Here's the next episode of Cyberfantasy. Enjoy!
After the words “I am a cyberbot” appeared on the screen, my human panic reflexes kicked in and I slammed the laptop shut. I didn’t know what a cyberbot was, but it sounded terrifying.
There was a pause while I stood there, half-expecting the computer to blow up or something. Nothing happened, however. The only sound to break the stillness was my cat, Tanuki, yowling at me to get him breakfast.
Relieved, I got up and dumped the remains of my coffee into the sink. I wasn’t taking any more chances with that stuff. It was probably time to buy fresh coffee beans, anyway.
I poured some kibble into Tanuki’s dish and glanced idly around the kitchen. I wasn’t hungry anymore.
Just then, my phone buzzed. My friend Chloe was texting. For a second, I hesitated - was this Sona cyberbot person trying to contact me again?
The phone buzzed again. I pushed down my fear and tapped on the text.
Hey, Ri, it said. What are you doing today?
Chloe has this habit of using perfect spelling and grammar when she texts. I get on her nerves by using all those little abbreviations for things.
I replied, nothing much.
Would you like to get together for lunch at your place? I’ll bring pizza.
sure! sounds gr8.
GREAT, she corrected immediately.
I grinned a little. yes i know.
See you then!
SEE YOU, she sent as a parting shot.
I laughed and tucked my phone into my pocket. Life always seems better after talking to Chloe - even if it’s just a few texts. And I could feel my appetite returning.
At twelve, the doorbell chimed and I opened the door.
Chloe walked in, balancing a pizza box on one arm.
After saying hello and giving her an awkward side hug (the pizza box got in the way of a proper hug), I put paper plates and a few napkins on the table. We sat down. Chloe said grace and then we started eating.
“Well, this is fun,” she commented. “Thanks for having me over.”
“You pretty much invited yourself,” I said with a grin. “But I was glad you were coming, because something really strange happened this morning and I wanted to talk to you about it.”
“Well, I was checking my email, and there was a message from someone I didn’t recognize. Then words just started typing themselves onto the page. It could read my thoughts, Chloe.”
She raised an eyebrow. “Are you making this up?”
I looked at her straight in the face. She knows I’m not joking when I do that.
“No, this is real. The thing said that she was a cyberbot - whatever that is - and that her name was Sona.”
“It might have been a virus. Is your computer all up-to-date?”
“Yes. But a virus couldn’t read my thoughts, and this thing did.”
“Hm,” said Chloe. “I wonder if it would happen again if you showed me the email.”
“I’m not talking to that crazy computer mind-reading robot again, thank you very much. You can do it if you want. But -”
“Well, then, get me your laptop,” Chloe interrupted, wiping her fingers on a napkin. “If this is really real, it might be the beginning of an adventure.”
Stay tuned for Episode 3! Have a lovely day. :)