Story :: Hardwired

Hardwired (216 words)

The vending machine gave out a loud clatter and a document pack dropped into the tray. Ceila grabbed it and unwrapped the chip. Like most, she was suspicious of freewire and only connected by proxy. Those who still trusted to freewire networks were outlaws, idiots, or just desperate. She clicked the chip into her memory pile and waited for the data to stream.

Welcome to the academy, said a cool foreign-accented voice in her head. Ceila frowned. This wasn’t the programme she’d asked for.

Before she could force quit the spiel, her vision snapped to nothing.

When Ceila opened her eyes again, it was to a murky haze which she couldn’t blink clear. A heavy hand pushed her onto her back as she tried to sit.

‘Stay there.’

The voice was male. Not one she knew. ‘You need some tea. I’ve made a pot.’

‘Where am I?’ Ceila asked in a shaky voice. ‘I can’t see.’

‘It’s the Academy. It’ll clear soon.’

‘I need to back up. Can I connect?’

The heavy hand fell on her thigh. ‘Don’t. It isn’t safe.’


‘The Academy is looking for you. We can’t hard connect. We’ll have to go wireless.’

‘You mean freewire?’

There was a pause. A sigh. ‘I think you’d better tell me why they’re after you.’


Written for the CAKE.shortandsweet Wednesday Write-in


Read my other free stories here.


About sarahgracelogan

Sarah Grace is an itinerant scribbler and general layabout. She runs a writing group called CAKE.shortandsweet, because any form of procrastination from actual writing is always attractive to the serious author of refined taste. When not distracted by laser pens, Sarah Grace writes novels, short stories and flash fiction, poetry, stage scripts and screenplays. She has performed her work at Stirred Poetry, Bad Language and Tongue in Cheek Manchester. Her first publication, Humping the Boonies is a self-published chapbook available directly from the author, or from Travelling Man, Manchester. You can find more details about her ongoing projects, not to mention a selection of free stories up for grabs right here on her blog. She also likes to talk about theatre, film, books, photography, and especially games and other things that involve collaborative storytelling. Sarah Grace likes feedback, in whatever form it comes.


  1. Interesting! I’d certainly like to know more 🙂

  2. Elaine Peters

    Intriguing! Futuristic technology feels a bit frightening, but the universal pot of tea is still around to make everything better.

  3. rotvm

    Her saviour or something more sinister? I tend to be suspicious when a man makes me tea. Great short.

  4. Elaine McKay

    He is ambiguous. ‘You need a cup of tea.’ (not a question)/A hand on her thigh. Perhaps the tea is an antidote to whatever has happened. That’s very clever. I like this and would like to read more.

  5. Nice to know that many years from now, the pot of tea will still be there to reassure us. Hope he warmed the pot first. Lovely juxtaposition of old and futuristic.

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