Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 18 brings us Cora Zane, an android and a lipstick prize bag...tada!

Morning, morning. Today school is two hours late so I got a little extra sleep and yet...want moooooore (<~~~~~said in best zombie groan). Oh well! Not gonna happen so I guess I'll just announce that t'Sade was yesterday's winner. Huzzah! t'Sade, Lynn will be in contact re: your prize.

Today I have one of my favorite online people. She always brings a smile to my face and wrote one of my favorite short-shorts in my (now defunct) anthology Dirtyville. Cora Zane! Yaaaay *Kermit flail* Cora!

Cora's here promoing her How to Date an Android. She has a lipstick pack containing Rimmel Kate lipstick in 111 Kiss of Life, and Sinful Colors nail polish in 1326 Get It On.

*Please remember to leave your email address with your comment so you can win. As always, all comments are entered into the draw for the grand prize. And let me tell you, 18 days in, some of you have lots of entries in there. Some busy bees have been commenting and tweeting and sharing on FB and wow! You are racking up the slips in the draw. WTG :)

XOXO
Sommer
~~~~~~~
How to Date an Android:


In a world run by androids, Caitlyn Quincy is one of a few humans still living in the city. Most days she stays to herself, processing invoices in a small shop selling relics from the past.

Milo Swain spots Caitlyn, and it's sparks at first sight. He's never experienced such a strong physical reaction to anyone. He'd love to get to know her, but Caitlyn has no idea how to date an android.




The excerpt:  (Complete chapter 1)





New Georgetown, Carolina Islands

2205


It’s Friday, the second week of November, and Caitlyn Quincy braves the biting cold to eat a sandwich by the fountain in Market Square. All around her, the shopping district bustles with midday foot traffic, while the New Georgetown clock tower overlooking it all ticks off the remaining minutes of her lunch hour in distant silence. She sits where she always does, facing the park, which is nothing more than a grassy slope that stretches between the cobbled quad and the narrow jogging track along the murky, Iron River.

Icy wind whips up off the choppy waters of the canal, stirring Caitlyn’s long ginger hair and tangling it across her face. She shakes her head to free herself, a gesture that sends the birds hanging around the enormous central fountain into a frenzied flutter of anticipation.

The birds frighten her if they get too close. She’s wary of those noisy wings and shell-like beaks. Out of the corner of her eye, she watches them hopping along the ground. They’re completely fearless when it comes to people and she admires them for that, but only in the skeptical way an amateur artist might care to admire a rival’s painting—best carried out from afar.

With a gloved hand, she brushes away the stray strands of flyaway hair clinging at the side of her mouth before she takes another bite of sandwich. There isn’t much in this section of the city to lend convenience to human living anymore, but the hum of persistent traffic and the view of the river are familiarities she isn’t yet willing to give up. That much she’s inherited from her late father. That, his little shop, and his stubborn unwillingness to follow his neighbors, who all gradually moved away to the human run communities strewn throughout the Mainland and along the Southern Farming Belt.

Her father is gone now, dead for some five years. Nothing holds her here anymore. She could leave the city if she wanted to. One of those secluded, farming communes would surely take her in, but she was born on this island. The Market District has been her neighborhood since she was a little girl. She belongs here just as much as the androids that have turned the area into a chic borough for artificial living.

Caitlyn takes another bite of tomato sandwich and watches the pigeons shuffle closer. They are shameless, the birds. Practiced beggars. She shoos the closest ones away with her boot. They would land on her and eat her lunch if she’d let them.

It isn't easy to do with her gloved fingers, but she pinches off a chunk of bread crust left over from her sandwich and tosses it down, watching the closest birds hop toward it, wings fluttering.

She dreads going back to the shop, but the moon-faced tower clock reads twelve-fifty-two. Already she’s lingered too long, and there is still walking to do.

Crumpling the cloth wrapper in her hand, she licks her lips then brushes the crumbs from the front of her red pea coat, which she wears knotted at the waist with a matching belt. She wishes now she’d brought something to drink, a juice or seltzer water, but a quick glance around for a vending machine to buy something proves fruitless. She’s not surprised. Those older style vending machines have been vanishing for some time, like so many other relics from the not so distant past.

Where the old vending machines used to stand, there are now pushcart vendors, recharger spas, and chic cafes. Iron tables sport colorful umbrellas, which hang over red bistro chairs where no one sits. Instead, elegant people wearing the latest in high fashion walk along the promenade, a tree-lined walkway that stretches along the northernmost plaza of businesses. It makes up the greater part of the square, and it’s not uncommon to see copycat faces in varying colorations pass by again and again.

There are goddess-like women with abundant marigold curls and radiant, licorice complexions. Ice queens with sultry blue eyes, flawless bone structure, and hair the color of beach sand. Androids covet conformity in all its constructed deviations. Dressed in the height of fashion, they are a rainbow of strutting birds, their slender figures exaggerated by their bold clothes and stylish halo hats. She notices the same asymmetrical wool dress on at least five different women, each garment a varying pop of color—black, red, yellow, teal, then blue.

The men are similarly astounding—statuesque and built. Many have bronze hair today, she notices. It must be a new fad. Various shades of brown have been made in the attempt to copy the trend: chestnut and sienna, all the way to brownish copper.

Everyone is tall, graceful, and perfectly formed, and Caitlyn knows every person she sees belongs to a subset matrix that has been manufactured in limited production runs. She’s read articles on how different bio-development companies use aesthetic specialists to choose each model type for production. Their decision is always based on the current interpretation of humankind’s ideal appearance, whatever that happens to be.

Caitlyn has a suspicion her lack of physical refinement is yet another reason she draws so many lingering glances. Ripe with all her natural, human imperfections, she’s sure the androids must find her greatly flawed.

For the most part, she’s used to being stared at and considers it a normal response well within the androids’ parameters. Slight framed and short, she is ethnic Irish and unmistakably human. Her heart shaped face isn’t the same mask of perfection as the synthetics. Her moss green eyes are too small, and her upper lip is slightly fuller than her lower lip. Although her nose is slender and well formed, it’s freckled and unsophisticated in its shape. Someone might consider her cute or interesting looking, but she can’t imagine anyone ever describing her as ideal or goddess-like.

A lone human in a city of synthetics, that small truth doesn’t bother her as much as it had in the past. Back then, she’d been self-conscious and in her teens, and oh, how she’d wished it possible to emulate the kind of manufactured beauty the androids all share. Only with age has she come to appreciate her uniqueness. In no one else could she hope to find her mother’s eyes or her father’s dimples.

Let them stare. She’s twenty-seven now and in good health. No matter how well she takes care of herself, she won’t look like this forever. Besides, she has no reason to be ashamed.

A loud bark makes her jump, and she immediately turns her attention across the quad. The on the grassy slope, a man plays with a beautiful golden retriever. That’s a high priced toy—the dog. But what truly stands out is the man himself, his uniqueness. So much so Caitlyn’s heart skips a beat. He looks human. His face isn't like any of the others she's seen before—therefore he must be human, right?

She wants to believe, but his features are a little too perfect, rugged in the way of a catalog Adonis with his straight nose and wide kissable mouth. Black hair is her favorite, and his is shiny and short. She can't see the color of his eyes, usually a telltale giveaway, but they crinkle at the corners in a striking way when he smiles, which is what he's doing now—smiling at the dog.

Who wouldn’t notice him? Lean and well built, he’s at least six feet in height—tall, but not toweringly so. He’s dressed for a day in the park. Caitlyn eyes his jeans and the hooded, navy sweatshirt from the university. Does that mean he’s educated, not simply programmed? The thought makes her breath catch. After all, he’s her ideal image of masculine male beauty.

The dog drops a tennis ball at the man's feet. He snaps it up and tosses it across the grassy median. The dog races off to fetch it, and the man cheers, “Thatta boy! Go get it!”

Caitlyn admires the angle of the stranger’s square jaw. She imagines the prickly texture of his five o’clock shadow and her fingertips tingle restlessly. It’s rude to stare at real people, if that’s what he is, but she can’t seem to help herself.

The dog returns, ball in mouth, and the man goes down on one knee in the grass. He’s full of praise for his large, wiggling pet. There is no mistaking his affection for the animal. He gives its golden coat a brisk rub and a hearty pat to its flanks, and a small smile quirks her lips. They are quite a pair.

As if he somehow senses her watching him, he lifts his head and looks right at her. A jolt of awareness rattles her, and she can’t ignore the fluttery feeling that blossoms inside her. Caught in the act, her smile fades. He’s not a human after all. Even at a distance, she can see his eyes are resolution blue.

Knowing now what he is, maintaining eye contact is too uncomfortable. It’s too intimate and makes her feel on display. With a hollow heart, she averts her eyes and makes an obvious gesture of tucking the sandwich wrapper into her bag. Then she dusts off her gloves. It’s a gray day, but she’ll miss it once she’s back working inside.

She pulls the straps of her tote bag over her shoulder, and out of the corner of her eye, she sees that the handsome android has stopped playing with his dog. He’s utterly focused on her. She sighs to herself. Way to go. By now, he must surely realize she’s human.

In the distance, the tower clock chimes the hour. Face flushed, Caitlyn turns away and walks toward High Street in the direction of her shop, her heart racing against her ribs. Although she knows he’s not like her in the human sense, she has to force herself not to glance back to see if he’s still watching her.

7 comments:

  1. Fun prizes - and the book sounds great!

    sammi(at)funwithsammi(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice chapter

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very evocative excerpt!

    Trix, vitajex(At)Aol(Dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey Cora!! Amazing excerpt. You DEFINITELY have my attention. I was looking for more actually. Such a unique concept. Think I might have to pop over to Smashwords and grab it right now. :D (Or, maybe at home since the boss is making the rounds).

    Cheers!!

    angell(dot)brooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Waves at everyone. So glad you stopped by! And thanks, Angell! I hope you like it. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This book is right up my alley, I love, love androids. If I don't win I'm definitely buying it.

    Shannon
    sabai30705(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice chapter, I will have to check it out.

    gypsygirl_25(at)Hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete

What sayest thou?