It was a festival for interactive entertainment. The paths were not laid out in grid, but simply flowed from one stream of displays to another. It was a maze of awe, wonder and amusement. The only feeling was excitement. The air was thick; the lighting was dim and I walked with him.
On the fringes of my excitement was foreboding. I could not ignore it, but I was discouraged to pay mind. What I felt was that he I walked with was wrong. It was the man I loved, but he was not himself. His walk was wrong; his mannerisms were wrong. His hand glided down my hip, beneath my clothes and he traced my leg with his fingers as I walked with him. I was enticed by him and our hips did not part as we put one foot in front of another. He was my man, but his feel was of someone else. We walked on through this festival, he and I, and came upon an open tent.
The tent was low, darker inside than anything else. The soft dim lights marked the winding path through the exhibit. The lights wound through shallow wooden frames. In the frames were neat, simple white cots. In the cots were naked dolls. Above each doll hung a poster from the low ceiling. They were posters of movies; mostly horror. I then saw that the dolls were women from the movie hung above them. They were not dolls of the actresses- but the characters themselves.
As we walked along, a man walking in the opposite direction crossed us. He did not pass us- but instead followed a ticked in his hand to a cot with the matching number. He tucked his ticket into a slot in the frame. The frame ate it. He lay down on the cot, and as he touched the doll, it grew. My man and I watched, and the lying man did not seem to notice us. He was too involved with the doll that was growing to full size. The plastic melted into skin. The doll, a model of the character, had become a real life naked woman- the character from the movie herself fully alive and aroused. She tenderly undressed the man that lay with her and the foreplay ensued. My man nudged me on to leave the man and his doll to their play, and I obeyed him.
We continued on that path, coming across more cots that had been taken. The soft lights drew us along with an unspoken promise. We too could do these things. There were far more unclaimed cots than there were occupied ones. Some of the cots hosted male dolls, but they were not as many as the female ones. Two girls, best friends, had taken a male cot together. They were very loud and it excited the others who walked on the path passed them.
At the end of the path was a table. Built into the table was a flat touch screen. It displayed all the cots by category and number. For a small fee, one could rent a cot. Sitting on the opposite side of the table was a man who was asleep. He was excited; probably dreaming of the dolls he would be sleeping with when his shift was over. My man turned to me as we approached the table, a smile that should not have belonged to him. He encouraged me to choose a cot, and so I did. He chose the one next to me. We had both picked girls. I don't know why I obeyed him. I felt no more free-willed then the doll I would be fondling.
We watched each other as we twisted with our dolls. We fed off one another's arousement. I could not take my eyes off him as my doll pleasured me. The foreboding set in again. His eyes were the wrong colour. He reached out and grabbed my hand. I could feel his adrenaline. I felt my fear rise up from my stomach. My doll pulled herself up to my ear.
"What is the matter, did I do something wrong?"
"No," I whispered. "You're perfect."
"As I was designed, I will make you happy. But you are not."
"He is not the man I love."
"How can that be? I see how you stare at him."
"He is very much like the man I love... but..."
"How can you not love him? He is the man you created."
I turned to my doll, and she stopped kissing me long enough to look back into my eyes. Her face seemed to hold all the answers to my questions. She stared at me, as if what she had said had always been true.
"What?" I asked. I had not created the man I loved. I had met him. If the man I walked with now was someone I had created...
"Does this surprise you?" The doll returned to her kissing, whispering her words with seduction when her lips where not pressed to my skin. "Why? Everyone recreates what they cannot have. Your man is no different then my sisters and I."
I looked back at him, watching him enjoy his doll. My stomach turned. I had created such a awful creature. How had I done it? What was he made of?
"Jealousy." My doll answered my unspoken question. "Lust. Loneliness. We are all made of the same things. The only difference between my sisters and your man is that you cannot tell the difference between what is and what you made up. Your fantasy has become far too real."
Our rented time ran out, and the dolls returned to their small plastic selves. My man lie on his back, exposed and glistening. He stared back at me, grinning, chuckling. He rolled off of his cot leaving his clothes behind. He came to me and picked up where my doll had left off.
"Your fantasy is far too real." He repeated. He kept going, in word and in act. "Your fantasy is not what it should be, nor what you modeled it to be. Your fantasy is wrong."
My man's eyes were the wrong colour. I stayed there, unable to bring myself out from under him. I had created my own destruction, my own ends. The fantasy upon which I had so strongly depended, which I fed off of to satisfy, was now feeding off of me.
The dream dissolved in that way that dreams do. I sat up in my bed. I had fallen asleep on my phone. I hadn't sent the text that I had written. What I had tapped out was "I Love You". I thought of the man I loved, but my creation had taken his place. I turned off my phone. I laid in my bed afraid to go back to sleep. I didn't know what to do.
I still don't.