'It's just one level. No big deal. You did it yesterday, you do it today, and you will do it tomorrow.' Flora Fluss looked at the stairs and took a deep breath.
One step at a time, she negotiated the stairs while clutching the handrail. Her right knee only complained moderately about the exercise, but her hips let her know they hated it.
She didn't pause at the platform between the floors, because that's for older people. As a 71-year-old woman, she insisted she was capable of climbing the stairs in one go.
'A cooked egg would be nice.'
Flora opened the door to the flat and went straight to the kitchen. She filled a pot with water and took off her hat.
'I could read a book or watch a dancing show. I would love to design a new toaster. I haven't drawn for a long time. Are my markers still working?'
Absentmindedly, she put the cooking pot on the hatrack and the pink hat on the stove. Then, she placed two eggs in it and raised the temperature.
'And where are my aquarelle markers? I think I put them in the bathroom because...why would I put them in the bathroom? Maybe in the hope, the humid environment stops them from drying-out?'
She walked to the bathroom, discovered dirty laundry, and started the washing machine.
While rummaging through the drawers, she discovered a lot of old mascara. 'I could draw the toaster design with mascara. Something like a homage to withering beauty...to withering care...to withering aspirations...to shifting priorities?'
The fire alarm started beeping, but the noise of the washing machine won.
Two hours later, Flora sat in front of her house and watched the fireman hustling in and out. There were no more dark clouds of smoke drifting out of her kitchen window, but the smell of burned plastic lingered.
A tall black man in a business suit jogged towards her.
"Ma! What happened? Are you okay?" He hugged Flora and inspected her.
Flora smiled at him. "I made some eggs; they turned out really nice."
She showed him the two eggs which miraculously had survived the fire. Violet, pink, and black streaks marbled them.
"But I will say to you, sweety, the next time I'm cooking eggs in a hat, I will use a cotton hat or something organic. I'm almost certain you can't eat them anymore."
"Not funny at all, Ma!" He paused. "But they do look nice, a bit magical even. I saw dragon eggs in the game, which looked similar. But they also glowed."
"I can make them glow. I can find a way to put an LED in there."
"Oh no, you don't. You got me again driving on your crazy train. The issue is not whether the eggs are pretty or not−"
"But they are."
"You burned down your kitchen, Ma!"
"It needed renovation."
"Renovation, not destruction."
"You can't create innovation without destruction."
"I won't get into philosophical discussions, especially not with you." Robby sighed. "You can't live alone anymore. I sent you some links to retirement homes."
"I'm not that old. 70 is the new 60 and 60 is the new 50 and 50 is the new−"
"You are that old."
"Then I'm old enough to have grandkids. Where are my grandkids? Produce some grandchildren instead of playing around with dragon eggs. Inseminate some human eggs."
YOU ARE READING
Auntie toasts the VRMMORPGScience Fiction
After Flora Fluss burns down the kitchen, her son insists she is too old to live alone. She's got two choices. Either move into a retirement home or spend the rest of her life within a virtual reality game governed by society's most advanced artific...