I want you to pause your player, when I count you down, and recommence playing at the screen's request.







Tuesday evening, after tea and compulsary prayers. The last mouse on Earth tried to hide from mankind, inside the machine. Just before it died, as the nerve gas eased its sphincter, the last ever mouse dropping caused a slight accident. You may control the progress of this accident on my behalf, and, with my permission, to lead it up the telepath.

All the screens, a stage.

And all the men and women, merely players.

They have their exits, and their entrances.

But one person in their time, plays many parts.

Their acts, being seven ages.

At first, The Infant, mewling in the test tube's neck.

Then The Whining Schoolchild, with cassette and shining morning face. Creeping like a snail, unwillingly, to databank.

And then, The Lover, sighing like a furnace. With a woeful video made to their lover's hologram.

Then, A Soldier, full of strange oaths. Jealous in honor. Sudden and quick in quarrel. Seeking highscore even in the laser's mouth.

And then The Justice, in fair round belly, with eyes severe, and clothes of formal cut, full of wise words and machine code.

And so, they play their part.

The Sixth age shifts into the lean and slippered pantaloon. With spectacles on nose. Their youthful clothes, well saved. A world too wide for their shrunken shank, and their adult speech synthesizer, turning again towards a childish treble, Piping and whistling in its sound.

Last seen of all that ends this strange eventful history, is second childishness. And mere oblivion.

Without keyboard.

Without monitor.

Without power supply.

Written by Mel Croucher
Content is available under CC BY-SA