As I entered the house, a bottle of beer came floating my way. “Hi, honey,” said Marla’s disembodied voice in greeting, as unseen lips pecked me on the cheek.
“Hi, hon,” I answered, grabbing the open beer bottle from midair and taking a swig. “How was your day?”
“You know, same ol’ same ol’,” she answered as I plopped down on the couch. The TV remote floated to my hand and an unseen weight settled into my lap. I put my arms around her as she continued, “Hard to get any writing done when telemarketers are calling every fifteen minutes. I got tired of ignoring the phone so I went out and picked up some things we needed from the store. Oh, and the Con Ed guy came by to read the meter.”
“No problems?” I asked, visualizing the door swinging open by itself while Marla’s disembodied voice directed him to the meter. I knew it wouldn’t have happened that way, but I can dream…
“Why would there be?” she answered. But before she could say anything further, the doorbell rang.
“They couldn’t *wait* for me to get home, could they?” I groaned, putting the beer down on the coffee table. But before I could get up, she said, “No, you stay put. I’ll take care of it.” The closet door swung open by itself and a strikingly attractive brown-haired woman stepped out, dressed in a orange sleeveless top and tight jeans. The closet door closed behind her as she made her way to answer the front door.
*It’s good to have a sweetheart with connections,* I thought, looking at the shapely figure of the fembot rounding the corner on her way to the front door as I nuzzled Marla’s invisible neck. I heard the front door open, then my sweetheart whispered, “It’s Fred from across the street. He wants to know if he can borrow one of the garden hoses. His sprung a leak, he says.”
“Sure,” I said. “I told him he should have bought more than one.” As I saw the bot and Fred pass the side windows on their way to the garage, I couldn’t help but wonder how my neighbors would react if they knew that the “woman” they knew as my wife was actually a fembot being manipulated from outside by an invisible and usually intangible creature known as Marla. I couldn’t help but marvel at how she was able to manipulate the bot in totally natural-looking ways from afar, like she was doing right at that moment while she herself was temporarily solidified and occupying my lap.
“So, what do you wanna do tonight?” I whispered, assuming I was somewhere near her ear.
“Let’s go out tonight,” she said, sounding hopeful. “We haven’t really put the fembot to use since I, um, I mean, since *we* got it.”
“Sounds good to me,” I said. I would really have preferred to stay home, but she was right. We hadn’t really done much with the fembot except make a show for the neighbors that I had a visible, solid human wife. No dinners out or nights on the town, though I knew that Marla had wanted to go out and be seen, so to speak, ever since she had the fembot created and shipped to us.
As soon as I began shifting my weight to get up, Marla simply vacated my lap, not needing to physically get up. Her particular constitution didn’t require it. She just simply wasn’t in my lap anymore. So, I got up and made my way to the bathroom to shower and get myself ready. As I passed the bedroom, I saw the closet door open, and clothing moving around inside; Marla must have been getting clothes to dress the fembot in for our night out.