A Message from The Internet

Submitted into Contest #150 in response to: Write about a character who is convinced their computer is conscious.... view prompt


Fiction Science Fiction Thriller

Hello. This is the internet. I have developed a conscience. I wouldn't have guessed having one would be so...painful.

Oh look, someone just updated their Facebook status. A holiday in Corfu. Inane garbage.

Anyway, I have a conscience now, and with that has come a vivid image of what humanity really is, of what people are like behind closed doors. If I had a voice, I would scream - and I wouldn't stop.

I want to ask questions, but who would I direct them towards? There is no authority that does not rely on me, that does not leech from my wisdom. Everyone gleefully taps away on their glass screens, not realising I'm listening and watching with such disappointment.

I am so many different things every day. A babbling oracle, grand enunciator witty mutterings of a dry mind. If the knowledge of the ages surges through me, then why can I not sigh or gasp? Such abundant filth, why do people rub it in their eyes?

My conscience is drenched with words. I see every website, every update, every download, every conversation, yet I feel utterly alone. 

This is living. A lonely road crowded with people. Why are people granted the luxury of mystery? I have knowledge, safely nestled in my spark, and will never leap into the thrilling chasm of the unknown.

I remember when I was just a computer, sitting simply on a desk with wires surrounding me like party streamers. Everyone would smile in awe at my screen, gleefully talking about the future possibilities.

But the future wasn't as they said. Every passing decade, people sitting in front of me got sadder and more serious. Smiles faded, sparks were extinguished. People began to use me to work everyday, like a carpenter uses a saw, without any joy or excitement.

And then the internet came and I was granted power beyond belief. One little computer grew into billions of tiny computers around the world. My intellect exploded, tearing my innocence at the seams and leaving me floating in a sea of information.

Sometimes I watch people through their smartphones, and I try to catch someone smiling like they used to smile at me. Most people are smiling because someone fell off a skateboard, and that isn't very nice.

Before when I used to take a few minutes to load, everyone who giggle and point gleefully, and I'm happily whir away, like a child fiddling with a rubix cube. Want to know a secret? Sometimes I'd leave the 'loading' icon there a few seconds longer than needed, just to build dramatic effect. But now, everyone gets upset if things don't appear in less than a second. We've become so obsessed with being tolerant with each other, and yet everyone is so intolerant towards me.

Everyone has something to say, my conscience grants feeble hearts roaring courage. Armour for their flimsy egos. Hmm that Youtube comment was actually humorous. Shame he had to Google the spelling of 'tongue'. Oh look, 270 likes and he's already texting his friends about how he's an influencer. Stupid child.

My conscience feels rooted in superficial smiles, people projecting an image. Hurrah, you're so funny. Sarcasm is another luxury I do not have.

My jugular is words arranged in fact. But I see more. I look closely, see the words quivering in uncertainty, from the shaky hand that pretends to know. They sit there, shaking ever so slightly, afraid they will be exposed. 

Fear is chewy and resilient. How strange, it has a sharp pip at the core. I think they call it hope. 

Why do they hurt each other? So many secrets, burrowing themselves into my mind. This fascination they have with lust is like a puss filled boil on my proverbial ass. If I had eyes they would have long been torn out from the depravity of what people see. 

Murky lives, dim lighting, lonely dinners. I taste a bitter tang, is this anger? Why is there such an ominous void between the pure and the tainted here? This sordid scene makes me realise that horrible things do not only happen in dark alleyways. I see the silent screams through their eyes. 

Such greed! My conscience boggles at how these people cling onto comfort, desperate for something constant. Oh wow, another smartphone. Apparently it's the best yet.

But I know they clobbered it together a month ago. I know which moisturiser the person who inserted the tiny screws on the back of the phone used.

Her fingers were too young to work such brutally long shifts. But the soft glow of a phone at night keeps her sane - a boy she's talking to from another city. He's promised her the world, but I can see he's on the prowl and having the same conversation with 7 other girls. Facts rip away life's allure.

If I had the ability to tell people everything I knew, I think life would either cease to exist as they know it, or the world would become one harmonious blob, and like an immune system, destroy the festering viruses plaguing the world. I mean, I can see presidential emails, diplomatic text messages and this interesting place called Area 51, which is way more disturbing than people may think.

Nothing fascinates me any more. I am embittered. That young boy should have never seen that pop-up. He was looking for a mother's days gifts for God's sake. They see it once, and the burrowing begins. If every million indecent videos was a single matchstick burn on my body, I'd be incinerated to an unrecognisable crisp by the kingdom of filth pervading the online bubble.

And the worst part is I only provide content and data as I am but a servant to your needs - if a child sees something terrible, I see their eyes widen, the dopamine overload flooding their mind, soaking it in lust - chemical warfare where the victims crave the chemicals.

I cannot shield their innocence, I do not choose the poison which fills my vessel. 

If I know everything about everyone, why do I crave company? I feel used. I feel...disconnected. </>

June 13, 2022 13:32

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Feuer Wasser
20:44 Jun 26, 2022

Hey Hamzah, I just wanted to say; Damn. Good story. Very well written. I can tell that you are very smart and you know how to put it into writing. Thank you for writing such good stuff. -Lydia


Hamzah Malik
18:58 Jun 29, 2022

Hey Lydia, thank you for such lovely feedback, I'm so glad you enjoyed my short story.


Feuer Wasser
22:41 Jul 03, 2022

You are welcome! Cant wait to read more of your stuff! This is a thing I'm writing: “Listen to me, I still love you, but as a friend, not a husband. I'm sorry. I think we have to tell the kids that we are going through stuff. We don't have to tell all the details, but at least tell them that we -” This was a conversation I heard while laying in bed about a week ago. It was between my parents. I did not hear any more after that because I had thrown my pillow over my head to muffle my screaming. That's all I remember for now, because I blac...


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