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The Barrier

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There's a barrier. There always has been, and there always will be. Something that separates us indefinitely. You might not notice it, you probably still won't, but I'm here to warn you.

I'll be straight forward with you here, I don't remember the date, or the time.

All that I can remember about the day was that it was raining.

I pushed the front door of my apartment and locked it, removed my jacket, walked into the back room, sat down, and booted up my computer, placing my bottle down on the desk beside the monitor and drying the excess water off my hands.

While it booted up, I pulled my phone out of my pocket and glazed my thumb across the screen, wiping off the rain particles from the screen and unlocking it. I did the regular; checked my Facebook, looked at the time, and replied to a few texts.By now the computer had booted and was requesting a password, so I swiveled my chair back around and pulled it up to the desk.

I typed the password into the box and hit the enter key. My computer was quite recently upgraded and was generally pretty fast, but it took a while to boot. I picked my phone back up off the desk, only to put it back down as soon as I had to attend to the message that had appeared in the centre of the monitor.

It read 'REG: The way is blocked'. I tried to recall whether or not I'd installed anything anything that could have displayed this message, or if I'd fiddled with the registry recently. No recollection. I then noticed that my mouse hadn't been recognized and was practically unusable. No matter which port I plugged the mouse into, the mouse wouldn't work, although it was detected this time.

Message

The first error.

I had to use the arrow keys to navigate the options, not that there were too many, but I didn't want to fuck up whatever I had triggered, so I hit cancel. The message box re-appeared. This time slightly lower than the previous one. The only difference was that the title now read '6'. I hit cancel and yet again it came back, this time, with the title saying '5'. Fuck it, what was there to lose? I hovered over the Retry option and tapped the enter key. My computer shut off.At this moment I was not only baffled but for some reason I really wanted to know what I'd done. Was my computer destroyed? Did I mess up the OS? I had no idea, until I booted. This was the first mistake. My monitor read no signal although it was on the correct source and the cables were all connected. I had to look for an old CRT monitor, and digging around through a box in my loft I found an adapter compatible with the TV. The adapter worked, but only barely.

The computer's resolution changed to 800x600 and barely spanned the radius of the TV. The picture was poor and it cut out every now and then, restoring the signal about two minutes after disconnecting. My mouse seemed to be working again, but how in the ever loving fuck was I supposed to play my games now? This pissed me off, although I suppose I could deal with it for a while.

I tried to open my PS Emulator to see if it had changed the settings I spent pretty much a generation setting it up and getting it to run. It had. So, after a shit ton of reading through articles online and looking at YouTube videos on how to get the maximum speed from it, I had it set up to around what I had before. I browsed for my Klonoa disc file but it was not in the usual folder. Hell, it wasn't even in my recent files. I tapped the windows key and searched for the game, and found it. It in an unusual location, one I hadn't placed it in for sure.

C:\Users\Default.migrated\Documents\Barrier\Root\KlonoaDoortoPhantomile

Someone must have been fucking with my computer, but a scan with my antivirus brought up nothing. This pissed me off even more, but that irritation briskly vanished as I noticed I couldn't access the folder. 'You don't currently have permission to access this folder. Click Continue to permanently get access to this folder.' So I did what any logical person In my situation would do. I clicked continue, with regret.

ErrorB

The other error.

As soon as I released the mouse button after clicking it, it became immensely hot and sizzled the plastic that had melted off the mouse and was now stuck to the bottom of my finger. I peeled it off and unplugged the charred USB plug, throwing it into the corner of the room in shock and shattering the plastic case across the room, I realized that I now had nothing to click or interact with the computer in any way. Fuck.

I put my damp coat back on and trekked through the piss poor weather to a nearby store and brought home a cheap brittle little mouse that looked like it belonged in an office from 1994. What a piece of shit. I plugged it into the computer and sat down, finding myself being stared at by that same message from earlier, although slightly different.

'REG: The way is blocked by a barrier.'

What the fuck was this barrier? I was enraged at this point, I only wanted to play a fucking game.

"WHAT BARRIER? WHAT DO YOU NEED ME TO DO? WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO?"

Nothing. Not that I expected a response, I was screaming at an old TV screen like someone with a problem, so I calmed myself down and tried to close the error message. It was greyed out. At least until I pressed the cancel button until the title had gone down to '2'.

It was obviously counting down. Seconds? Times? Lives? Chances? What was this? I was curious as to what it was counting down to; or from. I hit cancel 2 more times and the message disappeared, followed by all of the icons on my task bar changing to a blank white page with a doggy ear, the default icon for a file extension that Windows doesn't recognize. All of my applications were corrupt. I walked out of the room to find my Windows 8 install disc that I had tossed aside a long time ago, and after a while of searching I found the disc out of it's case, and a little scratched.

I was sick of this. I needed a blank slate and the errors were starting to annoy me. I say starting as if they haven't been scraping at my nerves for the past three hours. I put it into the DVD drive, which may I mention wouldn't open until the seventh time I tried, and changed my BIOS settings to boot from the DVD and not the disc drive. This is where I got confused. Windows 95 set up? Had I inserted the wrong disc? No, it was the right disc, the one I used when I first got my computer.

I tried to set it up as I thought that after it had installed I could have launched the disc from within Windows 95 to install the right OS. As it began to set up I picked up my phone to find it had gone blank and wouldn't boot. I had to remove the battery what felt like 7 times before It would, and even then, I couldn't get a WiFi or 4G connection. The date was wrong, too. 1995? Yeah, right.

I went to the other room and thought it would be a good idea to watch TV until the install was complete, but it wouldn't work. The cable box would not get a signal. I laughed and casually said that I became a Techno-phoebe overnight, but there was no-one there to hear me. I'm glad actually, that was a pretty bad joke. I went back to the other room to see that classic teal green wallpaper and that my computer had booted into 95. The keyboard wouldn't work however. It was brand new and was really nice, too. I didn't want to go back to the store and buy a keyboard so I downloaded a really bad third party virtual keyboard from some site and began to search for the error I was receiving earlier. No trace, not even a reference to the error I was getting. Come to think of it, there wasn't much from recent years either. Google looked a little different, too. Scratch that, a lot different. It looked old. I brushed it off and tried to open the Windows 8 disc that was inserted into my computer, but it wouldn't find a disc. I went to eject it and clean it to see if that would fix it, but it was gone. I shit you not, there was nothing in the disc tray. Come to think of it, the disc tray looked different too, a white-beige colour. Ugly. Really ugly.

I didn't know what to do at this point, and I didn't need anything to do, because another message popped up. 'There is a barrier, the barrier of time and matter. We can't go through, over, or under it. We're just blocked. We try all ways and any method we can to get around it, but it's futile. There's no way. So we turn around, and we head back. Days, months, years. We go back, hoping that this time around we get to try again.'The message disappeared and I blacked out. I could feel something underneath me when I woke.

Grass?

Yeah, grass.

I was in the same place my house always had been, and I hadn't moved from where I was sitting earlier.

Nothing.

All the neighbourhood was gone. As if it hadn't been built yet. I felt around and got my bearings, along with getting my hand wet from a bottle on the floor. My bottle from earlier. Split all over the ground.

My phone was gone, and so was anything technical I possessed. There was dust and brown sand around the area, with scaffolding and signs surrounding the area.

I climbed over to the outside and read the sign. 'Eclipse Heights, under construction.', along with generic warning signs underneath it.

Wear a hard hat, do not enter, do not trespass, and so on and so forth.

I could see someone operating a drill and asked where I was and what was going on.

He looked at me blankly as if I'd done something unspeakable and handed me a newspaper.

'The Chicago Daily Herald'. 'May 30th 1995'.

The world seemingly disappeared from below me and I found myself in a room with a note on the floor near the corner. 'We just forget the barrier. We try again. We start again. We're in a loop, you and I. This is the 91st time it's been 1995. Hopefully when we reach 2014 we'll get through. We can only hope.'

There was no way out. There is no way out. The room was isolated.

Stopping me from escaping.

Like a barrier.

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