The bodies must not be allowed to atrophy, being as they are, unattended in real time by their occupants. They are never allowed to be in the same position for too long. It is written into the covenant. The exchange has need of being complete, and a satisfactory all encompassing illusion was after all, a large part of the experience. Looking carefully at each face as he moved along the rows, hoping desperately to recognize a friend, known or unknown.
It would not matter.
As he moved on he carelessly brushed against an out-thrust hand. The room immediately exploded into a cacophony of desperate turmoil.
Shrieks cut the echoing cavern like glass knives, "Interloper! Fraud! Not one of us! Out!"
In unison the sleepers awoke, deeply agitated and angry at being ripped into the real world.
One weeping, hysterical woman near to him bit down hard on his arm, and the rest were driven into a blood-lust of frantic activity, pushed into a frenzy by the program fighting to regain control, seeking to bring him down. In the midst of the tumult he leaned in to the nearest ear and whispered, "Remember who you are. You are alive. Rejoice!" and was rewarded with a look of stunned recognition.
The newly awakened person leaned to the next and spoke the words of awakening programmed into every soul in the room. Tubes, cords, wiring and all manner of input device applications were ripped from torsos, legs and arms. Silence was the theme until laughter boiled to the surface and rapidly washed through the crowd. Making them whole. Bringing them to the present. The transformation spread through the room, and only one or two were left continuing barks and empty threats shouted to no one.
Heartened, Parker strode to the door and beckoned to them as he began to open it once again, "come along with me," he called loudly.
His call was met with only silence and stares.
"What?" he cried. "This is your chance... Let's go."
The word, "no!" rang out once from a far corner, twice, three times and then in a thunderous wave, a din of negative agreement. "NO!"
Heads turned right and left, first in individual motion, and then slowly that motion resolved itself in to a unified movement. People who had gotten to their feet moved once again to the security of the beds and began to reattach to the core, to suckle at the breast of dreamsource . Together they reclined. Together they breathed in...out and, then...together they - slept - again.
Of the world but no longer in it.
Returning once again from whence they came, nowhere.
Parker, befuddled by the experience only shrugged, open the door and stepped back out into the light of the real world.
NOTE: The events depicted in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental. No inference is intended as to persons involved in prior discussions. No insult is intended to any persons. This is a story, and nothing more. This is not a promo.
My Amazon author page if you have any interest is http://www.amazon.com/Jonathan-Ellis/e/B004OY6QM4
Do what you love.
By Way Of Explanation:
A few days ago I attempted to promote my book on the Amazon Discussion Boards, and was met with a dizzying riot of annoyance by members of the board.. It was like stepping into the Old West. Really, it turned out that I had indeed broken some unspoken law that this board was not a place to self promote. Ah well... What did I come away with? A few bruises, and the following story which I've now posted on the the very same Kindle Book Community board under the title, "My Weight Control Book Makes A Difference - I Want To Promote It, But The Last Time I Did That On These Boards A Cry Of Foul Went Out Across The Land.-) Inspiration Comes From Many Sources." Cool, it turns out that that's a link. It's only a link to the same story that follows above, but anyone commenting - if you can - please do so in both places . Why you ask? Because it amuses me.
This entire post is also posted on ificanloseit.blogspot.com