I’ve just started on my second book of short sci-fi stories. Here’s a little bit of it… I hope to have it ready to go by the end of next month.
Laurent Recherche shouted, “Charge them! Nobody wants to see a fashion show without live weapons!” At that command, two dozen assistants scrambled to make sure each laser gun had a fresh battery pack. The House of Recherche had its reputation on the line with this show, and every detail had to be perfect.
As the electronic music thumped through the PA system, models moved out on the catwalk, took a potshot at some target across the auditorium, and then sashayed back to change outfits and weapons systems. The audience roared with glee as each new outfit brought with it a display of marksmanship that resulted in a satisfying explosion or fire. Camera flashes mingled with zapgun lightning in a retina-deadening tour de force.
Of course there were critics. Always, there were critics! Only a handful had a true sense of fashion. The rest dressed like idiots and had their coterie of sycophants shout down anyone that dared to doubt their vision. They had connections in the industry and their critical eye had to be appeased, no matter if one wanted to design haute couture for the beautiful people or flog pret-a-porter to the proles. While Recherche longed to hear praise from the critics that knew their jobs, his line lived and died by the comments of the fashion-blind.
Flash and sizzle, therefore, were the order of the day. In some ways, Recherche had to be as false and shallow as the critics he loathed. Hence the lasers. Mere projectile guns, even with tracer rounds, were not as dramatic as the exquisite linear flashes of the laser gun. Those colored lines became extensions of the clothing, the danger in the weapon an expression of feminine power. Even the targets the models fired at had to be matched to their outfits for optimal results. Heaven forfend that Recherche should be panned by a critic for having a red laser disintegrate a magenta teddy bear! That was so three seasons ago!