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Sep 11, 2021

The September patron-funded story is "The Antidote" by Lisabet Sarai, narrated by Louise Cooksey.

“Yeah, I can get it—well, I can tell you where to get it. But it’s expensive.”

Merle and I huddled together on the bench in the 52nd story roof garden of the New Sears Building where we worked. Even here, talking was risky. There were certainly cameras, but mikes were less likely out in the open. 

“I’ve been saving. How much do you think it will cost?”

Merle named a figure four times what I had squirreled away. 

“Gads, Merle! It’s not gold!”

“No, it’s more valuable than gold. What do you expect? People will pay almost anything for the forbidden.”

I blinked and looked away, not wanting her to see my incipient tears. After a few deep breaths, I thought I could continue the conversation without embarrassing myself. My friend wasn’t fooled.

“You really want this, don’t you, Lena?”

“More than anything.” It was true. I’d been experimenting on my own trying to reverse the effects of the government’s anti-sex interventions, with no success at all. 

No one knew exactly how the drugs were delivered. I went two days eating nothing, drinking only rainwater gathered on our unit’s balcony. The fact that Jeff traveled so much for his job had made it easier. I just waited until he was away on one of his trips. Then, physically weak but determined, I hacked through the net filters to one of the most notorious underground porn sites, hosted, according to Merle, in Kazakhstan. 

Nothing. I felt nothing. I watched the contortions of the naked bodies, the penetrations and the climaxes, and felt no desire, only a vague, painful sense of loss.