Coloured Errors

"The world is not what you think it is, it's much worse."
Flynn likes how he goes unnoticed by the government. Andrew thinks he's an asset. Together they work out why the world doesn't fit right.
Wait, the world doesn't fit, right? Who told you that? Don't trust a word of whoever told you that.

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6. To Know

 

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There was a shack at the edge of town, a tall rectangular structure with graffiti of two red eyes on the side. It was in the middle of a futuristic London, time period unknown, and nearly in the middle of nowhere. It was nicknamed Sentire because many things were felt there and owned by a woman called Simone Littlewood.

Flynn Littlewood opened his eyes to an error message printed on his eyelids and then to a blue light above him, something holographic.

It had his photograph and his name and his age, and next to it was a picture of Andrew Hart.

Memories flickered through him, meeting Andrew in college and bonding over a shared hatred for a particular teacher. Maybe he was even in love with him. Maybe he didn’t know what he felt.

He remembered the two of them agreeing to work for Flynn’s mother, who was working on virtual realities. She wanted to forge entire worlds and lives out of nanotechnology, an implant in the eye that resembled a QR code that would be read by holograms. The aim was to survive the life and the scenario and it was only then that you would emerge from the reality.

His eyes scrunched as he read the tally number that was under the word, number of trials. Fourteen. It had taken fourteen tries to emerge out of the world constructed by the concept of feelings and the lack of them.

Pain stabbed the back of his eyes as he remembered each of those fourteen times. In the first one he hadn’t even met Andrew who was tasked with aiding Flynn on his mission to get out. Andrew was the only one that knew it was a simulation and not real, even so obstacles would prevent him from achieving his goal. Flynn went back to the ten or so initials on the bookcase in the library and he remembered that each time they both engraved them to remember each attempt. It was something that Andrew had insisted upon.

Flynn had even done it on the fourteenth attempt but he couldn’t remember it.

He couldn’t remember anything each time he attempted the simulation.

A groan punched through the air from the left of him and Flynn turned his head. He was met with the shaggy hair and groggy eyes of Andrew Hart, his best friend of five years. Flynn didn’t say anything, just watched as Andrew’s eyes connected with his and a sunburst of a smile split his cheeks.

“We did it huh?” Andrew croaked, the very essence of the unmarked man that Flynn remembered encountering thirteen fake times.

“We found out why the world wasn’t right?” Flynn laughed phrasing it as a question because he wasn’t even sure of what he was saying. The simulation had enveloped him so completely that he would call his uncertainty a dusty pink.

“That we did.” Andrew murmured and pushed himself up into a sitting position. Flynn followed him because that was what he always seemed to do.

Their beds were close together, and both sitting they could hold each other’s hands. Flynn pushed down the panic – the mint green – rising in his throat and grasped the hands in front of him, holding on like they were Miss Jackson’s anchor.

“You alright?” Andrew asked and Flynn looked at his unmarked wrists. In fact they both had unmarked wrists here, in this proper reality. The whole concept of emotions and the marked wrists were cooked up by his mother’s calculations and he didn’t know how exactly it worked but he had lived a total of fifteen lives, fourteen fake and one real.

What he did know was that in nearly every single one, no matter how long it took to survive and find out which reality was the right one, he had Andrew by his side. It was in that perspective that he knew that the long road, the arduous road more like it, was worth the drive. Especially if Andrew was in the back seat with him.

No matter how many errors they encountered or how many emotions in coloured vials, this reality would matter.

Flynn held onto Andrew’s wrists more tightly just so he could feel his heartbeat tattoo itself onto his fingers. He looked up into Andrew’s eyes, hazel and similar and right, and he smiled.

He knew that he felt the emotion that held the colour of coral. He knew that ambiguity was also employed for a reason because here, without the virtual reality, his emotions didn't have to be known.

“Are you?” 

 

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