You’re a financial advisor. In 1994, you get a weird phone call from a man asking you if he can get any Bitcoin below $200k, and the call cuts off before you can ask him what Bitcoin was. Years later you get a call again from the same man, claiming he’s calling back seconds after disconnection.
“Can- Can I get some of that that bitcoin? 200k under or no deal though.”
I stared at my phone. “Sir, this is a private number, this isn’t even listed anywhere, where did you get this?”
“Can I- Can I, hold on, I’ll call right back.”
That had been three offices ago, the paintings on the wall had all changed from neo-futurismic cubist bullshit that looked like the artist had pulled the pictures straight out of a homeless person’s fevered schizophrenic dreams to tasteful art where the faces were blurred and the features dribbled off like running wet ink.
The wall paper had changed from ducky yellow to my current firm’s brutalist pink, a call back to the formative days the big boss had spend in a russian prison, wishing for a single speck of colors on the walls.
It’d also been twenty years, and bitcoin was currently on the massive decline. I’d invested smartly into it while it was fledgling and easy, and made my fortune speculating off of it. I should’ve expected the reaper would come to call in eventually.
The rolex on my wrist ticked towards 3 pm, about time for the meeting.
Then I had a phone call.
But now, with caller id, all I got was
on the other end of the line.
“There we go, yes yes, I am right back!” Jeffff said. “Can I get some of that bit coin? U-under 200k. I hear you you you have some some.”
“What.” I said. This… this could be great. He could say something else, and I could run off of that. I could solidify my position among the higher echelons with that knowledge. Get in on space programs. Have my names on highschools.
I listened with bated breath.
“Yes-yes Oh-oh!” Jeffff said. “This phone is is inn–inaccurate for these porpoises.”
I sent a quick prayer to god, because his voice was skipping across the connection like a damn rock.
“Yes, I’m afraid you’ll have to call back when you get a better phone,” I said, crossing my fingers. “What did you want?”
“B-b-b-bit coin.” Jeffff warbled. “Bit-bit-biiiiiiiiiii-“
The call kicked off. I breathed out, let out that breath I’d been holding, and leaned back in the chair. Okay. That was weird.
I guess I could look forward to that in twenty years if I wasn’t dead.
I stared up at the clock on the wall and counted off the seconds. The lights flickered overhead.
They flickered one after another, instead of in unison. From the door to the window. I flicked my gaze across them, and then over to the window as well.
The parking lot was flickering. There weren’t any lights on in the parking lot mind you, because it was still the middle of the say, but the light was flickering across it.
I looked up towards the horizon.
The sun flickered like a candle wick. In and out of existence, leaving only a black paralyzing void in it’s place.
The phone screeched from my pocket. “B-b-it coin.”
I threw it against the wall and looked back up. The screen shattered. I could buy another one.
The sun had doubled in size, and the black void flickered in and out of cognization, casting massive world bending shadows.
There wasn’t anyone in the parking lot to stare at the impossibility overtaking it all. A car blipped out of existence as the light touched it, and then didn’t reappear when the sun flickered again.
I swallowed and shuttered the window, looking back at my desk. The computer screen was covered in ads for cryptocurrency. My monitoring software screeched and clicked and hissed warning signs, plastering my screen like the winning screen of solitaire.
I shut the lid on the laptop and caught my breath. Right. I’m hallucinating. Great. Just what I needed. All the pressure of trying to convince people I knew what I was doing instead of taking advantage of tips from a creepy phone call had sent me utterly barmy.
The intercom system turned on, though smoke poured out of the speaker across from me. “200k or no deal though.”
“Can I- Ca-can I-“
No no no no no.
Every floor was carpeted to reduce noise. After all, this was a money making institution, they needed absolute concentration to catch onto micro market fluctuations according to the reductive algorithms. If someone mis bought, they could lose out.
Too many losses and well.
The company didn’t keep losers for long.
But I could hear the foot steps crunching down the hallway. What the hell was it crunching on?
I reached under my desk, felt around for the duct tape, and pulled it free. The gun was odd and warm in my hands, it rested right on the opposite side of where the laptop’s exhaust played, and it’d caught some of it. I checked it over. Made sure the safety was flicked off. My arms were shaking.
Calm Pat, come on, you have this. What the hell would Jeffff even do?
I peered down into the hallway. The carpet fibers had crystallized into fine glass, unable to bend or move from their place.
They crunched underfoot like ice. The lights flickered overhead, and then gave up on giving light off at all, instead providing only hazy darkness and snow like a television screen. It crackled, hissed, and burned my skin as I stepped out.
“200k or no deal tho,” Jeffff hissed seductively down the hallway. “Porpoises.”
We met, eye to eye. He had no face. Only a smear that drooled down his neck, an eye wetly hanging from his chin, running down into static. His mouth was open, a tongue lolling free, having fallen and pooled across the cavity of his collarbone. He moved jerkily, a step at a time, before the step would abruptly reverse in defiance of his knees, skittering across the frozen glass carpet. His head did similar movements, eyes twitching, head bobbing back and forth.
Each step made the environment flicker all the more. What would it do if it touched me?
“Stop man,” I called out.
“D-deal- we made a d-deal-” He didn’t stop moving. A motivation posted caught on fire and dripped down the side of the wall, congealing into a pile of rotting pencils and kittens on the ground. I thought I saw it moving.
Like fuck I was going to let that touch me.
I couldn’t take the risk.
“Bitcoin,” Jeffff murmured. “I wanna have some of that-“
I opened fire. Maybe it was stupid, knee jerk moment, maybe I had killed someone but-
The thing was, when the bullets sprayed out of the other side of his body, all that came out was endless chain, linked to buzzing black squares. Mouths and eyes formed out of the wounds, holding position before melting off the back of the black body entity.
“I want bit coin, Pat,” Jeffff whispered. “No deal.”
He stepped forward, and the world rotted away like the website components of complex blockchain authentication systems.