Jesus fuck!” I blurted out. I pray my devout Catholic of a Mom and Dad didn’t hear that one but—Christ on a stick—this stupid fucking laptop. Been trying to get it to open again for hours now. One moment three glitched pixels were hanging at the bottom of my screen and the next my whole monitor was flooded with red, green, and blue corner to corner. Mouse doesn’t work. Keys don’t work. Putting the screen down doesn’t work. It just doesn’t fucking work. Even the power button does jack shit. These pixels were the bane of my brief existence.

My parents are gonna castrate me for this. I know it. I just have one saving grace. My techie friend. Maybe if I give him my laptop he can perform a miracle for me tomorrow. I glanced at the clock. My eyes flared. It read six in the morning. School starts in forty-five minutes. No way that’s real. I threw the curtains aside and stared. The sun stared back at me viciously. 

I spent all night with my laptop. But that can’t be true, right? I swear to God only an hour had passed. I rushed to the bathroom before realizing that I may not have enough time to even bathe. I stopped and turned to my closet instead. I put on my uniform in under a minute and double-checked everything in my bag. Made sure I didn’t forget my laptop. I went downstairs and checked in on my parents. They were sleeping. Thankfully that meant they didn’t hear any of the rumpus and ruckus from earlier. I wanted to wake them up and say goodbye but they must be tired. I opted not to and just decided to head out.

My subdivision was built on the slope of a hill. At the bottom was my school. It usually doesn’t take more than fifteen minutes for me to walk down there, and since I didn’t take a bath that saves me about ten more minutes for class. And so I strolled at a not-so-brisk pace. Midway, I saw a girl sitting on a slope outside one of the homes. She was tapping her phone so hard she practically was smacking it and I could tell she repeatedly pressed down the home button. I noticed pixels at the side of her screen before I passed by her.

Fortunately enough, I already saw my techie friend at the school gate conversing with another dude. I went up to him and told him about the problem I had with my laptop, wondered if he could have a look.

“Let’s meet up at recess later.” he said, nodding.

Just about made it to my first class without any hassle. Took a seat next to the window, dropped my stuff. 21st Century Literature was up. It was usually okay to chill during this subject. Our teacher never calls anyone to recite, only volunteers. My eyes were as heavy as concrete by this point. My teacher was talking about Bob Ong, but the capacity to care and the energy to listen just wasn’t in me. I stared outside my window and dotted my eyes around as an effort to stay awake.

Cars were moving. Kindergarteners were running. There were rows and columns of houses far away. Some clouds. There was an airplane in the sky. Strange. It wasn’t flying, no, no, no, the airplane seemed like it was floating in the air. It wasn’t moving. It was as still as all the other houses in that subdivision. I blinked my eyes forcefully to make sure I was seeing this right. Then the bell rang.

It was recess. Everyone was already leaving. I could see my techie friend from earlier standing in the doorway waiting for me. I ignored what I saw and picked up my bag’s strap. We went to one of the restrooms first just so I could splash some water on my face. We proceeded to the cafeteria and sat at one of the lunch tables.

“Show me what’s wrong,” he said.

I opened up my bag and gave the laptop to him. He slid the screen open and the pixels were still there, rippling rampantly.

“What?” I heard him mutter under his breath. He tried clicking the power button same as I did but to no avail. He turned to me. “Man, this is weird. Pixels don’t normally look like this.”

“What do they normally look like?” I asked.

“Not like this.” The pixels he and I were looking at were trying to form a shape. It almost looked like a silhouette of a head. “You haven’t downloaded anything, have you?”

“What could I have possibly downloaded, dude?” I said. “Only had this laptop for a week. Haven’t used it for anything other than school, YouTube, and Netflix.”

“Maybe get the screen replaced? Damn, man, I don’t know. You have to take this to a shop or something ‘cuz right now I haven’t the foggiest on how to get this fixed.”

“Wait.” I pointed at something on the screen. “Look. Look at that. What the hell is that?”

The pixels were moving as they were but now they were making more than patterns. They were becoming letters, then words. Top to bottom the monitor was hundreds of texts saying Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue over and over again. It was filled with those same three words ad nauseam. 

“Huh?” was all my friend could comment on. “That’s—”

Without warning, the screen cracked and imploded in front of us. We jerked backwards but failed to avoid the shattered glass that shot down on us. We fell, groaning with cuts on our faces and shoulders. I felt a hand on my cheek. It was bleeding. 

Everyone in the cafeteria instinctively stood up and watched. All of them had a concerned look on their faces. A couple of students approached us to see what was going down. My 21st Century Literature teacher from earlier sprinted towards us and kneeled down.

“You two okay? What the hell happened?” they asked, taking a long look at our cuts. I glanced at my friend who was shocked but relatively safe.

“Yeah, we’re okay.” I answered. At least I hope we were. The teacher helped us to our feet and picked off the little glass shards that were still stuck to our shirts. Before I could explain any further, I heard glass shattering again. I turned along with everyone to the source of the sound and saw a girl’s phone had just burst right in front of her face. Unlike me, though, she wasn’t so lucky. A sharp piece of the glass was lodged inside of her left eye. She didn’t move at first. Then she started screaming. We all gasped in shock.

In chains, more and more phones started exploding. Many of them exploded in people’s pockets. Some threw their phones before they got hit. Some hid their phones in their bags to absorb the impact. My teacher, who took their phones out to call nine-one-one, had theirs explode in their hand. It became riddled with spikes.

The exploding devices ignited several fires around the campus. Guards, teachers, and students alike ran to help. One guy in front of me had his neck on fire and he was failing miserably in putting it out. I unzipped my bag, took out my water bottle, and threw the water on his face.

To my horror, the instant the water made contact, it burned. Liquid went through his skin, peeling away at his eyelids, turning his eyes into jelly, melting his face until you can see bone and teeth side by side. I dropped the bottle and stepped back, watching his facial mutilation. 

I heard my friend shouting from behind, his voice cracking, “What did you do? What did you do?”

I didn’t know what to answer. In the midst of the chaos, the scared confusion, of things going haywire, and the screaming, I realized it was getting darker and brighter all at once outside. The day and night cycle were going way faster than it could and should. Moon and sun switching places as if they were merely exchanging seats during a lecture. The tables, the chairs, and my bag were beginning to float in midair like gravity died, while everyone else was running firmly on the ground. The time on my wristwatch was going in circles. At this moment, time had turned corrupted and the universe forgot its own rules. What broke me the most was my vision. I was seeing the world in red hues, then in blue, green, pink, and in colors the human eye never saw. The sight of the whole world going mad made me crumble. 

I wanted to go home.

As my eyes watered, I felt my friend grabbing and picking me up. He looked at me and said in unnatural rhythm, “We are moving to in the get going!

“What?” I said.

This the hatter goes fear through right end.

“You’re not saying anything.” I said weakly.

What’s wrong with him? What’s happening? Is the world coming to an end? Is the universe coming to an end? Please, God, I don’t wanna die. I have to get out of here. I have to see Mom and Dad. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I didn’t get go over the sad little rainbow over the melancholic river down on sunset sunrise sundown Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue . . .

Way, way, away wayward hoax . . . Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue . . . Forward . . . Downward . . . Red Green Blue Red Green Blue . . .

Coward . . . Red Green Blue Red Green Blue . . . Ove rmind . . . Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue . . . Jung . . . Young . . .

Question marks . . . I see . . . My friends . . . Old man . . . Reclaim . . . Tom Sawyer . . . Our origin . . . Yes Yes No Indigo . . . No name . . . Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue Red Green Blue . . .  The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog . . .

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. 

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. 

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.    



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