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STREAM — a fiction by ollie francis
Live someone else’s life when you go to sleep.
Waking up is easy when you’re beautiful. Just roll out of bed, quick bit of exercise, protein shake for breakfast. I’ve seen it first hand — well, I was Stream Dreaming, which is close enough — and she’s got it all prepared in advance — it’s all there ready for her, first thing in the morning. I suppose she must prepare it all before she goes to bed, but that’s only a guess. I never sleep for long enough to Stream Dream all the way through her day, but I always catch the morning bit. I try and time it so that I go to bed just before the usual time her alarm goes off. I make sure I take a couple of sleeping pills when I lay down; I never used to, but I’ve missed the start of the stream a few times and I don’t like missing out on that first bit of the day. Everything seems so fresh. She seems so fresh; even on weekdays.
It didn’t take long to work out her schedule. Now that I know exactly when that alarm starts bleeping, I can plan my own day so that I’m in bed just before she gets up. It’s a pretty reliable way to make sure I stay with her as long as I can without having to wait too long before her Stream starts; otherwise, you get this weird, cold darkness before she wakes.
There was a bit of hit and miss to nail it down over the first few days. One time I completely overshot and had to spend almost two hours in that darkness. That wasn’t great.
The darkness is probably the downside to hacking the system like this. It’s not meant to be part of the experience — you’re supposed to sync straight to whatever user is waking up at the same moment you are drifting off to sleep — but I think it’s worth it. To see her, every night. To *be* her, every night.
That first time I found her, I thought I was going mad. The probability of Stream Dreaming and finding *her*; a seven billion to one shot. So I traced back the signal, hacked it and made sure I could have her again the next night.
Sometimes I wonder about telling her. I’m not sure if she would take the call from me. I’m pretty sure she will have blocked my number. But that first time, that first Stream. God, I had missed her. I’m so glad I found her again.
Originally published on Tumblr
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