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Mario Ober, a forty five-year-old bachelor, hung up his white lab coat,  looked around his lab to make sure his important  projects were in a state of suspension, input the directions to his unit,  stepped on the transporter pad, pressed a button, and he was transported to his unit.. It was a two-room unit with kitchen facilities. In the living room there was a sofa, a chair, and an entertainment-communication monitor that measured six-feet by six-feet. Because of toxic air, there were no windows.  However, a giant air purifier, that he invented, was housed in a twenty-five-story structure and worked constantly to bring clean air to the inhabitants of the community.

Mario had everything a valued member of the community could want…everything except the love of a woman that, to him, was more important than all the material things that were given to him as tributes to his genius.  He was lonely.  ¬His friends and colleagues had arranged dates for him, but they were always a one-time meeting.  He always tried to get a second date, but he was always refused.  Mario had many first dates but never a second.  Mario would come home from work, eat a synthefood dinner and watch television. It seemed to him that in all the shows he watched, there were a man and woman in love.  At the end of a show, he turned off the television, sat on the couch, and felt very sorry for himself.  “Every man on television has a girlfriend,” he said and stared at the blank screen.  After thinking about the television shows, he closed his eyes, and wished as hard as he could for a woman.

“Hi, Mario,” a beautiful woman who appeared on the screen said.  Mario jumped up and stared wide-eyed at the screen.   “Wha…what am I seeing?”

“You’re seeing me, Mario.  My name is Kara.  I’m what you wished for…aren’t I?”

“Well, you are a beautiful woman, and I don’t know where you came from, but…yes, you are what I wished for.  Where did you come from?”

“I came from your brilliant mind.  You created me.”

“Then you’re not real,” he said sitting down.  You’re a figment of my imagination. I can only look at you.  I can’t touch you.  I can’t hold you in my arms.”

“Yes, you can, Mario, just wish it,” she said, he wished, and she appeared next to him on the couch.” Mario was stunned and slowly reached out and touched the shoulder of the beautiful, naked woman sitting next to him.  “See, I’m real.”

“And you’re naked.”

“Yes, I come that way.”

“If you want me to have clothes on, just wish it.”

“I think it would be better,” he said and wished for her to have clothes on.  Immediately, she was dressed.  “You look very nice.”

“Thank you, Mario.”

Mario fidgeted. “Well, uh, it’s time for bed.  Uh, I have a guest room if you’d like.”

“Mario, don’t you want me to sleep with you?” she asked sounding disappointed.

“Uh, yes, I do. I do,” he said, and she took his hand and went into his bedroom.  That night, Mario had what he dreamed about for many years; he had never been happier.  In the morning, Mario got out of bed and looked at Kara.  “I don’t believe this is happening to me.  She’s everything I’ve always wanted.  Hmm.  My life would never be empty if I had two like Kara.  Another beautiful woman, who will love me.  They could keep each other company while I’m at the lab.  I’ll do it,” he said, went to the living room, stood in front of the screen, and wished for a beautiful woman.    Immediately, a beautiful woman appeared on the screen.

“Hello, Mario, I’m Dira.  Do you want to hold me?”

“Oh, yes,”   he said, made the wish, and the naked woman appeared in his arms.

“You’re naked.”

“Yes. I come that way.”

“I’m going to dress you, if you don’t mind,” he said, wished, and she was dressed.

“Do you want me to go to bed with you, Mario?”

“Uh, yes, but I have to go to work right now, but I’ll be home in a few hours.”

“Okay, Mario, I’ll be waiting,” she said, and he went to the transporter pad, that was by the front door, punched in a code that was on a pad on the door, and he disappeared.

At the end of the day, Mario transported home.  When he appeared, he was greeted by three policemen.  “Wh…what’s going on?”

“We responded to a report that there was a fight, a loud fight and screaming coming from your unit,” Officer one said.  “We found your two women on your bed. There was blood everywhere, and we found two carving knives…one in each victim’s hand.  It looks like they fought and killed each other. We’re very sorry for your loss.”


The moral:  (From the Bible) “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

The End

Bio: While teaching speech and English at a community college, Mr. Greenblatt wrote short stories and plays, one of which won a reading at Smith College.  After retiring, he wrote short stories, novellas, and plays.  Several of his stories were published in on-line magazines, and others were published in print anthologies.



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