Author : Morrow Brady
“Of course I’ll miss you Serge. I love you” Ren said over-compensating.
“Don’t act rash. It’s a small glitch. The error log’s sent and the patch fix will be here soon” Her voice now a car crash, teetering on the edge of conviction.
Slumped in the kitchen drawer, I rose, wrestled despair from my hairy eyelids, then caught a smirk fading on her face.
“Really?” I shrilled. Springing to my feet and looking up at her.
“I’m stuck in this and you’re laughing at me?” gesturing at my tiny furry body.
Her clenched jaw buttressing a flood of laughter.
“It’s the System that’s a joke, not you Serge. Having your hard-light projection crash like that can’t be easy, especially when it turns you into a cute squirrel, with a big cuddly tail” She giggled, then reached out teasingly to stroke my tail.
I angrily whipped it away and leapt onto the kitchen bench.
“Another nut” She pointed.
I glanced at the peanut in my tiny squirrel hand and placed it carefully in a bowl on the bench.
“I keep finding them” I sighed through beady eyes. Then took a settling breath and bounced away.
“I’m grateful Ren” My high pitched voice echoed from behind the fridge.
“If System hadn’t scanned my brain after the accident, I wouldn’t be here with you. But I’m a grown man, not a rodent. I have needs!” I stabbed my tiny claws into the air.
“I know Darling” She smiled.
Fine whiskers surfaced from a bowl of grapes.
“Nut” She giggled, pointing again.
I added it to the bowl and the strain surrendered on my tiny squirrel face.
“I’ve had enough Ren. I want it to stop” I buried my face in my hands.
Silence grew like a freezing fog.
The sound of a new system notification scared the quietness away and Ren quickly responded.
“Play new message”
System’s gentrified voice rang out.
“Squirrelfix patch download now available”
Silence stretched an unknown moment.
“Just one more chance Serge” Ren begged.
“Fine. One more” I said stubbornly from inside the bread bin and leapt down to the floor.
“System. Install Squirrelfix” I ordered.
An Alice in Wonderland sense of perspective overcame me.
“What?” I queried.
“Well am I me?” I asked.
She pointed towards the mirror and I returned a smile at the reflection of my human form.
I turned and a huge squirrel tail flicked up like a hairy anaconda.
I gritted my teeth and angrily reached for it. Chasing air circles like Grandma’s stupid dog.
She bellowed with laughter, unable to hold back anymore as dizziness threw me head first into the fridge door.
I steadied myself and got to my feet, spiking a nut I had found into the bowl.
“That’s it!” I shouted and stormed into the Living Room.
“Request shutdown system access. Authorise Serge Braithwaite. Password….” I said loudly.
“No Serge. No!” Ren butted in, yelling.
I gave Ren a look of determination.
“System is currently experiencing shutdown request overload. Please try again later”
I collapsed on the couch staring into space and Ren slowly joined me.
After a long while, I looked down and opened my hand revealing another nut. Ren snickered, then reached over and grabbed it, her rose perfume washing over me.
“I like nuts you know” She whispered.
I watched in horror as she tossed it into her mouth.
She cheekily looked at me as she slowly began to chew.
“Yeah I know” I said.
“But not as much as me” And climbed on top of her.