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Micro World (Part 2)

Life as we know it. Disclaimer: Some parts of this story contains references to COVID-19 which some readers may find disturbing. There is also coarse language and violence. Reader discretion is advised.

By Donna Fox (HKB)Published 7 months ago Updated 6 months ago 10 min read
14
Micro World (Part 2)
Photo by YesMore Content on Unsplash

Part One: The Prologue

Helmar was just a regular student at Lethbridge College. Unsure of what he wanted the future to hold, he was taking a variety of classes. He did typical first-year things like go out for drinks with friends after class and try to keep up with the workload as best he could.

One day while he and a group of buddies were watching a football game at the campus bar it was interrupted by breaking news.

Bum-bum-bum- ba. “We interrupt this program with breaking news.” The newswoman began, her cheeks rosy with concern. “As of April, the count of microchip malfunctions in the area is reaching the thousands. Health officials are unsure what is causing the malfunctions at this time. But urge those who’s microchip is a ’55 or older to get an immediate update at their earliest convenience.”

“Bloody woman’s gonna make us miss a touchdown.” Cameron interrupted, slurping down the remainder of his beer.

“You’re not worried about the malfunctions?” Helmar found himself asking before he could stop himself.

“Helmar buddy,” Cameron began with a gentle slap on the shoulder. “These people are prone to hysterics. Don’t you remember the rubbish that happened in the 20’s? My grandparents say it wasn’t even as bad as the history books made it out to be. People got sick and got better, but very few died of this Covis- or Covid- or whatever it was called.” He explained, then waved at the bartender for another drink.

Before Helmar could comment, the news broadcast disappeared and the football game resumed. Making him forget his train of thought, as the offence charged into the end zone for a touchdown, and half the bar erupted into cheers.

“Ah! See, the bloody woman nearly made us miss the play.” Cameron commented, then took a large slurp of his beer and pushed a second one toward Helmar.

Which nudged the concerns even further from his mind as he slurped down the rest of his first beer in an attempt to catch up.

Over the next couple of days, Helmar had expected the news broadcast to cause some buzz around campus. But within his small circle of friends, nothing had changed. In fact, they didn’t seem concerned in the slightest.

The only thing that could have been considered an indication that something was amiss, was the thinning of the crowds around campus. It seemed that fewer students were attending in-person classes and even a few educators had cancelled classes in this last week.

But Helmar thought that was mostly due to it being the last week before spring break, so most of the students and staff were likely headed out early for their vacation. Just as he was looked forward to doing at the end of the week. When he would drive home to visit his folks, like he did every holiday.

Friday could not have come any quicker for Helmar as he wasted no time packing his things and heading home. He didn’t even bother to say goodbye to his roommate, knowing he’d see him in one short week.

The three-hour drive went by in the blink of an eye. Of course, with a preprogrammed self-driving car it should. Especially when he gets to nap the whole way. Only to be woken by the alarm he had the car set to tell him that he was 10 minutes away from his parent's house.

At that point, Helmar would take over and set the manual controls.

His mother hated seeing him in the self-driving car set to autopilot, so he did his best not to let her witness it.

As he pulled into the driveway, Helmar was met by the smiling faces of his parents. The pair of them stood on the front porch and waved to him eagerly, he were just getting back from war.

He felt slightly embarrassed and wondered how long they’d been standing there, waiting for him.

“You don’t have to greet me like this every time I come home.” Helmar chuckled as he stepped to get out of the car.

“We missed you.” His mother stated, with an enthusiastically wide grin.

“It’s not every day our son comes-“ His father was cut off by a coughing fit that came out of nowhere.

“Pa, are you okay?” Helmar asked, as he dropped his bags and took a few steps toward his parents. 

His father was still hacking and now gasping for breath, unable to answer as he hunched over with his hands on his knees.

His mother placed a hand on his father’s back and rubbed it affectionately. “It’s just the aftermath of a cold he’s had.” She explained, giving a weak smile as she tried to hide the worry that danced behind her eyes.

“Go, grab your things and we can talk more inside.” She instructed, guiding his father inside as he finally gained control of his breathing.

His face was bright red as he blinked in recovery, allowing his wife to steer him around.

Helmar did as he was told, he scooped up his bags and rushed inside. He jogged to catch up and close the door behind himself.

“That’s some cold you’ve got Paps.” He commented, as he dropped his bags in the hall near his room.

His father accepted a glass of water from his mother, “Yeah. I’ve had it for a week now.” He explained, as he took a few large gulps of water.

“A week? Shouldn’t your chip have kicked in by now and gotten rid of it?” Helmar inquired, shocked to hear of a cold lasting more than a couple of hours.

“I guess it’s malfunctioning.” He stated nonchalantly. “So how’s school been?” He inquired, eager to change the subject.

“There’s been talk of a lot of microchip malfunctions at school,” Helmar stated, as he watched his father was hesitation.

“Well, that can happen when the host is a little overindulgent.” His father commented with a playful wink and a gesture that suggested the enjoyment of adult beverages.

“I suppose.” Helmar agreed. “But I also saw a news broadcast-“

“Pfffff” His mother interrupted with a scoff. “You can’t believe anything the news tells you these days. They just want to create mass hysteria in the public so we’ll all upgrade our chips and they can use them to spy on us.” She began a long-winded lecture on how soon the government will use them as a form of mind control. Even explained that they would soon use it to collect information about the hosts and sell that personal information to advertisement companies for profit.

Helmar’s mother was often prone to these types of rants. So this was usually the cue for him and his father to zone out and watch sports or really anything on TV.

His father flicked the TV on out of habit and they watched football until dinnertime.

Helmar’s week off went by in a blur, mostly due to watching too much TV and having several mid-day naps. Before he knew it, it was time to return to college.

Upon his arrival, Helmar expected Cameron to be pasted in front of the TV as he usually was. But instead, their apartment was empty and it appeared to have been like that for at least the full week. Which was odd since Cameron said he planned stay on campus for spring break.

But this wouldn’t be the first time Cameron had changed his mind about a holiday so Helmar assumed that was what happened here.

After a few days, Cameron eventually returned. But he didn’t seem like himself, he was a lot more quiet and withdrawn.

Helmar began to wonder if something happened back home that had affected Cameron. But it was hard to get a moment to talk to him.

He would hide in his bedroom for hours, only coming out to collect his ordered-in meals and then disappear again. But even when he was out of his room he wouldn’t talk to or acknowledge Helmar in any way. It was as though Helmar didn’t exist to him anymore.

Helmar wondered if he had done something to upset Cameron but never got an answer when he tried to talk to him. The only thing he could think of too explain his roommate’s odd behaviour was that he must just be stressed about upcoming exams. So he thought the best thing he could do would be to give Cameron some space.

But over the next few weeks, Cameron seemed to cut the entire world out, not even talking to their mutual friends when they came over. He would usually at least poke his head out and say ‘hi’ when they came over but now, nothing. This seemed completely out of character.

One night, Helmar hosted a small get-together. He and his buddies were watching a baseball game and were perhaps a little more rowdy than usual. Loud enough that the neighbours stopped by to complain, which ended the night.

“Hey Hel,” one of his friends called, as he opened the door. “There’s a pizza box-“

But before he could finish, the door to Cameron’s room burst open. He scurried out like a mouse trying to escape a trap, grabbed the pizza box, and ran back to his room. He ignored the catcalls and comments from their friends, as they all attempted to get his attention. None of them had seen him at least a month at this point.

Toby followed him at a distance, “Dude you stink. Not only have you not seen the light of day in ages but it smells like it too.” He teased, with a smile. As he waved his hand around to fan the smell away from himself, while he pinched his nose to block it.

But Cameron slammed the door in his face, still unresponsive.

“Dude, have a shower and come hang out with us,” Toby called through the closed door.

He suddenly opened the door with an incredulous look, “No.” He stated in a shaky voice.

“Okay.” Toby agreed, looking both concerned and confused. He looked at the rest of his friends for backup, before turning back to Cameron with a nervous smile.

Slowly Cameron closed the door but stood in place still glaring at Toby.

“Well, that was creepy.” He commented in a barely audible voice, looking shaken.

“I told you he’s been weird lately.” Helmar explained, “That’s the most I’ve heard him say since he got back from spring break.”

“Shhh,” Toby said with an outstretched hand, waving to Helmar to come closer. The pair of them leaned inward together, pressing their ears against the door.

From their side of the door, they heard Cameron talking presumably to himself. “If the microchip is upside down then, maybe. But better yet, I’m immune and then that would do it. Thusly-“

Helmar stepped away from the door, “What is he talking about?” He whispered in a barely audible voice.

“I have no idea.” Toby mouthed.

The pair of them stepped away from the door and into the kitchen, shaking their heads in bewilderment. Then each cracked another beer as they started to clean up the recycling and food wrappers from the evening’s events.

“Do you think we should be worried about him?” Toby asked, then took a large gulp of beer as he glanced towards the door.

“You don’t think I am? But how do you get a guy to talk when he stone-walls you?” Helmar countered, also watching the door.

Cameron’s bedroom door opened and he poked his head out, with a delirious expression. “Oh. Hey Toby, long time no see.” He commented, casually walking past them and grabbing a beer from the fridge.

“What?” Toby asked, as he furrowed his brow in confusion. Then looked at Helmar for reassurance.

“You here for the game today? I hear it’s going to be a good one.” He continued, oblivious of Helmar’s and Toby’s shared looks.

“Yeah.” Toby replied with uncertainty, “But the game's over, Dude.” He explained, tilting his head in further confusion.

Cameron’s expression went blank and then he gave a small laugh. Acting casually as he checked the time, “Hah, I guess I got a little too carried away studying.” He commented, taking a large slug of his beer and almost finishing it. “Anyways, I probably should get to bed. I have an exam tomorrow.” He stated in a rushed sort of way, then finished his beer and disappeared into his room again. Slamming the door behind him.

“What was all that about?” Helmar asked, with a quizzical look to Toby.

“I dunno dude, but if I were you I’d keep my bedroom door locked tonight.” He stated, as he took another swig of his beer.

Helmar laughed it off, but made a note to himself to heed his friend's warning.

It wasn’t long before they both finished their beers and Toby had left for the night.

Helmar took out the garbage and recycling. Then was ready to retire to bed. As he closed his door, he was careful to lock it. Having a gut feeling that something was off and wanted to be safe rather than sorry.

Part Three:

thrillerShort StorySeriesSci FiPsychologicalHorrorFantasyCONTENT WARNING
14

About the Creator

Donna Fox (HKB)

Thank you for stopping by!! 💚💙💜🩵

If you are interested in longer works by me, I have two books published on Amazon.

Jogger's Trail and Fox in The Hole.

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Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

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Comments (13)

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  • Lamar Wiggins5 months ago

    Camereon is quite the weird one. Definitely suspect, isolating himself like that. Intriguing episode, Donna!

  • Yeah, I'd keep my bedroom door locked too! Can't wait to see if Cameron is a psychopath driven insane from the micro-chip or the one who will save humanity from it.

  • ThatWriterWoman6 months ago

    Wow! The tension build in this story is brilliantly done Donna! Well done! Camron's behavior keeps me guessing! Is this more than just a chip? I can't wait to find out!

  • L.C. Schäfer6 months ago

    Argggg what is going on with Cameron 😱

  • Alexander McEvoy6 months ago

    So tantalizing! I’m really enjoying the world you’ve created, Donna! Seems to me as though Cameron is trying to take out his chip, which I find very interesting! *Starts doing the usual ‘I work for the government and people give us too much credit’ eye roll* You’d not believe how many people I know like Helmar’s mother. But if the government is behind something nefarious…. I can’t wait to read the next instalment! Which is already out I see 👀 so let’s jump into that with both feet!

  • LC Minniti6 months ago

    Oh man, can’t wait for part three! I’m worried about Helmar’s dad and Cameron! Brilliant :)

  • Novel Allen7 months ago

    Those darned chips, and not the potato chips. Everyone is messed up, they just don't know it yet. Keep it coming D.

  • Omggggg! Will Helmar survive the night? Sooooo suspenseful! I've never heard of never heard of his name before. Did you specifically choose it for this meaning like how you did for the Jogger's Trail story? I get Helmar's dad having a cold for a week due to the chip malfunction but I'm so lost with Cameron's weird behaviour. He's been self isolating, acting so creepy, talking to himself about the chip, not showering but all of a sudden, starts to talk to Helmar and Toby! I checked to see if Mark said something but he didn't so here goes. I'm so sorry 🥺 I noticed a few spelling mistakes and human error. I can point them out to you if you don't mind. I also have a question. In the prologue, you mentioned they were implants. But here, you mentioned them as chips and microchips. I'm guessing they are the same thing. So it would be better to be consistent with the term you use. I'm so sorry for saying this. I usually don't but you did tell me to inform you if I spot anything. So yes, overall, this was so brilliant! Like I have no idea at all wth happened with Cameron and I'm dying to know! You always know how to hook your readers! Awesomeeee work D! 💖

  • Real Poetic7 months ago

    This is so well-written. I’m curious to know what Cameron’s deal is and relieved that Helmar locked his door!

  • Mark Gagnon7 months ago

    Someone or something has control of the chips. Maybe his mother was on to something? I'm ready for part 3!

  • Rachel Deeming7 months ago

    Still have my curiosity piqued. Cameron's weird behaviour is hinting at something!

  • Donna Renee7 months ago

    creeeeeeeeeepy!!! Love this continuation, and I'm pretty worried for Helmar lol

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