Dave hit play and the video popped up to cover half his
screen. It was dark and grainy, and the thin, awkward man spoke quietly,
forcing Dave to turn up the volume.
“…to Wormhole dot OS, the world’s first quantum digital
device operating system. My name is Maximillian Dubois and I am its inventor.
Since this is your first time, I’d like to explain a bit about this software.
First, the current iteration is compatible with any smartphone and can be
downloaded remotely over a wireless connection, just enter your ten digit
number to begin the download.”
The man shifted uncomfortably on the tall stool he was
seated on and repositioned his wire framed glasses. “Before you begin your
download, I have a few disclaimers. First, while this software has been tested,
I make no claim as to its safety for your device. It will operate,but once it’s booted up, the results can be
unpredictable. Second, every test we have run on this system has produced a
different result. If you are looking for a typical cell phone operating
experience, this is not for you. Last but not least, the operating system will
recommend app downloads for each individual user. Proceed at your own risk. My
sincere advice is that you follow whatever instructions are offered, to the T…
kee…ter…pass….” The video disintegrated into static.
“Whoa, you are right that’s kind of freaky. Are you thinking
about downloading it?” Mike asked.
Dave took another sip of his beer, “Yeah, man, don’t you
think we should?”
“Not on my phone, I just got this and I waited ten months
with that last busted pile of crap to get my free upgrade, “ Mike laughed.
It was the first time since Dave had gotten engaged three
months before that he and Mike had gotten to just hang out. They’d been best
friends since their freshman year of college, when they’d reluctantly ended up
as roommates and total strangers. It had been two years since graduation and
Dave was putting his MBA to work, working his way up in a large energy company
and Mike, with his sociology degree was just about to graduate from real estate
“Wuss,” Dave quipped. He reached into a desk drawer and
pulled out a burner smart phone he’d purchased at the dollar store a few blocks
from his house on the way home from work just for this purpose. “I got this,
man, I figured if it tanks, no big deal.” He sliced the packaging open with a
brass letter opener from the pencil cup on his desktop. They were at Dave’s
apartment overlooking downtown.
“Alright, read me
that phone number from the little white card, no, the one in the plastic, yeah,”
Dave said, typing in his name and email on the website. Mike read the number
off and Dave tapped it in. The phone was already charged and after a minute of
booting up, it vibrated for several seconds and, “Now downloading Wormhole OS,”
scrolled across the screen with a status bar that showed the download being 2%
Dave tossed the phone on the kitchen counter and pulled a
pizza from the freezer, tapping in the sequence to preheat the oven. “Here, you
want another beer?” He said, tossing cold bottle across the kitchen to Mike. Dave
twisted the cap off and picked up the phone, the status bar said 78%.
“Downloading pretty fast. Then what?” Mike asked.
Dave shrugged, “I don’t know, wait and see, I guess.”
Fifteen minutes later, sliced pizza in hand, Mike and Dave
sat on the sofa in front of the TV. Mike had connected a mini HDMI cord and the
screen of the phone was now broadcast in 42 inches of flat screen High
definition. The status par was cycling at 98%.
“So, what exactly, are you hoping this thing will do for
you?” Mike asked, around a bite of pizza. He took a swig of beer.
Dave chuckled, “I don’t know, just looked weird, like the
stuff we used to do in college. Figured it might be good for a laugh.
The screen lit up with a large floral arrangement, the
caption said, Like these?
Dave picked up the phone and typed in a reply, gorgeous, babe, really, they are perfect.
The phone dinged again and the screen changed to an image of
a large, black, swirling vortex, blue letter swirled in the center, “Worm Hole
OS version 6.9”.
“Hey, there it is,” Dave said, setting down his pizza and
rubbing his hands down his jeans to remove the grease. He picked up the phone,
a list of options popped up, the top one was labeled, “PinObssession.com” Dave
“Wait,what were the
other choices, man? You did that so fast I couldn’t read them,” Mike said,
“Whatever, we didn’t know any of them, might as well start
at the top, what do you think it is, snuff porn or something?” Mike laughed.
White lettering on a dark blue background took over the
Welcome to Pin
Obsession, more than a photo sharing site. Before beginning, please take a
selfie in a safe place you can return to. Make sure this photo issaved in an easy to find place, in case of
Mike and Dave looked at each other and laughed. Dave leaned
toward Mike and they snapped a photo of the two of them on Mike’s sofa, Dave
with half a slice of pizza hanging from his mouth. Mike tapped in the sequence
to reset the image as his screen saver and Dave obligingly gave him a thumb’s
Now choose or create
an image to pin.
Dave flickedback to
the image of the wedding bouquet his fiancée had sent him and selected it. The
flowers popped up on the screen, with a legend beneath.
Ready for Wormhole?
Please empty pockets of all sharp objects, secure any firearms or other
weaponry on your person and be sure all members of your party are in close
proximity and touching your digital device, before hitting ‘send’.
“Dude, this thing is hilarious. All right, I’ll play along,
I have a ball point in my pocket, I’ll just leave this on the coffee table,”
Mike joked, “Now, I just need to adjust my 44 Mag in the shoulder holster.” He
scooted over next to Dave and placed his arm around him.
“Ready?” Dave asked.
Mike took another swig of beer, “As I’ll ever be. Hit it.”
Please keep all arms
hands and other appendages tucked in neatly, and remember stay in the frame.
At first they thought nothing had happened, they were still
looking at the same bouquet, in the same vase. But something was different. The
colors were too vibrant, and where was the TV? Dave was the first to speak.
“Holy crap! I’ve heard of virtual reality before, but this
is unreal. Did you slip something in my beer, man?”
Mike scoffed, “If I did, you must have traded me at some
point, because I see it too.” He turned to where the sofa should have been, but
the entire area was bright white, as if they were inside a bubble that held the
photograph and its background.
Dave stepped over to the flowers and reached out a hand,
expecting them to pass straight through, instead they felt like actual flower
petals. He bent and sniffed them. “What the hell? These smell like real
flowers, seriously, man, touch this!”
Mike did. “No way! Okay, this is starting to freak me out,
where are we?” He walked to his right a couple of steps, but the ground gave
way beneath his feet, slowly, as if he were walking on a cloud made of
Dave reached out and pulled him back to solid ground. “I
guess that’s what it meant by “Stay in the frame, huh?”
Dave looked at the phone, his screen saver had popped up,
and a bright green button labeled, “Return Home” was blinking at him. He
pressed it. Instantly they were back where they started.
Dave turned to Mike to find the floral arrangement in his
lap, “What the heck? Dude, you stole the flowers.”
“Ha! Yeah, I guess I did,” Mike said. “I had to see if it
They looked up, the stand that had the flowers on the television
was now empty, except for a single petal. “Man, I am not sure how drunk we are,
but this is pretty damn cool, wanna go again?”
For the next thirty minutes, they hopped in and out of the
floral arrangement photo, first returning the flowers, then placing other
objects on the stand, each time saving a screen capture to see if they still
showed up tomorrow.
“Man, I have a theory, I think there must have been ‘shrooms
on the pizza,” Mike said and they both laughed.
Ping! –Very funny-Valerie
On the screen was Mike, inside the floral scene, pretending
to eat the flowers. It was one of their many screen captures. “How the hell did
Val get that? Did you text it to her?”
“Must have,” Dave said and they both laughed again.
“Okay, do you think this will work with other images?” Mike
“Sure, but no porn man, I’m apparently drunk texting and all
I need is to send my fiancée an image with me and an imaginary porn star.” Dave
said, still laughing.
Mike got quiet, “No,
man, I mean, can we go anywhere we can get a picture of?”
“Wow, hadn’t thought of that,” Dave said.
At nine AM the next morning, the phone rang, Mike sat up on
the sofa, where he’d fallen asleep three hours before. Dave staggered in from
his bedroom, still in the same clothes he’d worn the day before.
“Hello? Oh, shit! Was that this morning? I can be there in
ten! Okay, love you, no just Mike, we stayed up a little late and…okay, on my
way!” Dave hung up, “That was Valerie, we’re supposed to be tasting cake today,
and I’m late!”
Dave ran into the bedroom and came back out a minute later,
with a fresh shirt on, and dragging his sneakers by the laces. He raced into
the kitchen, and came back out with keys in hand, and a bagel clenched firmly
between his teeth. “Otay, git mu, phone, und keys,” he pulled the bagel out, “Hey,
you can shower here, lock the door when you leave. If you take my boxers, do
not bring them back and don’t use my toothbrush!” He ran to the door.
“Hey! You forgot something!” Mike said, the floral
arrangement still sat, right where they had left it in the middle of the table.
The two men exchanged glances, there was no time to discuss it now, but they
had a lotto talk about.
Dave grabbed the flowers and ran out the door. Mike sank
back into the sofa cushions. He was late for work, almost late enough to call
in sick if he waited another ten minutes.
“Wonder what Dave forgot this time,” Mike said, digging his
phone from his pocket.
Hello Mike, thanks
fordownloading Wormhole OS 6.9…