Have you ever wondered that maybe you've taken up the wrong hobby? Read on for a tale of the ghost in the machine.
Amber set down at her computer and plugged in her headset. Increasing pain of carpal tunnel meant she would either stop writing, or rely on other means. The new speech dictation program seemed like the perfect solution. She listened to the silence around her.
So many blank spaces, so many words with which to fill them. Sometimes she felt as if the words would pop out of the air, especially on a humid night, the air pregnant with moisture ready to birth new ideas.
She kept reminding herself of that, trying to channel the perfect story. It usually worked.
Sometimes, however, just like many others, she had writer's block. She'd put the headset down and go get a snack, feed the cat, flip through a magazine. She'd come back to find that she forgot to turn the audio set off. It usually picked her discussions with the cat.
"Fluffy, no." "Here, Fluffy, time for dinner." "Ah, good girl."
What a boring life she led.
It was going to be a romance novel. She wrote of rolling hills of green, and blue water lapping the shores. There would be a handsome, strapping male protagonist who would startle her unwitting female protagonist.
"Oh crap, this sounds cheesy," Amber exclaimed. She went to the kitchen for some string cheese. Her cat stayed in the back room where her computer was, snoozing contentedly.
She came into the back room and saw that her headset have fallen to the floor. "Fluffy, what did you do?" She realized though, that Fluffy was sleeping. She looked at the screen, and this is what she saw:
"I in an and will you will will will and in and in and is will and I are in our and will will will you will is in."
It didn't make any sense. She thought nothing of it, other than that her cat made some noise in her sleep, and the dictation program tried to translate it into words. They were all one syllable. Many were repeated. "You will. You will what? Feed the cat?" She ruffled Fluffy's fur. Fluffy let out a meow.
Amber turned to her computer screen, and saw nothing. No words were transmitted. So maybe the cat was not the problem? Surely "Meow" would have shown up! She thought nothing more of it as she went to cook dinner.
Of course, the headset had been left on again, she noticed as she returned to the room. Again, mysterious words appeared:
"You will you will you I will you will you will."
"Oh, no I won't!" She exclaimed. She shut off the microphone headset. Not much typing went on that night. She was more than a little creeped out.
Morning came, and the sun peeked through the curtains at a wide awake Amber who hadn't slept very much that night. It was not a work day. She figured she would do some writing. She plugged in the headset and turned it on. The cat let out a very loud Meow in the other room, distracting Amber, so she turned. The headset was still laying down on the desk. When she turned around, these words were typed into the dictation box:
"Oh yes you will."
"Ahhhh!!!!!!!!" She shrieked. Fluffy went tearing through the house. Amber tore out the headset again, and would not write at all that day. The neighbor upstairs banged the floor with a broomstick. This had happened a couple times before, when Amber's cat would howl to be let out before Amber finally got her fixed. Her neighbor was a very impatient man. She didn't like him one bit.
It was a long day of very boring television and ignoring the backroom where he computer sat on her desk, powered off in a frenzy of paranoia. Night time would have been welcome, except Amber knew she would have trouble sleeping again.
Terrible, horror-filled dreams rocked her sleep, what little she caught. She dreamed that the specter that seemed to live in her computer climbed out, and sat on the edge of her bed, watching her.
"What do you want!?" She woke up screaming at 5 a.m. Her upstairs neighbor, true to form, banged on his floor with that broom. "Stop it, you turd!" She hollered, then buried her face in the pillow. Fluffy jumped up into her bed and cuddled up at her feet. Amber drifted in and out of sleep.
The next day was a very rough day at work. She spilled coffee on some very important papers, had to talk to the boss behind a closed door (there was a little bit of yelling), and the phone seemed to ring non-stop. When she got home, she powered up the computer, as usual. Her headset was plugged in, but not turned on. A blank screen came up, and then the following words appeared:
"You will kill him."
Amber shut off the computer immediately. She refused to believe what she saw. Her thoughts turned to her boss, to the neighbor.
She compulsively powered the computer back on. She typed one word. Love. And waited.
"No one you listens to me you I am you locked up in here Someone you can set me free."
Amber took a pen to paper and copied the words. She then scribbled out every you. It made sense. "No one listens to me. I am locked up in here. Someone can set me free." Perhaps the You in "You will kill him," should have been something else. She felt more free and open. Amber felt there was always something beyond our visual and auditory field. Psychics could sense it. Was this a ghost communicating with her? Could she somehow make this into a story? Was this someone who had a story to be told?
It seemed a story of isolation, desolation, maybe even vengeance. Yet, she believed she could tell it. All she had to do was listen.
It was suddenly 2 a.m. She had dozed off. The computer was still on. There was blood on her hands. Someone was crying upstairs. That didn't worry her too much, except that it was 2 a.m.! Let me go get my broom, she thought. Let me bang on the ceiling. She searched around but could not find it. There was the sound of an ambulance, fading into the distance. Better wash my hands, she thought. Just then, there was a knock on the door.
Amber quickly washed her hands, letting the water run over a dirty hammer in her sink. She could not recall when or why she had put it there.
"Yes?" She opened the door a crack.
There was a uniformed police officer at the door. "Amber Creshian?"
"Wait a minute," she had a chain on the door, and ran back to her computer room.
On the screen, the words appeared: "You I did it."
There was a blood curdling scream from her mouth. The officer pushed down the door, busting the chain, and ran back to her room. Never could a confession seem so blatant. On her screen, was typed the words, "I did it."
Three months later, in cell block Nine, inmates spread rumors and warn each other to stay away from the word woman, who talks to no one. She continually tears off pieces of her uniform with her teeth, and writes little words on them. They seem like random words, and they seem to disappear when the cell guards arrive to sweep it all up and give her another uniform to wear, but everyone knows that one day she will piece all of these words together and give them concrete meaning. No one wants to know exactly what she will do with all of her words. And it's no secret, that words are what did her in.