Friday 17 May 2024

Lysha by Lynn Clement, sweet tea


The electronic arm swung towards Lysha and jabbed the top of her flabby shoulder.

We, The Federation, cannot afford for you to be fat. You will lose two kilos per week for four weeks or you will be de-regulated and have no access to medical services.

The huge screen delivering the message went blank.

A robot wearing a white mask showed Lysha to the door of the hospital.

She blinked in the bright sunlight and immediately the sweat came with the searing heat.

This was her second time at the clinic and now she was chipped.

She stood in line for the swoosh. She couldn’t walk in this heat. The pavement bubbled.

An evil-eye rounded the corner. It slowed on seeing Lysha and scanned her. Its red light flashed.

Now Lysha was chipped, it rolled on its way.

She wiped the sweat from her top lip. She needed to get home to her pod and stay where no one could see her and her flab.

The swoosh came, Lysha boarded.

The automaton in charge looked her up and down. ‘There’s not much room in here you know,’ it said with perfected disdain.

Lysha kept her head down. Passengers tutted.

One woman in a black uniform, put her lunch-pack on the seat next to her, defying Lysha to ask her to move it.

Lysha didn’t ask. She held on to the over-head hoop.

The swoosh jerked. Lysha fell forward. Embarrassed, she said sorry five times, before she looked up into the eyes of a man who was clearly from the high-tech section of society. He was wearing a red uniform with one button open at the top. A little curl of black hair poked from underneath.

Lysha’s face burned. ‘Sorry,’ she said again.

‘It’s okay,’ said the man wearing thick rimmed black glasses.

Everyone’s eyes turned towards them.

‘He spoke to her,’ one of the passengers whispered.

‘And he smiled,’ said another, readying their ring for a recording to submit to the Poliznasers.

Lysha couldn’t stand the scrutiny. She got off at the next stop. She certainly didn’t want the man reporting to the Poliznasers because he spoke to a flabby person. He did have a lovely smile though, said her inner voice.

The sun burned down on her skin. She walked towards the tree museum. It was air conned.

As the door opened, she felt a breath on her neck. Her hair prickled. Someone was close. She held her handbag tight.

‘Let me,’ said a voice she recognized. He held the door back. It was the man from the swoosh.

Lysha gulped.

‘I had to follow you,’ he said.


He smiled that smile. ‘I felt a connection, so I followed you.’

‘But you’re…’ Lysha was anxious.

‘I’m a man,’ he said.

He held out his hand.

He wants to touch me, thought Lysha. Flabby me, a social outcast.

She put her hand in her pocket.

‘I’m Asa,’ said the man. He looked deep into Lysha’s eyes, and she had a strange feeling. Something she’d not experienced before.

In a timid voice she said, ’Lysha.’

‘Lysha, a beautiful name, for a beautiful person.’

That smile again.

‘Can we sit together for a while?’ asked Asa.

‘But what if we’re seen?’ said Lysha.

‘It’s okay,’ Asa said, and he threw his beany hat over the CCTV camera.

This time Lysha smiled. What was it about this man?

Asa bent his head towards Lysha’s.

 For the first time ever, Lysha felt her spine extend.

 She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him as hard as he kissed her.

About the author 

Lynn is a regular writer for Cafelit. Her first flash fiction collection, The City of Stories,' is published by Chapeltown Books. See 5-star reviews - #amazonthecityofstorieslynnclement Lynn has stories in The Best of Cafelit 11 12 & 13 

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1 comment:

  1. What a visual and imaginative story. Lynn at her best.