companionship.exe Part One

companionship.exe Part One

Let’s play spot the reference.


Would you like to not be alone anymore? Press ‘Yes’ to confirm companionship.exe’
The dialogue box presented itself on the wall of my bedroom. I stared at it, pondering what it could mean. In the eighteen years I’ve lived here, my house has never run a prompt like this, much less started a process to keep me from being alone. 

My finger hesitated over the confirmation button. It’s been eighteen years. Why hasn’t my house run this function yet? Did it not know that I was lonely? It had learned my dislikes, my preferences, what song I want to play when I bathe, how I like my lights dimmed in the evening, and even when to turn on the sprinklers for my garden. 

What kind of companionship could the house offer? If I can go without human contact for he majority of my life, I’m sure I can live the rest of it without contact as well. Still, the possibilities ran through my mind. If I wanted to be alone again, I could always tell the house to let me be alone again, right? 

After a few minutes ticked by, I hit the ‘yes’ button. My curiosity had gotten the best of me, yet again. Let’s see what companionship.exe does.

Almost immediately, I could hear the supercomputer in the basement begin to whir. Electricity seemed to fill the air as companionship.exe was executed. I’ve had he house run processes this heavy before, but something seemed much different about this one. I heard a faint clanking noise from the basement, and instead of worrying, I sat down on the edge of my bed and took a deep breath. 

For what seemed like an eternity, but really only was about half an hour or so, the house buzzed with life as it ran this mysterious process. Distant banging sounds rang through the house every few minutes as it put together something. From what I know about the house, I figured it was some kind of dinky robot or advanced hologram system.

What walked through my door was neither of those. 

It didn’t even knock before entering. My head snapped up from my lap as I saw the being in my doorway. There was no way that he was human, since I know my house built him for me, but…

He leaned in the doorway, sunglasses on even though we were inside. He raised on hand, lazily waving at me before pushing aside some of his soft looking, platinum blonde hair. 

“Sup.”

‘Sup’ indeed. I got up, heart pounding as I made my way over to him. He didn’t seemed phased by my sudden intrusion of his personal space when I gently touched his clothes, his arms, or even ran my fingers across his cheek.

Synthetic skin overtop a metal skeleton. He felt so real. Almost human.

“What are you doing?” He stepped back, shaking his head. “At first I just wanted to see where you were going with this shit, but if I’m gonna live here with you, you can’t be fondling me all the damn time.”

Now that he’s speaking, I got a good taste of his voice. It was a sort of deep, but not quite, with a certain elegance behind it.

That night, I took my new friend outside. We sat on the fourth floor balcony, feet hanging out over the forest below us. For the first time in eighteen years, I was having a real conversation with someone.

His name is David, and his programming makes him thinks he’s human. 

Perfect

Perfect

“You’re so perfect.”

She sighed as she said it, her full lips parting in anticipation. She knew what I was going to do next, because I always did the same thing. My lips pressed against her warm ones, and she wrapped her arms around me and giggled, trying to contain her smile. I’m not sure how she never got tired of my predictable moves.

“I love everything you do, like you were made just for me. You’re the woman of my dreams, May.”

One of my hands ran its way through her soft, silky hair, still damp from the steaming shower that she put herself through. She thought the scalding hot water would help burn off the exposure from outside. I pulled her closer still, my free hand holding onto her tiny waist.

“You’re never going to leave me, right?” It was different from the things she usually said. She was anxious, almost as if she really was scared I would leave. Where else would I go?

“No.” My voice was softer than hers, almost scratchy, and like it shouldn’t belong to me. 

“I know. I just like to hear you say it.” She broke away from me for a second, pushing my hands away from her. “Come on. Let’s go to bed.” 

I followed, as obidient as ever. I can’t say I was in the mood for what she wanted, but it would kick in. My body always responds at a certain point, after all.

I went to bed with her, my touches as gentle or as rough as she needed them to be. I bathed afterwards, just like she liked me to, and washed off the evidence of our coupling. The scent would stick to my skin and make her sick otherwise. Sometimes, I was glad she didn’t join me, because this was my only real time of peace.

At midnight, long after she had fallen asleep, I let my hair down, and stood in front of the mirror. Dark locks rested on my shoulders and stone gray eyes stared back at me in the mirror. I opened my mouth, examining my teeth, my tongue, my throat. It was all so.. normal. 

I wish I was normal.

I knew that she would be up in a few hours and would want her breakfast in bed, just like every morning. I needed to have my strength for the next day. I tucked some hair behind my ear and pressed the small panel behind my earlobe. Pulling the charging cable out, I grabbed the wall usb plugin on the bathroom sink and connected the two together. The plugin went into the wall, and a small beep emitted that announced that the connection was successful.

Tomorrow she was taking me to a robotics convention. She wasn’t going to tell anyone what I was, but instead, to just revel in the knowledge that she’s the only person on Earth to build the perfect lover. 

If only my programming would allow me to be anything else.

Quick Update

My notes app is absolutely stuffed full of story ideas, notes for my book, and other nonsense. I’m so excited to get back to writing regularly and once again dedicating 2-4 hours a night to switching between ZenWriter and buzzfeed’s youtube channel. 

In case you didn’t get the hint, my internet is back! Well, it’s been back for most of today, but as soon as I got home I raced to my Xbox to catch up with as many of my friends as I could and also play Overwatch for as long as possible.  Now that the internet is back, I can choose between adulting, writing, and literally everything else on the internet that I’m interested in.

Between all of the new content I’ll be posting, I’ll be trying to make some headway on my book. I’ve got some pretty solid ideas, and managed to get into the headspace for my main character.

 I’ve really gotten to know her in the past couple of weeks. 

Before I can even start writing, though, I’ll just have to block out everyone who decides to verbalize six monologues in a row at me while I try to write. I know way too many of these people. My ADHD does not like when others monologue at me.

-Spencer Holly

Six Times Removed

Deep breath. Unblock. Add friend. Now I wait.
My heart pounds in anticipation as the minutes pass by. This’ll be the sixth time I’ve gone brought this process with him. I wonder why he still wordlessly accepts my friend requests, but I’m certainly not going to say anything to him unless he brings it up first. And maybe even then, I won’t answer, and I’ll just block him again and start the process over once more several months from now.

Within half an hour, he accepts my request, and I open his highly private Facebook profile, which was now accessible to me once more. I scroll through his posts from the past few weeks, ignoring the “About tab”. I don’t want to see the thing that I already know.

As always, his profile is the opposite of mine. Mine is consistently filled with posts about charities, workers rights, political matters of all sorts, and of course, news stories about animals being cute. One was even about a play that I had been cast in. His was full of posts about his daily life, with tons of likes and comments. My posts rarely got any at all. He posted jokes and memes, along with photos of his pet rats and his long term boyfriend.

God, he was beautiful.

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Character Development

Character Development

All authors have a certain special way of developing their characters. I have no idea how exactly I’m going to develop mine. Filling out a questionnaire about them doesn’t feel right, and writing snippets of her daily life or her in unique situations doesn’t quite do it for me either. It almost feels forced, somehow. I’ve been working on fleshing out one of my characters for my book, seeing as I can’t get very far if I don’t know her very well, and things have been a little rocky.

At this point in the story, my main character is beginning to develop and her inner desires are becoming evident. I don’t know how to bring her through the first story arc, because I don’t know her as well as I’d like to. I’ll just have to spend some of my downtime, and my uptime, trying to get into my main character’s headspace.

This, readers, is the only real way I can develop my characters. It’s probably super common, but for me to write someone completely different than me, I’ll have to do some hands on field research. That’s why I’m sitting in a public place, writing things in a notebook in between tapping away on my phone, and drinking an overpriced coffee like a pretentious cliche.

That’s totally something that my character would do. Too bad I’m not dressed for the part. 

-Spencer Holly 

The Internet Is A Distraction

Once again, I am back with a non-story related update. I’m working on a short story that I think is quite interesting, and based off of a dream I had years ago. 

All I have to do is edit my notes to have it make sense, and also to remove the giant vibrator that has a time travel setting. It’s easier said than done.

Anyways. For the last week or so there hasn’t really been wifi at my home. It’s entirely out of my control. My data plan on my phone is exhausted and I’m on reduced speed right now, which suuuuuucks. At least Reddit is still kind of working. And WordPress, sometimes. 

I’ve managed to write a few pages of my book in the past few days. I’m struggling with it, especially because of my decision to rewatch the entire Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Thank goodness my roommate gave me all access to her DVD collection. I’ve also set myself on the task of reworking my entire farm in Stardew Valley.  It’s very difficult to dedicate time to writing under these self inflicted circumstances. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to crank out a few more pages. Maybe finish a chapter. Who knows.

It’s just so hard to focus, even without wifi and the whole entire internet to distract me. I absolutely suspect that my ADHD has everything to do with this. 

-Spencer Holly

I Still Exist

I Still Exist

I wrote this story well over a year ago. The only other place you can find it online is on the Tumblr page of fifteenhours-creepystories. I really love that blog, and often go there to get my fix of original horror stories. This version of the story is slightly different than the original that I wrote so long ago, and I think the ending is much better and less anti-climactic. I’ve also changed the title of the story. I also originally posted this story on an old, cold, dead WordPress I used to have before I deleted the entire thing. 


If anyone is reading this, I can honestly say that I’d be surprised. Not surprised that someone was reading this, but surprised that my words managed to reach someone. It would mean that in some way, I’m still here, and I still exist. It’s the only thing that I want. It started years ago; before I was aware of it. I faded away, and I’m not sure if I’m really still here, and the world is ignoring me, or if I really don’t exist anymore. I want someone, at least one person, to know my story, and I’m scared that it’s too late for me.

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Social Obligations & Other Content Creators

Social Obligations & Other Content Creators

I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to make a post about this, but last night I spent a solid 100$ at an arcade on opening night and walked out with two plush bears I earned fair and square from UFO Catchers. I’m very proud of them. I also got about a thousand or so tickets for the prize counter, but I’m going to save those for later.

Though I was very interested in the arcade itself, and more importantly the bar on the lower level, I only went on the very first day it was open because a friend of mine, Crane Princess, was planning on being there. In fact, I’m fairly certain that I’m going to be included in her video about the opening night of the arcade itself. Neato burrito!

I also got to meet ArcadeJackPotPro, and even though I’ve never heard of him before he gave me a neon yellow Garfield plush. I’ve returned the gesture by following his social media.

The outing was quite fun, and my roommate also joined Crane Princess and I after some time, but before she arrived I felt very strange about the whole thing. I was part of a posse. A youtuber’s meetup event. I, and a few of Crane’s other fans, milled around her and followed her while we all played games together. I’m not very good at connecting with other content creators, and I’m not entirely sure that you can call me a “content creator” when all I’ve done is faffed about on WordPress and posted one of my recent short stories. There will be more though, I absolutely promise you that.

It’s also strange for me to go an entire day without thinking about the book I’m working on or some kind of short story or.. well, anything. Normally, I have all kinds of words and stories and plotlines and characters flying through my head, but today, there was nothing. Maybe it was the lack of sleep and exhaustion from working for 8 hours or just having my mind focused on crane games and how to acquire the plushes that I seek, but it’s still a very strange sensation.

Not to mention, every time I go to help my friends or someone I know with their creative work, I always feel sort of out of place or pushy and not really all that important at all. Maybe I just never connected with other creators in the same way that I do with Crane Princess. After all, she’s been in my bedroom and my son pet cat really seemed to like her.

-Spencer Holly

 

 

Not cut out for humor

Earlier today I posted a short story that I had been working on for three days. In my cellphone’s notepad, I put “Sci Fi short story where a ‘I’m more intelligent than everyone else because society is primitive’ type finds out that aliens are easy going and hate him“. I tried to write it, and as these things tend to do, it took a life of its own. A confusing, messy, pointless life. I wanted to write a funny story, but I felt bad when I scheduled the post, felt worse when it posted, and after 3 hours, I deleted it off the face of the planet. It got 5 views. I’m bad at writing jokes. It makes sense since I tend to not be a very funny person overall.

I know this because I’m bad at thinking on my feet, save for a few flukes, and it’s usually my reactions to things happening in real time that make people laugh. Humor writing is even worse for me because I tend to over think it and things end up not being very funny at all. I did a bad job with the humor sci-fi story I left posted for three hours, and if I ever try to use that plot line again, I’ll have to make it some sort of sci-fi horror story or something.

For a while I aspired to write a few articles for Cracked, and then realized that I’m not very funny and that even if I did come up with a decent idea for an article, there was a slim chance they would actually take it. I’ll still read on there with no hard feelings, though.

I know that it takes quite a bit of skill and work put into it to become a humor writer, just like with other type of writing, but I think I would rather not go against my natural grain. I’ll stick to the emotional romance stories and the creepypasta-esque shorts.

If you’d like a pointless story from my daily life, the last thing I did that made someone laugh was when I walked into the back room of my workplace today to fill up a small bucket with cleaning solution and hot water when I heard my manager jokingly call out, “Spencer, what the fuck are you doing?” and using my best monotone voice, I replied “Whatever I want.” It emitted a chuckle or two from everyone in the back room. It was also the funniest thing that I said all day, and that’s not saying much.

-Spencer Holly

On the Edge of Appalachia

Last winter, a friend of mine suggested to me that I take a peek at a book. It happened to be Trampoline: An Illustrated Novel by Robert Gipe. You can check out the book here. My friend recommended this book to me due to the unique nature of those who grew up in Appalachia. I see now why he told me to give it a look. I finally got around to buying the kindle copy of the book last week and almost immediately plowed through the entire thing. I caught myself opening my kindle app on my phone in order to quickly read a few paragraphs whenever I could, and this absolutely included taking an extra 10 minute break while at work in order to get my fix.

It’s hard to find a piece of media that actually captures what its like to grow up in Appalachia. I wasn’t in Kentucky where the book takes place (and it takes all my willpower not to write ‘Kensucky’ instead), but I was very close. I grew up in West Virginia, where coal mining is a pretty big deal. I wasn’t out in the hollers (excuse me, the hollows) and never really saw the destruction first hand with my own eyes, but I saw other things. I saw how my ‘treehugger’ friends couldn’t consume alcohol and had limited diets because growing up, the water was poison due to the coal mining. I saw all the debates, the fights, and felt disgusted when I saw billboards advertising the coal mining companies and all they did for us. But I also felt apathetic, because it seemed like everyone’s efforts were wasted.

I like to think that I’d fit right in with Dawn Jewell.

Another thing that was so great about Trampoline is that I actually got homesick reading it. Anyone who knows me in person is well aware of how I feel about West Virginia. I hated growing up there, and clawed tooth and nail to be in a position where I could leave. It wasn’t until I had a fate chance to move out of there, no strings attached, that I got to leave. So far, I haven’t looked back, and felt out of place and out of home the one time that I had gone back to visit.

Ever since I read Trampoline,  I’ve been thinking of my life back in West Virginia. It was messy and hard, and I left a lot of things undone and a lot more of things unsaid. I don’t feel the need to go back and make amends. However, like there always is, there’s a ‘but’ to these sorts of things.

-Spencer Holly