Author: Sarah Klein
Candy watched her brother cross the room and hit the woman in the face.
She blinked, stunned. She watched for a moment longer out of morbid curiosity. Then she quickly closed the tab and firmly punched the THUMBS DOWN button.
She tabbed over to the Today’s Angels page and looked for her mother. In vain, of course. Her mother was never going to make Today’s Angels. But she had to check, just in case she’d rescued a bus of preschoolers or fought off a school shooter. That happened a lot these days, the school shootings. If you were looking at Today’s Demons and some nobody under a certain age had rocketed up there, it was a solid guess.
Candy decided to look in on her mother, but she didn’t for long. The poor woman was still at her desk grading papers, looking sad. Not as crushed as usual, but not what Candy wanted to see. She softly pressed the thumbs up button.
She wondered about looking at another part of the world today. At first she loved to do this. It was easier and more exciting for people with people you didn’t know, seeing things you didn’t expect. But sometimes it was still difficult, or there was a cultural norm she wasn’t sure about, and she’d still have to hit a button, and she didn’t want to muck up anyone’s score like that. Every point should be earned. What was the worth of it if it wasn’t?
She definitely needed to put the selector on random today, though. Just North America only, maybe.
There was a little boy comforting a little girl who had skinned her knee. Candy’s heart swelled. Easy. She felt conflicted with kids sometimes. Should your childhood mistakes really follow you like that? But they shaped your life, they did. It was, after all, just a number.
Candy vacillated back and forth about the system a lot. She had a lot of time to think.
The next was a group of teenagers. As usual, she picked her victim at the beginning. But after that, it was a long while before she voted. Nothing especially unusual going on – giggling, gum-chewing, a trip to the movies. Candy lost herself in the immersion. The girl she had picked seemed a challenge – almost a blank slate. She made a note to check her current score afterward because she was curious. When the girl got dropped off at home, she thanked her friend for the ride. It had been hours. Candy shrugged and hit thumbs up before checking her total score. Like a lot of people, modestly positive. Nothing too interesting. Did she want to see something interesting today? She never knew until she saw it, after all.
It’s just that being dead gets really, really boring after a while…