YouTube: flash fiction

Marcus sat on the park bench and watched the girls go by as he ate his lunch.

There was one in particular – well, there were probably several. But this one girl he always noticed, and he thought she worked in his building.

The park was small, really just a nook between several of the taller buildings in the small city, but there were ample benches, especially at this cooler time of the year. He mused cynically that, although it was only early spring, many of the young women were in dresses and skirts; probably those with the best legs.

So, this girl. She was fairly tall and rangy, with long limbs. She had long dark hair and fair skin. She mostly wore long skirts. On this occasion, as she walked past, he was seized with a sudden rush of lustful impulses, and an insistent thought that he would like to cut most of her hair off to give her the kind of cute girlish bob he liked, and make her wear a really short skirt to show off what he was sure would be excellent legs.

He worked back a bit that afternoon, rewarding himself by buying some curry takeaway on the way home. Feeling in a slack mood, he didn’t bother sitting at his table, but just dropped down in front of his laptop at his home work desk, and idly switched the computer on.

He scooped spoonfuls of hot curry into his mouth, dripping spots onto his clothes and cursing occasionally. He knew he should sit up at the table, but he couldn’t be bothered. And there was no-one else there to notice.

Were there any new YouTube videos worth seeing, he wondered? Flicking expertly to that part of the Internet, he was surprised to discover a new channel: YouTube for You – the Personalized Channel Just for You. Presumably just a new gimmick, using an algorithm to find material targeted personally based on your previous search history. Or so he assumed, his mind skating quickly across reality.

Idly, he flicked on a couple of the videos. They seemed to be like student films, a bit incoherent, with poor sound and mumbling actresses. They were mostly girls talking to camera, often dishevelled, and in some cases close to tears. They had sulky or resentful or hurt expressions.

There were quite a few of these short films. The girls were mostly quite attractive. In fact, more than that, they seemed to be very much his “type” in terms of their bodies, faces, colouring and presentation. All of them. That was weird; and he wondered if the algorithm was clever enough to match his apparent physical preferences in women to the videos he was being offered to view.

He was halfway down the list of videos when he noticed something. The girl in that particular video looked just like the girl he had checked out that lunchtime. He looked more closely. She didn’t just look like her. It was her.

He was sure.

Perhaps she had taken part in a student film or some such thing, which had been uploaded to the Internet. Whatever it was, although it was clearly her, she looked very different from how she had looked at lunchtime, out in the open air of the small park.

In fact, he slowly realised, she looked exactly as he had imagined her if he had got his way. Her hair looked like it had been cut short, roughly, into the bob he would prefer and she was wearing a short skirt. Confused and surprised as he was, he still took in the fact that her legs were almost as shapely as he had imagined them. But instead of being in the park, she seemed to be in a derelict building, on her own. And her eyes were red, as if from crying.

There was some sound too, though it was barely audible.

He turned the sound up as high as possible, but still struggled to hear what she was saying. As he was straining to catch her words, the woman in the video seemed to turn and stare directly at him for a moment. Then she looked away as the video ended.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Julian O'Dea on June 13, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    One of the stories from my Amazon Kindle collection:


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