Reflecting Sphere II, ClojureScript/Three.js/neural style transfer, 2016.

Claude was jolted from deep slumber by a light so bright and white that even the what leaked around his shutters was enough to illuminate his bedroom like the midday sun.

After he had stirred himself, donned a pair of boots and an overcoat atop his nightclothes, and fetched a candle, he ventured out into the gardens. The smell of ozone and a series of scorch marks in the grass led him to a rotating, undulating sphere hovering by the estate’s small lake. Standing there, listening to its faint humming and admiring the gleam of candlelight reflecting off its smooth surface, he grew determined to paint it as soon as the sun was high enough to give a good light.

All day he worked, trying to capture every nuance of what he began to believe was a guest from some unimaginable distance. He wondered if it could feel the welcome he beamed toward it with watery eyes.

That night, his painting resting in his studio, he dreamt of communicating with the Sphere, joining hearts with it, until a new golden age emerged from the melting together of their cultures.

The next morning he cut flowers in his hothouse, carried them down to the lake and strew them about his new friend. It seemed to understand his intentions, thrumming twice and pulsating gently.

For lunch he laid out a picnic on a blanket by the sphere and worked his way through the meal, explaining each step to his guest. It was just as he began the cheese course that it starting humming louder, opened a bit wider, and launched a barbed ovipositor into his chest, where it implanted several hundred eggs.

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This entry is part of Jack Rusher’s archive, originally published January 13th, 2016, in Berlin.