Facestuck by Steven James Pratt (Shrt. Story)

Facestuck by Steven James Pratt (3/08/12)

Oh my god, those faces all literally glued to the screen, right across the planet, literally super-glued to the glass plasma crystal screens, unable to move. Eyes look sideways in terror at the images playing in front of them. Gangs of pixels assemble together in self-organized configurations: the words ‘Cheeky mouthy idiots’ repeated in endless fonts and colours. The images of others also stuck to the screen.

A few brave idiots in the initial panic of finding their face stuck to the screen pulled themselves off, leaving a good part of their face still stuck to the screen like a rare pork chop. Many of these people died as a result of their injuries, and some remained still half stuck to the screen, yet with mutilated mouths and bits of flesh dangling around the chin that made eating exceedingly difficult.  

“Next the phones, engage.” A voice said.

All mobile phones around the world were now stuck to their users face and the ear in particular, plus the original phone call was interrupted with a voice repeating the word ‘yes’. Scenes of equal chaos and horror soon followed, enhanced by the images from any camera relaying live feeds, broadcasting the distressed individuals pain and anguish between the literally billions of victims.

Some proposed the facestuck virus acted upon the carbon 60 molecule, triggered by certain vibrations quickly developing a highly dangerous and sticky surface, impossible to part from organic materials such as skin once contact is made. Grafting, which results in a permanent scar is a necessary process, but due to the Billions of victims many have spent decades with their devices stuck to their faces and ears.

An underground black market arose in cheap surgical procedures and quick fixes for those unable to stand the constant torment, but as you probably expect the quality and hygiene in these black markets are questionable and stories of horrific operations, gone wrong, can be heard far and wide across the planet.

Besides the physical discomfort of having a computer, telephone or god forbid and 25 inch flat screen attached to your noggin, the wish to keep the devices updated and in working order became another challenge to the sanity of any thinking individual. Major manufacturers folded and software became outdated, faults and failures often led to year long waiting lists to be seen, diagnosed and sent to an appropriate country to visit the special ‘update of old O.S centre’. Another harrowing experience I would not wish on my worst enemy.

Ten years after the facestuck virus struck humans from the developed world banned any screens from the immediate environment, reverting back to paper, chalk, ink and books. Screens were reserved for special use while under strict supervision and requiring  more special protective clothing. A resurgence of technophobia followed the outbreak and almost threw the planet into another dark ages when all computers, phones and T.V’s were smashed, manufacturing plants burned to the ground and anybody caught with a screen device punished severely, some already having a screen stuck to their face.

Another version of this story involves a psychological illness that results in people putting screens to their faces voluntarily for extended periods of time, perhaps 8 hours a day, without any knowledge that they are doing this, in effect resulting in self-inflicted facestuck. A horrific and painful condition in reality, yet, inside some deep far out hallucinations, the neuro-chemicals fire to stimulate endorphins that tell us nothing is wrong at all, and anybody alerting others to a case of facestuck are themselves delirious and in need of some psychological treatment and correction. (thankfully provided by your local council). And so the outbreak of intelligent viruses such as facestuck change the nature of disease in that they are not perceived as a disease at all, but instead as a virtuous tool of communication, a phone, a T.V etc.; whereas, beneath the hallucination your physical face remains permanently attached to a screen. So scream.

--Steven James Pratt
(Amsterdam, Java Straat. 3/08/12)





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