–Guest Post by Annabeth Leong
Go Deeper Press requested an interview with one of my characters, and I’ve gone into my fictional archive for the following. The subject is a bit combative, but she’s been through a lot of changes recently. In particular, the disruption of the deep bond she formed with a creature that possibly began life as a genetically engineered organic sex toy has left her confused and somewhat brokenhearted.
Note from Lana: I adore this story! You have to read it.
Transcription from a recording made by Leah Pittman, staff writer for the Cobb University Cackler, from an interview with Natalie Tsu, a senior majoring in marine biology and an award-winning violinist:
LP: Hey, Natalie, so I thought we could— Whoa. Your hair.
LP: You look nothing like your picture on the recital poster.
NT: I dyed it.
NT: Gray is on trend, I hear.
LP: It’s just so… It’s kind of fuck the world, don’t you think?
NT: Well. I also think it’s pretty. But fuck the world’s not wrong.
LP: (awkward giggle) That girl in the picture… I cannot imagine her saying fuck.
NT: I’m a lot more than that girl.
LP: (clearing throat) Anyway. Ms. Simmons at the music college suggested I interview you about the recital you’ve got coming up.
NT: Ah, Ms. Simmons. She’s the one I have to thank for this.
LP: You don’t sound, uh, actually thankful.
NT: Let’s not worry about that. What do you want to know?
LP: Are you excited about the recital?
NT: Not really.
LP: You’ve won two awards for the violin… Wait, excuse me? You’re not excited about the recital?
NT: It’s going to be my last.
LP: Really? Ms. Simmons said—
NT: Look. Fuck Ms. Simmons.
LP: You know I’m recording…
NT: Okay, yeah. It would be nice if you didn’t quote me on that. But seriously. Fuck her.
LP: Do you want to talk about it?
NT: Not really.
LP: Does it… (lowers voice) I heard you live in Wesley this year.
NT: I moved out last week.
LP: But Wesley. Not the dorm for a girl who gives violin recitals, you know?
NT: I’m not sure I get you, no.
LP: You know… The hentai girls.
NT: Leah, are you trying to ask if I’m into pervy sex stuff?
LP: (coughs) I just thought Wesley might be a distracting place.
NT: Like, I’m trying to practice violin but all of a sudden I’m getting fucked by a tentacle monster? (pause) Ha! You’re blushing! If you’ve got a question, go ahead and ask. Don’t be shy.
LP: I just don’t think Ms. Simmons would want you to live in a dorm where… I mean, I’m not saying I believe that story about horny engineering students building a waterproof sex robot, I’m just saying…
NT: It’s not a waterproof sex robot. It’s chemical runoff from the college cafeteria that became self-aware and decided it wants to fuck.
NT: (laughter) Of course not! Jesus, that’s a ridiculous story.
LP: Okay, but what the actual fuck is going on with Wesley?
NT: You seem to think it’s a place where innocent violin-playing students turn into nymphomaniacs who dye their hair gray and stop doing what Ms. Simmons wants.
LP: Look, forget it. You obviously don’t want to do this interview.
NT: No, hang on. Go ahead and ask.
LP: (sighs) Fine. Is the Creature real?
NT: You want to know if there’s a creature in the plumbing at Wesley that sends tentacles through the pipes and fucks girls in the showers?
LP: You make it sound absurd.
NT: It is absurd, right? But you’re looking at me wondering if I fucked it, aren’t you?
LP: Uh. Did you?
NT: Do you also believe in Santa Claus? If I did fuck it, something incredible would have to have happened, don’t you think? The story about the creature is obvious bullshit, of course, but the way I’ve changed… It’s not like I bought a vibrator and had an orgasm or two.
LP: Are you talking about mind control?
NT: Wow, people come up with wild stories at the slightest provocation. No. I’m saying that if there is a creature, people ought to think about what it wants. What it feels. It wouldn’t just be a sex toy.
LP: I talked to your boyfriend, Stuart, and—
NT: He is not my boyfriend.
LP: Your friend, then.
NT: I’m not sure we’re friends anymore either.
LP: The point is, he said you feed the creature by, um…
NT: Are you planning to print this in the school newspaper?
LP: We are independent.
NT: (laughs) All right. As a marine biologist, I would be interested in the creature beyond the obvious. If the creature were real, I’d certainly want to figure out its ideal environment, food source, and so on.
LP: Food, like… (whispers) Female secretions?
NT: That’s such a technical way of putting it. Think about it, though. If the creature started out as a rich girl’s genetically engineered masturbation pet, it would make sense to make it want to get inside vaginas, wouldn’t it?
LP: So did you—
NT: The administration has been trying to shut Wesley down for years. The building only exists because of student protests and donations from wealthy alums. If you think I’m going to directly confirm the existence of the creature to a writer for the school newspaper, you’re dreaming.
LP: But you transferred out of Wesley last week, so you can’t have liked it that much.
NT: Ms. Simmons got me transferred out of Wesley.
LP: So is that why you’re giving up the violin?
NT: (sighs) Look, I don’t know if this is going to make sense to you, but there are things we do because they’re expected of us.
NT: Like, play the violin because you’re a nice Asian girl. Or fuck all the girls in the showers because you’re a genetically engineered tentacle monster.
LP: Did you seriously just make that comparison like those two things are both totally similar?
NT: I’m saying it’s important to think about what you really want. What you really feel.
LP: And that’s your recommendation for the tentacle monster in the Wesley showers.
NT: If a creature like that existed, then yes.
LP: Okay, I can’t stand this. I need this story straight.
NT: Turn off the recorder.
(recorder clicks off)
Natalie’s story, “Touching Freedom,” appears in Annabeth Leong’s collection Liquid Longing, out now from Forbidden Fiction, and also available at All Romance Ebooks, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Amazon, and other retailers.