Viral Image #31
by Cherie Ann Turpin
(30 Stories in 30 Days)
It’s a virus, something that traveled through several layers of probable realities as a result of an experiment launched by a group of physicists in Switzerland. The word “virus” is about as close a term as one could use to refer to or at least approximate what has happened to digital photography, film, music, and sound. The “virus” has somehow rendered our actuality more porous than its previous state of stability, reworking digital codes of compressed audio and visual data into multi-dimensional portals.
Infected computers have been quarantined at a secret facility near the port, but as the virus is already in the cloud, the virtual world is taking on a version of reality not yet understood by most physicists or IT specialists. Every single picture, movie clip, and sound clip is now subject to the virus’ rewiring of its nature into a separate actualization. Worse, some of these realities are pushing into our reality.
I have seen long-dead relatives appear in my living room, wearing the same clothes they wore when the photos were snapped. They aren’t quite flesh, but more than ghosts. My grandmother encountered a much younger version of herself in my hallway, much to her own shock. I have ex-boyfriends fighting each other, fading in and out with each emotional flare-up.
My car is now gassed up for a long trip, something I should have done when my neighbors escaped from a slightly psychotic uncle with a penchant for knives. I just have to find a way to use my driver’s license without my previous version of myself sliding out from my purse.