Circuit Board

“Are you sure about this?”

“I’m sure.”

“Stop scratching.”

“I’m sorry.  It itches.”

“I know it itches, but I’m prepping your head.  You’re lucky I went to med school.”

“Virtual med school.”

“Sit still.  Okay.  This might still sting.”

“Did they catch the other guy?”

“You know they did.  They’ll catch you too.  Facial Recognition.”

“What do you think the baseball bat’s for?”

“I thought it was for me.  I guess, in a way, it is.”

“It’s that, or I run into a wall.”

“What about your family?”

“What about them?”

“You’ll have to say good-bye.”

“The only interaction we have is our meals, and nobody talks.  We’re all too eager to return to our own personal world.  I won’t miss that, and I need to do this.”



“I told you that this will still hurt.  I’m cutting into your head.”

“Damn it.”

“Why do you need to do this?  It’s insane.  To unplug yourself?”

“You ever hear of the Underground Railroad?”

“I could upload it.  Give me a second.”  Pause.  “What about it?  It’s ancient history.”

“History that needs to repeat itself.  We’ve become slaves, but to a different master.”

“You’re crazy.”

“Are you happy?”

“I’m very happy.”

“Are you really?”

“No.  I thought this creation would solve all problems, but there’s no free will anymore.  No free thought.  Just control.”

“Well, I’m taking back control of my life.  Ow!”

“Stop being a baby.  The chip’s out.  What do you want me to do with it?”

“Crush it.  With your foot.”

“But the system will read you as a flatline.”

“That’s the idea.  What do you think they do to people who remove the chips from their brain?  You never see them again.”

“What if they get you?”

“Ready the baseball bat.”

“Then what?  Everything’s electronic.  How will you live, eat?”

“I worked all that out.  The whole time I thought of everything, I imagined Maroon 5 playing a concert in my head.  I hope they liked that music.”  Pause.  “Good job.  Is it crushed?”

“Like a bug.”

“Then, I guess this is good-bye.  Thank you, my friend.  Why are you handing me the scalpel?  What’s that for?”

“My turn.”

“No.  I can’t ask you to do that.  I can’t.  You have a family.”

“Like yours.  Zombiefied to Technology.  Do it.  It would be nice just to be one inside my head.  I almost don’t remember what that’s like.  It’s almost a dream from a long time ago.”

“This is going to hurt.”

“Payback’s always a bitch.”

“That will come when we start to play Baseball.  I promise to be quick.”

“What do you think our lives will be like afterward?  Without control?”

“I don’t know.”

“Me neither.”

“Are you sure about this?  Okay.  Let’s begin.”



Melissa R. Mendelson has been working for the State of New York for the last five years.  She is also a published short story author and poet.  Her poetry has been included in Names in a Jar: A Collection of Poetry by 100 American Poets (Amazon, 2007).  Her short story, Whispers in the Night, has been included in Espresso Fiction: A Collection of Flash Fiction for the Average Joe (Amazon, 2012).

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