Public Speaking Flesh

“Oh God, I don’t think I can do it. They’ll be there. EVERYONE. It’s eye rape. My face magnified on two other massive screens sandwiched between me. My professor wants me to move around and show expression during it, so I don’t look robotic. And dress professional—which means heels in front of a crowd and a higher risk of tripping because I bought a new outfit JUST for the speech that doesn’t look good with flats!” Krista screams.

Will, friend of Krista, releases fingers from his ears. “Why don’t you try Public Speaking Flesh? Since you’re stressed about giving the speech, the Flesh can stand in for you and deliver it.”

“What? I’ve never heard of that. Is it pricey?”

“I don’t think so. They have some three-day trial thing. Your speech will be what… five minutes? Do the trial, have the Flesh deliver your speech, and return it. Then you can stop screaming and complaining about this class. Everyone speaks in public! You need to be graded for it?”

Krista took Will’s advice and got a Public Speaking Flesh. Simple in process, Krista uploaded a recording of herself reading the speech to capture dialect and tone, took a full body photo and video of herself in movement, wearing the chosen outfit for her speech with the heels she didn’t trip in. Will took the photo and video. When the Flesh arrives the next day, it was a replica of Krista.

“See?” Will said. “She looks just like you. They even got the freckles on your nose, your silver hair. I must’ve taken a great shot for so much detail. You can add things too. I heard one person made the boobs bigger for their Flesh.”

“Yeah… It’s kinda creepy. Doesn’t matter. I just need it for the speech, then I’ll send it back and the company destroys it.”

“So, it’s like…. you’re dying. Kind of, but not really. Seems kind of sad.”

Will and Krista studies FleshKrista whose blue eyes look at them. Statuesque. A cold, empty shell. Krista shrugs and uploads her speech.

The day of the big event comes and FleshKrista is on stage. The assignment was simple: engagingly speak about a random subject or thing that interests you for five minutes. When the Flesh began, Will and Krista stood backstage, watching.

“Hello. My name is Krista Cream…”

It goes well, delivering the speech just as the real Krista Cream would’ve done. The audience reacts favorably. However, Krista’s professor slapped her with a C grade for not showing enough expression. Krista accepts the grade and counts her blessings. If revealed she used a Flesh to deliver the speech, it would’ve been an F.

That night, she packs FleshKrista away, folded like a blanket inside a special pink return box. Will looked down at it.

“I’ll pay you for it,” Will said.

“What?” Krista studies him. “You want FleshKrista?”

“Yeah. You’re going to return it anyway, since you canceled the trial. What’s the problem?”

“Because the real Krista is here! ME!”

“Yeah… but you complain too much.” Will said. He dropped a stack of bills on the counter, leaving with the box.


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