this, Amanda!" Lauren ties a rope to the basket and slowly lowers it to the ground.

The afternoon air is sultry, with winds carrying the fragrances of forest, river, flowers, and ripe fruits. Amanda twirls and dances among the wildflowers like a fairy, and Lauren joins her. Soon, Amanda peels every piece of clothing off herself and lets her lithe body move as one with nature. Amanda finds that there's something very liberating about being completely naked like this: sensual and ecstatic, yet innocent and playful. Lauren, too, quickly frees herself from her clothes. The impromptu ecstatic dancing session ends with Amanda and Lauren embracing each other and rolling down the grassy field until they fall into the lake.

Lauren gasps as she suddenly feels the sparkling, cold water all over her body. Amanda holds her from behind and safely brings her back to the dry land. Lauren feels the warmth of Amanda's body. They are happy and content. The sun is about to set on the treeline slowly. Amanda and Lauren shiver. They walk back to the cottage.

Wrapped in a big, soft blanket together, Amanda and Lauren hold each other as they laugh at each other's silly stories from their former lives. Not very long ago, they both lived in a big city and worked a boring office job. Every once in a while they'd go out together for a drink or to a concert. It wasn't a very satisfying life. They decided to save up money and leave the rut. A few months ago, Amanda found an abandoned former church summer camp and bought it at a bargain basement price. Now it's her new home. It's even better when her high school crush and best friend Lauren is curled up next to her.

Suddenly, they hear a car approach the cottage. Amanda quickly finds a pair of matching sundresses and puts them on herself and Lauren.

It's Leah. Amanda had forgotten she was coming.

"Hi, Leah! Welcome!"

"Hey Mandy, I brought you dinner. Wow, matching outfit with Lauren, huh?"

"Oh, just a coincidence!" Lauren blushes, too embarrassed to admit that she spent a whole afternoon dancing naked in the wild with Amanda.

Leah unloads containers and carries them to the table. Soon the cottage is filled with a symphony of aromas.

"It's quite a spread!" Amanda exclaims.

"Happy birthday, Amanda!" Leah smiles.

As the sky darkens and twilight soon gives way to a confetti of stars, Amanda sits by a fire with Leah and Lauren.

Lauren looks lovingly at Amanda. "I hope you had a lovely birthday."

Amanda yawns and feels drowsiness overcome her mind. Lauren and Leah guide her to bed.

"Good night... I hope tomorrow will be another lovely day."


The research assistant moves their eyes off the monitor, takes off the headset, and slowly walks away from the contraption.

"Professor, it appears the specimen has gone to sleep. Should I keep monitoring?"

The professor checks the cylinder filled with fluid in which a brain of the now-extinct homo sapiens from Planet 29188-051 is preserved. The brain is connected to a computer so that it is stimulated and alive.

"No, you may go home. The virtual reality server will continue to stimulate the brain with signals that emulate an optimal life experience of its native habitat. We observe the brain's activities to learn valuable insights about that dead planet, and hopefully, we can figure out why they self-destructed with a nuclear explosion."

"Thanks, professor. This is such an interesting experiment, it's almost as if I experience Planet 29188-051 like a native. But how did we end up with this brain, in such an excellent condition?"

"When their leaders detonated Uranium, our troops quickly mobilized hoping they could salvage at least some of the planet's living species. Unfortunately, they were able to find a few charred bodies of their, um, supposedly the wisest, species. Our research labs purchased five of their brains."

The professor puts on the headset and checks the electrical currents from the virtual reality server.

"Um, Lauren? Your cat is trying to wake me up again. Hey, Lauren? Did you feed... No kitty, no showing me your butt! Oh c'mon cat, now what? No puking in my bed! Oh no... Lauren? Are you awake?"

The professor places the headset on the desk, exits the room, and heads home.


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