Mammals, I Think We Are Called: Everybody Knows That Place

Illustration for my story, Everybody Knows That Place - a robot hand hovers above a tent at night.
Copyright Black Static, illustration by
Joachim Luetke

Everybody Knows That Place

Number 3 of the eighteen stories in my debut short story collection, Mammals, I Think We Are Called.

A cyborg visits a reconstructed campsite and experiences strong emotions from his distant human past.

Read an excerpt:

This is how it starts, the tour. They don’t understand. They don’t know they’ve been there before. They think it’s the first time, and once it starts there’s something in their bones – what’s left of them – that wants to go back in time, to be one of those people in camping trousers, waterproof and shiny with numerous and adequate pockets, who drives the caravan onto the pitch, backs it up again and again to get it level. Who forgot the levelling ramps?

They want to be one of those people, but they can’t be. The world has changed, it is too late. They’ve collectively crossed the threshold, like the grasses growing over the verge where they shouldn’t. And yet they feel it, that tiny tug, like a current, but not quite; it’s beyond words and this disturbs them. They know logically that chemical or digital, it’s all the same, but nonetheless they can feel it in the parts that are still human, they can feel a hint, a dark wet organic taste, a nostalgia for something they’ve never actually had.

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