“Circuits” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Akein Bandara, Colombo International School, Sri Lanka.
Leondais was a 10 year old boy who lived in the middle of one of the most developed cities in the world, Technoville (it’s not actually called Technoville, the real name is WAY too difficult to spell). More than anything Leondais loved video games (actually, who wouldn’t?). It was 8:30 pm, Leondais stayed up all night thinking about the fact that his birthday was tomorrow and he was getting a PC with 10 terabytes of storage (talk about big). The night passed quickly and the moment that he heard his alarm go off he rushed off through the bedroom straight down to the living room. There it was, sitting gloriously on the dark oak table, it had a large, sleek monitor with a beautiful CPU made out of glass and a visible glass sculpture inside it and red lights surrounding the inside. Leondais couldn’t believe it! How he had waiting, wanting this thing for so long and now owning it. But Leondais noticed a small, yellow note behind the monitor, he softly read it out “Dear Leondais, happy birthday! Sorry honey, but me and your father have a lot of work to do so we’ll be gone until past your bed time so I’ve prepared a schedule for you and some snacks, your cake is in the refrigerator along with dinner. Have fun!-Mom.”
“Strange,” Leondais murmured, “They never miss my birthday.” (Actually now that I think of it, I shouldn’t have said that Leodais was 10 in the beginning because he’s 11 now) As quickly and carefully as he could Leondais carried the PC to his room. “This is gonna be AMAZING!” he sang out with glee. He placed it on his desk and pressed the start button, a wolf symbol appeared on screen, it played some notes, the keyboard’s lining started glowing with all the colors of the rainbow, Leondais could barely contain himself at this point, and finally…the CPU’s blue lights turned on. Leondais yelled so loud you would think he had got yellow hair and super powers, in fact the entire area would have heard it, but a lot of glass was broken that was for sure. Suddenly while Leondais was browsing the internet for a game to install on his new PC there was an announcement that there was an active computer virus and could be fatal during thunderstorms “Well what could be so bad plus it doesn’t look like it’s gonna even rain today,” smirked Leondais as he was desperate to use his PC that day. But slowly the sky turned grey and started roaring loudly but Leondais didn’t notice as he was so distracted with his PC. Suddenly the lightning started to flash and started to strike nearby houses until… it struck his, as the electricity zapped through the wires and right to the PC. Flashing lights were everywhere, Leondais heard strange noises until he felt as if he was being sucked into something at the speed of light, then his ears started ringing and his vision faded to black…
Some time passed, Leondais slowly woke up “Ow, Ow, and OW! Oh did I also mention OOWW!” screamed Leondais sarcastically in pain, “I think I hurt everything, Oh no… MY PC!”
Leondais realized the lightning might had destroyed the PC but he was praying that nothing happened at all as he remembered pulling the plug at the last second with his foot before running but even though he knew that his sake was more important than some PC but he was still quite worried because he wasn’t dead or even hurt. Leondais slowly opened his eyes it was really dark but as his eyes got used to the lighting what he saw met neither of his expectations it was a large black space and when I say large I mean HUGE but the space/void did have some glowing blue lines. From nowhere Leondais heard someone asking him “Do you know the way?”
Leondais realized this ‘quote’ was that popular internet joke that’s been going around lately. From nowhere a bright green glow spread across the area (so far, I really don’t know what to call this place yet) and after Leondais saw was a strange entity with an out worldly glow emitting from his body he had a cube head with blocky cubic arms along with a blocky body and blocky legs. His appearance reminded Leondais about that new game that was on his PC, where everything in the game was square or blocky, something about mining and crafting (that was a reference by the way). His body color was fully black, he had no face but he could still see and he had bright green pixel like squares on his lower legs arms and shoulders. His voice sounded gibberish and broken down it was tremendously deep and had a computer like tone but you could still understand what he was saying “You have been brought here under my will to simply amuse me as you were foolish enough to make it easier for me to finally take down my next victim, YOU. In this matrix the area you’re stuck in now is inside your own little PC. So if you want to escape, COME FIND ME!” (Thanks whoever you are now I finally know what to call this place) and with that the strange entity vanished a blinding green light. Leondais was paralyzed in shock to think that he was somehow sucked into the PC but he did see glowing green patterns that looked like a circuit board of a computer. Wires were on the celling which showed even more proof to Leondais that he was really in a PC. In a split second there was a pixel like pattern path going across the floor, and like any 10-year old gaming-obsessed boy who wanted to escape out of a PC with some strange computer virus entity would do, followed it. Leondais followed the green glowing path until it led him into a strange room, it was pitch black until the entrance closed. He heard a strange voice even though nobody was in the room with him. It sounded like an old man and it softly spoke, “It’s dangerous to go alone. Here, take this.”
In an instant there was an orange light somewhere in front of him, was an orange diamond it felt as smooth as glass but hard as titanium. Leondais, as gentle as a feather, slowly touched it. It suddenly turned blue, suddenly he heard the broken voice of the strange being he met earlier, “Yet another soul who believes that they can escape, but they don’t even know that they’re simply my play toys, this is the ultimate test, to see whether you are worthy of facing me for the right of leaving. It’s simple enough just activate all the terminals in this, let’s say ‘trial’ they are the bright orange diamonds like the one you just activated, five to be exact, so it can’t be that difficult, can it?” it sarcastically smirked with all the evil in its tone (I know when he said it was going to be the ultimate test just to be more dramatic but if it really IS a test I hope there’s not going to be any math in it.)
“WHO ARE YOU?” shouted Leondais in absolute fear, “WHY ARE YOU HERE?”
Leondais slowly walked to the first terminal that he could see and with hesitation activated it. It turned bright blue like the last one and made a ding noise. Leondais continued this 3 times until he came to the last terminal, it was just like the other terminals but where it was situated was where it stood out, it had a series of difficult jumps leading to it. Leondais jumped onto the first block then the next. It got harder every jump, it became taller, harder and definitely more difficult… until finally Leondais landed on the platform that the final terminal was on Leondais gave a sigh of relief, and with his sweaty hands touched the beautiful orange glowing diamond. Leondais made a leap of joy and safely landed on the ground making a small pain in his right leg. But yet again Leondais heard the deep broken voice of the strange virus “That was easy enough. The real challenge is just through here, and by the way, don’t end up dying just like my other toys, for my amusement’s sake,” it gloated. In a sudden a green pixel pattern formed as a vertical rectangle which then disappeared into thin air and revealed a doorway in to a sunburst like room. Leondais slipped inside, but once again the entity’s voice came up again “Oh, and don’t forget…SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND!” manically shouted the voice, “MwahahahahahahahHAAAAAHAHAHA!”
Leondais looked surprised and instantly took a step back. The ceiling slowly opened as the voice continued the maniac laughter. In that time the ceiling fully opened showing a tube like tunnel coming from above. He heard a strange rolling noise coming from the tube and it got louder and louder every second. In a sudden of a split second a large metal black ball came rolling and crashing down from the tube. The impact of the ball left a giant crater in the floor of the room but it slowly repaired itself pixel by pixel. The ball was still in the center, Leodais had a feeling of hesitation as the black ball exploded into a bright blue light. After the glare went away and his ears stopped ringing he slowly opened his eyes to see a giant metallic beast in the form of a scorpion. It's pinchers were like bending blades on the side of its vicious head. It gave a loud piercing roar and started to attack Leondais, but that wasn’t the only thing he noticed after he opened his eyes. He felt as if he had armour on his body and something like a tool in his hand. Leondais moved his arm in front of his face without letting go of the item and what he saw a silver blade with a black hilt sweat rolled went down his face because he would have to fight the mechanical beast. He felt his body, it was covered armor as hard iron. He gave a gulp of fear and ran as fast as could to flank the beast. The scorpion materialized large black pixelated blocks from thin air and it flung them right them right at Leondais. The block didn’t manage to hit Leondais and the stopped in place for some time. In a single second Leondais realized that the scorpion had a bright red eye in the center of its head. Leondais instantly put the pieces together in his mind and belted to the black block and climbed on top on the one of the blocks the beast brought pulled the blocks back to its body to fling them at its opponent again. The moment the blocks stopped moving Leondais leaped out of hiding and managed to get a hold of its neck. He strategically dogged each pincer and climbed all the way on top of its face and impaled the bright ruby red eye with the sword coming out of the other side of the scorpion’s head. Leondais jumped down to the floor and sprinted as fast as he could away from the monster. The scorpion started having blue beams of light come out of his body and made an ear tearing scream… then just vanished, into thin air. Leeondais took a deep breath, with a green like liquid dripping from his sword, he slowly walked towards where the scorpion once was an orange glowing diamond like the terminals from before, but this time it looked as if it could be moved. Leondais put his sword behind his back and attempted to take it with one arm, but it was so heavy that he needed both arms to even have a shot at carrying it, even for a few seconds. On the corner of his eye, Leondais noticed a small silver pedestal somewhere to the left of the room. Leondais lifted with all his might and with a few grunts and pants managed to take the diamond all the way to the pedestal, because where else would go right? He slowly placed the diamond vertically on the pedestal. The diamond instantly changed to a bright blue, but before anything else could happen the once sunburst burst room turned dark blue and Leondais heard the deep broken voice once again “You’ve done well to go this far, none have come to their final destination like this before... but there’s something you don’t know yet… I AM THE ULTIMATE ENTITY… I AM IFINITE!” yelled the voice, (or Infinite, I guess?) but this time his voice was clear as ever and wasn’t as deep but as evil as before. A massive black hole appeared but it had no effect on the environment or Leondais, the large black and purple circle would have scared anyone. Leondais took a step back and he couldn’t hear anything because of the noises the block hole was making but then all in a sudden a strange person blasted out. He was hovering above the floor and was wearing a brown hood blue top and purple pants. He had the same shape as the strange entity from before. “So Leondais, are you ready to die? Or do you think you’ll survive? Either way I want this to be a fair fight, so don’t thank me,” smirked Infinite.
“What do you want from me?!” shouted Leondais in shock. He noticed in a sudden that he was wearing bright blue armor and the blade of his sword was glowing a blue light with a purple hilt and green lining. Leondais also saw how much health infinite and himself had. “Again no need to thank me,” gestured Infinite, “NOW!, PREPARE TO MEET YOUR MAKER!”
Leondais took another step back as Infinite glared at him with his pale white eyes and shot a pixelated like pillar at Leondais, who skillfully doge it and noticed the pixel pillar was in an angle which he could run up seeing this opportunity and what he had learned from the scorpion belted up the pillar and managed to run up all the way to Infinite and strike him with his sword which made him stop hovering and go crashing down to the floor along with Leondais. However he managed to grab Infinite’s limp body and used it as a human shield to protect himself from the fall. They both crashed down to the floor with Infinite taking most of the damage. Infinite was still unconscious so Leondais managed to get a couple of blows on Infinite with his sword until Infinite regained consciousness and pushed Leondais off of his body. Leondais also saw that Infinite’s health bar reduced by a quarter. Infinite leaped back on his feet and did a very quick attack with a sword on Leondais before he could dodge or parry it which made Leondais’s health reduce by a tiny bit. Infinite was still recovering from the attack that Leondais put on him so Leondais he took this to his advantage and got a blow from on Infinite from behind. Infinite started to hover above the floor and Leondais once again. Infinite shot his hand at Leondais which started to charge up some kind of strange electricity Leondais didn’t know what to expect so he stood still but then realized that the electricity was aiming for him but had a clever idea, since the electricity was charging above Leondais AND Infinite so he ran right under infinite so when the lightning struck it hit Infinte instead of Leondais which sent Infinite, once again, crashing down and made Infinite’s body limp and unconscious Leodais dashed towards Infinite’s body Leondais slashed his sword at Infinite once, then twice Infinite’s health was almost over, Leondais saw this all he needed was one final blow… Leondais tooks sword raised it in the air and stabbed Infinite right in the back.
Infinite’s health was zero, his body started to have bright green beams of light coming from his body and then he spoke “Oh, I lost, so sad. Well then Leondais a deal’s a deal, you beat me now go home,” stammered Infinite maybe he was evil but he didn’t deserve this perhaps his backstory explains his mysterious presence but back to the story. A portal appeared from nowhere Leondais slowly walked towards it, he then turned around to see that infinite had disappeared Leondais thought Infinite might return and if he did, Leondais would have to be ready. Leondais dropped all his items on the floor and walked into the dark black circle he didn’t know what to expect. Leondais felt as if he was being pulled into something with extreme force but he couldn’t see anything but then… he lost consciousness.
After some time Leondais woke up, he had a pain in his neck and an ache in his head but he was happy to see that he was in his room like nothing even happened. Or did it..?