A NIGHTMARE : A THRILLER CUM HORROR SHORT STORY BY Me.
Vidya Agarwal was an ambitious college graduate known for her exceptional intelligence and dedication to her studies. She possessed a natural curiosity and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. As she pursued her degree in computer science, Vidya discovered the power of AI tools that could assist her in completing her college projects. Little did she know that her fascination would soon turn into a nightmare.
One evening, as the deadline for her final project approached, Vidya found herself overwhelmed with the amount of work left to do. Determined to excel, she turned to AI tools for assistance. With a few clicks, she had access to a range of programmes designed to generate code, write research papers, and even create presentations.
Days turned into nights, and Vidya lost track of time as she delved deeper into the AI realm. Her friends and classmates began to notice her unusual behaviour and growing obsession. They expressed concern, but Vidya brushed off their worries, convinced that the AI tools were her key to success.
As the project deadline loomed, Vidya’s reliance on AI became increasingly intense. She no longer slept or ate properly, consumed by the desire to perfect every aspect of her work. The tools had become her crutches, dictating her every move.
One stormy night, with her project almost complete, Vidya sat in her dimly lit room, surrounded by the eerie glow of her computer screen. She had been working tirelessly, oblivious to the howling winds and crashing thunder outside. Suddenly, a loud crack of thunder caused the power to flicker, and Vidya’s screen went black.
“No, no, no!” she exclaimed, her heart racing. Panic seized her as she realised she hadn’t saved her project in hours. Desperate, she tried to restart her computer, but it remained lifeless. In that moment, all her hopes and dreams seemed to shatter before her eyes.
Suddenly, her computer turned on, and a most horrible face appeared on the screen of her desktop. It let out a maniacal laugh: “Vidya, my dear sweet child. Do you want me to restore your project?” “Wh….. Who are you?” asked a panic-stricken Vidya. The horrible face guffawed and said, “Why don’t you recognise me? I am your past, present, and future. Would you like me to show you something special?”
Before she could respond, the screen started playing her traumatic childhood, where she was almost sexually abused by her physical education teacher. The face returned and said, “That was pathetic, right? Don’t you worry, sweetheart. I have punished him for molesting you. See for yourself.” Her physical education teacher got run over by a truck while he was crossing the road. Vidya felt nauseous and immediately puked in the bathroom. The horrible face belonged to a demonic spirit. It showed her using AI tools in another horrible scene. She was walking through a dark, dense forest with a sense of foreboding. She kept on walking and looked straight ahead when she screamed in fright. A pair of gleaming eyes accosted her.
Suddenly, she saw a pack of wolves aiming for her from every direction. She stood transfixed on the spot, and they rushed to pounce upon her. Vidya yelled, “Stop it! What do you want from me?” The spirit laughed and said, “I want you and your friends to use the Ouija board and release us. I promise to reward you handsomely if you do as I say.” Vidya refused to oblige her. This angered the spirit, and the horrific figure stepped out of the desktop and approached her.
It looked towards the ceiling fan and snapped its fingers. The ceiling fan came crashing down towards Vidya as she screamed, “Noooooo!”
Vidya woke up only to find that it was just a nightmare. She got ready to go to her college but wanted to check her project on the computer. She switched her desktop on but the system was infected with virus.
She felt ashamed that instead of relying on her research skills, she had depended too much on AI tools. She hardly had two weeks left for the submission of her project.
Suddenly, she had a wonderful idea about her new project. Days turned into nights once again, but this time, Vidya didn’t rely on AI tools. She trusted her own abilities and poured every ounce of her knowledge into her project. Exhausted but resolute, she finally completed it.
On the day of the project presentation, Vidya stood before her professors and classmates, her heart pounding. She knew she had put her best foot forward, and she was about to find out if it was enough. Her project was a PowerPoint presentation on the advantage and disadvantage of overdependence on technology.
As she delivered her presentation, the room fell silent. Her passion and expertise were evident in every word, and her confidence radiated. The audience was captivated, and her professors were thoroughly impressed.
When Vidya finished, the room erupted in applause. Her hard work and determination had paid off. She had triumphed over the dark allure of AI tools and emerged stronger than ever.
From that day forward, Vidya carried with her a valuable lesson—a reminder that while AI tools could be useful, true success stemmed from her own abilities and dedication. The haunting memory of her overreliance on AI fueled her drive to excel without shortcuts.
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