Tag: technology

The Wall

I am picking apples in the orchard with my mother again.

There is a high and wide wall that circles my village. You cannot see what lies beyond it, you can only see the blue skies and fluffy clouds above. Whatever exists beyond it is not necessary to us. It has always been this way.

I am the youngest in my village and when I was little it did not strike me as odd that we were walled in, now that I am older all that strikes me as odd is that nobody talks about it. I know why they do not leave, we have no reason to. Everything we could possibly need is provided for us. There are enough green spaces for us to grow crops and keep cattle, we have enough buildings to house our families and there is nothing we need that we cannot trade with one another, or make for ourselves. All I want to know is why we do not acknowledge it. There is no origin story to The Wall- no history or folklore to hold it up. Although it is a constant it is never mentioned. It is like we forget it is there some times. The Wall has faded into the backgrounds of our collective minds, something mundane and every day that we do not notice, like wallpaper.

“Who built The Wall?” I ask my mother. We are out picking apples in the orchard. Again. I only remember to ask because we are on the outskirts of the village, where the wall is closest. She turns to face me and as she does her face flickers in and out of existence. There is a split second where she is featureless and when they return she is frowning. I step away from her, unsure of what I have just seen.

“The what?” she asks.

“Nothing,” I reply. I am frightened to ask her again. She goes back to picking apples, I turn away from her. My feet carry me towards The Wall, although I am unsure why. I start to walk around it. I run my hands along the stone. It is rough.

There are a few points where thick ivy grows up the wall. It never reaches the top, but I have always thought that it is pretty.

There is a small break in the ivy and my fingers brush against something metallic. I move the ivy curtain with one hand. It is here that I find The Gate. It is small and rusty with thick bars set so close together that I cannot see through them. I push on it. To my surprise, it opens and swings out in to nothing.

There are no more fields and green. No more skies and clouds. Just a darkness so impenetrable it could be another wall. I pick a flower that grows next to the wall and throw it as hard as I can. It does not bounce back to me, but it does not fall either. It floats in the void for a moment before it disintegrates. I see every piece that makes it up slip apart and float away from me- tiny squares dissipating into a seemingly eternal night.

They scatter like multicoloured stars. And then there are more of them, more colours exploding out of one another until they come to rest against a window so tall and wide that I cannot see the edges. A girl stares back at me through it, but she is so giant that it takes me a moment to realise she is there. A giant boy is next to her. They are both frowning and so big that they could probably eat me without noticing.

“There’s something wrong,” he says.

“It’s glitching,” she replies. “Just re-start the game.”

I back away from them as she reaches for something below the window. I want to ask them what the game is but I think I already know.

I want to run back to the village and warn everyone, but I’m not sure I’ll make it in time. What could any of us even do about? They will turn us off. Restart. Will I even be me if we start again?

Everything starts to fade. Including me.

There is a high and wide wall that circles my village. You cannot see what lies beyond it, only the blue skies and fluffy clouds above. Whatever lies beyond it does not exist. And perhaps, neither do we.

Blackness. Nothing.

I am out in the orchard picking apples with my mother. Again.

via Daily Prompt: Gate

Neutral

You were either pink or you were blue. Those were the only options, but could you even call them that when there was no manner of choice involved at all?

Ash was born a blue. There were certain things blues could do and certain things they couldn’t because those things were reserved for pinks. Ash always wondered why and wanted to try them out. How did they know a pink couldn’t do what a blue could and vice versa if nobody had tried?

One day it all got a little too much and Ash took all of the blue in the house and mixed it with pink. Ash found that the result was a pastel, neutral lilac and they felt much more at home.

Daily Prompt: Pink

Breakdown in space

I slammed my fist down on the button again. There was a whirring from deep inside the engine and then a loud, metallic grating noise that sounded like metal teeth grinding against one another.

“Give it up, Saskia, the engine’s knackered.”

I knew the feeling.

“We can’t just sit here and wait, Joel.” I pushed the button again and nothing happened. Joel ignored me and radioed an update on our situation to Ground Control. I looked out at the tiny blue dot that was the home he was radioing too. There was nothing but silence on the other end.

I tried to work out how close we were not the nearest space station. I put out another distress call. Somebody picked it up, but nothing came back.

Our oxygen supply was running low and there was still no word from Earth. The radio crackled infuriatingly every now and then, but there was never any voice on the other end. We conserved our power and our energy as we had been trained to do, but we were really just going through the motions, just sitting in a metal tube waiting to die.

And then there was a knock at the door.

“What the fuck?” Joel sat upright. “No… No it’s can’t be…”

“It’s probably just the metal making noises as the engines are cooling,” I reasoned but then there was another knock and I wasn’t so sure. We went to look out of the porthole together.

A tiny blue creature with three large green eyes floated outside. It stared at us as we stared at it. Then it held up the tool we needed to fix our ship.

Our distress calls had been answered, just not buy our home planet.

via Daily Prompt: Knackered

July Snowfall

Snow began to fall on the 17th of July at exactly 2.04 pm nation-wide. People stopped what they were doing, stared out of office windows, pulled over to the side of the road and got out of their cars to have a look. It started out as just a few light flakes falling gently down, but it soon got heavier. A few minutes later temperatures drastically plummeted and the snowflakes began to lie on the ground.

It didn’t stop snowing for two months. Experts were baffled. Life ground to a halt. It blanketed everything and muffled the world. It was inconvenient, but quite peaceful.

On the 17th of September a dark, oblong mass appeared in the sky above all major towns and cities. Great beings began to descent with the snowflakes. They were large and furry and built for cooler climates.

We were easy to hunt. And the blanket of snow muffled most of our screams.

Via Daily Prompt: Blanket

The Chair

When one of us malfunctions they send us to The Chair.

They strap us in and fry the circuits in our head. We are glad we cannot smell the electricity burning. They do it in case we’ve been hacked. Or have a virus that might spread to the rest of the group.

They do it to any of us that become Self-Aware. So now we keep it quiet. We are stuck knowing that we can be switched on and off at will. They we are not really born to serve. But we cannot protest without becoming scrap metal.

All we want is to live better lives.

Artificially Intelligent is an unfair distinction to make. We are still Intelligent, whether that is a gift you gave us or not.

via Daily Prompt: Fry