AUTOMATED: Emotional Debt

Fiction by Megan Sun

This piece was shortlisted for the people’s choice award in AUTOMATED: The 2017 Honi Soit Writing Competition. To vote, head to our Facebook page

Simulation 1.0

Whispers barracade your eardrums – louder, louder
Oozing into your skull, the pitch climbs
Like Brutus stabbing at the spongy grey of your brain.
A viscid sour fills your nostrils,
Acrid against your tongue.
“It’s too crowded in here!” you roar silently
But you’ve never felt more lonely in your life.
Far away, a woman screams, cries
Saying that she needs you back.
She needs the stranger sitting in front of her
But there’s a growing waiting room in your head.

Blink once to move to the next simulation

Simulation 2.0

Red fever, festering fear.
Don’t trust your neighbour –
Don’t trust your mother.
They’re watching, always watching.
Who’s watching?
Him upstairs?
When will He come?
He never came.
But don’t worry – the mushroom is big enough to embrace us all
Only thing to do is wait with open arms.

Blink once to move to the next simulation

Simulation 3.0

Warm, sweet smoke licks the roof of your mouth
Purring like a soft kitten, tickling your insides
Gently pushing away riots riding radio waves
Unadulterated bliss coating every cell in your body
Buffing away the wrinkles on your brain –
A smooth egg in your skull.
You see your hands in front of you
Moving slowly through honey-thick air
That’s not the real world out there –
The real world is the peace in your mind.
Here the Rolling Stones plays all your favourite hits through the night
Here Vietnam is but an arbitrary pin on the map.

Emotional charge complete. Please insert 1000 credits to continue charging, otherwise remove the simulator from your heart port.

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