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Science Fiction

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

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Coming back from the train station I could hear the sound slowly building. A low toned wailing sound. Soft, vibrating, but dangerous and persistent.

Thought, ‘Some wanker has set off the Mall alarm.’
The concierge of my apartment building sat staring at his laptop. He didn’t seem too concerned.

“You’d think someone would fucking call someone to stop that fucking noise pollution,” I said to him as I headed for the elevator.

He never looked up from his laptop.

I entered my apartment and was so glad for the triple glazing.
It was as silent as a Pharaoh’s Tomb.
Just how I liked it.
I turned on the TV News and set it to mute.
Then I asked Alexa to play some 70s Rock N Roll.
I poured myself an Anchor California Dreaming Craft Beer.
Then closed my eyes and could feel that California sun on my skin.
A paradise indeed. One day soon, I planned to move to that State of Mind.
That was The Golden State.

On TV, a reporter was standing in front of Number 10 Downing Street.
Mic in hand, giving the usual politico spiel, I suppose.
Behind him, lots of cars were arriving and depositing the “Unified Government of the People.”
A hodgepodge of all the relevant parties that where forced together when the final curtain call came for Brexit.
And the UK economy went over that trade war cliff.
Alternatively called The Independence from Europe Sky-Dive.”

I was half way through selling my Crypto-currency business to some grey suited hedge fund.
They really had not a clue as to what they were buying.
Sucked in by the massive profits.
I had bigged it all up and on real paper too.
Lucky for me, they were still into fibrous substances.
It all looked so much better on fine headed legal paper.

I had sold out to The Man,” for a lower price than they expected.
But it meant I could leave right away.
My team would also abandon ship after a year.
And we could start it all again in California.
That was my cunning plan.

I smiled and drank some beer.
Then I heard the hum again. Very low but it was there.
I searched around the rooms.
Then opened the balcony door.
That wailing sound had increased.
I felt the unease starting in the pit of my stomach.
Then quickly dismissed it.
Thought, “Must be some old self-preservation run away mechanism kicking in.”
I closed the balcony door.
The hum was still there. Inside my apartment.
Thought, “Jazus, Fucking Triple Sound Proof Glazing and it’s still coming through.”

I made a quick meal and checked the Crypto-currency charts.
All showing massive green spikes.
I bought some and sold some on the Chinese exchange I preferred.

Thought, “The Blockchain was now a marketing buzzword from kid’s toys to washing up liquid.”

It was always something that had always intrigued me about the UK.
How they could go from knowing absolutely nothing about ‘The Blockchain.’
To reformed Blockchain hookers who knew absolutely everything and wanted to jump on all the Blockchain bandwagons.
Everybody and their Granny was now a fucking Blockchain expert.

The Chinese on the other hand just seemed to suck it all up and move on.
Like an army of tech ants, in a virtual South American Amazon rain forest.
Stripping the land of everything in their path, as they motored ahead.
No complaints or thoughts of tomorrow.
Just the long slow virtual march into that vast digital nirvana.

I lay down on the IKEA sofa, I had put together myself.
I noticed that there was still activity outside of Number 10.
The talking head was looking harried and still waffling on. Waving his arms about.
He looked like he was about to cry.

In the background ‘The Kinks, Lola,’ was getting to the part where they switched out the words, Coca Cola to Cherry Cola.
I nodded off.
Into a dream world of EOS Black Ops Contracts and the Ethereum Wars.”
There was King Dan Larimers Dark Elven Army.
Battling the Dark Army of Emperor Vitalik Buterin for the mastery of The Mainnet.

I awoke with the wailing sound. It was very loud now.
I was disoriented.
Used to the perfect silence that was my castle.
I thought for a minute it was the TV.
The searing sound was biting into my soul.
Devouring any peace that lay there.
I was more scared now than I have ever been.
Thought, What the Fuck is Going On.”
I sat up and looked at the TV.
The Prime Minister was on, crying, looking scared.
Not a good thing.
I told Alexa to stop John Lennon’s Instant Karma.’
And switched off the TV mute.

The message on TV was, I realized, on a loop.

Her Cabinet, long ago whisked away, to some deep deep cavern, where they would try and survive the coming catastrophe.
She was more or less saying on a loop, “You’re all fucked.”
The wailing sound of the earth dying was the backdrop to her tears.

“We are all so-so sorry,” she said, as she cried into her hanky, “We take full responsibility for what is about to happen.
We should have warned everybody much sooner.”

Then the TV and everything inside and outside went dark.
And the darkness added to the high pitched wailing resonance that was everywhere now.
Inside the apartment, inside my head, building up, inside my soul.

Thought, “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!”


Frank Sonderborg (UK)

Frank Sonderborg was born in Ireland, lives in the UK and does his best to write interesting stories. His short stories have appeared in various UK & USA publications. And is currently working on a fiction book about the Irish War of Independence.

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