To Know the Future
Caution: This Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Science Fiction, Slow,
Desc: Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Julia is alone in the world. Her parents are dead, her lover abandoned her when she became pregnant, and now her estranged older brother has committed suicide. When she finds his final message, a crazy scrawl that tells of a man with a machine that tells the future, she feels he must have been driven insane
"Show me the future," she said, leaning forward slightly in her chair.
She had come like they all did, told by a "friend of a friend" that there was a man with a machine that, for a price, would let a person see into the future. It was not something he advertised; he trusted in the discretion of those who had come before, those who heretofore had only sent along those whom they felt absolutely needed the use of his machine. So he sat and contemplated her for minutes on end, his chin resting on his fingertips as he considered her request.
"Why?" he finally asked, startling her with the sudden question. Up to that moment, she had looked at him directly, challenging him to deny her with a steady, unwavering gaze. But, with one question, he unnerved her; her eyes began to dart and dance, looking for anyplace to alight other than his own implacable stare.
"I..." she hesitated for a moment, considering. Then, raising her face, she looked directly at him again. "You would know if I was lying, most likely. So I won't lie. I want to see into the future... into my future... because I need to know if I'm making the right choices. For me," she hesitated again, looking down to where her left hand rested lightly on her abdomen, "and for him."
The man did not move from his position of contemplation, but his eyes widened ever-so-slightly. He sat still for a minute more, then, with a brief nod, stood and walked around the desk until he was directly in front of her.
Looking down at her, he said, "You know there are conditions?"
"My friend said only that you would not use the machine until you were satisfied with my understanding of what I was asking you to do. She implied that the 'conditions' were different for each person who sought you out."
Hearing that, the man smiled slightly, nodding. "Indeed, depending on how you answered my first question, the way forward could vary. But, given what you have said, and how you have said it..." he strode toward a bookcase to the right of his desk. Books of all sorts climbed crookedly toward the ceiling, aligned in an order perhaps only he knew by heart. Still, he hesitated only a moment, plucking four books from a shelf level with the top of his head, then returning his position in front of her, "... these should do nicely toward meeting my first condition." He handed the four books to her.
She read the name of each book aloud as she looked at their covers. "Dune. Dune Messiah. Children of Dune. God Emperor of Dune." She paused to look up at him. "The first four books in the Dune series by Frank Herbert." Her lips curled upward as she tapped the cover on the top-most book. "I read Dune about 8 years ago when I was reading nothing but science-fiction. I rather enjoyed it, but I never got around to reading the other three. But what do these books have to do..."
"... with your request?" He smiled his thin little smile again, as if used to the question. "The first condition you must meet is both simple and complex, and will give me a rather good idea about whether I should let you see into your own future. You must read these four books, completely and thoroughly, and, when you return here, be ready for me to ask you a single question. Based on your answer, I will decide if you will continue onward toward your desire... or if you should go and never return. Do you understand?"
She looked at him intently, her eyes narrowed, as if wondering if he were completely sane. Then, as she reviewed her options, her gaze returned to its normal, softer look, and she bobbed her head slightly in response.
He held out his hand to her, helping her to her feet, and then using his grasp to lead her to the door of his office. Before saying goodbye, he reached into the right front pocket of his vest to fish out what looked like a business card, which he proffered to her ceremoniously. "You will wish to call me when you have finished reading. This is the direct line to this office; I will be waiting to hear from you." He then opened the door to the hallway, bowing slightly at the waist.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Perry. Until we meet again."
With that, she found herself in the hallway, the door shutting behind her with a slight rattle of the frosted glass upon which the word "PRIVATE" was painted in thick black letters.
And though she had much think about, including the necessity of reading the four books he had place in her care, the one question to which she could find no answer came unbidden to the top of her mind.
"How did he know my name?"
Her name was Julia Perry, and, up to two weeks before, she had never heard of the town of Ogdensburg, New York, or the man there that said he could show people the future.
However, it was at that time that a man by the name of Richard Sprewell committed suicide in a most public fashion: by running in front a speeding bus at 4:30 in the afternoon in the middle of rush hour traffic in downtown Rochester. He was dead at the scene, having been thrown under the tires of the public transport; its weight turned the midsection of his body into a pulpy mass that had to be shoveled into a body bag with the more intact pieces of his remains.
For most, the tale of Richard Sprewell was an overnight affair; the follow-up reports on his suicide painted the picture of an introvert, a loner, someone who was known, but who no one knew.
Julia Perry agreed with that description wholeheartedly. She had known Richard Sprewell her whole life, yet had never seemed to know him at all, despite the fact they lived in the same house, shared the same mother and father.
But Julia Sprewell Perry was the only surviving member of the clan, her mother and father having died within weeks of each other in 2002. And thus, it was Julia whom the authorities called to make the final arrangements for the disposal of Richard Sprewell's remains and property. And so, it was Julia who poured over the few possessions in her brother's studio apartment, trying to see if she could make any sense of what he had done.
As she cleared away the empty beer cans and discarded fast food wrappers, the old newspapers and wadded-up plastic grocery bags, she found two things that greatly disturbed her.
One was a group of nearly empty prescription pill bottles. The first, labeled Vicodin, was nearly a year old and, according to the label, was to be taken as needed for headaches. The other, labeled OxyContin, had been prescribed three months earlier, and was supposed to be taken twice a day "for pain."
Julia knew that both were powerful, even addictive, pain relievers. She wondered if her brother had been ill... or an addict.
But it was the second discovery that chilled her: a cheap, cardboard-covered notebook with every page ripped out but one. She could only assume the words she found there were the last her brother had ever written.
They tell you he can let you see the future, but it's a lie. If you meet his conditions, he'll hook you to his machine, and tell you to relax and close your eyes. He'll tell you to relax and let whatever your mind wants to see come forward. That what will come will be the true picture of your future.
BUT IT'S A LIE! There is no vision of the future there! There is only darkness and blackness and cold! There is NO FUTURE in my future, if he is right! No hope, no light, NO FUTURE!
And then he tells you to open you eyes, and he and his whore are standing in front of you, and she tries to take you by the hand and lead you God knows where, maybe to someplace where your body can be disposed of more easily. So I tore myself out of her grasp and ran, ran out the office door and back into the street, back to my car, to drive back here, here to my sanctuary. But still I see the blackness... it pulls me toward it, sucking... always sucking. I've tried to fight it, but I'm tired. I know if I sleep, it will suck me in, and I'll be dead anyway. At least, this way, I'll go with my eyes open.
Anyone who reads this, be warned: DON'T GO TO OGDENSBURG! DON'T GO TO SEE THE MAN WITH FUTURE MACHINE! DON'T GO TO 2521 SYCAMORE, AND KNOCK ON THE DOOR THAT SAYS PRIVATE! If you do, you may end up like me... a man who knows his own future.
It's getting dark, now. As good a time as any.
His epigraph ended there.
It would have been easy to simply toss the notebook into the trash with the rest of Richard's meager belongings, shutting the door on years of not understanding with a simple flick of the wrist. But she did not... she could not.
Instead, she removed the battered notebook from her purse, setting it beside the four books she'd been given earlier that day. After her brother's funeral, she had gone home to Bath, to normalcy. She lived in their parents' seemingly ancient cottage, and as she sat in the breakfast nook, drinking coffee and looking out the window into the backyard, thinking about her fourth grade students and their assignments for the upcoming week. She thought about the coming of spring, and whether her flowers would bloom again or if she would need to replant. She thought about the man who had said he loved her, and then left with no forwarding address as soon as he heard the word "pregnant."
But her mind kept returning to her brother, to the only words he had left her. The notebook sat closed on the kitchen table, its words constantly in her mind without any need to open it cover. No matter what delusion Richard might have been under at the time of his death, Julia knew that, as aloof as he'd always seemed, Richard hadn't been crazy.
At least, not before he went looking for his future in Ogdensburg, NY.
Each morning, Julia would make coffee and sit at the kitchen table, staring out the window while her fingers drummed on the cover of the notebook. She remembered her brother's smile, of the times when they were children that he had acted like her big brother; she sat thinking the thoughts of guilt and loss, thinking that she could've done something... and Richard would still be alive.
Finally, she awakened one morning and put on her coat, climbing into her trusty old Cavalier. The map she had pulled from the screen of her computer said she could be in Ogdensburg in roughly five hours, depending on traffic. And so, she drove.
And now, she sat on a bed in a cheap motel, her legs folded Indian-style. Her original intention had been to find the man with the machine that told the future and pummel him until he told her what he had done to her brother. She had intended to make him show her the machine, in order to knock it to the floor and jump on it with both feet, smashing it into a million pieces.
But, after walking into that office, after sitting in the thinly padded chair in front of the balding man whose smile said "I know everything about you," she realized that she didn't want revenge, because she had never been so close to her brother to feel such a deep emotion.
No, what she wanted was answers. She wanted truth. She wanted to be rid of uncertainty and doubt. She discovered that what she really wanted was what Richard had apparently wanted.
To know the future.
So instead of saying who she was and what she knew, she had simply said that she had been sent by a friend, because it was said he could show her the future. She hadn't demanded anything, but had made her request; he did not reveal anything, not even his name, but he had given her the books, and implied that he might help... if she met his conditions.
She took the first book off the top of the pile and, cracking it, began trying to discern its secrets.
She finished reading the last page of the last novel, God Emperor of Dune, at the end of her first full week in Ogdensburg.
The morning after visiting the man in his office, she had called the school and told them that she needed to take a sabbatical following her brother's death, that she wasn't emotionally ready to return to her kids. They said they understood, and would find her a substitute until she was ready to return.
She charged everything to her credit card, knowing that, unless she too was driven mad like her brother, she would never exceed the hefty limit that her frugal spending and excellent financial record afforded her. She estimated that she could easily spend 3 months in Ogdensburg without taxing any of her resources.
Not that she intended to spend that much time away from her home.
Her days consisted of words, flowing in an endless stream until interrupted by the rumbling of her stomach. She would walk down to the hotel restaurant, where she quickly found that soup and a sandwich was the closest thing to decent on the menu. Even as she ate, she would continue reading, until the waitress interrupted her to sign the slip of paper that culminated her meal. Then she would walk back to her room and read more.
If her eyes grew tired, she would lie back on the bed and close them, until she felt she could read again. As the hours slid toward midnight, she would put down whatever book she had at hand, going into the bathroom to draw a full tub of hot water. Then she would soak and read, only putting the book down long enough to wash her body and towel off. Only when the clock finally read 12:00 exactly did she finally put down whatever she was reading, turn off the bedside lamp, and go to sleep.
It was by this method that she finished all four of the books by the end of her first full week in Ogdensburg. But, being finished was not enough. She needed to be prepared.
So, she spent another week rereading each book, taking in every nuance, every turn of phrase. She memorized the genealogies, tracing the family lines of each major character. She didn't study the books as much as she pulled them into herself, to the point where she felt there was no question that could be asked that she could not answer.
Only then did she take the business card out of her purse. She had not looked at it when the man handed it to her, instead simply sliding it into a safe place where it wouldn't be lost. Now, though... now she looked down at it and marveled at its... its... plainness. The only thing printed on the card was the seven digit telephone number she was to call. The card itself was not glossy, the black numbers not raised or embossed. It was simply ink on plain paper, seven digits placed in the exact center of its edges.
It was not what she expected.
There was the sound of one ring on the line, and then the phone on the other end was picked up.
"Hello, Julia," came the voice from the other end. "Shall we meet tomorrow, around 10 AM?"
For a moment she lost her voice, a small thrill of apprehension rising inside her. 'How did he know it was me? How does he know my name? What kind of game is he playing with me?'
She took her time, breathing in deeply, and then exhaling. "10? Yes, I think 10 would be fine."
Julia could feel his smile through the phone line. "Good. I am truly looking forward to seeing you tomorrow, Julia. Rest well."
A small click and the phone went dead in her hand. It was only when the insistent beep-beep-beep sound came screeching through the earpiece that she remembered to hang it up.
Julia knew she was ready to answer whatever question he could find to ask her. Yet something inside her was trembling, afraid that somehow she would fail.
As she lay down to sleep, his words echoed through her head. 'Rest well... rest well... rest well... '
When her alarm clock went off at 7, she had slept barely an hour, waking with a whimper or a scream each time she fell asleep. In her dreams, tendrils of black kept snaking out from under her bed, trying to suck her into the darkness, as his voice echoed around the room, 'rest well... rest well... rest well... rest well.'
She was bathed, dressed, and out of her room by 9:00.
She dawdled over coffee and toast at what the motel laughingly passed off as a "restaurant," determined not to arrive early for her appointment. As she nibbled and sipped, she reviewed all her carefully arranged mental notes, assuring herself that she could find most any detail in an instant. Though tired, she felt confident; whatever the test, she knew she could pass.
At 9:45, she paid her check and walked to her car. With a minute to spare, she pulled into the "For Customers Only" lot beside the office building, and quickly walked around to the front entrance. At 10 AM exactly, she raised her arm to knock on the frosted glass on the office door...
... but, before she could swing her fist forward, the door opened. The man was standing there, smiling, and he again bowed slightly at the waist as he ushered her inside.
"It's so good of you to be prompt, Julia," he said as he again seated her in the chair in front of the desk. He walked around the desk and settled himself into his own chair, looking at her over his fingertips as he had on her prior visit.
"So, you have read all four of Herbert's novels, correct?" She nodded in affirmation. "And, given that you spent two weeks doing so, am I correct to assume that you have internalized every detail, to the point that you feel you could answer any question I put to you?" Though she was a bit discomfited with how close he came to exactly describing her effort, she again nodded. "Fine, fine. I'm glad you took the time to do the task justice. So many who come through that door speed through the books I give them, thinking that they can bluff their way through my question in their unseemly haste to see their future. What they come to learn is that there can be no bluffing, that there is no way to fake what I am looking for. They either know... or they don't. And, if they don't, they can get nowhere near what they seek.
"And now, here you are!" The man rubbed his hands together, smiling at her in the same way one might look at a beautifully cooked steak before cutting into it. "I'm truly looking forward to hearing your answer. But, before I ask the question, I must ask you this: are you ready? Because once you answer yes, there is no turning back.
"Are you ready?"
Taking a moment, Julia again reviewed her mental guideposts, visualizing the prompts she would use to find the information she needed to answer his question. She took a deep breath... and then nodded sharply.
"Very well. I will ask you one question, which you then must answer as completely as possible within the boundaries of a single sentence." The man left his seat, wandering over to the bookcase from which he had removed the four books he'd given her on her first visit. As he randomly fingered the spines of various books housed there, he began his question.
"You have asked me to let you see into your own future. The four books I gave you tell of a family that learns to see the future, and the great personal price they pay through generation after generation because of that gift. So, my question to you is simply this: What have you learned?"
Julia's entire focus had narrowed, to the point where each word that came from his mouth took on a weight and substance of its own. In doing so, she was able to place each word under her intense mental spotlight, waiting for one of them to trigger the memories she had worked so hard to build. It actually took her more than a minute to realize that the barrage of facts and names that she expected to flood her brain was not forthcoming; that, in fact, there was no more to the question than the four words he had offered her. Without realizing it, her jaw began to drop, until she sat gaping at him in total stupefaction.
"What have I learned?" she demanded, when she could finally find her voice. "That's your question - what have I learned?" He nodded, never turning from the bookshelf.
"You mean to tell me I spent two weeks barricaded in a motel room reading and rereading four of the most philosophically dense science-fiction novels ever written, memorizing each detail in a careful pattern so that I could recall it easily, only to find out that your question isn't about the books at all, but what I've learned from them? Is that right?" At this point she was standing, her voice cracking with emotion. The man kept his focus on the bookshelf, nodding occasionally like an absent-minded husband.
Enraged, Julia strode quickly to where the man stood, grasping his arm and pulling until he faced her. "You want to know what I've learned, you blathering blowhard? You fatuous ass? Then here it is in a nutshell: Men seek to know the future so they can control it, not knowing that to know the future is to be trapped by it, powerless to make any choices that could change it."
Even as she said the last word, Julia's anger dissipated, replaced by an enveloping weariness that made her light-headed. She swayed on suddenly weak legs, her eyes wavering and then blinking shut.
Had she been able to see clearly, she would have seen the man break into a genuine and appreciative smile, one without the air of condescension he'd adopted from their first meeting. Indeed, he was so pleased and preoccupied by her answer that he nearly let her fall to the ground; only at the last minute did he grab her arm, clutching her around the waist in order to walk her back to her seat.
After assuring himself that she wouldn't slide bonelessly from the chair to the floor, the man reached over the front of his desk, fingering a button on the intercom. "Dear, the guest I mentioned earlier will be staying for brunch. I rather think she's going to need a bit of a bracer before then, though. Would you be a love and bring in a snifter of brandy? Thank you."
Before returning his attention to Julia, the man picked up a brightly-colored rectangular object from the desk. Positioning himself at Julia's side, he snapped open the object to form a decorative fan, which he proceeded to wave near and around her head. Whether it was the motion of the air, or the sound of the fan as it was waved so close to her ear, Julia soon began to show signs of reviving. As she opened her eyes, she saw the man's face smiling down at her, even as he continued to wave the fan near her head.
"Oh, my dear, you did take a turn for the worse there for a moment, didn't you? But you'll feel right as rain here in just a bit, I'm sure."
Julia's tongue felt swollen in her mouth, but she kept moving it around until she finally blurted out, "... the question? Did I answer the question?"
The man's smile widened further, his eyes full of approval. "Oh, you did wonderfully, Julia! In the space of one sentence, you managed to make a very cogent point about having the ability to see the future, especially as it's portrayed in the Dune books. It was an absolute sterling effort!" However, as he remembered something else she said, the man stopped fanning her, and his smile turned into a puzzled frown. "But I think you need to clarify at least one of the things you said in the moments leading up to that sentence". He leaned forward, speaking quietly, as if afraid someone might overhear.
"Do you really think I'm a fatuous ass?"