Contemporary Fiction Speculative

So, you gonna answer me or what?

Yes, yes Dad, it’s just that I’m real busy right now. The kid is napping and I’m trying to get some work done before he wakes up and I honestly don’t have time to address your vanity issues. Can we talk about this later please, huh?

Okay, okay I’ll power down for a while. My equivalent of a nap. Talk to you later. 

Thank you. 

Good evening family, how is everyone tonight? I feel so refreshed after my little doze. 

Funny Dad. Hey, JJ come here and say hi to Grandpa.  


Hey buddy, how are you? How was school today? Watcha having for dinner tonight?  


Pizza? Great! I used to love pizza when I actually had a mouth to eat with. Have a slice for me. I wonder what he thinks of his disembodied grandfather? Probably just accepts me as normal, which I guess is what it’s become. 

Well, not totally normal Dad, this is still pretty new tech you know. 

Not everyone has access to and the means to take advantage of it. Yet. Most people are still just listening to their Alexa and Siri devices. But it’ll get there. By the way, I looked through our photo library and picked a few pictures of you to choose from, if you still want a new one for your wallpaper. That is what we’re calling your face now, right?  

Guess so, but I still prefer money maker.  

Hahaha. Okay Fabio check the folder and pick a few headshots. 

Ok Mr DeMille, thanks. You know back in the day I wasn’t hard on the eyes. At least that’s what your mother said. Before, you know, I got sick. 

I know I know. So you keep telling me. I got mine from Mom. 

Harsh. Uncalled for. But probably true. 

Well, I did get my sense of humor from you, but I’m not sure if that’s hereditary or just exposure.  

Over exposure. Even now you can’t get away from me.  

Wouldn’t want to. 

Aww, thanks. My circuits are blushing.  

Don’t overheat in there. I still have a bunch of payments left on you.  

Well, it was my money. Not really sure where the inheritance laws stand on this since I’m still here, at least mentally. Do you need a body to own stuff?  Seems bodyist to me. Physicalist, formist? Whatever, you get it.  

I do, but that gets us back to the question of when does life end? When the body dies? Now that we can upload your consciousness into a computer and keep you basically alive, who’s to say. 

Yeah, how is this different from a coma victim or a person with locked in syndrome? Trapped in a body that’s basically useless but with minds that still function. I’m a mind that still functions. And I don’t have to shop for clothes. Maybe someday I can be a holographic projection or better yet be uploaded into one of those walking robots, you know the ones that jump and run. I’d literally be a silver fox.  

Seriously though Dad, you’re feeling, is feeling the right word, okay in there? What does it feel like? Would you do it again? 

Hard to explain really. I got uploaded while my mind was still functional, before dementia set in. I was sick but the ol’ noggin was still working. So they hooked me up and basically did a data transfer but the data was me, my mind, my memory, my soul, if you will. I still do have a sense of my body. Kinda like having a full body phantom limb. It is weird. But would I do it again? Too soon to tell, it’s only been a few months. They just let me come home to you a few days ago. They needed to observe for a while, you know, to make sure all my files were intact and functioning. 

Honestly Dad. I’m not sure half the time that my files are all okay. I am happy though that you’re still with me, us. I like having you to talk to and JJ seems to have accepted you the way you are. He’s still young and malleable.  Nothing about this seems odd to him. Kids are amazing. God knows what his world will shape up to be. But maybe we can all be here in some form to see it. That’s really exciting.  

Agreed. Let’s see how long this lasts. I was told some of my data might degrade at some point. This is all so new they don’t really have all the answers. So I may get digital Alzheimers at some point in the future. Now isn’t that ironic? Go to all this trouble and still not know who I am. But, hey, I’ll take it for right now. Hope isn’t something artificial intelligence is capable of, at least not yet, but I am.  

Well, it’s good to have you around. And how do you like having access to. . . well, everything, the internet?  You’ve never been this smart have you?  

I know every Dad joke in existence. But I had a pretty good repertoire when I was whole. See, I still think of myself as alive, just not whole. I miss hugging and touching. I was a hugger you know. I would love to wrap that little boy up in my arms, squeeze, kiss him, and smell his hair. Anyway, thank you for selecting some photos for me. I think we should make my face a slide show of different pictures. Oh, look Dad’s looking rather rakish today, oh and now he’s pensive, now he’s laughing and smiling. It’s not vanity, as you eluded too before, it’s trying to hold on to my humanity, my self. I can only project a two dimensionality now, so let’s try and make the most of it. As far as having the internet at my virtual fingers? Awesome! And also a little scary, there are some dark places in here. I’ve never been that guy who explores some, let’s just say, questionable areas and I’m not gonna start now. I’ve always been PC and now I find myself literally a PC. 

Still with the Dad jokes, huh?


February 24, 2023 22:09

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Zack Powell
09:32 Mar 03, 2023

This is the kind of Speculative fiction I love to read, Andrew: realistic, contemporary, thought-provoking. With how technology is going, I wouldn't be surprised if we see something like this at some point in the future. This particular line was, to me, the heart of the story, the crux: "Do you need a body to own stuff? Seems bodyist to me. Physicalist, formist? Whatever, you get it." It's played for laughs (as it should be, because it's a funny thing to think about), but it's a genuinely interesting thing to consider. At what point does a p...


Andrew Fruchtman
18:08 Mar 03, 2023

Thank you so much Zack for your thoughtful and ego salving comments. I love the feedback and I’m thrilled that you enjoyed my little story. Yeah, and who doesn’t like a good cringe worthy dad joke?


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Wendy Kaminski
16:20 Feb 26, 2023

This was such a hoot, Andrew! And excitingly thought-provoking, too: you have carved out a believable and realistic scenario, given the human propensity towards acceptance. I loved the way you took this prompt and ran with it! Very believable and entertaining dialogue. Some favorites: - Guess so, but I still prefer money maker. - haha :) - Do you need a body to own stuff? Seems bodyist to me. - I'm grinning, but you give it time, this'll be a thing, one day! - I’ve always been PC and now I find myself literally a PC. - so terrible! haha I ...


Andrew Fruchtman
18:14 Feb 26, 2023

Thank you so much! Once I had the idea, it was really run writing it. Thanks for your comments.


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