Distorte is a collection of stories written by Pierce Gleeson

Archives Contact


Sony, without any teasers or prior announcement of any kind, release a new product just in time for Christmas. They promise it will change the world. They also said this about portable CD players. The product in question is a pair of goggles that, when pulled on and activated, allow the user to see who is having sexual fantasies about them, and also the rough content of those fantasies. They call this new release the Fantisight, and it does change the world.

At first all the reports are good news stories: people getting together who should have hooked up years ago. Pedophiles being identified and lynched. I get to fuck that cute guy from the bookshop. But pretty quickly everyone begins to realise how complicated life just got. Closet homosexuals are unwillingly outed. A small number of closet heterosexuals are put back in. Conversations get awkward. I meet my brother’s best friend in the street, or my English teacher from school, and we hum and haw and dig our toe in the pavement. Pretending nothing’s different. Nobody’s able to look anyone in the eye anymore.

A couple of government ministers end up on the wrong side of somebody’s daydream and banning Fantisights is brought up in the Dáil. Most people are in favour of it; everybody is using them but nobody wants anyone else using them. The problem is that their construction is laughably simple; there are a hundred knockoff companies already. Turns out all you need is some crystals and a few sprigs of Deadly Nightshade (the witches were on to something after all). We are never getting rid of them.

Just as it appears society is about to unravel (the next Christmas) Sony unveil a helmet that will shield our brain waves from Fantisights. It will also change the world, they say. Change it back. Surprisingly, they are plentiful and affordable. I guess almost everyone is wearing one. They are large and blue with bobbling antennae that pulsate with a neon glow. Something to do with the cooling system? We look ridiculous, and there’s no way back from here.

Written by Pierce Gleeson
Posted on the 19 Nov, 2007