by Roger Bonner
last the shipment arrived. Stewart had watched the delivery truck
crawl up the hill and stop in front of his house. Two men in grey
uniforms hopped down from the cab, checked a list, nodded, then
went round the back and pulled out a long, tapered crate. Stewart
felt uneasy about that. Why had the manufacturer made it look
He put down
his glass of cognac. He had been savoring it in the dimmed digital
lighting system of his living room while listening to Mozart’s
Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor – more specifically the
Larghetto, performed by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, of course.
The houses surrounding the bay began to glimmer as the sun set
in the distant sea.
The door chimes
resounded. He fastened his robe and padded across the plush carpet
to the front door.
Conway?” the taller of the two men asked. “Please
his name at the bottom of the delivery form. The men placed the
crate in the entryway. After dismissing them, he gently slid it
across the hall to the living room and set it down by the fireplace.
With a screwdriver, he carefully pried off the wooden cover to
find a layer of Styrofoam. He worked slowly, extracting the packaging
material like an archaeologist unearthing an ancient tomb. Then
he beheld – it was difficult for him to say ‘her’
yet – beheld his Galatea enveloped in bubble wrap. She lay
there comatose, her chestnut hair spilling down to the firm breasts.
His hands trembled as he unfolded her like a mummy. He tossed
the bubble wrap aside and lifted her out of the crate. She was
naked. They could at least have provided her with a negligee or
other diaphanous apparel. He would have to dress her in the lingerie
his ex-lovers had left behind.
she seemed everything the ‘Gorgeous Gynoid’ site had
promised: “Our craftsmen are true Pygmalions who have meticulously
created the ultimate in real life erotic dolls. The body, made
of a new, revolutionary elastic gel, is superior to silicone for
that ultra flesh-like feel. A skeleton of articulated polyvinyl
chloride assures you absolute suppleness no matter what position
you choose. Entirely computerized, your erotic doll will be the
closest thing to reality you have ever experienced. A touch control
panel allows you easy access to dozens of menus and settings,
from voice pitch to body temperature and much, much more...”
And so it
went on. Stewart had chanced upon the ‘Gorgeous Gynoid’
site one night while surfing the Internet for dates and chats.
At thirty-nine he was still single. Marriage and domesticity with
its concessions and petty squabbles had never held much appeal
for him. He preferred a carefree life with the thrill of acquiring
a fresh lover at least once or twice a year. However, this was
at a price. The wooing and bedding of a new woman had become more
arduous, not to mention the dumping process. His relationships
always ended hysterically, with the women shedding copious tears
or even physically attacking him, like Ginger. She had chased
him with a carving knife while he dodged her round the granite
kitchen island till she fell dizzy to the floor.
would be a thing of the past. As he carried his gynoid over to
the black leather sofa, he was amazed at the lifelike quality.
In his order he had specified weight: 140 pounds; height: 5 feet
4 inches; eye color: intense green; skin tone: light olive. Physically
he preferred the Latin type, though not their complicated, unruly
the control panel and sat down in an armchair opposite her. The
halogen downlighters reflected in her eyes in little shafts of
expectation. Her full lips glistened, exactly the way he had ordered
them. He placed the control panel on his lap and logged in. A
flash intro materialized, congratulating him on having purchased
“The new generation of multi-sensory erotic doll for the
ultimate in full-immersion virtual reality...” Stewart pressed
‘Skip intro’ only to come to “Live your fantasy
with the most technologically advanced and compellingly realistic
surrogate sexual partner...” He touched ‘Continue’
until he reached the ‘Quick Start’ menu. The many
options bewildered him. He decided on ‘Standard’.
‘Activate’ and leaned back. A tremor went through
her body as the emerald eyes blinked, once, twice. The synthetic
skin flushed into a fleshy hue. He reached over and placed his
hand on her thigh – it was warm. She moved her hands, the
tapering fingers flexing, and looked at Stewart. She didn’t
gaze blankly but fixed him with what he supposed were miniaturized
digital cameras. Her lips parted in an alluring yet innocent smile.
Since he was the first owner, she was innocent.
she said, leaning forward. “I’m Laela. If my name
doesn’t please you, you can alter it. What’s your
she said. “I’m yours. Program me as you wish.”
The way she
said “yours” was so sensual and submissive, yet cool
and abstract, like his designer decor. In the online order he
had also specified ‘sophisticated’, which meant she
was culturally programmed. To what extent he would put to the
test. He reached for the remote control of his stereo and pressed
of her eyes dilated. She tilted her head to one side and carefully
Mozart,” she said after a moment, “especially when
performed by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli.”
he said. “Only he can play the Concerto No. 23 like that.”
she smiled. “Trying to trick me?”
I was genuinely confused. You...you...”
you,” she finished. “But you requested ‘a passion
for art and classical music’, in addition to...” her
memory searched, ‘skilled at Ars Amatoria, The Art of Love.
Do you want me to recite Ovid?”
really. I’m thirsty. Would you like something to drink?”
able to drink, but not assimilate fluids.”
do we start?”
she whispered and moved toward him. “You programmed me ‘Standard’,
but that can be changed anytime.”
me think about it,” Stewart said, standing up.
course.” She sat down again. “I’m yours.”
you want to put on something? I can lend you a pair of pajamas...”
“If you think it’s necessary.”
He felt embarrassed,
which was not the idea. He reached for the control panel and pressed
‘Deactivate’. Immediately she stiffened and that fleshy
hue began to fade from the body. He adjusted her into a comfortable
position, wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and went to bed
with the control panel.
He spent half
the night sorting out the various settings and preferences. Customizing
her proved to be more complicated than he thought. He decided
to retain “Standard”, but add such special features
as ‘alluring and seductive but not too bold’.
The next evening
he was ready for another session. He brought out Ginger’s
underwear, scarlet ones with frills and ribbons. He pulled the
blanket from Laela’s shoulders and was once more amazed
at how realistic she looked. She sat there in a meditative pose,
right arm balanced on the edge of the sofa, eyes fixed on a distant
ferryboat plying the bay. Clouds drifted across the sky like strands
a chilled bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne on the marble coffee
table along with two gleaming flutes. Champagne would be easy
to clean, he had read in the menu ‘Taking care of my gynoid’.
Laela had a built-in ‘drainage bag’ and could even,
according to the instructions, simulate urination. He had found
this in the ‘Kinky Menu’ under ‘Golden Showers’.
But he was not into that sort of thing. He had ‘normal’
preferences. Cleo, a more venturesome ex-lover, had once tried
to convert him to slavery and torture, with little success. Though
he had to admit that the electronic shock collar was titillating.
was now set up for the perfect seduction. He went to the CD rack
and selected Frédéric Chopin, Piano Concerto No.
1 in E minor, performed by Martha Argerich. Later he would move
on to a bit of Franz Listz for rousing the emotions. That never
failed to do the trick. At the moment he was more concerned with
dressing his erotic doll. He tried to pull Ginger’s panties
over Laela’s legs, but got them on the wrong way. He fumbled
with the bra clasps. Finally he gave up and laid them next to
her. He was definitely more adept at removing bras than putting
He sat opposite
her again and pushed the power button on the control panel. The
flash intro appeared, which he skipped. He navigated directly
to the set menu and pressed ‘Activate’. Her reanimation
was like watching an exotic pink orchid blossom, so delicate was
the color in her cheeks and that bloom along her neck...intoxicating!
Her thighs quivered. She folded her hands on her lap and turned
there,” she said in a husky voice. “You sure kept
me in a long sleep. Did you miss me?”
you’re playing one of my favorite pieces.” She turned
to the loudspeakers. “I love Chopin, especially the Piano
Concerto No. 1 in E minor, performed by...” she hesitated...
“Maurizio Pollini? No, it’s Martha Argerich. I prefer
I also prefer Pollini,” Stewart said. “How alike we
the bottle and poured it frothing into the flutes.
us,” she said, sipping the champagne while giving him a
stop marveling at the technological brilliance. She was getting
tipsy. With such perfection who needed real human beings?
you want to slip into some clothes?” He pointed to the scanty
underwear next to her.
you like,” she said, her cheeks glowing.
aroused him. He had hit upon the perfect menu combination.
your eyes,” she said, “and no peeking.”
his face while the soft cadences of the Chopin Romance undulated
in the air.
them and whistled. How she filled that underwear! Laela was more
voluptuously built than Ginger. The panties cut in on her divine
gluteus maxima, just the way he liked it. Cleo had had two skulls
tattooed on each buttock, an image Stewart had never been able
to delete from his memory.
She bent over him, her breasts grazing the tip of his nose. She
took him by the hand and led him to the bedroom while the Rondo
vivace of the third Chopin movement rolled along trippingly.
After a week
of mild, gentle and considerate love-making, Stewart felt bored.
He wanted more zest. It was not that Laela wasn’t responsive;
she did everything in the program, sometimes even more. Like bringing
him coffee to bed on a Sunday morning. But he didn’t trust
her with the cooking. She had burned the toast once. What would
she do with a Crêpe Suzette?
the instructions once more. He found ‘audacious’ in
one menu and also added ‘saucy with a bit of aggression’.
Under ‘Mood’ he selected ‘unpredictable’
and, yes, why not add ‘PMT’? Cleo had turned into
a tigress during the days leading up to her period. After he finished
fine-tuning the program, he pressed ‘Activate’ and
lay back in bed to see what would happen.
and stretched like a cat. She turned toward him without smiling.
She had darkish rings around her eyes and her lipstick was smeared.
That innocent look he so loved had changed to the vaguely corrupt.
fuck?” she said.
panel dropped from his hand. Without further ado, she straddled
him. He pecked at the jiggling 34 C cup breasts, trying to snatch
one in his mouth. He finally managed to get his lips around the
left nipple and was still amazed at the quality of the gelatin-base
filling, so soft, so pliant, so breast-like. They were actually
better than Ginger’s silicone implants. Laela groaned. She
grabbed his erect cock, thrust it into her personalized vulva,
and started bucking wildly. Stewart wished he could stop thinking
about the polyvinyl chloride skeleton and the motors driving those
pelvic motions. Finally he got into the mechanical swing. Midway
through her contortions, she paused and whispered, “Do you
want me to do it?”
He knew what
she meant. He had clicked ‘it’ on.
her way down his body, taking little nips at his chest, his belly,
his navel. He closed his eyes when she reached the apex of his
joy. She commenced with undulating whorls of tongue...yes...yes...the
way he adored it, followed by nibbles – simply divine! He
reveled in the pleasure of the moment, until suddenly the nibbles
became more intensified.
so hard, Laela,” he said, nudging her head, but she went
on applying more pressure.
hurting me...” he shouted, pulling her hair.
Now she was
biting, snapping! He groped for the control panel and pressed
‘Deactivate’. The grinding suction instantly halted.
Stewart rolled off the bed and went to the bathroom to examine
himself. He was a bit chafed but otherwise unhurt. He went back
to the bedroom where Laela was frozen in the last position, mouth
half open, eyes beady like a parrot. He shut the mouth and straightened
the body. He carried her to the living room where he contemplated
putting her back into the crate, but it was down in the cellar
and he didn’t want to bother. Instead he stretched her out
on the sofa and went to the bar for a drink. What had gone wrong,
he wondered as he downed a double Scotch. He had paid meticulous
attention to every detail in the program. There must be a bug
in the system. If Laela was anything like the standard PC Operating
Systems, with their regular crashes, he was in for trouble. Once
more he consulted the instructions. Everything seemed to be accurate.
He decided to change the setting ‘with a bit of aggression’
Stewart resumed where he had left off. He felt bad for having
abandoned Laela like that on the sofa. He went over and straightened
the hair and slipped the body into Ginger’s baby blue chiffon
nightgown. He propped her up into the same position as the first
evening. Then he brought out a bottle of Château Latour
’95 Bordeaux. He didn’t want another frothy, bubbly
escapade but a full-bodied sensation with strong earthy tones
and long, long spicy finish. He polished the table and set up
was prepared, he reached for the control panel and revived Laela.
She looked about dazed, then fixed him in a kind of cockeyed way.
happened?” she said, rubbing her eyes.
got a bit wild and I had to shut you down.”
now I remember.”
He was glad
to see a fleeting look of innocence cross her face, but then it
darkened. She looked down at herself.
am I dressed like this? I hate baby blue.”
I’d get you something pretty.”
like you making decisions for me.”
I meant well. Would you like a glass of wine?”
like red wine. I prefer champagne.”
I’ll get you a glass. Why are you so defensive?”
it best to drop the subject. He didn’t want more complications.
He took out a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot Demi Brut from
she said when she saw the champagne. “My favorite. How about
a bit of music?”
He was relieved
that she was becoming herself again. She sipped the champagne
bubbles always go to my head.”
He drank some
wine and walked over to the CD rack.
got a superb recording of the Mozart Piano Sonata in C Major,
tired of classical music,” she said, putting down the glass.
“Haven’t you got anything more modern?”
I thought you liked classical music. You’re programmed that
changing my program,” she said. “Why don’t you
about Béla Bartók...that’s modern.”
great Hungarian composer.”
don’t understand. I don’t mean more of that boring
classical stuff. I mean something new and hot. Got any Techno?”
He would have to completely reprogram her.
skip the music and go to the bedroom for a bit of...’
don’t you just say ‘screwing’,” she said,
crossing her legs. “That’s all you men ever think
that’s what you’re for.”
think I’m just your toy?”
He shouted. “That’s exactly what you are, a damn sex
up and walked over to the window, fiddled with the drapes. He
couldn’t understand why she wasn’t functioning correctly.
He would have to change the Mood program, though “Unpredictable”
considerably enhanced the reality thrill.
this...” she finally said, turning toward him, “this
That was going
too far. He could put up with a lot from a gynoid but not reproaches.
had enough of this,” he said, pacing back and forth. “I’m
sending you back. There’s a six-month warranty...”
I’m like a refrigerator, am I? Going to exchange me for
the latest model that doesn’t threaten the poor little boy?
You know what? You’re nothing but a suck, whining all the
time ’cause momma treated you too hard.”
off to the armchair, his fists clenched. He would show her who
was in control. She could spend the rest of the weekend in the
cellar, dumped in the corner by the gas burner. He groped for
the control panel, but it wasn’t on the armchair.
did you do with it?” he said, heading toward her.
control panel. Give it to me!”
know what you’re talking about.”
her by the shoulders.
me the control panel or I’ll...”
what?” she said, breaking away from him. “Shut me
down? Is that all you can ever do?”
He tried to
grab her again, but she slapped him hard across the face. He reeled
and shook his head.
have to shut you down. I know what’s much more effective.”
stomped over to the kitchen and yanked open a drawer. After rummaging
about the cutlery, he pulled out a large carving knife.
is what I’m going to do,” he said. “Destroy
your cold digital heart.”
the knife high in the air and lurched forward. As he was halfway
across the living room, Laela reached behind the drapes and pulled
out the control panel. She held it straight in front of her and
pressed ‘Deactivate’. Stewart immediately stopped,
head thrown back, eyes dilating like a pinball. Laela went over
to him and pulled the knife from his hand. She cranked down the
arm and dragged him over to the fireplace. His mouth was still
open. She tried to close it, but the jaw wouldn’t loosen.
She went down
to the basement and brought up the crate. It was a bit difficult
to put him in and the bubble wrap kept catching in his teeth.
It didn’t matter. She would ship him back the way he was
with a note, ‘Real-life simulation game was awesome. Enjoyed
playing the gynoid. Male prototype Stewart still needs improvement
– detailed list to follow’.
she went over to the coffee table and poured herself a glass of
that excellent Château Latour ’95.
is a native Swiss, but grew up in Los Angeles, California. He
has published poetry and won prizes in England. In recent years
his fiction and poems have also appeared in the USA in Cross Connect,
The Drunken Boat, Samsara, Thunder Sandwich. He writes satirical
stories about the Swiss for English publications in Basel, Switzerland,
the city where he has been living for more than thirty years.
An illustrated collection entitled “Swiss Me” was
published in 2005 by Bergli Books, and is now in its second printing.
He intends to write more humorous erotica. He can be reached at:
info [AT] roger-bonner.ch
or on the Web at: www.roger-bonner.ch
© 2008 by Roger Bonner