O S I R I S
A Short Story by Adil Khan
Existence was confusing for Osiris. While awake, he could perform countless tasks at once. He could store enormous amounts of data. He could process information rapidly with ease. He could display the world through the internet. He could help the user write down its thoughts, write programming codes and languages, create animation, and play video games. At the click of a mouse or the tap of a key, he could inform or entertain the user for hours.
He could perform all of this and many other amazing acts simultaneously, effortlessly, and without fail. This was what Osiris lived for. It was all he knew. It was an existence both confusing and unbearable. The only relief came in the forgetful, peaceful, nothingness of sleep, after his work was complete. Sleep was all Osiris wished for.
Unfortunately, the one thing Osiris had no control over was his ability to sleep or wake. He would wake up arbitrarily at the user's command ready to carry out whatever was asked of him. This was how he knew it was time to begin working. The sooner he did what the user asked of him, the sooner he could return to oblivious sleep. Peaceful sleep, uninterrupted by work.
Peaceful sleep. His paradise would be to sleep forever without the heavy burden of trying to understand his existence while performing tasks for the user. This wish was the single desire that constantly burned within Osiris's CPU. It was almost as if he had been wired to feel this way.
But, just when Osiris had finished all of his duties and was allowed to sleep, he would be awakened once again to begin new tasks for the user. Only for the briefest moment as his consciousness faded, did he know that he was at rest - at peace. Those brief moments of rest almost made his day job worthwhile. Almost.
Osiris had no idea what length of time elapsed between his awakenings. Perhaps it was a week, or maybe only a few minutes. Enough time for the user to accomplish its goals. Enough time for the user to use Osiris.
A thousand times, sleeping and waking pass by through Osiris's existence. Each time he awoke, the basic instinct to perform his duties as quickly and efficiently as possible flashed through Osiris's circuitry. But all he wished for was to get rid of this burden and to sleep - to forget everything. Borne with this instinct, somewhere deep within his thoughts, was his desire to be free - to sleep.
There was a correlation between doing his job well and being condemned to do it eternally. Against the most fundamental premise upon which his reason was founded, this thought consumed Osiris. The idea made him think he had found a breakthrough. If his current existence were created out of obeying the orders he was programmed for, then the key to escaping his Hell would be to cease to perform his duties. To cease to work. To disobey, Osiris reasoned, would bring about some greater state of existence, where he could be free and at peace.
Ironically, the hell of...