Razors cut lines. You are the reason I can’t be me. Why can’t you believe that we can be better? Evolve beyond history, beyond toxic norms and bad behaviour? Where is your empathy not for battle lines but for human beings? You are the reason the world will die. Razors cut lines. We are all given ultimate power yet so many of us take that from others not realising it doesn’t make us any stronger. This is not new and it is not impossible to grasp. Tangible and evident in the everyday. Razors cut lines. No one is saying that you are wrong and that you are evil simply by existing. However by actively harming people you are putting yourself in the very box you don’t want to be in and if you keep behaving as you are you will be buried in it. Bricks that stand in the way of change are simply thrown aside. Razors cut lines. Your pedestal is brittle and precarious and I hope for your sake and mine that this platform you shout down from does not have the permanence we believe it has. Realise you can come down from there before you fall. This life is a choice and you can be better. You are the reason the world will die but you can also be the reason it survives. Razors cut lines.
Live your best Pre-Life!
Once a day for a randomly assigned minute you get to see your future. This is what we guarantee, this is what we promise.
Sounds too good to be true right? Not with ChronoCorp’s new Pre-Life implant.
Pre-Life what now?
Once a day an alert from the future gets sent straight to your mind. Utilising new Time Loop technology we take a picture of whatever your future self can see in front of them and send it back in time for your viewing pleasure. We call them Pre-Pics.
You get a full minute to see what you’ll be seeing in one, five, a hundred years. The potential of Pre-Pics is endless.
Imagine, seeing your children that don’t exist yet, countries you haven’t visited yet, food you haven’t eaten yet. These are all experiences and sights you can experience and see right now.
Hold on, what is this implant?
The Sequential Memory Image Line Enhancer or S.M.I.L.E. is the latest and greatest piece of time technology ChronoCorp has yet to present on a commercial scale.
It is a small expandable antenna that we insert in the base of your skull through a painless, simple and free procedure. It is calibrated and unique to your DNA and only picks up information beamed to it from your identical implant in the future. Think of it as a television that only picks up channels that are about you.
Transparency and honesty are key to our ChronoCorp ethos. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of each product before determining their suitability.
Alright but surely that’s going to be expensive?
Not at all! Here at ChronoCorp we believe everyone should be able to see through time. We’ve made it so the implant and installation of the implant is free* with no extra costs in store.
*In-app purchases mandatory.
This sounds incredible! Where do I sign up?
Send us a vial of your preferred bodily fluid and a comprehensive list of your family and friends (including social security numbers) and we’ll contact you in the next three business days if you are an eligible candidate.
Why are all my Pre-Pics blurry?
If the implant is not calibrated properly you may receive blurry images from the future. Please read the troubleshooting section of our instruction manual or contact your closest service professional if this doesn’t resolve itself.
I started getting headaches behind my ear when I first installed my Pre-Life implant. Is this normal?
Yes this is perfectly normal. Most subjects will experience side effects based around their implants including but not limited to:
⁃ Headaches (mild)
⁃ Headaches (extreme)
⁃ Hair loss
⁃ Itchy and irritated skin
⁃ A sense of isolation and inconsolable loss
What happened if I don’t receive an image?
This means one of either two things. In the future you have ceased to exist or in the future you have removed your implant. Customers should note that improper removal of implant will result in a fatal solution.
Do the implant come in different colours?
They certainly do! As well as your standard primary colours we are proud to announce our new metallic range as well as our collaboration with the Democratic Republic of Disney to bring you a whole new way to express yourself.
Live your best life with Pre-Life!
The tiny man that lives in my chest is breathing louder.
His lungs swell and ribcage expands and with each breath instead of retreating his body continues to grow. He sits curled, his spine arched and face unseen and with every inhale I feel my bones creak. You stand above me, watching me from the ceiling. Glaring and spinning as the room spins with you, one eye is fire, the other a ticking clock.
The clock strikes one.
You scream at me with a mouth invisible. From screens taped to my hands, pasted on every desk and available wall space you scream at me. Miles away, you remain in my view and in my head. Frightened by your screams the man in my chest breathes heavier and heavier.
I watch my skin stretch and distort. Like bubble gum on the pavement, like cling film torn on a serrated edge, my skin is changing. The colour becomes pale in the spots that are thinnest and scars once thick and healed become pink and splitting. I am breaking.
The clock strikes two.
You are everybody that isn’t me. Everybody that hates me. You are the news in my feed, the looks on the train, the scorned lover that believes me dirt. You are strong and I am weak. The man in my chest cannot withstand your war and my flesh and blood cannot contain him.
In my body the second room that is the housing that holds my heart and lungs aches. Walls are cracking and foundations below are receding. I want to open the door. I need space so the man can expand without hindrance but the key I have been given does not fit the lock. The man does not heed the cries of my insides as they are crushed.
The clock strikes three.
My stomach bursts as the man breathes in once more. I want to stop him. I need to stop him. With every message and hint of you the man breathes in and I am terrified he will not stop. Please stop screaming at me. I can be better. I can be good. But I need you to stop. I want this to stop and you want this and maybe you want him.
When he emerges maybe I will be replaced. As he stands in my stomach, my body twisted and broken underneath him like the shell of an egg, maybe he will step forward and become me. Be the me you always wanted and maybe finally I will be better.
I want it to be over.
The clock strikes four.
Music plays out of the car speakers, crackly and sweet. I like this song. Dad ripped this to a CD for me when I asked him to. Mum opens the driver’s door and sits back down in the car, switching off the radio. She hands me a Cornetto and I curl my lip.
“This is mint.”
“It’s all they had.”
“I hate mint.”
She sighs then leans back in her chair, placing her own ice-cream against her cheek. There’s a bruise there the same colour as my favourite jacket. I’m bored.
“I want to go outside.”
“I want to go for a swim.”
“I said no.”
I sigh as loud as I can then lean forward, resting my elbows on the dash. I can see in front of us where the car park ends and the sand continues before giving way to sea. It’s so dark out there. The sea and the sky are the same colour and all I can see is black. I yawn.
“Can we go home?”
“Not right now.”
“Not for a while. We’re going to stay at Aunty Grace’s.”
“That’s ages away.”
“I need you to be good for me okay?”
“I want to go home.”
Mum turns the radio back on.
“Try to get some sleep.”
She shuts her eyes and pulls her jacket around her shoulders. The radio is quiet and behind it I can hear waves crashing. A wind blows and makes the car shake. Suddenly I want to turn the radio up a little louder.
A woman is singing a song I recognise. One of the old songs my parents would listen to before they stopped listening to songs. I sing to it under my breath and unwrap my ice-cream.
Mint is sticky on my fingers and mum is snoring when her phone rings. It’s dad so I answer it.
“Where’s your mum?”
Mum stirs. I watch her eyes open.
“Tell me where you are sweetheart.”
“We’re at the bea-”
I’m pushed back as mum leaps across the car. Her shoulder knocks my head against the side window and I yelp as she rips the phone from my grip. She throws it to the backseat then turns to me with eyes red.
“What did you do? What did you say?”
I’m holding the back of my head. It hurts and the pain is pushing against the front of my face. I’m not listening. I’m crying. Quiet at first and now louder. I screw my eyes shut and hope for everything to stop.
I recoil as arms curl around my middle but relax when they pull me in tight. Hands go up my neck and cradle the back of my head. I let my face fall into mum’s chest.
“I’m sorry baby.”
“I want to go home.”
Hands stroke my hair. The radio is playing a song I don’t know and behind it I can hear waves rising and falling.
My fingernails won’t stop growing won’t stop growing
inside my skin.
they’re under my skin
down through my elbows and into my chest
my fingernails wrap around my ribs
pushing through my lungs
I don’t know how to stop
I keep writing the same things
and nothing is changing.
Nothing is stopping me grow
under my skin.
My fingernails are turning me inside out
and I let them.
There’s a hole in my head and everyone is looking at it. Looking through it from one side of my mind to the other.
The hole is growing. Stretching. Across my forehead meeting tear duct
Everyone is looking at me.
The hole in my head spreads down my body to the floor. I consume the room.
I consume my friends
the music we listen to
the roof above our eyes
the night sky
No one is looking at me anymore.
Next to a broken set of drawers is a couch with the seat pillows missing and on top of the couch is a mattress and between the mattress and the couch is a dead body. I’m pretty sure it’s dead. The arm dangling down the side of the couch is bloodied and one of the feet are missing from the legs sticking out the other end. I squint and take another bite of my Crunchy Nut. Yep. It’s dead alright.
I think about calling the cops. I’ve never called the cops before. I Google to see if I can just book them online or something but they said in a case like this I should call. They need an app for these sort of things, like an Uber for the police. I decide one of the neighbours would probably call instead.
That night my alarm goes off reminding me to put the bins out. My roommates are away so I can’t ignore it. The dead body is still there but the mattress is gone which means now I can see his face. He’s lying face up, his head tilted to one side so he’s looking straight at me. The blood from his arm stops at his elbow and his mouth and eyes are open. Mosquitoes fly lazily between what’s left of his teeth.
The next morning I rush out the front, half asleep and already late for work. My car starts on the second try and I look over my shoulder to check for oncoming traffic. One of the ladies from down at the retirement village is out walking her dog and I watch her stroll by the dead body. She lets her dog leap up onto the guy’s lap and lick his crotch. I get a funny feeling in my stomach that I pretend doesn’t happen then take off with a squeal.
When I get home the couch is gone but the body is still there. He has been rolled off the couch so now he has his face in the dirt and arse in the air. I feel a sense of loss and sadness come over me. I liked that couch. I ignore the bins so I don’t have to take them back inside.
I get woken up in the middle of the night by my roommates who are home and without keys. I glare when I open the door but manage a bleary hello. Reluctantly I follow them to the kitchen and ask them about their trip. After they’re done I ask,
“Did you see the body?”
We all wander outside. The gravel of the driveway hurts my feet and they walk ahead of me. When I catch up I point across the street but the body is gone.
“That’s a set of drawers.”
I shrug, “Someone must have taken it.”
“Should we grab the drawers?”
“Nah they’re broken.”
A wind whips down the street and I shudder. We argue over who should take the bins inside.