ON/OFF • by Glenn Head


I can’t find my off switch. I’ve looked everywhere but I’m really, really beginning to think I haven’t got one. I’ve examined every accessible inch of my body but there’s no sign. The only places I can think that it might be located are the inaccessible ones, but to get to those would involve some sharp objects and I don’t like the thought of that. Besides, they won’t give me access to the scalpels.


How long can a person’s battery last? If I don’t get myself switched off soon then I’m going to blink out of existence. I need to save some energy. Apart from writing these entries I’ve done little else but sit totally still. They all think it’s weird, but they’re the weird ones. They don’t realise they waste their lives with trivial stuff, things that don’t matter a bit. I’m not like that and I intend to switch off until I can do something useful with this body. Until then I’ll just sit here and look out of the window. Minimum fuss, minimum battery usage, that’s my way.


I write this so others will know why I was switched off and to switch me back on only if totally necessary.


I tried banging my head. A few times. It made sense that the switch would be in my head somewhere and that a few bumps would turn me off. But I didn’t like the noise it made when my skull smacked into the brick. It’s not the hurts — I don’t mind that — but the noise scares.

I’d seen fighting on the telly, see, and one of the people got switched off when he was hit round the head by the other guy. He flopped to the floor and flipped about like a fish on the deck. Problem is he was woken up again, without his consent.


I’ve had it. They can’t do this. I just want to conserve energy. But they stop me. They want me to run out! They give me this injection stuff. I now can’t stop moving. What did they do this for? Can’t they see they’re just using me up? Bastards.

I don’t know if you can tell but I find it hard to relax. Really, really hard.


Can’t type much. Battery low. They use drugs. I’m sure. Don’t know. What to do? Soon, must switch off, I got hold of a scalpel. Will find switch. Tonight, after lights.


I found it! I made a mess. Blood on the bed, they won’t like. They like the cell clean. I couldn’t see it but I must have hit it. I’m shutting down. I can feel me powering down. It was in my wrist, the left one, if you want to try it, not too deep. Can’t type much more, energy draining. Wish there wasn’t so much blood. Floor is slippy. Must tidy. If they see it they’ll get mad and try to switch me back back on.


Enrgy saved. Feelinnng bettre alreddy. Draning bloood dont need it noww nyway. NNNighty night.

Glenn Head hails from Wiltshire, England. Previously published fiction includes ‘The Europa Transmissions’ at 365 Tomorrows and ‘Stealth Toaster’ — a comedic piece which appeared at the sadly now defunct website somewhat.org. Glenn claims that its demise had nothing to do with him. You can find Glenn pottering about, ranting or procrastinating on his website at glennhead.co.uk.

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