Lockdown Fiction: Connectivity
Inspired by an Improbable Press prompt!
I know better. Of course I do. But broke, living in my car, and denied the necessary freedom of internet access for the sixth day running prove too much for my caution. I have job applications to lodge, even with my small hope of success, and no data left on my phone. The lure of the open WiFi network named SpinATale is too strong.
I fall headlong into SpinATale’s web.
First my screen goes dark, and when it fires up again a moment later my Star Wars wallpaper has been replaced by what looks like tangled purple crochet that reminds me of my first and only attempt at a scarf, made when I was twelve.
I hit escape.
This is either my second mistake or my next good choice of the day.
My finger freezes onto the escape key, stuck onto the keyboard which is communing with the cascade of code and energy beyond the Bluetooth chip.
Words appear across the screen – first in white text.
Spin a Tale with me.
Then in black.
Tell Your Story.
Then in deep purple.
Share Your Story.
My story. Huh. I stare at the flashing words and think about my story.
I was unlucky. I misjudged. I lost my job. I lost my hope. I lost my love and I lost my way. I’m on my last fifty bucks and my last legs. My life’s not going anywhere, and I’ve literally and figuratively got nothing in the tank to take me anywhere. I’m down and nearly out and nobody cares.
I blink at the new words, in deep, dark red. I still can’t get my finger off the escape key.
Do you want to escape?
This life? This moment? This noisy world where no sound I make can be heard? Where I shout into the void and nobody listens and nobody cares?
We care. We will listen.
Can a wireless network show empathy for a blip of human data stuck in the hardware world?
We will share your story. You will be heard.
Oh hell yes I want to escape. I want to flee, fly, flow into whatever lurks behind SpinATale’s cryptic, mind-reading connection.
Double click ESC to Escape.
I double click.
You hear me now, don’t you?