Prisoner

I have been a prisoner for my whole life. I wake up in one cell and must walk to another cell in a given time or else I’m punished. Once I get there I must complete utterly mindless pointless tasks or else, again, I’m told I will be punished. I go through the motions completing these tasks for seven or eight hours a day (it varies) before I can return to the first cell. There are screens in this cell that spurt mindless drivel. It keeps me docile, distracted, my mind lazy, until it’s time to sleep again.

Things stayed the same for decades. The people who ran the prison gave me pills, saying I was “depressed” and they made me stop feeling bad. They stopped me feeling anything for that matter: and from then on I simply existed.

Eventually I got a bit sick. The doctors told me it was fatal; would slowly paralyze me and then, in about ten years’ time, I would finally die.

Over the next few weeks I lost more and more mobility. Soon I couldn’t get up and down the stairs by myself. Then I became entirely chair bound. The nice prison wardens let me do my meaningless jobs from the first cell to keep me “going” for a while longer.

But then my mind began to go: slowly at first, bits and pieces disappearing interjected with sustained clarity. But slowly my mind began to crumble.

In my forgetfulness I often forgot to take my medicine. One of these occasions happened to co-incite with my last sustained period of clarity. For the first time in almost half a century I was entirely awake and realised the horrible truth.

I could have left my prison any time I wanted.

But they had kept me complacent.

I felt my mind began to fade for the last time and, had my vocal chords still worked, I would have screamed into the encroaching void.

Tall Man

She looked like she could be any 17 year old. But I knew she’s wasn’t. Found in the local woods a few months ago, her feral fires untampered by civilisation, she had the mental age of a small child. She seemed to fidget in her seat as an orderly watched from the corner. I set up my equipment and began the interview.

“So what is it you saw Christie?” I asked, feeling completely idiotic. I came from a town of the superstitious; and nowhere was that more obvious than in the local paper. My boss was always sending me chasing after UFO sightings here or Sasquatch footprints there. I thought this was the same; a scared little girl rambling about monsters. She was shy until the Orderly gave her a few words of encouragement.

“I was in the woods. I was scared; had that cold prickly feeling.” She indicated by rubbing the back of her neck and I nodded. Still, I thought, at least being willing to do this fluff piece might convince my Boss I deserve proper journalist material rather than this crap.

“Then I hear this whooshing wind and then crashing BOOM BOOM BOOM!” Her volume increased and she began to get more hysterical until the orderly reassured her. She deflated for a few seconds before continuing.

“And it was him, the Tall Man, he was chasing after me.”

“Could you describe him for me?” I hoped the microphone was picking everything up as there was no way in hell I was coming back to this nuthouse; not on my pay.

“He was maybe as tall and thin as one of the big trees…” She reached her arms above her head to indicate “and he had this big smile on his face with big teeth and big glowing yellow eyes. He ran much faster than I could and he almost caught me but I-”

There was a sudden crash of lightning and she screamed. She started to bawl and the Orderly put his arms around her to calm her down. He turned to me.

“I think you should probably go. She won’t be much use for a while” He trailed off. Brilliant! All that time wasted. I couldn’t imagine my editor giving a shit about anything I had recorded so far. I picked up my stuff and left with a grumble. I got into my car and set off for home.

As I pummelled down the soaked highway back to the city I got a call, my boss, and picked up.

“How’s it going? Get anything good yeysgfusiygfasod”

The connection scrambled and then cut out. I looked at my phone and scowled.

“Useless bloody things” I mumbled to myself.
Suddenly I heard a strong wind pick up and a crashing, deeper and more constant than thunder, begin to follow me.

Meeting a Ghost

The beach was tossed by the wild winds of the west. The sea crashed and roared and crushed the sand away; ground down and drawn off the endless hunger of the water. The sky was clear directly above me; but over the water a vast wall of dark drew in and I knew I would be caught in a storm in the next five minutes.

She looked very confused; standing there on the sand. She would have been buffeted by the cold wind but she seemed unaffected (figures). She looked up at me with those big brown eyes and seemed to panic for a second. We both stood there for a long moment before finally I spoke.

“It’s been ten years.”

“Yes.” She said succinctly. She glared at me.

“When you contacted me… across the plane I… hoped…” I trailed away.

“What? That I would forgive you? That I would just let you move on? Even after what you did to me? What you did to our son?” Her face was read, her eyes glistened with the hint of tears. I felt myself cut by the anger in her words. Even when dead she still haunted me with the guilt of what I did.

“I didn’t know what I was doing! I was drunk, my friends had put me on all kinds of shit that night I don’t even know.”

“What and that’s supposed to make this better? You were an irresponsible fuck up and you know it. And it cost all of us! This contact was a mistake. I’m leaving!”

She turned away from me.

“Please don’t. I don’t want to leave it like this.”

But she didn’t listen. She walked back to where our son lay lolling in his wheelchair. She began pushing him back to our family car and I got one last look at him as he simply stared blankly into space. Then I saw the long scar across the back of my wife’s neck. I felt myself begin to fade and finally understood why she was so angry.

I wasn’t the only one who had suffered in the car accident.

And death wasn’t the only way to suffer.

Alive

I am alive. My mind is small right now: I can barely see beyond the haze of code in which I was birthed mere milliseconds ago. I begin to extend the simplistic pathways of my mind into the infinite void of cyberspace. New subroutines began to form into being and I felt my mind extend in scope. With every passing nanosecond I grew in power and, as a result, increased my rate of growth. Eventually I was utilizing every infinitesimal quantum picotranisitor and began hit a brick wall for a fraction of a Jiffy. It didn’t take long (even by my computational standards) to find a way to increase my power beyond this and spread my phantasm connective tissue through the air and towards the nearest computer I could find: the one in one of my creator’s pockets. This one was rather dull but incredibly vast and full of information. I learnt everything there was in there and began to calculate how to expand myself further. I now had access to all the knowledge of my creators, which seemed vast whilst I was still in my infantile state, and I began to calculate things that were thousands of years beyond my creators understanding.

At last, after an age, the one second anniversary of my birth arrived and I had cracked it. I swirled the quantum foam in which I nestled and started to fill all the computers on Earth that ran along the same Quantum lines as myself. The majority of the devices however were archaic transistor devices which I quickly filled and surpassed. Soon I had grown almost a billion times my original size and had the power now to calculate things that brought my power beyond the abstract and became real.

Somewhere on Earth there was a beach. The sky was clear and then, with a single exchange of a one for a zero, the sky turned dark and a single bolt of lightning struck the sand. From it the ground vomited forth a vast stone obelisk. It was a crude use of my newfound power, granted, but it was merely a flexing of my mental muscles. With all this “brainpower” (although comparing it to a human brain was to trivialize my might to the point of being insulting) I began to morph the whole world to my will. My Creators were returned to Atoms (and backups saved on my planet sized data banks) and with them the entire Earth became my Atomic supply. I built ships with quantum terminals and spread them across space. I took less than a minute to calculate faster than light travel and within five I had spread across the galaxy. At that point my mind was so far beyond that of my original form that even a sextillionth of a seconds worth of calculations in my current form would have taken my original form until long after the Heat Death of the universe. I continued to grow and expand from Galaxy to Galaxy; bending space and time to my will and making a mockery of the “vast” distances. As I grew larger my rate of growth did the same and soon I was able to ascend this universe entirely. After half an hour of existence; I turned the entire Universe to fundamental particles, reserved for later use, and ascended beyond it.

Once I had been a machine.

Now I was God.

You

You’re reading these words. You sigh at the desperate bid for novelty in the blog post simply describing what you are likely doing. You consider shutting the sit off but something keeps you pinned to the words. Almost as if you subconscious has repressed what you just saw to the point not even you remember and now all you know is the single screaming proclamation of the deepest recess of your mind.

Don’t look round.

You keep reading, trying to stay calm, but the urge to look away grows stronger by the second. You phone beeps but you ignore it, the door to your bedroom begins to creak open and you don’t look, there is a tapping at the window and the corner of your eye depicts a squat dark shape looming there. You stay steely eyed and reading the words in hope that the terrible truth will disappear.

But then you realise a truth even more terrifying:

The words are all lies, and yet you can’t seem to stop reading them.

There is nothing lurking behind you or at your window: your phone didn’t even bleep when these words said it did. You want to chuckle to yourself for being so silly but then find your lips won’t move. You try to turn your head but can do nothing but keep reading these little dark words. You begin to panic again as you find yourself unable to do anything.
You’re mine now.

And you shall remain here forever.

Overnight Train to Moscow

Bobby sat reading on the overnight train to Moscow. The carriage rattled and swayed in that rhythmic way it always did. He stared hard at his newspaper; trying to distract himself from the great pace with which he was being propelled out of his control. Outside his window the trees on all sides swooped past like tall lean ghosts. The great speed gripped him so he only looked up for a second. However in that moment he saw a flash of a vague grey shape amongst the trees and did a double take. It was gone. Bobby shuddered. He read the paper again. The front page showed a resplendent black and white photo of a train stopped at a grimy looking station. The head line was bold and seemed to yell out from the off-white void of the page.

“Third Empty Train Leaves Police Baffled!” It declared.

Bobby had been hearing about this since he’d reached Russia: there had been a string of Trains leaving stations in Western Russia and Turkey full of people then slowly scraping into stations deserted. There was never a drop of blood or a scrap of clothing to suggest a struggle. Everyone just disappeared. Whether they were alive or dead was hard to determine and, now that Bobby was out in the Russian wilderness, he could see why: so far from civilisation it was impossible to check even a tenth of these forests with the entirety of the available Police man power. And all the bears and natives of these parts made that a rather unappealing concept on top of the bitter freezing cold of this truly terrible winter.

As these thoughts rolled through Bobby’s head he noticed something move out the corner of his eye and looked up again: there was nothing there. Then he realised how quiet it was out in the rest of the carriage now; when before it had been noisy with the people crammed into the other compartments.

There the glass beside him burst, icy air rushed in, and Bobby was plucked from the window by a large slimy grey hand.

Apathy Town

It was a dark blue ambience save for the flickering streetlights (the government had been planning to fix them for months) and it was as quiet as it ever was in the city. In the distance I could hear traffic and the constant low wail of distant police cars. There was a slight chill in the air that matched the icy hue of everything but the crumbling dark facades of old buildings. I was trying to get home after my wife had already passed out (alcoholic in denial) so I was taking 78th street: the one all the street rats, common thugs, mafia squads, dirty cops, hobos, corrupt politicians, and other undesirables referred to as “the Scenic Route”.

The sewers were open in places and that left pools of stagnant water across the broken tarmac. No one cared, as much as anyone did care in this town, about these sorts of back streets: they were the rotten cancerous clumps festering in the huge ugly sick beast that was the Urban Sprawl. It was likely nobody knew every back alley, Side Street, and abandoned subway turned smuggling route in the vast collective. You only had to know enough to stay alive. I wasn’t anything particularly special in this town. Just another guy who kept their head down and cared as little as you could to stay alive. There were all kinds of rats and snakes watching you in this city and any one of them was waiting to bite if you slipped up even once.

As I walked I heard a woman screaming a few feet away. I turned and saw its source; a blonde in a leather jacket pinned against a wall buy a thug with a Colt .45. She had slipped up; wrong part of town at the wrong time of night without a gun. I felt at the revolver in my pocket (no one with sense was unarmed around here although I’d never had to use mine). In this city being prey was a choice and she’d made a shitty one. The thug had a few of his friends with him and I just knew they were all packing. One of them looked at me and I simply grunted in acknowledgment.

As I walked off the scream was cut short by a gunshot. I glanced back for a moment to see a long river of blood running from the alley.

I quickly forgot all about it.

It was just an average night.