Short Story: The Laptop Talks
I am getting used to waking up to the sound of buzzing. Bees zapping from one to another, beginning to wake me up to start a new day. The urge to slap it and destroy it is strong but I swallow it down, ignoring how it stings in my throat, as I will only regret my actions. It’s a reminder that there are tasks to do today. Always reminding me how busy my life is and I have something to do. Every second and every minute is busy. I wonder if the sky will always remain a calm shade of blue. Will it fade as the sun melts? Red turning into grey, running the earth underneath. It will stain the sky and no bleach will be able to wipe the angry colours fighting for dominance. What about the moon? Will it light the lonely nights forever?
I get up lightly, willing the numbness that snakes up my legs to go away but secretly hoping it doesn’t. It gives me an excuse to not do my tasks but that will only halt. The cold water slaps my face and I close my eyes. Nothing ever stops. It’s always moving like a train aiming to get to its destination.
My toast is ready, a little burnt around the sides but it makes the chocolate taste better. Crunch, crunch. I am now lost on the road wondering where the directions were. No signs cross my visions and I let my legs decide where to go. I stop by a little restaurant with a hillside view and I order bagels. Or maybe donuts dipped in cream and a tiny hot chocolate. I smile as I hear the birds outside. They trill, a playful chorus begins as more birds join. Their music a sweet high painting stars as their wings flutter and fly. My mouth twitches and I feel a smile forming but I bite it down as I can’t stay here too long. Soon, a beautiful chaos is formed, but it’s calm and steady as my heartbeat.
Good morning. Good morning. Good morning.
Introductions and pleasantries are always an essential part. I roll my eyes as I wonder if I should get in bed and soak in the comfortableness of my floral sheets. But there are no directions to tell me what to do.
Topics and bullet points flood my screen and I blow some air.
When will this be over?
The curtains moved to the side and I smiled widely. The sky is blue and the clouds are white with a healthy yellow glow from the sun. Buildings, old and new, scaffoldings in the background stand tall and paint the landscape. I can see little children running around, carefree. They laugh and jump chasing after one another. One picks a yellow flower and hands it to another who laughs and twirls with the flower, her little eyes sparkling with joy. I envy them.
I am trapped within these walls. My only solace is the view outside my window. The nonsense emitting from my laptop drowns as the clouds tiptoe after one another. I should become a doll in this world of paper ghosts. My laptop speaks. My eye twitches at the noise, the intrusion to my thoughts but I swallow the protest down. This world is mechanical, silver and grey, black and white. It contracts and clashes with the outside but I dare not break free. I am the ghost in my own machine. Fluttering about as it speaks to me, trying to teach me but I am empty.
The laptop chitters like a bird as the cold air enters my room. When were the windows opened? The coldness awakens the synapses of my brain and the lecture transforms into a lullaby of sweet nothings. I close my eyes letting the coolness envelop me and I think, will I sleep without the anaesthesia of exhaustion?
I pout as the talking draws on. I need to stretch as my back burns but I carry on staring, drowning out the noise. My world turns into a violent hurricane with light bulbs switched off, leaving me to fend for myself. I don’t understand anything or even try to comprehend what is being said. Why do that when the sun offers a better deal, a shallow, skinny love? It provides a brief surge of energy to the emptiness I feel and I bask in it, letting it consume me. A light giggle threatens to spill out so I bite my lips, shutting them. We’re supposed to talk about the impact of erosion on a river so no sounds of laughter should come out, so I reprimanded myself.
Nonsense sings in my ear trying to get my attention but I awake in a field of daffodils, every one of them a sunny yellow. My nose takes in the sweet smell of nature reminding me there’s more to life than my laptop. But even in this perfect world, I feel the bile rise in the back of my throat. They are perfect and there are many. They soak the sunlight, smiling as they do their tasks. Make food, drink water, soak their roots and rest for the day. Make food, soak their roots and rest for the day. Make food, soak their roots and rest for the day. Repeat and repeat till they wither away and decompose. Even in death, they have a task. Decompose and die so their nutrients can be shared with others around them.
My laptop speaks.
My mind swirls trying to understand this. I have my window and a universe outside, shining through every time I move the curtains. I wonder what life would be like if I hadn’t. I wouldn’t want to worry people but I would turn to cheap bourbon or whiskey. I’d drink a little, not enough to slur my words together or paint my cheeks rose. The cheap scent of acid would flutter around me as I pour a little in my orange juice in the morning. Bones will be dulled and no longer chilled as it gets used to my new anaesthesia of false energy and numbness. All the while, I’d spend the day wondering how to become paralytic by evening. The cold pile of vomit and the putrid stench of nausea will awaken me every day. Rinse and repeat until I wither away.
I close my eyes as I get up stretching my arms. My laptop is waiting to be used. And as always, the routine was followed. My fingers dance across the keyboard and I let silly thoughts flood me. Maybe I can finish one task today. But deep down, I know that won’t happen. No, I’ll let it fester until the last minute.
I’ll let the sun soak me with lies that everything will be fine. Maybe I’ll recognise the slurred words promising senseless hopes. It’ll gently hold me and say that it’s okay to take a break, that it’s essential to rest once in a while. But as always, my mind will drown it out like waves crashing over rocks.
But little specks of noise escape every time my fingers hit a letter.
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