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[Indebted, 667 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]

* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn

Mr. Brown was walking down the street when the black van pulled up beside him. Two figures dressed in black suits, wearing sunglasses and whom were transcripts of severity grabbed him underneath his arms and dragged him into the black van. They put a hood over his head so that he could discern where they were taking him. He could hear the screech of the wheels and feel the force of hard turns, yet his destination was a mystery. He tried to communicate with the people around him, but nobody answered him. Fear slowly crept in, as did the sudden uncertainty of his own safety. The creepy silence, apart from the wheels churning up the road, played with his thoughts, creating a deep well of paranoia.

The van eventually came to a stop, he did not know where. Two figures that he couldn’t see, perhaps the same ones who had captured him, grabbed him beneath his arms and guided him, on foot, towards some mysterious destination. After five minutes of walking he was sat down in a seat and the hood on his head removed. He was indoors. In a dark room with a single light hanging above. He was sitting down at a table with another figure in a black suit sitting opposite. The figure opposite, he wore glasses and wore a hairstyle that made it appear as if it were made out of plastic. “Ah… Mr. Brown, it’s a pleasure to meet you, sir, an absolute pleasure.” The figure leant over the table separating them and reached out to shake Mr. Brown’s hand. Mr. Brown reciprocated the action and shook the stranger’s hand.

“So, what exactly is this all about?” Mr. Brown asked.

“Well, Mr. Brown, there is no easy way of saying this, but here it is. The world is in quite a lot of debt. Over fifty-four trillion dollars in debt to be exact.”

“Yeah, so what has that got to do with me?”

“Well, Mr. Brown, the world is in debt to you. The fifty-four and above trillion dollars is owed to you.”

“What? I don’t understand.”

“Frankly, Mr. Brown, we don’t either. We were hoping you could enlighten us.”

“Well…” Mr. Brown sat there thinking about it for some time, until a thought crossed his mind. “My grandmother was always going on about how she owned the world, but that people kept on stealing the cheques out of her letter-box. She was crazy though, absolutely insane.”

“Ah, I see… Did she ever come to tell you how she exactly came to the own the world?”

“Not really… Something about the second world war, a castle, a soldier and serving hot chocolate to people on a bridge. Never really made much sense to me.”

“Yes, it was a crazy time for us all, that’s for sure.” The man opposite Mr. Brown grabbed a stack of papers and hit the on the table a couple of times, knocking them into place. “So Mr. Brown. The question now comes, what would you like to do with all that money?”

“I’m not really too sure…”

“That’s probably for the best. You see, the world doesn’t actually have that money it owes you. We were hoping we could come to some sort of arrangement to clear the debt. We’re willing to do anything. Think big Mr. Brown, think big.”

“Well, I’ve never really liked the internet. It makes people lazy. Is there any way you could turn it off?”

The man opposite gave him a sideways glance, “Mr. Brown, you are aware of what the internet is?”

“Yes, I am. I want you to shut it down, all of it, permanently.”

“Okay Mr. Brown, we’ll try.” And with that, the two shook hands, two figures came and placed a hood over Mr. Brown’s head, dragged him back out to the van and delivered him back to where they had taken him. Mr. Brown continued on with his day, excited to see what the future would bring.


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