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Submitted into Contest #82 in response to: Write a near-future thriller where a piece of everyday technology has turned against your character β€” and only your character.... view prompt

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Thriller Suspense

Antarctica, 2023.Β 


"Sarah!"Β Β 


"Yeah!" I shouted.


"Go get on the sat-phone and tell them drilling will have to wait. It's too windy to try to get a core sample!"Β 


"10-4!"


I trudged against the strong Antarctic winds to the base and took my gloves off as I entered. "Ow, shit!"Β 


"What happened?" Bill asked as he came through the base door.


"It shocked me."


"It's a sat-phone Sarah. They don't shock you." He asserted as he picked it up to make the call. "See!" He shook it back and forth at me.


"What's going on?" Carlos asked walking into the room.


"Sarah said the sat-phone shocked her."


"Okay." Carlos laughed. "That's a new one."


"I'm going to take a shower. Y'all just stay here and laugh it up." I rolled my eyes.


----------


"Hey, guys. I'm going to skip dinner tonight. I wanna talk to Jeff."


"Oooh. Sexy talk to the fiancee back home. Oh, and be careful, we don't want your tablet to shock you too!" Both Bill and Carlos snickered.


"Yeah, yeah, whatever." I flipped the two of them off.


I snuggled into my bed. I miss you so much. I muttered when I looked at Jeff's picture.


-------


"So, do you think she just didn't want to make the call?" Carlos asked.


"I don't know. If it were me, and my ex was the head of headquarters, I wouldn't mind."


"That's because your ex has two legs and tits. Just like your every conquest. Do you even remember their names?" Carlos snorted.


"Maybe…"


--------


I can't wait to see your face.Β Β 


I tapped the screen and screamed, throwing the tablet.


"What the hell happened?" Carlos asked as both he and Bill ran into my bunk room.


"The tablet." I pointed.


Bill bent and picked it up. "Are we afraid of Jeff's wallpaper now?"


I snatched the tablet. "That wasn't there just a minute ago."


"Well then, what was there?" Carlos inquired.


"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."


"Try me." Carlos crossed his arms.


"It was a picture of me in a coffin. There was blood everywhere and a look of terror was on my face."Β 


"Yeah right, it's just a picture of Jeff," Bill explained.Β 


"Just go to sleep. It's been a long day and we're all tired." Carlos acknowledged. "Maybe your mind is playing tricks on you."


"I'll try" I snuggled back into my bed. "Shut the door please."


"Why? And walk in here searching for you and seeing that you have met an untimely death?" Bill snickered.


"Not funny, Bill!"


--------


"Really Carlos. She didn't see anything, just like she didn't get shocked by that sat-phone."


"You saw her Bill. That look of horror was on her face. I mean, I believe she saw something."


"Whatever. Maybe you two have just concocted a major prank like you usually do. Well, it's not going to work this time."


"Whatever." Carlos retorted as he walked to his bunk room.


--------


"Sarah." A gravelly voice whispered.


"Sarah." It came a little louder.


"Sarah!"Β 


"What?" I raised in my bed a bit nervous and looked around confused and rubbing my eyes.Β 


"Who's there?"


"You better be careful Sarah. We wouldn't want anything to happen to you down there."


Tap tap tap


"Yeah," I said startled.


"Can I come in?"


"Oh my God, Carlos. You scared me to death. Yeah, come in."


"Who were you talking to?"


"I don't know. I heard this creepy voice."


"Where was it coming from?"


"I don't know. I haven't had a chance to look."


"Ok, I will look around."


Carlos walked toward the door and turned right back around. "I think im going to kill Bill."


"Why?"


"I found this sat-phone right beside your door on the table. I think he's messing with you. The sat-phone is on."


"What an asshole."


Carlos nodded in agreement.


"What time is it?"


Carlos looked at his smartwatch. "23:40."


" I feel as if I have been asleep all night."


"Well, it was only 20:19 when we left your room last night."


"Yeah, it was early. Maybe I will go get a cup of coffee and see if that will relax me."Β 


"Ok. I'll join you."


--------


"Here," Carlos turned around and handed me a cup of coffee.


"Oh, that's warm." I slid both hands around the cup to feel its warmth.


"So, what is all this? I mean this weird stuff happening to you with the sat-phone and tablet?"


"I don't know. And if you don't believe me, then screw you, asshole."


"First off, I'm not Bill, and what if I did believe you?"


"I don't even know if I would believe it if it were happening to someone else."Β 


"Yeah, I can see that. But I saw the look on your face. So I do believe you. I just don't know how to process it."


"Join the club." I let out a big sigh. "I really need to see Jeff's face and hear his voice."


"Ok. I will be right back."


"Ok."


"Sorry it took so long but I was searching for something. Here, use my tablet to talk to Jeff."


"Thanks, Carlos. That's sweet of you." I reached out to take the tablet. "I can't wait."Β 


I slowly slid my finger up the tablet. "So far so good." I smiled at Carlos.


"Oh, so not funny Carlos! I thought you said you believed me!"Β 


Carlos bent down to look at the screen.


"That wasn't there before. I swear I believe you and even more now."


"This isn't funny. Why would you do this?"


"But I didn't. I swear."


"What's all the raucous?" Bill inquired as he walked into the kitchen. "Why are y'all up at so late?"


"Someone was talking to Sarah from the sat-phone. I heard it. But it was on her table by her door. Then this." Carlos turned the tablet toward Bill.


"What the? Carlos that's not funny. Why would you do such a thing? Pranking is one thing, but actually writing 'I'm going to kill you' in big bold letters, that's pretty low."


"I swear, it wasn't me. I could say the same thing you know, Bill. You were the last one with the sat-phone."


"What, you think I put it in her room? That's absurd. Why would I do that?"


"Because you're an ass!" I looked up at the two arguing men.


Carlos and Bill were still arguing as I left the room. I could hear them all the way to my bunk room.


God. This is so stupid. You know they're in this together girl. Woman up and face it, you're being pranked. Sarah said to herself.


I snuggled back into my bed.


--------


"Where did she go?"Β 


"I don't know Bill, maybe she was mad because she realized it was you with the sat-phone the whole time."


"Really?" Bill raised his hands in retreat. "Wait. I know it wasn't me with the sat-phone and as adamant as you are, im guessing you wouldn't do that with your own tablet. So what the hell is going on here?"


"I don't know, but im worried about Sarah. It's like someone is out to get her."


"Ok, Carlos. How could that be? We're the only ones out there. It's not like anyone could just walk out here and do things without anyone of us know. It's Antarctica for Christ's sake."


"I know. I just don't have any other explanation."


"I know. This is getting to me. I'm not sure what's going on, and we are far too far from any medical facilities if something would go wrong."


"You say that as if you're no doctor. Isn't that what you're here for?"Β 


"Well yes, but there are things I am not equipped to handle here. Let's just call it and head back to our respective corners."


"Ok." Bill laughed without humor. "I'm going back to bed."


"Me too."


--------


"Ok. Hold it still Bill, I can't get the sample if you don't hold it still!"


"I'm trying to."


"Turn the drill off dammit!"


"Ok." Bill let go of the control and walked away


"I want to see what's going on."


Coming around, I took hold of the drill and opened the control app.Β 


"SARAH!" Bill shouted as I hit the ground.


"Carlos! Carlos!" Bill shouted over the comm. "I need your help! Hurry!"


"What happened?" Carlos asked while running to the drill site.


"The drill. It just... It jumped. It hit her in the face. I don't know how but it did." A look of shock was on Bill's face.


"Help me get her inside, Bill. I can't check her out, out here."


-------


I could hear... Carlos and Bill.Β 


"Sarah. Come on Sarah, wake up!" Carlos sounded worried.


"Ok, she's coming round Carlos."


"What happened?" I grabbed my aching head. My vision was blurry.Β 


"The drill. I saw it. When you opened the control app. It jumped. The freaking drill jumped and hit you in the face."


"Is that why my head hurts?"


"Yes. And also why you may not be able to see fully. You have a concussion. Drilling has to be put off for a few days. I will call for some more supplies. But we have to call off drilling. Just to let you heal. You also have a broken nose. Bill helped me clean the blood from your face."


"Oh my God!" I raised fast. "Damn, that hurts." I groaned.


"You need to take it easy, Sarah. Don't move too fast. If you want to lie down, we will check on you every 30 minutes. You need to try to stay awake, but if you do fall asleep, one of us will wake you every half hour."


"Ok." I slowly nodded. Bill and Carlos gently helped me up.


I walked, no I stumbled to my bunk room. I went into the bathroom.


"Oh my God. Stitches?"


"Yes"Β 


"God Carlos, you scared me." I held my head from the sudden jump.


"Sorry. You have three stitches on the bridge of your nose. I mean it, Sarah. Take it easy."


"We can't delay drilling. We have a deadline."


"I think headquarters would make an exception considering. I will make the call.Β You need to stay off your feet. I'm sure you are experiencing some vertigo. I will be in here to check on you in just a little while."


"Ok." I smiled awkwardly at Carlos.

"I feel as if someone is out to get me."


"I think it just glitches in the system. All apps areΒ linked by the same system so headquarters is looking into what has happened."


I sat on my bed. "Thank you, Carlos."


--------


"What do you think happened?"


"After seeing that drill hit her. I don't know. I'm a bit freaked out myself. I swear, it was like it attacked her. I can't explain it."


"Well, we need to keep an eye on her.Β Nothing is happening to us. I'm not sure what's going on, but she is not making anything up. I truly believe that now."


"Me too. And I was the first one to say she was making everything up."


"I know." Carlos snorted.


--------


I woke within a start to a horrible crashing sound.


The mobile drilling unit was in my bunk room after crashing through the wall.Β The drill was running and coming toward me.


"What the hell was that?" Carlos and Bill both yelled as they ran down the hall.


"Oh my God. Are you seeing this Carlos?"


Carlos was wide-eyed. "Uh-huh." He shook his head in disbelief. "Shut it off, Bill!"


Bill ran and grabbed the control unit.


"It's not responding!"


"Override it!"


"Oh my God! I was trapped. " help me, Bill!"


The drill was coming closer.


"Bill! Get it stopped! That drill will kill her if it touches her!"


I slid to the wall. My head pressed as hard as I could get it against the wall.Β 

I turned my head and squeezed my eyes shut when it got closer.Β 


The whirring sound of the drill slowed.Β 


"Oh, God! Sarah?" Carlos yelled.


"Sarah! Are you ok?" Bill yelled.


"Answer us!"


"I-I think I'm ok." I was shaking.


"Sarah." A menacing voice said through the comm system in the bunkhouse.Β 


"What the hell?" Bill asked.


"Who is that Bill? Sarah, do you know?"


"No." I quietly answered.


"Sarah." My name was wickedly drawn out by the voice. "If I have to get them to get to you, I will!"


Carlos and Bill looked at each other horrified.


Bills cell phone rang.


"Bill, why do you have your cell?" Carlos asked. "We were told to leave them home."


"Yes." He answered surprised.


A voice on the other line spoke loudly.


"Shut the system down. Shut it down now. I'm sending override codes. Shut it down!"


Bill dropped his phone and ran to the comm center.


Carlos picked up the cell phone. "Who is this?"


"It's Larry."


"Larry from HQ?"


"Yes. We have found a bug in the system designed to go after Sarah. If Bill wouldn't have sent me a message from his cell, we would never have gotten it. We have found overrides everywhere. Someone is with you there and I'm not sure how they have done unnoticed."


"Who?"


"Carlos! Watch out!" I yelled.


Carlos dodged a large knife coming at him.Β 


"You idiots need to let me finish what I started!"


"Oh my God, Jeremy! Why are you here? How are you here!"


Bill suddenly appeared, taking Jeremy down.Β 


--------


"I'm glad to be home. Well at least here." I looked at Larry.


"Well, everyone is glad you suffered minimal injury."


"When will we be continuing drilling?" Bill asked.


"We are sending another team. I think. you all have earned a few weeks off." Larry smiled. "Sarah, I am now HQ supervisor. It seems that Jeremy has been stalking you. He rigged the system to go after you after he found out about you and Jeff."


"That was no secret." I declared.


"I know. But it seems that Jeremy thought. Well, I won't go into detail but Jeremy rigged the system to go after you when he found out. Everything, including the sat-phones and tablets, is all linked to the system apps. He monitored your communications."


"He's crazy," Carlos announced.


"It seems so. I am taking over and have a team ready to commence drilling for core samples. You all need to get home. Sarah, Jeff is waiting outside for you."


"Thank you." I hugged Larry, then Carlos and Bill. "Be seeing ya on the next mission."


"Looking forward to it!" Both Carlos and Bill replied.





February 23, 2021 18:35

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12 comments

14:52 Apr 14, 2021

OMG OMG OMG ARE YOU A LIBRA TOO?!?!?!?!?!

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18:25 Apr 22, 2021

YASS!!!

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Matt Keating
21:51 Mar 03, 2021

It's always nice to read thrilling stories in uncommon settings. I enjoyed your combination of the ghost in the machine and male stalker tropes. Below I have pasted two sections that read awkwardly. This first one may just need some proofreading and tightening: "Ok, Carlos. How could that be? We're the only ones out there. It's not like anyone could just walk out here and do things without anyone of us know. It's Antarctica for Christ's sake." "I know. I just don't have any other explanation." "I know. This is getting to me. I'm not sure...

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Thank you so much for your comment. I really am glad you enjoyed it. I've been getting comments about making my stuff neater, or making it this and that, and I try all advice and there's always something that sticks out and usually in a confusing way. This writing style was way out if the box for me. I agree with you on that, but I tried something someone suggested. I did not like that part particularly either. I think I will stick with my old trusty way of writing, it's gotten me far... And out of the box stories, will tend to have mo...

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Aman Fatima
04:42 Mar 03, 2021

There isn't much description but your dialogues have a natural flow and don't seem forced. Great job!!!

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your dialogue style is very believable and the characters really hold life to them, its great <3

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Daniel R. Hayes
07:01 Feb 25, 2021

Hi Christy, I really liked this one. It was a good read and I was hooked from beginning to end. Great Job!

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