Thing We Wanted to do in Chicago

By Roarke

Original link: https://www.storiesspace.com/stories/science-fiction/thing-we-wanted-to-do-in-chicago.aspx

Tags: flash fiction, science fiction, technology, chicago, william calkins, roarke

Added: 24 Oct 2011 Views: 1122 Avg Score: 5

A couple travels to Chicago where an unfortunate turn of event changes their lives.

My wife Sara and I always wanted to take a trip to Chicago. We lived in a small rural town out west in Wyoming and both had relatives we hadn’t seen in ages back in Illinois. During long distance holiday phone conversations, we’d make annual promises to travel back to the midwest and visit. For a long time my wife and I wanted to see the large metropolis of Chicago and all the other attractions our relatives told us about. My Aunt Estelle would go on and on about Grant Park and its extensive flower gardens. She would wax poetic about Buckingham Fountain’s colored light show in the center of the park on summer nights. Sara’s Uncle Oscar would tell us of the John Hancock building and what was called the “miracle mile” where all the rich lake front high-rise condominium dwellers would go to shop and eat expensive lunches. Sara thought that it would be fun to window shop and people watch on Michigan Avenue. I thought it would be more fun to see lake Michigan and maybe even take one of the Odessy dinner cruises out on the great lake. What really interested both Sara and I were what my seven year old nephew Seymore called field museums. One was called the Field Museum of Natural History located on the lake front near Shed Aquarium and Soldier Field. The other institution was called the Field Museum of Science and Industry located by the southern lake shore. His stories about both museums made Sara and I promise each year to try and come visit Chicago.

But we just couldn’t seem to get away. There was always something to do, some house or car repair expense that busted our budget and drained vacation savings. We were very frugal and conservative with our expenditures. We made all our bill payments on time. Sara and I always tried to do the right things like conserve energy, recycle and we even signed up for organ donation on our license applications. One year we finally saved up enough money to take a car trip back to the midwest. Sara and I were so thrilled to finally get to see all the sights and tourist attractions Chicago had to offer. We were also excited about getting to see our distant relatives again.

We actually got to within forty miles outside the city limits. We never made it any further. A UPS freight truck, what they call a land train hauling three trailers, merged at full speed into a construction lane closure just before a tool booth plaza. I was driving but I wasn’t used to all the heavy urban traffic or multiple lanes and construction detours. Sara and I didn’t see the accident coming. Another thing we didn’t see coming was the fine print on our driver license organ donor cards, stating our brains could be donated to science. Which is what happened and how my wife and I finally got to the Field Museum of Science and Industry as exhibits. Our brains were selected for upload to a digital matrix computer hard drives. The bio-engineers processed our thoughts in the very first experiment ever for preserving interactive intelligences. I guess we just happened to be in the right place at the right time when we took our long awaited vacation.

If you are interested in my wife’s story go––

“Hey Tommy, what are you looking at?” 

“Oh, some guy, telling me about how his wife and him got to be exhibits here.” 

“That sounds boring. Hey, his hologram is pretty dopey looking, he looks like an old picture of my Uncle Tony.” 

“Hey, you’re right Seymore, he sorta does. Hahahahaahaha.” 

“Tommy, Seymore, come over here. There’s some guy doing magic tricks on this one and Shannon is watching some guy dressed like a soldier and talking about his projectile weapons and stuff. He even yells at you and calls you ‘maggot’ when you ask him questions. Come on and have a look.”

Did you have any questions for my wife or I about our lives? We would be interested in hearing about Chicago and your life interests and perspectives.

“Um, that’s ok, I gotta go now. Bye.”

Good by Tommy... good bye nephew Seymore. He’s a fine looking teenager now, isn’t he Sara?