theinkwell writing prize | " Virtual world



"I thought God loves us? Why I'm suffering like this?"

Dan said as he is desperate to go outside for a walk. He was in an accident 3 years ago while performing his job at the ship. Metal materials fell from above him. He was lucky that he still lives until now. But that's not what he is thinking of the moment. Seeing himself not being able to do anything is not a gift. He feels like it's a curse that he wanted to end it.

"I should have died rather than living like this."

Days passed and Dan decided to go to a Doctor. After what the Doctor did some tests of his legs. He just closed his eyes as he bit his lips with frustration.

"There's no chance that you can walk Dan."

That's what the Doctor told him. Dan accompanied by his Sister Ana in going outside the hospital. Some stranger guy approaches them and starts asking Ana. The stranger asked many things about the situation of his brother. Dan just ignored that man as this man shows sympathies from Dan.

"I can feel the situation of your brother, it makes my heart cry knowing his situation right now."

But Ana didn't believe how that guy shows his emotions. Ana thinks this guy just mocking them and Ana became annoyed with him.

"Excuse me, sir, I think it's time for you to leave."

Ana said as she looks serious staring that guy. Maybe the guy notices how Ana shows her reactions to what that guy just did.

"Okay, sorry, sorry, I'm not here to mock someone but to help."

He shows a gadget and explains it.



When Ana sees it, it's like a helmet. Her face is frowning and said.

"What do you think you're doing Mister?"

The guy is fully aware of why Ana said it. He explains it to Ana so that Ana will have an idea about it.

"Oh, forgive me Maam, this is like a helmet but what in its helmet is different. Let your brother wears it if he wants to see what the people don't have disabilities been seeing."

"And why is that?"

Ana still doubting this man so she keeps on asking. The man looks suspicious since the way he wears is different.

"Okay, ma'am, here's a thing. There is artificial intelligence being installed of this helmet. If your brother will wear this. A helmet will create a copy of him to walk around and can walk wherever he wants to go. He will not feel being stuck in his room."

Dan heard the man talking. He becomes excited and wanted to try it right away. Trying to get the helmet as the man handed it to Ana at the top of Dan's head and said.

"Okay, let me have it."

"But brother--," Ana is worried about this gadget to use by his brother.

"Just shut up Ana, you don't know how I am feeling."

Dan yelled and Ana just stays silent.



Dan wears the helmet and presses the start button. After he pressed it Ana is yelling. "BROTHER.." Dan shows like he is being hit by lightning that moves a sec then just collapsed. Ana tried to wake his brother but it never wakes him up. He tried to raise his brother's arms but it's like a there's no life from it. Ana's tears are almost falling because of being afraid of what has happened to his brother. She tried to remove the helmet but someone stops her. When she looks at it who is it. She's surprised and Ana just said.
"Yes," his brother replied from that clone of his brother.

She knows it because she's brother is just sitting in a wheelchair. The clone has the same appearance as his brother. That stranger jumps with joy because this is the first time he let a person wears the helmet. Dan is happy as well but there's no sign of happiness in that clone. Although Ana can hear his brother laughs from the clone but there are no emotions that were shown.

The guy then introduces himself to Anna and Dan.

"By the way, my name is Doctor Sane. I invented this kind of gadget to give happiness to those persons with disabilities that can't go outside and see the world to enjoy. This is just the first time that I let someone wears it. For now, you can have it for free but I want you, Ana to report what is happening to your brother day by day while wearing this helmet. Also, Dan, I want you to write a diary about what you are feeling while wearing this helmet. You must remove this helmet every night when you will go to sleep."

Ana and Dan agree on it they are now heading yo their house.



When the morning has come. Dan is like a child who is so excited to go outside. After his meal, he wears the helmet and starts on going outside. That's why Dan is excited because when he wears the mask he is the real him who is walking outside. His brains are the one that controls the movement of his clone. Although, he can't show an expression like a person because of no matter how you look at it. The clone is still a robot but fully functional by Dan's brain.

Dan starts visiting his friends and even neighbours. Of course, all of them were surprised but Dan explained why and how it looks like a real him. Dan is so happy as he joining the conversation with friends, going on a place with friends. The dead Dan is now alive and thanks to this helmet that has given him so much joy.

Dan has been using this helmet for almost a year now. Ana gives always a report to Doctor Sane. Upon wearing that helmet, Dan realised something. He is thinking the most important of all as a human being. He wanted to say but he prevents not to or else the hopeless Dan will come back again.

For almost a year of wearing the helmet. Dan just decided himself not to anymore. His sister Ana just wondering why his brother just keeps on staring outside. Smiling while keep on following the movements of people passes their house. Ana is curious, she approaches her brother and said.

"What's wrong brother?"

"Nothing Ana, just want to enjoy the real happiness that beneath my eyes."



Ana still wondering what his brother said. She's shaking her head and asks his brother.

"What do you mean brother? That's too deep for me to understand."

They both laughing and Dan replied.

"Before when I was so desperate to walk. I was mad and agitated in this world. Then when I started wearing the mask. I thought I can defeat God by wearing these artificial tools. That's what I thought at first but when I kept on joining with my friends through that clone body. I realised that being like that was not enough. There were moments I wanted to cry with them because of one of my friend's problem. I also wanted to laugh with them because I felt so much fun. But all of those emotions couldn't be expressed because that's not the real me. The real me is here, killing myself more by staying like this always. That's why I decided not to wear it anymore and instead, I will go with them sometimes personally. That way I can cry and laugh with all my heart."

After what Dan said, Ana starts crying while smiling. She hugs his brother as she's happy for him.