Author: Mahaila Smith
“What is this stuff,” Bunny asked the spiky lipped girl offering her the small bag.
“AdBlok,” she said, putting some powder in her mouth. Bunny tipped some powder into her mouth. Her face weighed into her head and her vision blurred, turned purple. A circle loaded in the bottom corner. Half the people were gone.
“Where did they go?”
“They were just code, don’t worry.”
“Ok,” Bunny said, her head spinning a bit, “I need some water.”
She stumbled across the bar towards the washroom. Some people who might have been waiting in line yelled at her. She wove through people wide eyed whispering and put her face under the tap. She felt cold around her sinuses but not wet.
“I have to find Nina,” she realized, “I should go home.” She was feeling sick. She had come with Nina, but had not seen her since the lilac haze had descended on everything.
“Nina! Nina!” Bunny yelled. A security guard was looking at her and talking into his phone. Purple faded back to the club. A woman was yelling and Bunny realized she was sitting on a stranger’s lap. She moved away to a booth, looking for Nina. She put her head down on the table and passed out.
She woke up to the security guard shaking her shoulder. She opened her eyes. Her vision was slightly pixelated.
“Hello Miss? Can you stand?” She looked at the floor. The white tiles floated up, disappeared.
“Yes,” she took herself home and went to bed. The next day she met Nina for brunch at Plastic Fork, their usual joint. They had orange juice and waffles. She kept her eyes down and did not talk. She tried to play it off as hangover related.
“You’re being really quiet, are you okay?” Nina asked.
“I’m good,” Bunny said.
She stopped going to work. For a week she did not answer her phone. She spent days on her laptop researching internet forums on Adblok, ads. Adblock addicts anonymous, for sale, how dangerous? the government doesn’t want you to know these 10 things about Adblok. She watched videos of talk shows, trying to pick out who was coded to sell her things. Was her friend, was she? She tried to think back on conversations, how many centred on her objects. Her eyes were bloodshot, and the white lights on the screen burned them. She needed to get some more. She spent nights hanging outside the club, waiting to see the pierced lipped girl again. When she did, Bunny could see she was holding something in her fist. She ran out of the ally and tackled the girl, pried open her fist, grabbed the pouch and ran.
Intriguing, and a fresh concept. Nice.
Thank you for reading and accepting my story! I am mostly a poet, writing fiction is fairly new for me. If you’re curious, you can see more of my writing here: https://www.chillsubs.com/user/mahaila as well as info about The Sprawl Mag, a spec magazine I created & co-edit
Good story. I wonder what it would be like if we were spared all ads on TV, Radio, and Media? Would we go through withdrawal?