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Read the first runner-up in our surveillance competition

Kalliopi Mathios's tale on the vulnerabilities exposed online in A Promulgation Regarding My Hacker

Back in January we put the call out to our readers to send in a short story based on surveillance. After a mammoth number of submissions we published the winning story, Twitch by Barry Lee Thompson yesterday. Now we've got the first of our four runners-up, Kalliopi Mathios with her cautionary hacking tale. Check back here throughout the week to read all five stories. 

I imagine him sitting somewhere other than a desk, on a bed or on the floor. I imagine that his legs aren’t stiff or hardened, but relaxed and preferably crossed. I imagine that it is dark, and the only light in the room comes from a laptop screen and the blinking of his phone. I imagine that his hair is blonde or brown, and either long or medium-short. I imagine him.

Have you ever had the pleasure of working with Facebook customer service?

Hack into one of my accounts using a password breaker or a keylogger to record each keystroke. Everything typed on my computer will be sent in a report to your computer Where you can access it for the information you need.

Access each account. Go to user settings. Change each email address to a similar address. The change will be so insignificant that it will raise few flags. Now change the password on the platform to each account.

He changed his Skype name to wilson.DATACON, and paranoia crept in, a rising tide. 

He cracks his knuckles twice before settling in, asking how fast one must run to keep up with the shifting eyes of those who only watch. trinkets line the bed-board, quarters glued to the floor. Recognize his buttons, his sweaters, his kitten hiding behind the door. whenever he contemplates plato or socrates, his feet rest, propped on the desk, hands waving wildly in the air. A convinced audience of one. He digs riverbeds in his heels and wonders where love goes after it’s left.

When you are locked out of a hacked account Twitter is responsive. You must tweet at a bot in order to move your case along. The bot responds. The bot seems to empathize with your situation. The bot has a name like Shelley.

I imagine him checking on each account. I imagine fingertip curves sliding across the mousepad, typing each version of my name. I imagine him finding my new account, navigating to report me as spam, shutting down each outlet used to connect with other writers and my friends back home.

I imagine him feeling satisfaction, reading my desperate tweets about hacking, my rants castrating ‘WHOEVER THE FUCK DID THIS'.

I imagine him feeling like a winner. I imagine an ego. I imagine Pluto.

When someone watches you, a chill is left over. Microwave it and watch it explode. Keep distance with reality until you can’t feel anymore. Cut-out paper dolls and hot tubs. Machine-ready wash wear crumpled in the corner of the room, under his laptop. Together, he’s sure, we spun a type of thinned gold.

I imagine a scenario where I discover his identity. I will dig up whatever remnants of our past exist, or I will print them out on the computer. I will draw doodles on his face with permanent marker. I will undue. Finding a ritualized hex to perform, I will shame him. People tell me we cannot act on revenge, and today I’m not one of these people. 

If you remote into my desktop, then you can watch me in real time. Read my private messages and find my crush. Go through my images, and take the ones that remind you.

Everyone wants to see but no one looks. How many dalmatians can I fit in this purse. Grovel over the mistakes swept into the corners of your chest. Find the Queen and let her reign. Dismiss the hacker. Weak but penetrating guilt crawls to me but I shake it with burning sage and parliaments. Finger the illusions that cloud your brain only to dissolve them and remember the tarot.