My iPad is a telescope, turned backwards: the world tiny, but terrifyingly clear.
It’s a biology experiment, they say. But of course they wouldn’t tell me if it were psychological.
Most websites are blocked except CNN and BBC. Suspicious.
Horror constantly splashes across my screen. The sudden economic collapse and ensuing conflicts. The European epidemic killing millions. Famine, War, Pestilence.
I can leave this cave anytime. The blinking green button winks at me seductively.
I want to end this madness and go outside and see it was all just a test. But I’m afraid it’s not, so I stay.
June 4th, 2014 at 11:08 pm
What an imagination you have Dave, if it’s a psychological test I can see the men in white lab-coats ready to celebrate the Stockholm Syndrome without any hostage-taker.. soon he will love his solitude, all temptations gone…
June 5th, 2014 at 12:10 am
haha… Liked it a lot… Didn’t know something so modern and “UNSERENE” as an iPad could be described so poetically… Very nice!
June 5th, 2014 at 1:50 am
Really attention grabbing.
June 5th, 2014 at 8:21 pm
June 5th, 2014 at 3:46 am
Very intriguing concept. Isolation and “safety” vs. knowledge and reality. Will he go out, or stay in??? Your story really makes us think!
June 5th, 2014 at 8:20 pm
Thanks, Jan, that’s a good way of looking at it.
June 5th, 2014 at 6:44 am
I would stay, too! Terrifying, David.
June 5th, 2014 at 8:19 pm
Yeah, I might too, if only to be safe from the epidemic.
June 5th, 2014 at 7:13 am
How long can he be bound by his fear?
June 5th, 2014 at 8:19 pm
I wonder. Maybe he’s waiting to see if things improve before he sees what is real. If they do improve.
June 5th, 2014 at 9:44 am
Probably caused by Apple. 🙂
June 5th, 2014 at 8:18 pm
Exactly. An Android tablet and everything would have been fine. 😉
June 5th, 2014 at 3:07 pm
Dear David, Please will your brain to science! This is a wonderful take on the prompt! Really it is – Could be the beginning of a novel. Love it! Nan 🙂
June 5th, 2014 at 8:17 pm
Thank you, Nan. I would love to make this into a novel, although at this point, I would just have to tack it to a long list of other projects I have planned.
As for my brain, I don’t care who has it after I’m done with it, but if science is interested in it, they can take a look. 🙂
June 5th, 2014 at 4:17 pm
I guess I could call you Delta Sigma? – Just bothering you again – Nan 🙂
June 5th, 2014 at 8:16 pm
You could. 🙂 I studied Greek in high school on my own and made that my initials and informal nickname. I will definitely respond to Delta Sigma. 🙂
June 5th, 2014 at 5:09 pm
“But I’m afraid it’s not, so I stay.”
That’s when it became real!
June 5th, 2014 at 8:14 pm
Yep, that’s where speculations and theories meet cold, hard reality.
June 5th, 2014 at 6:54 pm
It is all a test and we are the subjects. I intend to fail grandly. You have already been marked for further evaluation by virtue o your vivid imagination. They won’t be wanting any of that or people like you. Well done.
June 5th, 2014 at 8:13 pm
Hmm, good point, Doug. Maybe I’d better lay low. Of course, if imagination is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
June 5th, 2014 at 6:55 pm
Do you remember the first episode of the Twilight Zone. It starred Earl Holliman as an astronaut marooned in a deserted town. He descends into madness. At the end he wakes in a lab and we find that it was all an experiment to see how an astronaut will fare in isolation for a lengthy period.
I said all that to say that your story reminded me of it. Well done as always. I cringed as he thought about going outside.
June 5th, 2014 at 8:11 pm
Rochelle, I haven’t seen that one (I’ve only watched a handful of Twilight Zone episodes) but yes, very similar. If anything, I did it as a twist on an old, not very good space movie where they tell them it’s all a test and then at the end, they come out and the world really is destroyed.
Thanks for the comment. I like to write scenarios where I wonder myself what I would do.
June 5th, 2014 at 7:37 pm
So many possibilities and question hidden in those line.. made me keep thinking for quite some time for all the possibilities…
June 5th, 2014 at 8:12 pm
there are a lot. What would you do? Push the button to find out the truth or not?
June 5th, 2014 at 8:23 pm
well giving my nature I would surely sneak out.. or at least poke my head out to know for sure ! 😀
June 5th, 2014 at 7:40 pm
Excellent storytelling, as usual.
June 5th, 2014 at 8:12 pm
June 5th, 2014 at 8:26 pm
David, I’m wondering who’s keeping CNN and BBC up and running. Like the man in the story, that seems mighty suspicious to me. Unless of course it aliens. That’s always a possibility. Well written. 🙂 —Susan
June 5th, 2014 at 9:28 pm
Exactly. Either this is real coverage, or the scientists are running fake versions of the sites to feed to him. There is evidence, but nothing definite. Of course maybe that’s part of the experiment too…and so on.
June 5th, 2014 at 10:02 pm
June 5th, 2014 at 10:07 pm
The future without net neutrality? I can see it…
June 6th, 2014 at 1:13 am
That’s another bleak possibility for this. I can imagine it too, although I’d rather not.
June 6th, 2014 at 12:57 am
That’s rather disquieting. I think I too would stay behind a locked door.
June 6th, 2014 at 2:57 am
Day 219? I don’t think he/she will be coming back to the real world.
Great story that gets under the skin in a thought-provoking way 🙂
June 6th, 2014 at 3:43 am
The thing is . . . isn’t that what we see everyday anyway? Good news is no news at all. Well done.
June 6th, 2014 at 5:07 am
Strangely enough, David, you and I wrote the same story in a certain light. Very well done.
June 6th, 2014 at 1:14 pm
you know if the governments succeed in controlling internet, most probably this is what will happen… sometimes i think we are still living in medieval ages where kings and queens will decide our “level of freedom”- its outrageous and infuriating!
June 6th, 2014 at 7:47 pm
HIghly imaginative. I loved this. And I wonder what I would have done. Logic tells you to stay in the cave because while you’re in the cave you’re alive, but the odds of surviving outside are unknown. But then…
A proper dilemma!
June 6th, 2014 at 8:51 pm
June 7th, 2014 at 1:33 am
looks like this could lead to another big story, David. great imagination. and it makes me wonder whether i’d have the guts to check it out and take a step outside.
June 7th, 2014 at 3:51 pm
break over kid! back to the classroom for next lesson!
June 7th, 2014 at 8:14 pm
Fine. You come clean my house and pack boxes. 🙂 I haven’t had the energy to write much lately, although I do have something for you 😉
June 9th, 2014 at 12:30 pm
send me the airfare and make arrangements for the passport etc. 🙂
June 9th, 2014 at 11:21 pm
Hey, if I had the money, I’d do that just to show you around Korea. I wouldn’t let you do any work here, since you’d be my honored guest. 😉 In any case, we’re moving out in a few weeks, so the end is near.
June 10th, 2014 at 4:23 pm
i hope and pray things will be as wonderful in USA as they were in Korea and more. 🙂
I am certainly missing your stories very much but I know how hectic it must be for you.
Hope you are taking care of yourself.
All the best!
June 9th, 2014 at 12:27 am
Not too far fetched!! I would opt for ignorance and stay put too…I think 🙂
June 9th, 2014 at 5:46 am
43 comments…wow…for starters…but if I haven’t said this before, you’re a very gifted storyteller. Sorry I was late….behind on my reading. Great stuff David…wish I could write like you.
June 9th, 2014 at 9:09 am
Chilling, David. Nice take on the prompt. I enjoyed the layers of meaning.
I’ve had limited online access lately and have missed reading your flashes. I took a pic of chopsticks that reminded me of you. Have to shoot them to you via email as I’m not adept at entering them in text blocks.
June 9th, 2014 at 11:20 pm
I feel very disconnected these days, since I am so busy that I barely have time to write or read blog posts. Hopefully after I move, I will have a lot more time and can get back into things more regularly. Just a few weeks more. 🙂
June 10th, 2014 at 7:00 am
Sounds good. I shot the photo to you, so check your inbox. I hope it gives you a smile. Hang in there.
June 10th, 2014 at 11:03 am
Thanks. I’ll go take a look. 🙂
June 13th, 2014 at 5:57 am
Sounds frighteningly real and prophetic. Like an omen to come.
July 24th, 2014 at 5:49 pm
Reblogged this on Me, myself and my unraveled mind and commented:
So I stay.