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P. 1
Make it a Double

Make it a Double

Ratings: (0)|Views: 131|Likes:
Published by Jarrett Rush
A piece of sci-fi flash fiction set in the near future where data is a drug and it's much too easy to become an addict.
A piece of sci-fi flash fiction set in the near future where data is a drug and it's much too easy to become an addict.

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Published by: Jarrett Rush on May 28, 2010
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Riley plugged in. He felt the flush of digital come over him and he closed his eyes. Hisneck warmed first. The heat started next to the port, radiated up his scalp and down his back. Thedigital worked its way to his fingers and toes in seconds and he eased his body deeper into the plush recliner.His arms were heavy and he pulled his wrist to his face. His watch said 10 past noon.About an hour was all the time he had, but it was enough. In an hour you could get a fix thatwould last until quitting time.Riley fought to keep his eyes open, concentrating on the sign in the window advertising aone hour double shot. At times he’d considered a double, but always hesitated. A double was asignal. Order one of those and you’re on your way to being one of the kids sitting in the hardseats in the back. You quit opting for the luxury package that included a comfortable chair and positive information. Instead you went for the folding chair and an unfiltered feed.Riley let his mind go and he gave in to the urge to sleep. He drifted off hoping for digitaldreams full of roller-skating elephants and dancing ringmasters. The chair swallowed Riley andhis mind turned off.He woke with a shake to his arm. A young man with jet black hair and eye-liner tore thetop sheet off a pad of paper and dropped it on Riley’s chest. He pushed himself up in the seat andtried to shake off the fuzz in his head.“One hour double shot” was written in scratchy print.
 No, no, no, no
, Riley thought. He stumbled from his seat and fought to keep his legs
under him. They were jelly.At the desk, Riley did his best to convince the blue-eyed Asian boy working the register that he hadn’t asked for a double shot.“Sorry,” theboy said, not looking up from his handheld reader. “If it’s on the ticket it’swhat we charge you for.”Riley walked to the train, his head still swimming in a digital fog. While he waited for thedowntown express, a full measure of guilt overwhelmed him.He’d tried for the longest time to deny that he was a data junkie. On the rare occasion,usually at night, while he came down from an after-work fix, he’d admit,
Yeah, I have a problem
.On most days, though, he just wallowed in guilt. He’d push his way onto the train and spend theride back to his office beating himself up. There were no seats today so he’d have to kick himself from a standing position.He grabbed the long rail running along the top of the car, bracing himself for the take-off.Riley leaned forward and let the rush of the train leaving the station push him back upright. Heleaned his head into his arm and shifted his weight to his right leg. The ride on the new bullettrains was smooth and Riley closed his eyes. He didn’t open them until he felt the momentum of the train strain against the left turn into the central business district. He looked out the window,leaned into the bend, and watched downtown get closer. The crowd started gathering at the doorsand Riley turned to join them.
The blue glow on Riley’s face disappeared as the bank of monitors in front of him

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1 hundred reads
JM Murray added this note
Fascinating world. I can see that in the future.
JM Murray liked this

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