In this version, I’ve written it in the style of Mr Enfield’s account of the juggernaut incident in Story of the Door. I’ve set it up to introduce Jekyll’s wife and expose his addiction to the game.
It’s six in the morning, I’ve just got in and I must be quick to commit my memories to paper because I’ve just had the most bizarre of nights. I was walking back through the quiet end of town around 3am and there wasn’t another soul to be seen, not even any cars. I was just chasing my fuzzy shadow from the LED streetlights down the pavement when a little girl runs out across my path and into the street. She couldn’t have been more than 10 so Christ knows why she was there at that time. Then, out of nowhere, this car with those evil looking headlights comes flying round the bend and she goes under the wheels. Fucking hell, it sounds like nothing writing it down, but it was another thing being there. It was the sound of it that got me. Cars are so quiet these days you could hear her bones crack as the little car rolled over her with all the might of a bloody lorry. Anyway, the car pulls up and this proper looking bloke steps out and starts gawping over at the mess he’s made of the poor little mite. Not a moment later the girl’s folks stumble out of an alley, see what’s happened and start yelping and wailing. What must have been her sister turns around and gives that driver a look that could kill. Before you know it, she’s got him by the collar over the bonnet, all the while she’s on the phone calling up the services, spitting every word in his face. He just sits there and takes it while brushing this funny red sore on his temple.
Later I find myself slouched under a clinical blue light waiting to give my witness statement when a policeman brings a woman who looks like she’s just been dragged out of bed to wait with me. Wrapped up in a dressing gown, visibly shaken, she pulled a vape out of the gown’s pocket. A fruity cloud engulfed us. We get talking and it turns out to be the driver’s wife.
The problem with this is that the observer isn’t very active or relatable. I also haven’t taken the time to describe any of the characters other than Jekyll’s wife.
I tried writing something about Jekyll sitting in his lab, totally bored with his work. I quickly started to resent the idea, so it’s quite short.
Henry, pressing his legs against the back of his desk, leant back in his chair, arching his back and stretching his arms. Tipping his head back, he could see the clock read 09:14. “Oh, Christ…”. After leaning forward again and rubbing his eyes, he looked across the lab to Poole who was cleaning out the centrifuge. “What have I got going on today, Poole?”.
I think I’ll change Jekyll from being a chemical scientist to a computer scientist working in games. This way it wont be about a chemist that gets addicted to games but rather a games developer that creates his own virtual world to do the things in which he finds pleasure without being exposed to disgrace.
In my story, I’m imagining that Jekyll has become addicted to a new VR system that plays inside your head, based off of various Black Mirror episodes. He begins to neglect himself and his responsibilities and it’s beginning to have detrimental effects to him and his loved ones. At the moment, I’m working with the idea that he runs over a little girl while rushing home to play on the system in a scene based on Mr Enfield’s account of the Juggernaut in ‘Story of the Door’.
In this version, I’ve written in third person about Jekyll leaving work early to get back to the game.
Henry chuckled to himself pulling out the staff car park. Who knew it was so easy to just up and leave? It was really quite exciting for him, being a man of the straight and narrow. Any path less righteous wouldn’t have landed him with a such a desirable and noble profession. But when did that become so boring? He hadn’t felt such a rush since his teens. Video-games had been one of the few escapes afforded to him during school. Although they were so basic back then, they still managed to bring out a far more primitive version of himself. The rush of a good game would see him use words he might usually consider unmentionable at the top of his voice and thrash around in his chair like some down-right detestable brat. It was moments like that which eventually cost him the luxury. However, his mother wasn’t here to put the dampeners on any more. Clutching the steering wheel a little harder, he slowly let his right foot press down on the accelerator. He was going to ride this high all the way back to the sim.
I don’t mind this bit of writing, but I’m starting to think I’d rather talk about Jekyll from another character’s perspective, like perhaps his partner or colleague. They can describe what he’s been like in the time leading up to the incident.
The World Health Organisation has included ‘Game Disorder’ in a draft disease classification list that is to be published later this year. It’s rather coincidental that this should be brought up now. It just so happens to be very relevant to the story I want to write.
To have a video gaming addiction you must:
- “Have a pattern of persistent and recurrent gaming behaviour”
- “Impaired Control over gaming activities”
- Have a lifestyle in which gaming “Takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.”
These are more or less exactly the symptoms I wan’t Jekyll to be suffering in my story. So perhaps my tale will already have happened in the real world?
Driving back into Norwich up Unthank Road, I got caught at a red light. In this brief moment, I had a chance to admire some of the wonderful houses that lined the road. Shrouded in vibrant shrubbery, even in this bleak season, they looked so warm and homely. Victorian red brick, timber frames and leaded windows. Keystones and pargeting, all so artfully constructed. Some even had the festive glow of golden fairy lights seeping through the frost on the glass of their bay windows. Christmas isn’t quite over for some.
But one window displayed the image of a modern man at work, all set up in his front window, for all the world to see. From yellow the light of his elegant angle poise, I could see him facing forward, partly obscured by the sleek brushed aluminium lid to his laptop he was hunched over. To the left of him, steam arose from the freshly made mug of tea proclaiming its owner to be the world’s greatest daddy. What a wholesome sight. No longer does father have to go on month long business trips to the far east. He can manage both family and fortune from the comfort of his study and a mustard yellow crew necked jumper. The bamboo Venetian blind gave simultaneously the impression of a formal office and a Caribbean beach hut.
Very interesting interview talking about the process the writing team for Black Mirror go through to create an episode.
Over Christmas, I found myself blasting through the new season of Black Mirror and a thought occurred to me that Jekyll and Hyde would probably have been received the same way as an episode of Black Mirror back in it’s time. They work on the same principles, giving a somewhat ordinary person an extraordinary power and plays on how they abuse it.
Watching USS Calister, I drew similarities between Daly’s modded version of the game and Hyde. They both use their knowledge to create a way to behave as they truly want to. They’re somewhat different characters from somewhat different stories but their motives are on the same lines. In my story I’d like to create a version of Jekyll from the future that creates a device like Daly’s.
Jekyll can go into this virtual reality and go and get up to all the wretched things he wants to do, but spending so much time in there, not only does his character deteriorate, but he begins to neglect himself. His life falls totally out of balance.
Once I had made it into the cellar, another door presented it’s self. Far to the back of the room, it was almost totally inaccessible, barricaded by a slew of boxes and broken furniture. I clambered over to it, careful not to fall into the dusty depths.
It appeared to be a murky brown but brushing my hand across the grime and cobwebs on it’s surface revealed a black undercoat, then bits of that flaked off to reveal the corroded cast iron core. In the middle of the door was a small window but peering through it’s murky glass revealed only darkness. Clasping the handle with both hands I attempted to barge it open with my shoulder. Three shoves in, it began to budge, then slowly swung open with the hinges wailing.