Simulacrums (2010)

There was an illusion of autonomy in the place, and all of them were completely ensorcelled by it. Only Simon could feel the viscous reality all around them — the jellied tomb of culture and animal behavior. He felt himself submerged in it, like a wasp set in prehistoric amber. The others didn’t even know to fight it, and he’d long learned the futility of trying to break the surface.

Because this is all there is.

He brought the glass to his narrow lips and sipped: deep berry flavors, a jag of chocolate for balance.

“Simulacrums” is the tale of jaded food critic Simon Spire, who encounters a pair of bizarre, twin Turkish restaurants in New York. Already contemplating his fading connections to the sense world he inhabits, he finds himself grappling with a force from beyond the realm of senses and a stranger from his past.

This is probably the most sexually explicit of my published fictions, so — unlike Simon — I give you fair warning before you enter in. The inspiration for the twin restaurants came from a very real pair of Indian establishments in New York City. My wife brought back word of them first and we later dined there together, along with Kurt and Zelda of Teetering Bulb. Check out my post about the restaurants over at Tor.com.

I can’t speak for the restaurant on the left, but we dined at its twin without getting sexed up by transdimensional monsters.

Brave enough to read “Simulacrums” for yourself? You can find it in Kaleidotrope #10, available right here in PDF form for $2.99.

~rl

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