The forest flickered like bad reception on an old TV and the bird chorus skipped like a scratched record. Simon sighed as he turned off the window display of the conservatory and stared at the blank screen of his monitor instead. He reached for the neural link headset and was about to give up for the day, when Alice called from the kitchen, ‘Do you want another coffee?’, she yelled. He sat there thinking about it as she filled up his cup with boiling water and stirred.
He was still thinking about it when she put the cup down next to him and looked over his should at the monitor. Alice kissed his neck, ‘writers block?’ she picked up the remote and turned on a beach scene. Waves crashed against rocks and birds struggled to stay in the air, she turned it down and the waves lapped on sand, the gentle sound of a breeze filling the room.
Simon picked up the cup and held it under his nose to enjoy the smell, ‘the alpha wave synthesizer has lost its effect. The neural link is working fine, I’m just empty’, he explained, as he blew on the steaming coffee.
She picked up an empty cup and walked out of the room with it, he turned off the window display again and starred out at the concrete rooftop. Their only tree lay in the middle of the greyness, it’s dark green leaves in sharp contrast to the violet sky.
Simon looked at the monitor again and saw that the headset had transcribed their brief conversation. He threw the link in the corner, deleted the conversation, then began typing on the keyboard – the full cup of coffee just ready and waiting.