Geisha 2.0 is a series of short stories that are all interlinked over the course of seven days. My goal is to unite each short story into a cohesive work of fiction for publication.
"It's critical to understand that in a collection, particularly in one that is linked, there will be two versions of the same story." - Lou Mathews
April 17, 5:40 AM
    Peering out through a peep hole cut into the dark shipping container, she could make out the shapes of men arguing. Her stomach lurched as the hunger twisted her guts in knots. “How long had it been,” she thought. Still focused on the distant men, she remembered when she was with her little sister and the time they forgot sandwiches for a camping trip. That time is gone now. She had tasted her future the day before last when the men chained her to the filth for display. She had been sold.
    Closing her eyes, the sounds of Chen Nyen’s shipping port faded and she tried to steady her pounding heart. Nudged, she opened her eyes and smiled at the young girl next to her. No words could ease the harsh truth.

April 17, 1:34 PM
Turn into story: [Tremmor Geisha 2.0 is picking up business in the 256bit Fiber Community. The problem is his research Sim being 8volt carbon copied onto a hackers traxSim. The breach in security came from a backdoor exploit that sniffed for video packets in a 60meter gate barrier in the pier district. The sniffer data dumped 9 exabytes of loose feed and severed the IP with 32 random packets of partial IP smoke. This trapped all communications in video format for the hacker to fence. Trimmers wouldn’t have noticed the breach if he hadn’t programmed a signal pulse normalizer within the fiber SU channel. The normalizer parsed out all IP static and exposed the data gate. The hack was elegant and also a  massive detriment to Trimmor’s growing business.]
April 17, 10:11 PM
    The streets of Shin Dao are no place for lace and expensive foundation. Every corner and dark alley hold up sharp teeth and a second sense for easy prey. The walls of brick and stone rise up from the wet cobblestone and stare down on life through dingy panes of glass and webs of steel. It’s no place for lace.
    Lost in hopeful promise, Liz pressed her face up against the dirty glass and peered into the dark cafe. Shadows of figures sipped from black mugs. The faint hum of industrial techno vibrated off of the glass from somewhere in the distance. She could smell the burnt coffee beans and rotting trash from the side alley. It was far removed from her comfort zone. Yet, here she was, shining in the drab overcast; waiting for love.
    “Liz?” A man with wispy blond hair and ice blue eyes, stood tightly wrapped in a black pea coat with faded blue jeans and 1460 Doc Martens. He smiled at her with enough teeth and charisma to make her hold her breath just for a moment too long. He took another step towards her and handed her a white rose wet from the heavy fog and wrapped in silk.
    Slightly frightened, Liz looked into his eyes and sighed a small sense of relief. “Oh thank God,” she thought to herself. He's real and not some obsessed intergig fan or perverted skin lurker from Nymphbot street. She smiled. He looked exactly like his profile photo.
    She had been chatting with Max for over three weeks. He was a gentle soul who was remiss about getting into another romantic relationship. His heart had been broken by the love of his life and he wasn’t sure that he had it in him to date again.
    Picking up on his emotions from their very first interaction; she could tell that he was a smart, well off, mysterious man with a lot of apprehension towards dating. She was immediately attracted to the challenge. It didn’t hurt that his profile picture was extremely sexy.
    Grasping his large steel hand in hers, she momentarily lost herself at the way her hand disappeared in his grasp. She knew that Max was  6’3” and worked construction for a living, but she wasn’t ready for just how intimidating his size would be.
    She looked into his eyes and smiled. “I’m really glad that you showed up,” she said as she stepped closer.
    Liz’s other hand was still firmly gripped around the blast cannon of mace tucked away in her coat pocket. Easing her grip slightly, Liz felt a bit of relief now that she wasn’t all alone in the D7 District.
    Looking away from his gaze, Liz tried to make out the shapes walking just beyond the black car parked behind him.
    “Did you have trouble getting here?” said Liz. She focused her gaze on her Prada toe pump’s and tried to calm her voice. “I’ve been here for about twenty minutes and was starting to think you might have had second thoughts.”
    Liz looked into Max’s eye’s. The scent of dark coffee smothered her senses. A couple holding hands had just exited the coffee shop. Their faces hidden from her view, Liz watched them disappear around the street corner.
    “What am I doing?” Liz thought to herself. “This isn’t like me at all.” Looking back at Max, Liz tried to decide if she should stop this before it starts. It felt too dangerous.
    Max smiled as he continued to hold her hand. Beads of wet had formed on his hair from the bay fog. He pulled ever so slightly and she moved closer to him. “I apologize for making you wait,” he said. “The hot water heater in my flat froze over last night and I had to deal with that fiasco before I could head this way.” He looked her in the eyes and smiled once again.        
    “I’m really sorry you had to wait on me,” he said.
    Liz forced a smile and wondered if he was telling the truth. Dropping his hand, Liz pulled a step back and noticed that the street was momentarily empty of strangers. They were the only two shadows in the steamy soup of Shin Dao.
    She could feel the cold, wetness of the street penetrate her black, Prada pencil skirt. It was so grim in this district. Taking a deep breath of resignation, she focused on a wisp of his blond hair. If she was being honest with herself, he looked perfect.
    “Max,” said Liz, timidly, “I need to ask you something.”
    Liz tried her very best to not look vulnerable. She wanted to like Max. She had ignored her sensibilities and followed her heart to meet a man she only knew from the internet in the most dangerous section of town.
    The walls of vanishing concrete and glass started to press in on her growing anxiety. He was so much bigger than her imagination.
    “Should I leave right now?” she thought to herself.
    Out of a need for comfort and not realizing it, Liz dropped her grip on the can of mace and grabbed her cellphone. She pulled the phone from her coat pocket and gripped it with both hands.
    “I’ve been thinking a lot about all of our conversations,” Liz said. “You seem too sweet to be single. Coming here, I was afraid that you were probably married or worse.” She shifted her weight as she gathered her thoughts.
    “What I mean, is that I’m okay with you being married. It’s just that I can’t be a part of a love tryst.” She blushed as she continued to search his eyes for disappointment.
    “Now why would you think that?” chastised Max. “A strange man from a dating app who you’ve never met in person asks to meet you for a date down in the D7, and your alarm bell goes off?” Max feigned a look of innocence and then flashed a wolfish grin.
    Momentarily looking away from her gaze, Max took in the slim, well dressed appearance of his date. Hazelnut eyes framed by the face of a young Gene Tierney. She was the only thing glowing in this shit hole; otherwise known as District D7.
    Max gently lifted her chin with his right hand. Looking into her eyes, Max said, “Liz, I’m glad that you agreed to meet me. I assure you that I’m the same person you’ve been talking to the past couple of weeks.” He removed his hand from her face, placing it back in his coat and shrugged. “And no, I’m not married,” he said with wanton eyes.
    “By the way, I think that you’re even more beautiful than I was imagining.” He continued his smile as he cautiously inhaled her perfume. The mild scent of flowers and vanilla almost replaced the sour of reality.

Back to Top