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What the Dickens ? ......A Modern Christmas Story

It was the day before Christmas and a human was on social media. They were scrolling down and searching for inane stuff and not really doing anything, except for tutting and sighing at other people's comments and seeking out and focussing on all the bad comments. They had only been doing this for a while, when suddenly their phone screen went blank. Before they could moan, complain and throw the 'useless piece of modern technology', the screen came on with a blinding white light, dazzling the human and causing them to blink rapidly. Then a voice came from the screen, surprising the human as they hadn't accessed YouTube or Twitter or any Advertising clickbait for at least one minute. 'Human!!!!' the voice said...' Who me?' said the human, in a quiet and nervous voice (as they hadn't cleared the cache of all their Internet history and was hoping that this was nothing to do with it) 'Yes You!!' said the voice from the screen, 'Its the day before the day before Christmas Day and you're sitting doing nothing when You have so much to offer the world!!' The human was confused, because they were not aware of life outside of their phone and internet and they certainly didn't believe they had much to offer the world. 'ME ??' said the human , ' I'm just an ordinary human with ordinary thoughts and ordinary life and ordinary job ' 'Really ??!!' said the screen, 'Lets see about that shall we ??' The Screen continued ' You are extra ordinary and to prove it ,on this evening when your phone buzzes at Midnight, you will be visited by three other screens' 'Errr, three screens ?' nervously whispered the human ' can't I have all three screens opened at once and multi task ??' 'NO!!!!' said the screen ,at a volume making the human jump and attempt to turn the volume down, to no avail. ' Tonight at Midnight, the first screen will arrive!!! And as suddenly as it arrived, the screen went blank.

The human gulped, then looked at his phone upgrades, checking that the new terms & conditions that he had not bothered to read, had something about ' Subsection 3 Paragraph 7 .You forfeit your rights to not be visited by any apparitions during the Christmas season '

He got about 500 words into the T's & C's before thinking ' sod this , I am going to bed'

So, he climbed into bed and went to sleep.

Well, not immediately, as he had to scroll through all social media, news, sports, political, entertainment and obscure news, just in case he had missed anything and then settled down to sleep. Well , he took about an hour as his mind was still racing and whirring with all useless info his mind had absorbed in the last minutes before going to bed.

He eventually after about an hour, yawned, rolled over and gradually fell asleep.

About an hour or so later, the phone buzzed and the human sleepily rolled over and went to switch it off. When suddenly it flashed with a bright blue light, filling the room as a soft voice said ' human!' The human was surprised, as he was sure Alexa, Siri or Cortana had an adult American voice, yet this one was soft like an English child's voice, sort of Harry Potter-ish, yet with less glasses. 'Who are you?' said the human. The screen flashed as the voice said ' I'm the screen of Christmas past, I've come to show you how extra ordinary you are, come touch the screen'. The human touched the screen and suddenly they felt themselves pulled by the finger, then wrist ,then arm ,into the screen. 'This can't be happening!' said the human and closed their eyes. When they opened them, they were in a hospital. 'Where am I?' said the human. 'You're at your own birth', said a soft voice and looking down the human say they were still holding their phone and it was speaking to them. ' You're born as a result of only one egg out of billions, being fertilised and then when you are born, you have no fears, you are fearless, save a fear of heights and loud noises, as all humans learn or are taught all other fears' The human gazed on the newly born version of themselves and suddenly, they were pulled into the screen again. They awoke and heard children's laughter and sound of running feet. To their surprise they recognised their own junior school and saw their old friends and realised it was playtime. 'That's me aged about 7!' said the human as they saw themselves running and climbing and laughing and falling over and getting up and running again. 'Yes' said the screen ,for it was amazingly sat in his hand, although it was now a clunky old Nokia, yet still had the soft childlike voice coming from it. 'You were fearless and friendly and hadn't a care in the world and was an excellent runner and student and made many friends easily' said the screen. 'So many great memories and great friends' said the human, wondering what happened to the school friends', the human began to think and then all of sudden ,as soon as it began ,the school scene stopped and went blank. When another scene arose, the student recognised it was their senior school. He was sat in a huge hall with other students , all at desks and to his left was a really nice student and the human felt butterflies in their stomach. 'Where am I ?' said the human. The screen spoke ' You're doing your final senior exams and are about to complete them, do you know that student ?' The human nodded ' Yes, I really fancied them and we went out for a long time and I think we sort of loved each other' 'Where are they now ?' asked the screen. 'I don't know' the human mumbled ' I got a new phone as a reward for passing my exams and it had a great game called snake and I played it a lot and I was the best in my class ,then the school., but' , then the human stopped and looked down at the screen '.the student wanted me to spend more time with them and told me it was the phone or them' 'So what did you decide to choose?' the screen asked. The human wiped away a tear that had appeared and said in a mournful whisper, 'my phone' 'Oh' the screen said and with a click it switched off and it all went dark.

The human realised they were back in their bed, it was dark and all they could hear was their own heart beating, plus cars outside, with the light from a newly upgraded street lamp to that bright LED , that the council had spent money on.

Suddenly, the screen clicked on again and a loud voice came from it The screen spoke ' Hi again, can you guess what screen I am !!!!', in a voice not unlike Brian Blessed as Prince Vulcan in Flash Gordon, not the original one , the later one with Timothy Dalton ( yeah THAT one ) 'Go away ' said the human 'I can't' said the screen ' I'm The screen of Christmas present!!!!' A bright light shone into the room, causing the human to sit bolt upright, for he looked around and all was as it should in the present day. ' So what are you going to show me ?', said the human ' my life is ordinary and boring, there's nothing to show !' ' Really ??' said the screen, and with a whooshing sound, like when you receive a text in a meeting and you've forgotten to turn the volume down even though you swear you did, they were off again. When they landed they were at a house which wasn't recognisable at first. Then as the human got used to the dark, he remembered, this was his parents house. He was startled ,as they were in the same room as him but didn't see it recognise him. ' Why am I here ?' he whispered. 'Look and listen' whispered the screen. The humans parents were talking and smiling and reading a book and sharing stories from it. 'Notice anything ?' the screen said. ' Err nope' replied the human. Suddenly he realised. The TV was off. Where were their phones he had bought them ? Come to think of it where was the e-reader too ? And as he looked around, he noticed they were talking and smiling and laughing and OMG , kissing too! He felt the screen vibrate and looked down. When he looked back to his parents, they had gone! Much to his surprise he was at work. His ordinary office with his work colleagues. They were all sat a desks like his and he wanted to tell but realized they couldn't see or hear him. 'Look' said the screen ' Notice anything ?' The workers sat in rows of desks about 2 feet (or about 0.63 metres) apart and typed on screens and sat back and when they were not typing on screens they were either reaching into their pocket and pulling out a phone and scrolling down or typing on it too. As he looked the human noticed something else. 'they're talking to the person next to them!' he declared ' but on instant messenger and yet they could talk in real life to them!!' 'Yeah, weird huh ?' said the phone and he carried on ' wanna go home ?' 'Yes' said the human quietly , ' I need to think about this in my bed' He held the phone and looked down and suddenly it wasn't there. He was also back in bed. ' I wonder when the last screen will co....' and before he could finish his musing the room was filled with, with, with, err himself ?? It was definitely him, yet he filled the room and ,and he was different ' OMG' said the human, you're a 3D version of me! 'Are you the screen of the future ?' murmured the human. The 3D version simply pointed to the wall. As the human followed the direction of the pointing arm the wall of his home gave way to his parents house. Yet only the humans mum was there, she was sobbing gently. 'What happened ?' cried the human. The 3D image pointed at the wall. On it was a picture of his dad and the note above it said ' for recognition of the late Mr Humans work at SainsTesDa supermarket' ' but he never worked there ?' said the human. As he looked back the scene changed and he was, he was....back at work. Yet it was strangely different. He looked and saw and saw 'WTF!!' screamed the human ' they're all 3D' Yes, he soon realised that no humans worked there and yet they worked faster and typed quicker. He looked up and through the strangely glass ceiling (ironically the woman at his work had talked about this) he saw small objects with stuff underneath them. 'they're drones and what's that under them ?, oh bloody hell they are parcels!'

Yes hundreds and thousands of drones and more and more. ' So the humans are either replaced ,dead or working in SainsTesAs supermarket as shelf stackers !!!???' moaned the human to the 3D image. It nodded. ' Home now, I hate this!!!!' The human closed its eyes. When he opened them he was there, back at home in bed and he turned automatically to where his phone always was.

Then they stopped and turned to the right this time and picked up a book. It was slightly dusty yet had never been opened. The title was something familiar to him. ' A Christmas Carol ?' thought the human as they opened it and began to read. The End

........or maybe the beginning of something new ?

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