Dead and still wearing her Google Glass.
Her body was still warm. It was hard to tell where she came from but I’d have guessed she was of Asian descent from the yellowish hue to her skin and her jet black hair. I eyed over her body, from her smart, boring brown shoes to the yellow hairband around her wrist. She was dressed pretty regular for what I estimated to be a girl at around twenty-one. Her eyes were still open. From the age of nine I’d been obsessed with death, completely and utterly intrigued by the end of life. The end of biological function. It started when I saw my first horror film, Alfred Hitchock’s ‘Psycho’. That shower scene snapped something in me. This monologue may be coming from stood over a stranger’s anonymous corpse, granted, however I’m still assured that there’s nothing psychologically wrong with me whatsoever. I don’t know her and I didn’t kill her. I found her.
The Google Glass was still perched at the edge of her nose. I thought it odd that whoever had killed her hadn’t bothered to take them off her lifeless body, I thought it even stranger that I myself were compelled to do so. I lean over and brushed her clammy fringe from her forehead and delicately took the glasses from her head. Eyeing them in the sun, I thought that it was my lucky day, not hers though. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t call the police. Honestly, I thought that she was either a prostitute or killed in some kind of drug dispute so that put my mind at ease. No one would miss this girl. Still though, no matter that my guilt had been eased from finding her body and not reporting it, I still suffered daily from a niggling curiosity of why they hadn’t taken the Glass from her. The glass that cost a thousand pounds.
Putting on the Glass as I climbed out of the ditch and walking back into the woods, I rebooted the device using a thin stick on the ground. Instantly the screen loaded and I was jacked in. Immense. There weren’t any files that had belonged to the girl on the home screen. No creepy little odd mark file just left there in the centre of the home page, honestly that’s what I was expecting and probably what you were too, but no, there wasn’t anything. There wasn’t even a recycle bin. I found it hard to walk and navigate the Glass so stopped by the side of a tree, still thick in the woods but far enough away from the body. A wind picked up as soon as I stopped, clipping the side of my coat. Leaning against the trunk of the tree, I suddenly straightened as I heard an electric woman’s voice in my ear.
"Hello Trina." Confused, I took the Glass off and eyed them over, then put them back on steadily.
"Hello Glass?" I curiously responded. There was a long pause with a strange static interference. The sort of sound when you hold a mobile and a landline phone close together, it intensified and then stopped.
"Do you have any further requests Trina?"
"Who the fuck is Trina…?"
Instantly the voice quipped back, "Who the fuck is Trina. One result found for Trina."
I eyed over the search result through the Glass and saw ‘1 result found for Trina. Google. Google is an American multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products.’ I decided out of confusion to check the system spec, and with surprise I saw that the product was still in factory mode. That’s why there weren’t any folders, any past history of usage, but it still didn’t make sense and in fact it made less sense now than it had before. Why was the girl using the Glass at all if it was still in factory mode, surely she’d get no benefit from it whatsoever? The obvious question of why was she no longer alive hadn’t struck me yet.
Holding the Glass in my hand I went back over to the body, the dead leaves of the forest canopy crunching underfoot. I remember thinking how excitedly strange and dangerous this day was becoming and how regularly it had started. My entire week had been monotonously grey and samey and now I was here. Stepping down in the ditch, making sure not to tread on the girl I bent down and studied her body more closely. Thankfully she wasn’t beginning to rot yet and was still warm so it made it easier to check her pockets for any kind of ID she might have. I slid my hand into the front pockets of her denim skirt and found leaves. Crunched up leaves.
I threw the leaves, still rooting around in her pocket and my eyes widened as I found something else in the bottom of her pocket beneath the leaves. It was furry and instantly I assumed it was a tampon. Pulling it out by the end and lifting it up to look at in the light, I saw that I was holding a baby mouse in my hand, hanging upside down from its tail and dead also, hardly developed even. It was still pink and fleshy, and I could see that the mouse had suffered from some internal bleeding, as the body was misshapen and had been crudely stuffed into the girl’s pocket. I yelped like a stuck dog and threw the mouse across the ditch and watched it roll across the floor and stop. I shivered. ‘What the fuck is wrong with you Trina.’ I asked the dead body, wiping my hand on my jeans. I decided to carry on looking with the Google Glass on the floor beside me. Then something caught my eye.
Gently I pried the yellow hairband off her wrist and saw that it wasn’t a band at all but a string and it was attached to her. Thoughts began to race through my head and I felt a strange sense of dread start to build up from the deepest pit of my stomach and rise steadily to spread across my chest like a spider. It could be a thread off her jumper I thought, gently tugging at the yellow string, but I knew it wasn’t. I just knew it wasn’t a thread, or a hairband or anything like that. It was plastic feeling and reminded me of something from when I was younger.
I must’ve been about eleven when I was super into Spiderman. Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk. I would spend hours playing with the same two action figures, inventing crazy comic book storylines and re-enacting them with the figures. It was particularly Spiderman I was obsessed with. I had the posters, the DVDs, the comics and also an alarm clock that had a motion detector that would alert whenever something moved in the room. I remembered one night, the alarm clock wouldn’t work and being young and stupid I thought a sturdy knock on Spidey’s head would solve the problem. It didn’t and the clock shattered into three pieces and revealed a microchip board and a whole host of wires. Yellow wires. On the bottom of the clock were the words, ‘Property of Sam’. My name.
I turned over the corpse’s wrist and saw where the wire was coming from. Where her veins should’ve been, there was a whole mass of skin missing like something has mauled her, revealing a silver interior to the girl’s body. A single red light flashed on the board in her wrist. Frayed yellow wires spilled out all over her arm like a host of inanimate worms, eating their way out of her. I looked up to her face and met her eyes. She was staring into me, lifeless still but just there. There was consciousness still inside of her and she looked furious. I picked up the Google Glass and threw it out of the ditch, further into the woods. Paranoia kicked in. I quickly got up from the robot girl and went to run. Run as fast as I could back home, back to my Spiderman posters that were still hanging on my bedroom wall. Run home to my bed and pull the covers across my head and not come out until I felt safe. Death didn’t fascinate me anymore.
I was just about to get out of the ditch when I stopped and regarded the body quickly one more time. I was going to destroy it. I was going to end this thing’s existence and just delete it from the world. Remove it. It was horrible and wrong and it really terrified me. It was so life-like and yet so artificial. I decided that I was going to break it, but I couldn’t do with its eyes staring up at me like that. The wind picked up again as I pushed the body over onto its side and then onto its front. I lifted my foot up and saw writing on the back of her neck. ‘TRINA – PROPERTY OF GOOGLE’.
My foot hesitated.
"Fuck you Google."
Then, the thing’s head smashed into pieces as I brought my foot down on its head. It felt like murder, but it wasn’t. It definitely wasn’t.
Two weeks and two days later I still hadn’t tell anyone about what I found. Not my small group of best friends, not my family, and not even my internet friends. I just kept it to myself. I couldn’t bear the thought of anyone finding out about what I found there in the woods. Finding out about Trina. No. It was exactly two weeks and four days after the incident that the paranoia started. I started becoming convinced that there was something written on the back of my neck too, I mean it’s fucking possible. What if I was Trina too? What if I, you and everyone around you are all Trina? Take a look around at everyone right now. The people sat in front or around you. They could be all their property. You could be property of Google. That’s why I’ve decided to write this. You all have to know the truth, it’s been building up in my mind for far too long. Believe me.
There is an artificial intelligence out there.