Forever Live: A Free Flash Fiction (Science Fiction)
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Below we have ‘Forever Live’ – a sci fi flash fiction!
Forever Live – A Sci Fi Flash Fiction
We buried Dad today. New Dad, that is, not Old Dad. It was supposed to be last year, but then all those arguments — who to invite, who to include, who would be responsible for the final service. Dad was a complete pain about that. He’s been using the same company for years, but he blames them for the mess over his last upgrade. Then he got all hot and cranky about taking another snapshot, but with those memory glitches he forgot to pay the cryo company.
That’s the trouble with cheap nano-circuits, but what can you do?
It’s an absolute devil arguing with him. He gets in a temper, turns round and remembers yesterday’s argument. Or stands too close to the microwave and thinks it’s next Tuesday. Doesn’t matter which way he faces, he can’t remember burying Old Dad. Probably the same bloody bit of hardware that was supposed to handle paying the bills.
Seriously, we all loved Dad, but life, and death, were so much simpler in the old days. When Granddad went, that was it, two strokes and he was out. No bitching about it afterwards. No worrying about whether to go cremation or recycling, which got very touchy with Linda’s kids who were doing the history of landfill taxes at school.
So here we are, ready to go, fingers crossed that no-one mentions the E-word. Frankly, I’m not going to believe it until we get into the chapel and Dad finally hits the standby button. I can just see him sitting on the edge of the casket. Saul, I’m just not sure about encryption.
Old Dad wouldn’t have messed around. Pull the plug and switch me off. New Dad got all tangled up by the possibilities of this new Garden Of Remembrance. I tried to persuade him to stick with recycling the hardware and cremating his body — clean and simple, with negligible tax. Dad was set on the Garden — Saul, it’ll be great. Of course it will be great, because the Garden of Remembrance filled his head with promotional messages. The sort of thing his spam filters should have caught, if he remembered to use them. Like I said, that’s the trouble with cheap nano-circuits. I was almost winning, but he recited the killer catchphrase and Linda heard it.
The grand kids can come and sit with me in the Garden. And remember. Y’know?
Linda had an ahhh bless moment, but then she’s already got a dozen snapshots of herself on file somewhere. I said the only thing I could — Fine by me, Linda, if that’s what Dad wants. I can’t see either of mine going to listen to their Gramps’ memories. There’s no cognition. Just memory, and the kids can download their own copies, so really the Garden’s just a marketing scam. And a treasure trove for bloody grave robbers.
So, we’re going to encrypt Dad. Only family will have the passwords. Or that was the plan, until Linda’s youngest got himself hacked. Saul, what happens if my password gets stolen? I don’t want my memories all over the place. There’s private stuff in there. Family stuff.
Encrypt or not. Six months of that. Even the Garden of Remembrance got involved — talk to our counselling service. Dad bought into that as well, which wasn’t difficult as they already had his credit account details. Old Dad would have told them where to stick it. New Dad wanted reassurance, the strongest encryption, regular password changes, monthly integrity checks — the Garden sales rep was ecstatic until the question of invoicing came up.
So, we buried Dad today, and everyone’s happy. The password is Gramps451, because Linda’s youngest chose it. Now Gramps is under a paving slab in Linda’s garden, next to where her kids buried their hamster. Gramps’ batteries should be good for a couple of years.
I’ve updated my personal disposal instructions. Pull the plug, switch me off, wipe the snapshots. Anybody who wants to remember me can just get on and remember. Almost like the good old days.
Writer Information – Before You Go!
This wonderful edition of flash fiction ‘Forever Live’ was written by Mark Huntley-James and was first experienced at a live reading organized by Virtual Futures. Since then it has found a home on Lore’s Medium page before being moved to Lore’s website!
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