Fleeting Love

Scene: in the near future, on an ordinary day.

“Honey, I’m bored,” Adagia says to her husband. “How about if we order a child?”

“Again?” Fincher replies. “We ordered one last week and you didn’t like him.”

“So what? If I don’t like this new one, I’ll exchange him.”


Fincher gets the telephone.

“Hello?... Yes, I’d like to put in an order… Um, for a boy.” 

“No, order a girl this time!” says Adagia.

“All right. Excuse me, I meant a girl this time… That’s right, blond hair, with...”

“No, red! I want a redhead.”

“Okay. Make that a redhead. And what color eyes, Honey?”

“Green, dark green. You know, moss-colored.”

“Sure. With moss-green eyes, do you make those?... Good, then that’s exactly what I want… Okay, thank you.”

That afternoon.

“Fincher, our daughter’s arrived! Come see her!”

The two of them open the package.

“Oh, look how cute she is! Just like we ordered: a redhead with moss-green eyes,” says Adagia.

“She sure is. I just hope she behaves herself.”

“I’m going to name her Tulip.”

Half an hour later.

“Tulip, what are you doing?! You made a mess of your whole room, you got the kitchen dirty, and you broke a potted plant! If you keep this up, I’ll have to send you in to Technical Assistance!”

That evening.

“Hi, Honey! How was your day?”

“Awful! Tulip turned out to be a terrible daughter! I had to throw her to the dogs.”

“Oh, Honey, why did you do that? Don’t be so impulsive!”

“Fincher, you know I can’t help it. She just went too far!”

Two days later.

“Honey, I ordered another child,” says Adagia. “A boy this time. A pianist, blond, with blue eyes.”
“Oh, yeah?” 

An hour later, the delivery arrives.

“Look at that, they changed the packaging! C’mon, open it, Adagia, I want to hear him play.”

The son, whom they decide to call Locrian, goes over to the piano and starts playing.

“Is that all? I thought he’d play better; even I know how to play that.”

“Oh, but he’s so cute!”

Two weeks later.

Fincher comes home; Adagia is still at work.

“Locrian, what’s going on?”

Locrian is naked, locked in an embrace with the neighbor’s son. Fincher tosses the other boy out of the house and starts spanking Locrian.

Adagia comes back and sees their son being spanked.

“Fincher, what are you doing? Stop it right now!”

Fincher won’t listen to her. Adagia throws herself on Fincher.

“Get away, Adagia, don’t interrupt me! I’m the one who paid for him, I’ll do whatever I want! All you ever do is spend my money on trash!”

“Don’t say that, I was beginning to like him! Stop it, let him go!”


Adagia grabs a knife and screams. Fincher lets go of the boy, who crawls out of the house.

“Drop that knife, now!”

“I can’t believe you did that! I finally feel some love for a child, and you go and do something awful like that!”

“Well, you’re the one who threw Tulip to the dogs!”

“I didn’t love her!”

“But she was your daughter.”

“I’ll do whatever I want!”

“Exactly, and me too. I’m going to kill Locrian!”

“No, leave him alone!”

Fincher grabs a glass bottle and heads toward the door where Locrian escaped.

“No!” screams Adagia.

Fincher turns around and sees Adagia running toward him with the knife raised. He deflects the knife and smashes the bottle on her head.

He bends over her unconscious body and covers her mouth and nostrils with his hands to make sure she won’t come to.

A few minutes later.

“Hello?... Yes, I’d like to order another wife…”  

RAFAEL SPERLING was born in 1985 in Rio de Janeiro. He is a songwriter and music producer. He studies Songwriting at the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro. 

In 2011 he published his first book, entitled Festa na usina nuclear [Party at a Nuclear Plant], which was followed by Um homem burro morreu [A Stupid Man Died] in 2014.

His short stories have been published in several sites, including Cronópios and Musa Rara, as well as Minotauro magazine and Rascunho newspaper. He also writes a blog called Somesentido [Sound and Sense / Disappearing Sense].

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