A Short Story: Are You There?

Just a short introduction to this one. This has been re-written several times and no doubt I’ll re-write it again (along with much of the content, as is writer’s prerogative). It started life as a piece of flash fiction in Twitter Feed format (which I sadly lost when my laptop died) and gravitated into a short story. I like how it’s written in the first person sort of a train of thought. As you may have noticed I’m experimenting, SOS was almost completely in conversation form but then I couldn’t end it without a bit of prose (that definitely needs work). Most of what I write isn’t quite dark enough. That’s because writing horror makes me physically sick. Probably in a good way. To me, this is the scariest thing that has come out of my brain so far. *

*You’ll have to tell me if it’s scary. It scares me.


I think I exist. I must exist. I think therefore I am. Who said that? I’ve read words through my screen. My computer screen. I write words on my computer screen and give them to others to read. Yes, that’s what I am, a writer and a teacher. I write and teach literature. I think therefore I am. I have a brain but I can’t remember who said that. I think. I do think. I can think. I’m thinking right now. I think I’m tired.

Did I sleep? I’m awake now and my computer screen is on. It’s typing the ideas that I’m thinking. This is how I write. So, if I think about grass and trees then it types “grass and trees.” If I describe the grass and trees in my mind then it writes out a description “green, wet grass and silver birch trees.” Are there pictures? There are pictures of grass and trees now. I can see them. I can feel them. Somehow. How can I feel pictures? This is my World. Ah, now I am on the grass and under a silver birch tree. This is nice. I will teach my next class here.

The class is ended and I am being fed. I think I am picking up the food with my hands and putting it in my mouth. I think therefore I am. Who said that? I’m still under the tree and on the grass. It is a sunny day. It is always sunny here. The class went well. Bright children who learn quickly. I enjoy it when the class goes well. Tonight, I will talk to my girlfriend and we will make love under this tree and on this grass. But where is this place? How will she know how to meet me here? Still, I will wait here and she will come.

She came and will meet me here again. She liked it here as well. I wonder if she sees the grass as the colour green that I see or feels the dew under her feet just as I do. I will go home now. I will sleep. I think. I think therefore I am. Who said that?  

I slept, I woke and I am happy. I was happy. But she didn’t come. For the first time, she wasn’t here. I wonder why. I wonder where here is. Am I here? I can see my computer screen again. It does not type my questions. Only thoughts it seems. Thoughts of places. Virtual places? Virtual here? What does that word mean? I think I’m tired again. I have ony just woken up. How can I be tired again? Why does the screen not type my questions? Does it not want to answer my questions? I will sleep again. But I don’t want to sleep.

I did sleep. And then I opened my eyes. It was dim in the room but there was a wall in front of me and to each side of me. I saw a wall. A real wall. What is real? I didn’t think of the wall. I’ve never seen pictures of a wall such as this. Yet, I saw the wall. Why can I see a wall? Was it real?

I closed my eyes. I did not sleep. I still feel tired but I did not sleep. I looked at the wall. The wall is still there. Is it real? I look down. I am sat on a chair. I can not move easily. There are tubes sticking into my body. I no longer see my computer screen. All I can see are the walls. I am frightened. I don’t understand. Where am I?

I am here. I think therefore I am. I am. This is reality. I. Am. One tube has dropped out of my arm but the other tubes are still attached. Another tube is still pumping something into my stomach. One more, it appears, takes away waste. And I feel something. Not nice. I feel pain. Excruciating pain in my arm and around the tubes. Where is my tree and the grass? Where is she? Why did she not come? I don’t understand. I’m tired. I can’t move. I feel pain. I can’t. Help me? The computer screen didn’t type questions. Help me!

My eyes are getting used to the light. I see something else. Something in the far wall that I could not make out before. There is a door in that wall. I think I am beginning to understand. I know she will never come again. I look up and see that the door is opening. I open my mouth and words are formed. I think therefore I am. I said that. I said that right now. I am. I will speak again. I have questions. They will answer my questions. My voice sounds distant and croaky but I can form words and I will speak.

“Are you there?”


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