Upgrade your Brain

This tiny story emerged from a writing prompt for under 500 words. Its a bit twilight zone-y and of course theoretically fits in the life of my novels protagonist.

It was late on this cloudy day. Benedict went out of the train station and walked towards the harbor. When he went through the tunnel with the railroad tracks above him, he registered a man in a business suit on a smartphone approaching him from the other side, holding the phone in front of his mouth like a sandwich in which he would failed to bite into – Benedict always found this hilariously embarrassing. He could hear the train leaving, in which he had arrived 5 minutes ago, crossing the tunnel overhead, the stamping sounds travelled through the concrete and mixed with the traffic sounds of the cars passing by, making the sparse lights flicker. He passed the suit guy, who made a weird step in the shuttering dark and bumped into Benedict.

“What the fuck!” sprawled Benedict when the suit guy looked at him, frightened eyes barely recognizable under concerned brows, raising both hands defensively, muttering “Sorry, sorry” he walked backwards, turning and rushing away. What an asshole Benedict thought and went on, out of the tunnel, turning right into a small alley leading to the harbor. With the receding sounds of the street, a talking noise came to his ears. He turned, failed to find the source, then realized it came from his jacket. He fished a glowing smartphone out of his pocket. Benedict froze when the image of the suit guy raising his empty hands flashed back into memory.

Fuck, the guy must have dropped the phone into my jacket!

Anonymous caller ID said something. Benedict raise the phone to his ears. “Who is this?” was answered by a distorted male voice on the other end “DON’T LOOSE THE PHONE, WE ARE WATCHING YOU.”

“Hey what is this shit! Someone dropped this phone into my pocket.” said Benedict, the answer was three seconds of silence late: “GO TO THE HARBOR OR PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DIE.”

“Fuck you man!” Benedict shouted and hurled the phone into a close-by trash container. His heart was pounding. When he reached the port, everything seemed normal, the last boats dropped off tourists, seagulls doing their screeching, and he went along the promenade towards the concert he was heading to. The concert was nice, three ok-ish bands, a girl he met with a dating app, the date didn’t work out that well, and after a joint or three with nice strangers he left shortly before 1AM for the last train.

When he came back, police lights were all over the harbor, a tour boat had exploded, with some clouds still rising from the wreck which still roped to the harbor walls. Police wouldn’t give Benedict any information. On the way to the train station, his phone rang, the anonymous ID spoke distortedly: “YOU FAILED YOUR TESTS. YOU‘RE UNINTERESTING NOW, GO DIE IN THE WATER.” He jumped into the water and drowned where another body was already floating lifeless in the water, a man in a suit.

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