Jack Carney, Grade 7, St Mary's Cathedral College
Finalist in the 'Write As Rain 2014' competition
A voice spluttered in the darkness.
"Who... What... where am I?"
His heavy panting echoed off unseen walls. Fear washed over him. He was laying on a cool, metallic surface. He began groping aimlessly in the dark, clutching handfuls of air. He was lost.
Some of it came back to him easily; as if reciting a poem he knew off by heart. Other segments took longer to process.
He had a name. AtomicGamr1999.
No... that wasn’t his name. Harry. Th... that's it.
Images frantically pushed through his mind, like an ‘80s rock music video montage. Harry was on his iPlay device. His head secured into the familiar controller panel on his iPlay. An automated voice- "Entering Digilife. Have fun."
Harry's head swam.
He was in Game Select Station. He remembered the tug of the computer circuits wrapping him into the game’s code. The atoms in his body shifted around him, with ease and without pain.
What went wrong?
He remembered - swimming through the digital waves of Cyberspace. Harry grinned. Another exhilarating day in Digilife, away from the strict boundaries set by his parents. Just him, his mate Joseph, and the game. A sudden flash of intense green light. The game was beginning. Adrenalin raced through Harry's body. But then...
The light faded into nothingness. Blackness, surrounding him.
Harry remembered being flipped back insanely across a stream of data and computer codes. The game shut down.
“GAME OVER” materialized onto the fading screen. Then a radical explosion of colour and the sound of static…
Harry stood dumbly as Joseph’s older brother Samuel gently removed the headpiece for him.
"Well, boys?" Sam questioned as Harry’s eyes adjusted to reality. "How was it?"
Harry swung around to see his friend, Joseph, blinking harshly and grinning. They both opened their mouths at the same time, but neither could think of what to say. Sam looked expectantly. "That was amazing!” Harry spluttered.
"Yeah, Bro-the best!" shouted Joseph. Sam attempted to act modestly, but there was no denying the smile on his face. He knew his work was exceptional. "Still, there's a lot more to be done. I think the game’s a bit too - intense…”
"Take long to fix?" asked Harry.
"No, it shouldn’t…" Sam paused. There was more. Sam’s eyes flickered.
"Boys, there's something else. Promise not to tell anyone?” Harry and Joseph faced him, wide-eyed. Sam took a shuddering breath, and whispered, "I have a feeling that the game molecules are unstable”. Joseph frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Well," Sam muttered, "If the molecules are unstable, the game code might, theoretically, mutate and cross the mainframe into reality." Seeing the bamboozled looks on the boys’ faces, he leant in close,
"The game becomes real."
Suddenly, Joseph gave a violent twitch, accompanied by a sinister electronic bleeping. His face began to spin unnaturally before it became nothing more than a blur of pixels. Simultaneously Sam and Harry felt their own muscles paralyze…