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Implant This

by Kim Hayes


Kyle was running on his usual jogging route when the ad appeared. He cursed as it showed up just as he was crossing a busy intersection. It was also right in the middle of his line of sight. “Shit, why can’t these things be in my peripheral vision?” He swiped at it like it was a fly, and a car turning into the intersection almost hit him. “Dude! Watch where you’re going!” came the shout from the car. 


Driving was almost as bad, if not worse, these days. The ads would show up on the windshield, taking up the entire window. People had been complaining that one day they would cause a serious accident. 


The content of the ads was nothing new. They were the usual products, the usual ‘if you have been in an accident’ lawyers, run-of-the-mill stuff. Every citizen had implants now, as required by law. Inventors and investors of the implants insisted they needed the ads to keep them up to date and working properly. But everyone hated the ads. You could turn down the volume, make them smaller, have them not show up as often, or even have them not show up at all, but of course that cost money and was out of most citizens’ price range. Only the powerful and rich didn’t have ads. 


Ads were supposed to be customized to an individual citizen's lifestyle, but even that was often questionable. Kyle’s implant had been giving him too many ads about products and services he had never used and knew he never would. He had a mental note on his implant to inquire about it, but trying to get in contact with a live human was getting more and more challenging. 


It’s not just that everything was online, or virtual, there was just no human interaction at all with anything anymore. He had heard all the stories from his parents and grandparents about humans talking to each other, doing things as a group in public, or even doing things in private with each other. Things that he had only read about in those old magazines and books. His parents kept some around for nostalgia, and it was amusing to read over them occasionally. He was glad at least his parents had taught him how to read and write. Citizens who had gotten implants as soon as birth had no clue to do either. 


Kyle was at the end of his jogging route. He had spent most of the jog wondering how he could get rid of the ads. Maybe it was just time to pony up the money to be rid of them. He started to make a mental note, but then decided he didn’t want that on his implant. He knew someone had access to that information. Not taking any chances, he wrote a physical note out for himself to see if his parents would lend him money. 


And his birthday was soon. That could be his birthday present. An ad free life.


 

Kim lives and works in Chicago, IL. She works for the Chicago Cubs. She has been writing for a year and has had three stories accepted for publication.

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