You are receiving this broadcast

“0, 1, 9, 9, 9”

The broadcast had started a few seconds ago and already it was annoying me.  This was why we had upgraded ourselves, I thought.  Audio dampeners and visual blockers had promised us a life free from the annoyances of the little people.

The clubs music increased in volume almost immediately to drown out the numbers but it had left enough of a bad feeling within me, that I called up the S.H. shop page on my internal vision and started looking at emotion inhibitors.

I was five years into the upgrade process and had little to no complaints so far.  Occasionally little parts of my old life, bled through like lies.  I had to get better upgrades soon.  Vaguely I remember the hysteria when the plan was announced.  The little people who could not afford the implants, demonising those who could.  It would have sickened me if I still had that capacity.

However it was a relief when I could shut them out.  When we removed the health care  and education systems, as we the upgraded no longer required it, I felt a sense of victory.  I was not alone in that thought.

As I walked towards the back of the club, a NoLoNoRo moved aside.  Paying her no heed I went to walk past, then the annoyance of the broadcast came to the forefront of my memory and I deliberately pushed into her making her fall backwards, apologising as she fell.  It would do no good, they were here to serve the upgraded and she had just assaulted me.  Any money that she was hoping to earn to purchase an upgrade would be removed now.  Quite right too, we cant have just anyone joining our ranks.  It would defeat the point of it all.

“Tonights outside entertainment will begin in five minutes.  The Robotic Automated People Exterminator machine will be facing off against 5 of the common populace.  Why not place bets on how long it will take it to eliminate them all?  Remember every unit spent tonight will be put towards research into new upgrades.  It is a Win Win situation and we deserve this.”

The crowd started moving towards the giant windows that overlooked the park.  Video screens switched on elsewhere in the club so that no patron would miss out.  It was the one feed that we could not switch on internally.  There would have been a reason given at some time I am sure but I cannot remember what it was.  No matter, it obviously was not important.

I reach the pleasure zone and watch fascinated as the Magnetic People coupled together with eerie, slow movements.  I cannot remember if this is what I used to like before I upgraded myself.  It held my attention for five minutes, no longer.

A NoLoNoRo stood ready to take my drink order.  Alcohol no longer affects us the way it used to – it was one of the most common upgraded parts I have been informed, so here they provide a narcotic infused honey.  I snatch my order from him and , still slightly annoyed by the broadcast, almost hit him.

Almost.

There was something about his eyes that stopped me.  A far away look, glazed but focused at the same time.  I have never seen anything like it on an upgraded or common.  The pause was enough for the rage to pass and I turned to make my way to the windows.

The honey started rewiring my brains programming and I could feel the effects altering my perception.  Far better to watch someone be torn apart in front of you, when you are seeing colours that you did not know existed.  I raised my glass in toast to the lady beside me but her cold stare did not falter.

This was how it was now.  A better life through technology.

Whatever the cost.

 

My little experiment

In an effort to keep myself writing as often as possible, I have been taking songs I like and then penning a wee story that is kind of based on the lyrics.  It is just a bit of fun and there was a part of me that wondered if the source material would shine through too obviously.

I was way off the mark with that thought!!

So there are 3 stories on this blog that are based on songs.  The songs are as follows

68 guns

225

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

They are not literal interpretations, more a cover version in story form.  Bizarrely the Soft Cell one was the least read of them all…despite it being the most mainstream song…

This all came about because when I hear songs with lyrics I like, I seem to always conjure up little pictures in my head.  What did they mean?  What was happening?  That sort of thing.

The first time I was fully aware that I was doing this, was when I heard this Roxette Song.

The line “The sound of silence and all around” conjured up a vivid picture of lonliness that kept getting more detail with each time I heard it.

So when that keeps happening, you should realise that the world is telling you something.

It only took me 20+ years to realise what.

 

Another song to story will appear later on today.  Not a particularly obscure song but offbeat enough.

 

The two meanings of a wave

Bursting through the door, I found myself outside in the cold afternoon rain.  Quickly seeking shelter in a nearby nightclub doorway, I started to cry.  The neon pink feathers that surrounded me did not stop the tears.  My body wracked with pain, I ended up crouched down in the corner, trying to shut out the world.

What a world.

They advertised in the glossy magazines that I would never normally be seen reading (but yet I read avidly).

“We can show you the future.  Your future”

Then there was the usual advertising blurb.

“Using techniques first developed by the ancient Aztecs, our facility can provide you with access to your future. You can see what is ahead of you, in full High Definition visuals.”

“We at the SunshineHurtz corporation, understand that sometimes knowing too much of what is ahead for you can be dangerous.  We have worked with top scientists from the world over and have developed a solution.  The information will automatically be removed from your memory ten minutes after the experience. However through vestigial traces, Your mind will be better prepared to cope with what the future can bring.”

It sounded tempting and after reading testimonials of satisfied customers, I saved up the money to give it a go.

The business premises were like many others on this street.  All smoked glass and unoffensive colours.  Inside was cool and serene.  I handed over my card, only to be told that they had taken the payment via contact-less technology, the moment I had stepped through the doors.  One less thing to worry about I guess.

I was shown to a room that was dimly lit and contained just one extremely comfortable reclined chair.  Sitting down I was told to look at the light that snaked down from the ceiling.

Suddenly I was standing in a cocktail skirt in what looked like a suburban hell.  There was a man beside me, clad in an ill-fitting suit that made him look several years older than he was.  I did not know who he was.  We were in a house that had almost no character, everything about it screamed…..

What did it scream?

That was not the worst thing though.  Through a nearby window I could see a woman waiting outside.  She was waiting for this man.  This stranger that I was emotionally bonded to.

He was leaving me for her.  My heart was breaking.  I felt betrayed and……..

What did I feel?

His hands were on mine, his voice soft and breaking.  He loved me but…

I remember shaking his hands off of me

Then there was deep red lights everywhere.  Catching a glimpse of my reflection in a mirrored car, I could see that my makeup was a mess.

Why was it a mess?  Why do I feel broken?  How could I be so upset over…..

What had upset me?

Then I was up and off the recliner and straight through the fire door.

As the rain continued to pour down, I managed to pull myself together a little bit.  Staring at the half opened door, I could not believe that they could get away with….

I mean I cant believe that they are allowed…

Why would anyone willingly….

 

 

Why am I outside in the rain?

A wee story

The green words on her computer screen just made things seem worse than they probably were.  She had no idea what she was supposed to type next.  The keyboard sat intimidatingly in front of her hands.  The keys had been worked over so many times that it was now almost impossible to make out what the letters were.  Fear gripped her.  If she did the wrong thing she would surely lose her job.

That was the reality.  The firm would easily slot someone else in, probably before she had left the premises.  She had heard me move behind her and turned to me looking for help.  I would have but I had never touched a computer before.  My job had never needed one and there was no need for the firm to pay me to learn.  Shaking my head I mouthed Sorry and moved away.  They were watching us, that was not a secret.  However they were also listening to us and not many people knew that.  Time was money and idle chat costs time.

Moving away to empty the next desks bin, I heard her cry.  I couldn’t look back.  My mind tried to remember what her name badge had said.  I couldn’t.

I was one floor up when I happened to see her leaving the building, head bowed and hurrying along as if on the way to another appointment.  If she was lucky, she would be picked up in the next office sweepstake and get another job, hopefully one that she could actually do.  Until then, she would find a way to survive.  We all did.

That evening, I took my family out to the edge of our housing scheme.  The power stations that surrounded this part of the city, seemed to turn the sky a soft green at night.  It was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever witnessed.  As we stood there, watching the light dim and the neon landscape replace it, I could almost ignore the noise of the mining in the nearby hills.    It was better to pretend to not hear it, as the government constantly denied that it was happening.  Everywhere there were cameras watching and I had seen that even the slightest sign of discomfort was dealt with harshly.

The cold night air eventually became too much for us and we headed home to our room.  We were one of the luckier ones in our scheme.  At night we whispered, almost silently to each other, to ensure that did not change.

As sleep began to take me, I could hear it start to rain.