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Death Chase in a Pixilated World
I am running. Fleeing, sprinting, escaping, avoiding.
The world as I knew it and all I thought before are sideways.
Nothing is safe. Nothing is right. Nothing will ever be right again.
because now I know, and they know I know and they’re after me.
They’re coming. Coming right now, chasing me. Through the city, through where I used to feel safe. Where my home is, where my family is, where I left them.
But they’re coming fast as the wind will take them, fast as they could, with their death and their doom in tow, because they want me because they know and they know and nothing is safe.
but if i think about it thy shouldn't be a danger, because according to them, they are not real. they are not real, but am I? Am I not real? I am real, but I can’t be, but...
But I can’t breathe, can’t mostly cuz my head's pounding with my feet and my lungs haven’t caught up yet, but can’t because the words won’t get out of my brain, the words I heard, my thoughts repeat them over and over and over.
you’re not real. No one is real…
you weren’t supposed to think at all. No thoughts, no dreams, you are imaginary, you are NOT REA–
How could I forget?
And so I keep running.
I have run for so many days I can’t keep track.
(I guess I don’t have to because if I’m not real the days aren’t real and the world isn’t real so what is there to lose, but then the ground isn’t real so how could my feet be standing on it – but your feet aren’t real, are they? No. No, shut up.)
And my feet throb with the pain so hard it’s hard to believe they’re computerized.
How could the computer have generated pain?
How could it have generated me? How do I have my own thoughts that aren’t the computer?
Or do I have my own thoughts? What if someone else is manipulating me – how I move, how I act, how I think, what if it’s all controlled and what if –
No. no no no, nuh uh, I am as real as I am to have thoughts and feel pain, and if I weren’t I wouldn’t know it, right?
cuz what is the point of me if I am not really me at all? If someone else is pulling on strings like I am a puppet, like I am only what they decide I could be, like my entire existence is only to entertain?
I try not to think.
And so I keep running.
Faster, faster, my feet fly off city pavement and hit crunched leaves and dirt, the forest. I run until I reach a soft flowing stream, and I can’t run no more. I bend down and drink, take deep sips of fresh cool river water until I’m gasping for air and going back for more.
I sit for a minute and rest, cuz my legs won’t let me get up, and I listen to the birds sounding around me, and I close my eyes and listen.
And I hear a crashing through the trees behind me, I force myself up and tell myself to keep going, keep moving, don’t die.
I no longer care if I’m real. I’m real enough to not want my head bashed in, or my gut cut open or my eyes ripped out by a wild angry mob who hate me because now I know, and I wish I didn’t but now I do and they’re gonna get me for it.
And so I keep running. Keep running.
I run, and I hear gunshots – they are gaining on me.
Bullets burst through the leaves behind me and bounce over the ground and off trees. My feet do a kind of frenzied dance to avoid the whizzing chunks of metal.
I keep running – just keep on going – keep moving, keep dodging, keep breathing –
Until a bullet cracks into the back of my skull.
. . .
The world is hazy, red lights flash from somewhere in the mist, and I am frozen in the place I was before… before I died. A large sheet of light is spread out in front of me. Its as tall as the sky and as wide as I can see. It is a wall, a barrier, and its separating where I am from whatever’s out there.
Beyond the screen there is a person, like me, like anyone else, but he’s big. He’s giant.
In comparison, I would be the size of his finger. He is sitting in a room, a room almost like mine back home, but the style of everything is unfamiliar, almost futuristic.
He is holding a smooth black object that is pointed towards me, and he is looking right at me. he moves his fingers over the object in his hands and pushes little coloured circles on its surface. and he speaks, his voice is dampened and glitchy, like there is glass between us.
“Come on! I can’t have died again! Stupid game.” he says. He turns the object around in his hands. “It must not be working.”
Another giant enters the room and bounces down next to him. “Watcha playing?” she says to him.
“Death Chase 2. But it’s not working, I keep dying right after the river scene, my controllers broken.”
“I don’t think it’s the controller.” She grins “let me have a go, you’re rubbish at this game.” She reaches for the object.
“I am not! I just need practice,” He pulls the object away and grips it tight.
“Hey, let me have a go, you’ve been on here for ages anyway.” She grabs the object and presses one of the circles.
“No, wait –! I didn’t save my progress – now you’ve restarted –”
The room flickers, the sound twists and suddenly the picture disappears, and the fog thickens.
Everything whirls, and the world is spinning, spinning, spinning away –
And then I’m running.
I’m back here and running.
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