THE PLAYLIST: Part One

CHRISTMAS WAS OVER.

All that build up, all the hype and now…nothing!

Even the Christmas decorations seemed to droop as if they already knew that the next few days were going to be dull. Dull, dull and duller while everyone waited for the New Year’s celebrations to start.

Well, at least I won’t be taken down, put in a box and stored in the garage for another year, Bruno thought as he looked at the sad Christmas tree with all the once twinkling lights that were now just dark like his mood. As he was considering whether being locked in a box and resting for a whole year might actually be a better prospect than returning to work in the New Year something caught his eye at the base of the Christmas tree.

That wasn’t there before, he thought. It didn’t look like one of the cat’s toys. It didn’t even look like a cat’s interpretation of a toy i.e. a decoration from the tree. No – it looked like…a present.

That’s crazy, Bruno thought, all the presents were ripped open first thing Christmas morning. Ripped open quicker than Freddie Kruger could peel an orange to be exact.

But it was. It was a present. It was a little box slightly smaller than a shoe box. It certainly hadn’t been wrapped by Bruno as it was perfect. Ribbons, bows – the real deal. Bruno’s theory on wrapping gifts was that as long as the item was covered then that was “job done” as far as he was concerned. In fact, one year he even used tin foil. To be fair to Bruno though – it did look very Christmassy.

As Bruno started to approach the tree to examine the mystery object further he suddenly took a step back.

It’s a suspicious package, he thought. What if it’s a bomb? What if our home is under terrorist attack? What if…and then he suddenly shook his over-imaginative brain in his head back into the realms of reality. Yeah, as if the ISIS lot are gift-wrapping bombs these days and placing them neatly under Christmas trees in homes in the middle of…well, fucking nowhere!

Get a grip, Bruno told himself – that’s almost as crazy as the time you jumped out the bath because you thought Jaws was about to swim in up through the plughole…he was only 7 at the time but even 30 years later his brain still works in mysterious ways.

Bruno walked over, picked the object up and without realising what he was doing, held it to his ear to check if it was ticking. It wasn’t. Should he have done this with the present his Aunt had given him a few days earlier which contained an actual small ticking clock who knows what might have happened.

He slowly unwrapped it while at the same time smelling the wrapping paper. For what? Hmmm, not sure. Explosives? Everyone knows that Semtex smells like almonds, right?  But it’s fucking Christmas! Every wrapped present could potentially smell of almonds…

“Here you go, son, this present is from your gran,”

“ok let me sniff it – shit call the bomb squad!”

No, just no.

When Bruno unwrapped it there was no bomb inside, or almonds for that matter. However, what was inside surprised him just as much. Granted, there was less physical and mental injury caused than had it been a present from the anti-Santa’s Semtex sack but it was still a massive shock to him when he saw a brand new, in box, 1st generation Apple iPod.

Bruno lifted off the lid from the box and as he did a note fell out. It fell out and landed on the floor by his Superman slippered feet. He bent down, picked up the note and read it aloud…

“don’t just talk about pop music”

This was getting very strange for Bruno. For “normal” people, seeing that note might not have made any sense but for Bruno it did. It had a very familiar ring to it. The combination of the note and the iPod now had Bruno’s heart pumping fast.

Bruno loved music. Bruno was a blogger. Bruno had a music blog called “talk about pop music”. What the actual fuck was going on here?

He went back to the box and removed the iPod. Usually you’re told to charge these types of devices before using them but seriously – who does that shit? Bruno simply powered the device on. The screen started to glow with a not quite white, not quite blue sort of shade. The black writing appeared so he used the buttons and the click wheel to begin navigating around (yeah, buttons, clicking – hilarious isn’t it) the options until he came to the playlists menu.

There’s stuff on this already, he thought and when he looked into the playlists section he realised there was only one playlist…

“Every Number One Song”

That’s one of mine, that’s my fucking playlist, he was practically screeching by now. Should he press the button to select it? Should he? Should he? Oh, come on who are we kidding? This is a guy who has to press every button he sees – a trip to B&Q (other hardware stores are available) is never complete without him pressing all the doorbell test buttons. Of course he pressed it.

He pressed it and he disappeared.

He hadn’t really disappeared.

Teleported would have been a more accurate description. Now, if there had been some “teleportation transportation body” to complain to then Bruno would have been complaining to them asap! Complaining via email or tweet obviously – who wants to use the phone and speak to an actual human these days?

Why would he be complaining?

Bruno was a huge fan of Doctor Who so he had saw the TARDIS move between locations many times. He tolerated Star… Trek and the other Wars version so he had witnessed numerous people being beamed up/down/left/right/diagonal etc. Teleporting should come with sound effects! Flashes, zips, bangs, bells and whistles.

Bruno was in his living room one second and somewhere else the next and, well that was it.

No flash, no fade out/in, no wheezing TARDIS noise – no nothing. He disappeared  from one place and then instantly reappeared in another. It was low budget teleportation. It was teleportation Easyjet style and he was lucky to still have all his clothes on in the new destination without being been charged £40 per item!

If there had been someone to complain to he was now working out how to do it without exceeding 140 characters while at the same time including a funny GIF and a link to his blog – as you do…

Comedy anecdotes aside – where the fuck was he and what the hell had just happened?

He’d pressed a button on a mysterious iPod found in his living room in the countryside, in Scotland and now he was…

Where?

Well wherever Bruno was, he was still holding the iPod? This was a huge bonus as an original iPod is hard to come by these days and could potentially fetch a small fortune on eBay. Especially as it still had its original box to keep all the geeks happy!

Where was he though? Enough with the “funnies” and on with the story!

Basically, wherever he was it smelled old! It smelled of foost. Like when you take something old from a cupboard and it has that musty smell? Bruno used to think it was because they had been locked away with no air for so long but what if that is actually what the olden days smelled like – foost! Eau de foost. Fragrance de foost. Call it what you will.

He looked again at the iPod and the screen was dead. Fuck!

Was Bruno worried? Was he even scared about what had just happened?

No, not in the slightest, he had always secretly hoped for something like this to happen and now that it had finally happened he was shitting his pants with excitement rather than fear!

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32 thoughts on “THE PLAYLIST: Part One

  1. How have I not seen this before? Intriguing intro and you should certainly try to add another installment and develop it. It made me laugh that I can tell the MC is most likely modelled on yourself – I can just imagine you grumbling about the lack of teleportation finesse!! 😉 Get writing!

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      1. I think you should at least have a dabble! You’ve left it at a point that needs further exploration – even if it doesn’t have the mileage to be lengthy, it definitely could be spun out into a longer, short story 🙂

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  2. First up, glad there’s to be at least a part two; leaving it there would be plain cruel. Second I had a problem getting a handle on Bruno, his age etc. His cartoon slippers could mean a child, ditto his fears yet he has a blog so is he 20 something but just immature? Third there’s a really nice pacing here; the worries he mentions are neatly worked though I didn’t take them seriously which I guess is what is intended. Fourth the most intriguing part for me remains who left it there. That question runs through the whole story which is great because it makes the twist at the end even more potent. Fifth, and last , why the fuck don’t you write more, this is excellent!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated. I really think you got what I was trying to do. As for age? Well,maybe he’s the same age as me….lol. There will be more…soon 🙂

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  3. Ooooh very nice, Steve! 😄 I love the wose-cracking Bruno! A man with a vivid imagination who is after my own heart! Also, that bit about Freddy Krueger and the orange is bloody genius!
    Great pacing and it has a brilliant cliff-hanger at the end. I would love to- scratch that- I NEED to know what has happened! Put your pen to paper ASAP!

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