A bed alike all
others. A human, sleeping. Darkness. A slanting ray of moonlight on his face. A
heaving chest. A dog barking viciously, outside.
Pause. Observe. Squint your eyes.
moonlight casting shadows on the transparent worms. Floaters. Tricks your eyes
play with you. But these are different. The wriggling tubes home in on the
human. Enter through the ears.
No corneal trick.
Observe the human
carefully. Calm face. Heaving chest. He is asleep.
With a sudden
jolt, he wakes up. The jerk throws him off the bed.
Just then, the
machine whirred into action. An endless stream of raw emotions formulated into
equations. Muse to a blank canvas. A canvas of consciousness.
Birth on a white
screen of violent emotions.
turning to blood. Fear of unknown knew no other color. Weak soothing blue of
logic trickling, trying to douse the forest fire. Unsuccessful.
Throbbing darkness. Paranoid desperation for sanity.
A resolute dot
meaningful action. Return of semblance. Clockworks ticking. Horror, paused.
Meaningful lines. Home mistaken for home, a goat for goat, and cheese for
cheese. Discontinuity. Contrast. Discreteness.
established its home and the apple fell. 2 + 2 became 4. Thirst, quenched.
Glimpse of the fathomless pit. Bandages applied.
Calm before the
in fell gravity. A house without windows. Their shoddy replacement – undead
the cement wall. Chipped front tooth. Legs rocking gently. Hands calling. Eyes
No escape from
But the real life isn’t that fluid. Reflect. Think. It’s
difficult to correlate the digital imagery with this drab analogue.
He pants heavily.
Confused. And then afraid. Never was he thrown off the bed.
furiously. Maybe a bad dream. But he
knew, he wasn’t dreaming. Fear grips him.
He shakes his
head. Gets up. Goes to the kitchen. Pours himself a glass of water. Drinks.
feels good. I might have imagined it.
uncertainty. Deludes himself to sleep.
An undead mom beckons.
Its red face
flickers like a candle in the light of the Impressionist.
The human goes back to sleep. Probe successfully entrenched within his mind.
The jerk warned
the human of an intrusion. He didn’t heed.
The probe captures
every neural synapse within the brain. Each nano-second. A remote computer
handles this humongous raw data. Dices and splices human emotions and opinions.
Churns out a
moving Impressionist, differently
called a ‘canvas of consciousness’.
Human-generated content analysis. Sentiment analysis. Insights.
What makes a human tick? What makes a human, a ticking
When to nudge the domino towards its doom?
It smiled. Another
fruitful day at work.
Vismay Harani is a speculative sci-fi & fantasy short story
writer from India. He has been writing since he was in 9th grade. Getting
published in 'Black Petals' would be his first venture outside the Asian
market. He has previously been published at Kitaab International, Out
of Print, Juggernaut & Science reporter.