freewrite – 12dec2020

one day my mom got me a “Pixel Pal” toy as a special treat. it was a small little cube that has a screen on it, and inside was a little stickman that you could interact with, pretending that it “lived” in the cube. I remember you could also connect it to other cubes but I never got a chance to do that. I tried playing with the stickman in the cube but the buttons wouldn't do anything and the stickman would just sit in the corner, motionless. I watched it for hours to see if it would do anything but I saw nothing and eventually it was bedtime. The strange thing was, when I woke up the next morning, the stickman had gone from the room. My window was slightly ajar. I tried telling mom that the pixel pal had escaped but she didn't believe me and just assumed that I had already worn down the battery in the cube. It didn't get replaced.

fast forward to about 10 years later, going through the attic to find old stuff as i get ready to move out. rummaging through boxes i find the Pixel Pal cube again, and i'm reminded of the mystery of the open window. It was logically just left on overnight, i figured, so I ordered a new battery for it and kept looking around, taking the cube with me. When the battery arrived a day later I put it in and the cube's LED lit up again – however, it turned out the virtual room the stickman lived in was... empty. The cube acted as if the stickman was still there and kept buzzing to let me know it needed feeding. It had been so long since i had seen the room that I didn't know if anything in the room had changed or not, but the thought that it might have crossed my and i quickly referenced it on Google, comparing screenshots. My cube had some kind of note on the chair there, but with the smallness of the LED screen it was unreadable.

Just where had that stickman gone that night...?