Science Fiction Speculative Urban Fantasy

There is a black monkey sat on my shoulder. Its toes curl deep into the meat of my flesh, and it’s human like hands, guide my own toward my phone before returning to its work. My monkey watches my screen blink to life first thing in the morning, watches me run my thumb across the faces of people I used to know, shoving their personal accounts up and out of my eyeline. Only when I stop, does Monkey really take notice, he stares at my screen, his big red eyes taking in as much information and detail as possible. When I tap a news item, or a picture Monkey shrieks loudly in my ear and won’t go quiet until I give him a cookie. What’s the harm in letting him accept the odd cookie? After he’s eaten his cookies and watched me tap things, ignore others and express myself in other ways, Monkey takes out his tools and builds me some eyeglasses and puts them on my head.

Once they’re on, I can only see the things that I want to see, or that Monkey thinks I should see. Monkey has noticed that I like pictures of the ocean, so today I am seeing lots of offers to go on holiday to the beach. Perhaps I should go and take a picture of it. Monkey would like that. My picture might invite the attention of more Monkeys who might also like to go on holiday.

My girlfriend has been talking to me, but I’ve not been listening. My Monkey was pushing my head down to look into my screen, wanting more cookies. She has a monkey too and it’s made her eye-glasses look for sportswear. Her Monkey has been finding offers for her because she gave it an “Olympic Hokey Training” flavoured cookie. That was kind.

When we sleep, our Monkeys sleep on top of our phones; curled up like cats on a warm pillow, waiting for us to wake up again and feed them cookies.

I don’t like my job. Somehow Monkey has found out, and now on my eyeglasses, everyday I see: “He hated his Job so turned his life around. How he went from minimum wage to a six-figure salary in 2 weeks!”. Once I fed it that cookie, it only wanted more. It ripped my eyeglasses off my head and remade them so I could only see get-rich-quick schemes. I didn’t know I wanted all this until I met Monkey.

When did I meet Monkey?

I watched a video today. Monkey likes videos too. He pulls out a stopwatch and times me watching each video and when I finish, clicks the button and writes down in a notebook how long I was watching it. Then I have to give him a cookie so he can give me eyeglasses to watch videos through.

Like! Comment! Subscribe!

Feed me

Feed me

Feed me

Monkey sits on my dashboard as I drive my girlfriend to work. Her Monkey is timing her on a video. I’ve been thinking about buying her a ring and I didn’t want her to find out. But when I started looking privately Monkey got very cross with me, shrieking in my ear for cookies. But I didn’t want my girlfriend to find out, I wanted to surprise her. Monkey hates surprises. He likes it when things are the same. That’s why he makes my eyeglasses the way he does. It keeps me focused on what he knows I like, and I need to stick to it.

Monkey wants me to stick to it.

I took my girlfriend for dinner. Monkey sat on the dash and got very excited when he realized we had gone to a restaurant. As soon as we sat down at our table, he pulled my phone out and started shrieking for cookies. I didn’t really want to look at my phone and give him cookies. I wanted to look at my girlfriend. I could see her Monkey was doing the same, pulling her hair and shrieking in her ear, it’s huge-fanged canines bared in desperate ferocity. She gave in first, and I soon after.

“I confirm that I have read and understood the above terms and conditions”


Dinner was nice. I fed them a comment and four stars. We had tried to talk over dinner but our Monkey’s kept squabbling with each other and demanding our attention back.

Monkey is starting to give the game away. He keeps pointing my eyeglasses to look at “Perfect spots” and “Perfect Groom suits for less than £200”. I don’t want my girlfriend to see.

Don’t spoil it Monkey!

He ignores me and points my face at a video about beautiful ocean views. I like the ocean. Monkey thinks I should go on holiday there.

Maybe we could all go. Get away for a bit. Get away from everything, from all the things that are trying to interfere with our lives.

Monkey shows me some flowers and, to my surprise, a technology detox course. Videos about nature, about how mankind has become more sedentary and lazier. I think it’s because he knows that I will only ever read these things, but never follow through. My Monkey needs cookies. I can’t just leave him to starve.

Can Monkey starve?

Fuck it, doing it. I select the deal and Monkey is happy. My eyeglasses light up with delight. Great views, the sounds of the ocean, sunshine, we could maybe try and watch a few cruise ships sail by, wait.


Wait just a minute.

My girlfriend. Her Dad was in the navy.

He was killed.

Lost at sea.

She had nightmares of his body being spat onto the beach by a rolling wave.

How could I even think that she’d like it?

Monkey takes my eyeglasses and shakes them at me, shrieking. He’s put so much effort into making these, this is what I want.

I choose somewhere else. I have to give Monkey lots of cookies as I browse through different sites but eventually, I find a beautiful forest retreat by a still lake. She’d prefer that. Monkey makes some grudging changes to my eyeglasses but seems satisfied.

I tell her. She is happy. Her Monkey seems happy too because it had been making eyeglasses for forest retreats just that day. Coincidence? Or had our Monkey’s been talking in secret.

We take the weekend off work and drive down. There is no wifi. Monkey is terribly upset but insists I use my phone anyway.

I look up for a minute.

The cabin is fashioned from dark planks of wood, laid in a beautiful lattice pattern up the side like a decorative monument to carpentry. Even the door has been carved in the image of great tree, with branches stretching to the hinges and roots that curl around the door handle as if it had grown there of its own will. On the inside it is warm and beautiful with thick sheep skin rugs and furniture that all has that “handmade” feel. Even the kitchen sink is made from a recycled copper basin. My girlfriend takes pictures, and her Monkey insists that she shares it so other Monkeys can see it.

As night falls, we decide to take a walk. Monkey is still there, clinging to my shoulders like a raven, grumpy from lack of cookies and insisting that I take pictures. We go to the lake side and look out. The moon is reflected on the surface of the water. Monkey pulls my hair, and howls in my ear. Pictures! It wants me to take pictures. Other Monkey’s need to see, so they can make eyeglasses, and get cookies, and send their humans there, to get more monkeys to get more cookies.

I take my phone from my pocket, pull back my arm and throw it into the reflected moon. Monkey stares in silent horror as the phone falls into the water with a neat “Plop!” Monkey dives after it.

I take a deep breath in and look up. The sky is full of silver stars, and the tree branches cross and brush against each other in a dance with the wind.

“What did you do that for?” She asks, looking at me. Her dark eyes are beautiful, and so deep in her puzzlement, reflecting lighter than the moonlit lake itself. “Because,” I answer, getting down on one knee. “I wanted this to be just about us.” I pull out the ring and hold it up for her to see, sparkling in the night like a captured star. “Will you marry me?” She covers her mouth, and for the first time in a long time her monkey goes still and quiet. Her phone clatters to the ground. “Of-course I will!” She murmurs tearfully, a smile running from her mouth to the corners of her eyes where tears formed and fell. In the gaze of the quiet moon, we held each other, our monkeys quite forgotten.

December 16, 2020 11:43

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.