Monday, 17 April 2017

The First Date

For audio click here 
Danni smiled, “Do you want to come up?” she said. 
Rhys didn’t need to think about it, he nodded and said yes. 
“I was hoping you’d agree,” Danni said, and turned the key in the lock. Rhys followed her inside and watched her perfectly formed arse climb the stairs. 
So often when women contacted him on the dating sites, they were bots phishing for his email details or prostitutes offering deals, but Danni had seemed real enough. There hadn’t been all the backwards and forwards of messaging, she’d suggested a meeting almost straight away. If she’d been lovely in the pictures, she was even better in the flesh. It was as if she’d been made to his exact specifications in a factory somewhere in China. The evening had passed in a blur of witty conversation and little electric touches and now he was following this vision of beauty up to her flat. 
“Coffee?” she said. 
“Please,” Rhys answered. 
There wasn’t much furniture in the living room. Just a sofa and a bookcase. The books were all perfectly aligned and there wasn’t a speck of dust anywhere. He looked at the books on the bookshelf. Čapek’s R.U.R., some Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick, this woman liked her Sci-Fi. 
He wandered into the kitchen. Danni was just pouring boiling water onto instant coffee granules which hissed and sizzled. 
Rhys stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Danni. She smiled and he kissed her. She kissed back, but it wasn’t as warm as Rhys had hoped for. He body was rigid, her kiss somehow mechanical. 
He moved away and picked up his coffee. “No black’s just fine,” he said, cupping the mug in his hands. 
Back on the sofa, they kissed again, this time it was better but there was still something wrong. 
Oh god, she wasn’t’ was she? He looked at the short hair and the almost boyish features of the beautiful woman sat in front of him. She wasn’t one of those ladyboys he’d heard about. Seduce you, get you back to their apartment and then once the lust is up and it’s too late to back out, spring the ultimate surprise. He explored her body with his hands, trying to get them between her legs so he could test his theory. 
But each time he got close to her thighs, she’d playfully slap him away and said not yet. 
Should he go? Make up an excuse and get out of there. But how he’d kick himself if she really was a she and her awkwardness was just shyness. 
“Let’s go through to the bedroom,” she said.
The bedroom was as sparse as the living room with just a bed and a bedside table. No wardrobe, no duvet on the bed. Rhys had another idea now. She was a hooker, she was going to expect him to pay for it, this was her place of work, not her home. Fuck, how could he have been so daft? When she demanded money, he’d try to play innocent and anyway, he only had twenty quid on him. 
They kissed again, he explored again, and this time she let him slip his hand between her thighs. But there was no dick, no cash register, just something that felt awfully like a USB port.
“What the…?” 
He shuffled off the bed and stood looking at Danni. 
“You’re a robot?” Rhys said, as he was getting dressed. Two minutes later he was hailing a cab home. 

Rhys was forking lasagne into his mouth watching the national news when he saw a pixelated version of himself sitting next Danni on her sofa.

“Meet Danni,” the newsreader said, “the world’s most lifelike sexbot.”