A few lines from one of the stories I’m working on, working title That’s All. The passage is focused on the main character, a near-future reality-show actor. The ‘Panemote’ he’s looking at is a nod to the Panaflex line of show-biz cameras. This being set in the future, the Panemote also ‘films’ emotional tracks, allowing the viewer to feel what the actors feel.
The character is wrestling with feelings surrounding the death of a friend, feelings that are interfering with the upbeat story arc of the reality show episodes he’s filming. He’s the lead character, so they can’t just bury him in the background. Sure, he can deliver the performance the director demands of him. He’s good at what he does. All he has to do is stop trying to make sense of the emotions the death of his friend has evoked and forget all about her…
My face sank into my hands. I drew in a deep breath, blew it out slow in a heavy sigh. Even that felt false, acted out, dramatized for the cameras. I looked up into the dead glass eye of the nearest Panemote, a cold egg in the bristling nest of emotional pickup spikes. The machine rested, waiting, on an inert metal scaffold of stabilizers and extensor arms. I stared at it until I felt as turned-off, as powerless, as it was.