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2018 Best New Talent - Short and Sweet Festival Sydney
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A Flash Fiction for the Net Generation
One of those stories.
The girl clicks the mouse. Electrons dance and the screen surges. A white beam shoots up her arm and sucks her into the net. It isn’t as she imagined. Numbers fly every which way, streams of code, like those movies, without the fancy colors and sound effects. It is noiseless. It is dull.
Millions of people logged in, infatuated, giving credence to cyber novels of yore. If only they could see what she sees. It's really quite dull. How much time had she wasted? Online.
On. And now In.
A code zooms by.
6 3 7 5 2
What? Is that minutes? Surely not hours. Oh my God! That’s her life! And what did it all mean? What did she get out of it? But the internet had the possibility for so much good! Right? What had she used it for? Surfing… chatting… She had made some real friends... Well, maybe not real, she’d never met them, never actually spoken to them, but they were real… Weren’t they?
She struggled to think of the good things. She knew there had to be many things. So many. But all she could recall at that moment was the cold hours in her room.
On her own.
What a fucking waste.
I’ll stop. I’ll change! I swear…
A code appears.
What are you saying? Two. Eight. Too late?
But I’ll change… I promise!
The electrons fire again, her arm frazzles. And she's out.
She lifts groggily from the keyboard.
Dribble on the keys, seeping in-between.
She snatches the nearest piece of clothing, a dirty sock from the floor and quickly wipes the keyboard.
She tests the computer.
It still works.
(Inspired by a teen I know who spends way too much time online).
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