Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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Flash Fiction
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Call For Dave

by Dave Weaver

"-- you hear me?

Scratch that. I know you can hear me Dave.

No, stop trying to deny it to yourself. You're only creating a shit storm of static that I've got to cut through all over again. I'm in your head and I'm gonna stay there until you listen to what I'm trying to tell you!


No, you're not going mad. Look, just listen to me for chrissakes! If you're driving a car, pull over and turn the engine off, if you're with your mates or some girl, get away on your own so we can talk.

Don't start with the static again!

I can't read any of that until you calm down and let me into your thoughts. So just...just calm down for a minute, take a few deep breaths then listen to me, yeah?

OK. Right.

I think your name is Dave Clayton, is that correct? Just think an answer back to me, I'll get it easier if you think a clear yes or no.

That's a yes. Good.

And you're a student at Cambridge University, right? And the year's 2011, correct?

Just a yes will do, Dave.

Excellent. Now we're getting somewhere!

I'm getting that you're on your own in some flat, it's midnight and you're in the kitchen, just come back pissed from the pub where you had an argument with your girlfriend or some such shit... OK Dave, that's more information than I need! What you've gotta understand right now is that I'm not some booze-induced halucination, OK? I'm real. I'm really inside your head.

Now, get this. This is important.

My name is Alan McKenzie. I'm projecting my thoughts into your mind through an artificially created wormhole from the future, from the year 2027. Yeah, funny isn't it? A real laugh, but it's true as well.


Look, stop the idiot laughing. I've got about two minutes before the government scanners find me and I've wasted half that already, so shut the fuck up and listen!

I'm contacting you through something called a Mi-Pod. Not an I-Pod, dummy. This is 2027! Unfortunately, you're the most receptive arsehole I can find from the data I've got for that year. There's a guy at the university name of Simon Croft. He'd be in Advanced Physics, third year probably.

You're giving me static again, Dave. I just want you to listen.

Right. Now this Mi-Pod thing I told you about, Simon Croft invented the bastard. Or rather, he's going to invent it. In about thirteen years time.

It's gonna be big, Dave, the biggest thing on the planet. It can tune in to individual thought waves, like a radio receiver. And everybody's gonna buy one. In a year phones will be obsolete, in two there'll be boosters and all kind of memory add-on shit you can get to enhance the signal power.

That's when the governments step in.

But before that happens everything's already started to break down; people killing each other, families splitting up, the legal system completely fucked. 'Cause everyone now knows what everyone else is thinking about them, all the little secrets and jealousies and pervy little thoughts we have about one another, all out in the open. It's a disaster. The blocking software was always one step behind, you see, always a 2.1 or a 4.3, always one bloody digit less than it needed to be. The manufacturers saw to that.

The crackdown came a couple of years ago. Thought control, on a massive scale, everywhere. It was easy. They only had to nationalise Microsoft and IBM and the rest and take what they wanted. Totalitarianism looks a good bet if the alternative is nothing but anarchy. And we'd all become so receptive by then there was little in the way of resistance to stop them. Just a few of us renegades left; scientists, computer freaks, the nerds who'd always blended quietly into the background, who created the monster in the first place.

I'm one of them, my friend Simon Croft is another. We pretend we're under their control, all the while blocking them out, trying to reverse our mistake.

That's why you've got to find Simon in your own time, Dave. Find him and kill him.

It's OK, it's his idea; the only way to put things right. And if you come across a young man named Alan McKenzie ask him to help you. He might think you're crazy but you must convince him of the truth.

We're all depending on you Dave. Don't fuck this u--"