Co-writing✍🏼 with AI pt.2: the chariot
This week we’re channeling our inner Sidney Sheldon’s to try and co-write with our AI intern a cliche psycho-thriller🔪. You’ll have to excuse some of the lapses in logic and pacing, we thought it would be missing the point if we filled those up too much.
‘Am I losing my mind? Why is this happening again’ I think to myself as I see vividly, as real as day, a chariot drawn by nothing, tugging the subway train which I just deboarded. I looked around to see if other people were just as bewildered as me. No, it’s just me. ‘It’s just pent-up trauma is what it is’ I try to rationalise. The vision accelerates into the darkness. I take one deep breathe, breaking the inertia of my fixed gaze and begin walking up the subway stairs. I reach outside, it’s raining, and the raindrops feel like needles pricking my skin. I walk to the other side of the road, away from the oncoming cars, and flag down a taxi.
I get into the backseat and close my eyes, trying to make sense of what’s happening. ‘I must be dreaming’ I tell myself over and over again. I know I’m supposed to get to Agatha’s, but I consider heading back home instead. The last thing I want is for her to see me like this. In my mind’s eye, as if on its own, I see the chariot again. All of my will gets spent trying to fight it off.
But then, just as quickly as it had appeared, the vision disappears, and I’m left with the reality of an empty backseat and a blaring taxi horn. I pay the driver and get out, still not entirely sure of what had happened. I make my way up an uptown brownstone building, to the first floor. Agatha would be waiting for me.
Agatha is my therapist. I’ve been seeing her for years, ever since that day when everything changed. That day when the world as I knew it came crashing down around me. It was the day my wife died.
I remember it like it was yesterday. We were on our way home from a party, laughing and I’d suggested we walk back, like we used to when we were young and not overweight. We were holding hands and she was talking about how much she loved me, how proud of us our daughter would be when we showed her the house we’re finally able to buy. Everything was perfect, until I looked up and saw a truck parked in the middle of the road, stopped for no apparent reason. I felt my wife’s grip on my hand tighten, a little too tight for a drunk 35-year old petite blonde. I wanted to think it was her wanting to get to the bedroom, but there was something uneasy in her receding smile.
I turned to look at her closely, just beginning to say something stupid to lighten up the mood and that’s when I saw the terror in her eyes. And then I knew. I knew we were going to die. I tried to pull her away, but it was too late. The truck came hurtling towards us, mowing us down like we were nothing. I couldn’t save her. I blacked out and woke up in the hospital. That was when I started seeing Agatha, a therapist recommended by my wife’s family. It was all too much for me to bear on my own and I knew it would be impossible for me to go on without help.
It turned out Agatha was the perfect choice. She helped me make sense of everything that had happened and she kept saying to me, at every session, ‘the past can’t harm you’ and ‘you are safe’.
It was those words that helped me go on, even when I felt like my life had lost all meaning. Today, though, I am sitting in Agatha’s office for a different reason. Today, the chariot has returned and this time it won’t leave until I’ve found out what it came for.
I walk in, having been instructed to let myself in whenever we have a session. There’s normally harp music playing on the vinyl whenever I come over, but today it’s silent. ‘Your favourite crazy person’s here!’ I call out. I sit on the couch in her Moroccan-themed living room. I try to shake off the visions of my commute. I close my eyes, slowly letting the sound of distant traffic into my ears. But it’s louder than it normally should be for a sound-insulted house like this. I’ve never heard it this loud. I decide to investigate. I make my way to her study, where I’ve been multiple times. As I turn the corner through the hallway, into the room I see the window broken, and on her desk, slouched over her laptop, a very-bloodied, very-dead Agatha.
I freeze, unable to comprehend what my eyes are seeing. I try to think clearly, but all I can hear is the incessant beating of my heart and the sickening sound of something dripping onto Agatha’s desk. ‘The past cannot harm you…You are safe’ The words flood into my head like an unstoppable force. I lose my footing and my knees give in. Then fighting the urge to vomit, I notice a small truck figurine, placed on the floor right under the window ledge, a very deliberately positioned breadcrumb. Then the vinyl begins to play, or at least I imagine it happening – I hear a muffled ‘follow the chariot’.
Convincing? Write to us, or just be a sport and contact your friendly neighbourhood production house in Delhi📍 (we’re talking about us) and let’s get filming.