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  • Writer's pictureEmilian Maliszewski


“Almost got me!” - were the very first words that popped into his mind that morning. It was a relief to realize that a clock-faced monster couldn’t chase him beyond the wall of sleep. Or could it? Harry, the young novelist, awoke to the sound of rain pounding heavily on his windows. Each of the splashing drops made its contribution to the dread aura - the remnant of his night terror. Feeling slightly disoriented, he resolved to start that day in the usual manner: by making sure he gets a hold of a cup of his favorite, steaming coffee as soon as possible. Little did he know, however, that the hours to come would slowly, but surely morph into something as far from usual as imaginable. “Gotta act fast, or this mood will last!” - the young man cheered himself up. Without hesitation, he rubbed his bleary eyes, got out of bed, and headed promptly toward his coffee maker. The machine needed only one minute to prepare his potion - just like Harry, who needed to wait for one minute only until it was done. For him, it felt like a fair bargain. Once the hissing of the coffee machine ceased, it gave way to an abnormally unpleasant silence accompanied by the ticking of the young man’s old wall clock. Though a sense of foreboding weighed upon him heavily, Harry yet again mustered enough courage not to succumb to the dismal feeling. He put headphones over his ears and played a gleeful song he discovered the day before in #Forté. He felt better in no time and was finally ready to kick his morning ceremony off by indulging in the first, heavenly sips of coffee. As the blissful minutes passed by, Harry’s beverage was getting colder. Counterintuitively, the colder it got, the more brightened up he became. Eventually, its temperature lowered enough to let him slurp it in perfect synchronization with a snare drum resounding in his ears. With each sip, the world around him seemed to brighten. The gloom of the dark clouds lifted and dissolved into nothingness, revealing the pristine blue of the sky beyond. “That’s a way to start a day!” - he muttered happily whilst getting deeper and deeper into his euphoric state. The exaltation, however, couldn’t last much longer. Just as Harry got to the point in which he felt like singing along to the song played in his headphones, the sound of an ear-piercing ringtone replaced the music. Up to this moment, he was sure that his iPhone was silenced. Harry got over the auditory shock and picked up the device. It was Peter Pranker, his witty, best friend and co-worker. - “Hey buddy! Sorry to tell you, but it seems that you have left your phone at the office yesterday. I wanted to hand it back to you, but it slipped out of my hands when I was about to put it in my briefcase. The screen is in pieces.”

The words hit Harry like a bolt of lightning. He hung up instantaneously and rushed for a frantic run around his apartment with the hope to find his phone lying somewhere intact. As his eyes could not find what they were looking for, Harry resorted to meditation. He realized, eventually, that Peters’ story, for some mysterious reason, seemed a bit strange and unlikely. After another moment of reflection, he managed to connect a sufficient number of dots successfully and called his friend back. “I wa… wasn’t in the office yesterday! Ni…ce try though!” - exclaimed Harry, puffing and huffing from his run, as soon as Peter answered his phone. But his triumphant utterance was met with silence. “Wait a minute… it’s All Fools’ Day!” - he continued in the state of enlightenment. Again, there was no one to answer. No one, besides the great, deafening silence. Each second it greedily devoured screamed through Harry’s clock, making its expanding presence even more sinister.

“Why doesn’t he answer?” - Harry wondered instead of addressing his friend directly. Was he speechlessly sad because yet another time he failed to pull a prank on him? No. Peter accidentally turned his microphone off. “Are you there Harry?” - Peter’s voice re-emerged from the fathomless void of quietness once he switched his phone’s microphone back on.

“Yes, I can, Peter.” - replied Harry, relieved after hearing from his friend again. At that point, he remembered why the combination of silence and clock ticking was so dreary to him. The young author had been associating it with a creative infirmity ever since he failed to deliver his novel on time five years ago. The eerie duo of silence and clock yet again seemed to be colluding with one another to cause him aggravation. He just didn’t know what was the reason behind its reappearance. “You must have lost signal for a few seconds. What I said was: yeah, okay. I’ll get you next year!” - repeated Peter with a sense of helplessness in his voice.

“You sure will do!” - responded Harry, still fighting inside to get rid of the unpleasant memory. “You… you know what, Harry?” - Peter mumbled hesitantly after a short while.

“I’m not sure, Peter.” - Harry replied truthfully. He felt concerned after hearing his interlocutor’s voice cracking.

“There’s this one friend of mine who never falls for my pranks. I’ve been trying to catch him off guard for years, but he sees through my tricks every time. It was no different this year.” - Peter finally confessed. “Don’t worry. I’ll come up with something so that you can trick him. After all, it can’t be that hard to come up with a good prank, right? Keep it cool buddy!” - Harry replied reassuringly to lift his friend’s spirits. “That’s so nice of you! Later, Ha…” - Peter’s voice stopped abruptly as if shouted down by yet another stream of spine-chilling soundlessness. As the silence resumed its deathless feast on time, Harry recalled his issue with the signal. “Yeah, later Peter!” - said Harry hurriedly and hung up not to give silence, his rampageous nemesis, room for growing in more power. “Easy-peasy, I’ll come up with something in no time!” - he comforted himself timidly and got back to his morning ritual. When the coffee Harry sipped and the album he was listening to finished, he concluded that it was a good day to arrange his upcoming trip to London. He grabbed a glass of orange juice, played another album, opened his #Tourmeric app, and plunged into planning his vacations thoroughly - day by day, hour by hour.

The next two hours filled Harry’s heart with a joy immense enough to make him feel like singing again. This is when his phone rang once more, just as if it had been waiting for this moment all along. Harry put himself together after another vicious attack of his mischievous digital servant. It was then that he realized it was high time to either change his ringtone or make sure that his phone is silenced. Harry picked up his iPhone. It was Peter again. - “Harry, we got an hour left, remember? How are you doing with the prank?” - Peter inquired impatiently.

- “An hour?!” - Harry responded, unable to conceal his surprise.

- “You must have lost signal again. I said “Later. Hurry, because this friend of mine told me he would be out of reach in three hours. He mentioned his plans to switch his phone off and dive deeper into this Saturday offline. We’ve got one more hour to work with.” - Peter explained, knowing well why his friend couldn’t hear his last words two hours before.

- Yeah, it seems that my signal is terrible today. I’ve got a couple of rad prank ideas. Don’t worry. We’ll make it!” - Harry answered briskly and hung up the moment he understood that there was no time to lose. In desperate need of inspiration, Harry opened his laptop and logged into his favorite social media platform. He was greeted by a feed full of pranks. Some of them were decent. Some of them were bad. None of them were good enough. Harry’s attempts to arouse his imagination were not just futile, They were discouraging. At one point he realized that there was no one there to help him out. He was on his own. The more Harry tried to come up with a good prank, the more menacing the silence in his head became, and the more space it was given, the more effectively it collaborated with a clock to build the atmosphere of terror. Dark clouds gathered once again. As the precious minutes went by, Harry began to feel more and more pressed to the wall. Was the horror from five years ago about to repeat? Was he again doomed to lose a battle with time?

Harry’s old clock ticked vociferously, with every move of its thinnest pointer generating a horrendous, squeaky noise. It made Harry’s ears bleed metaphorically. It seemed as if it was his clock itself that, due to its unnaturally fast clicking, may soon be deemed the king of pranksters. Feeling more and more uncomfortably dumb, Harry began his descent into madness. “After all, it can’t be that hard to come up with a good prank, right?” - the young man squealed involuntarily, on the brink of giving up. He closed his eyes and saw the horrid, clock-faced monstrosity again. It stood there, in front of Harry, on its four short, twisted legs, and swirled its three black tongues ominously. Even though it had no eyes, Harry could feel its soul-piercing gaze. After a moment, the hideous creature started to lumber toward him. To his horror, the novelist was unable to open his eyes. Just as the beast was about to ensnare Harry in its tongues’ cold embrace, a sound notification came out of his computer. He was able to open his eyes the second he heard it. The monster was gone. The sound heralded an incoming invitation to connect, sent along with a message. Harry took it as a sign. AI:pril-1.04 - the very first letters that he saw after opening the message made him rub his eyes for the third time that day (his second time wasn’t described earlier, as it wasn’t crucial to the story’s development). “Is this some kind of prank?” - he asked himself flabbergasted. He was soon to find out that what he was staring at wasn’t just another prank. It was the pitless ocean of many. “An application with AI generating funny pranks tailored specifically for April Fool’s Day?!” - Harry’s interest grew as he read further. His brows elevated more and more with every line of description digested by his now glowing eyes. Harry decided to act decisively. He downloaded the app, opened it, and pressed the “generate” button that appeared on his screen shortly after. What he was about to see would change his life forever. The miraculous piece of software devised a prank so funny that he simply couldn’t hold it together. For the first time in years, Harry was laughing his lungs out at an April Fools' joke. It was a liberating feeling he wanted to share with Peter as soon as possible. “Almost got me!” - Harry uttered victoriously as soon as his friend picked up. “What’s that?” - Peter replied inquisitively. “The time... it almost got me! Anyway, the prank is ready. You can call your friend and tell him that he left the keys to his car in the office! Can you imagine how stupid of him it would be to start looking for them without giving the situation a second thought? After all, he must have returned to his home yesterday somehow, right?” - Harry continued playfully.

“Thank you! You’re my man!” - Peter responded cheerfully. The friends laughed together to hang up, eventually, both with wide smiles on their faces. A moment later Harry received a message stating - “We got him!”.

Harry was genuinely happy. He was convinced that no one and nothing pranked him that day. He managed to help his friend in need and got a hold of a fantastic app with which he could be sure that this particular April Fools’ Day, as well as all those that would follow, would be satisfying. Most importantly - he won his battle with time. Ever since his victory, he feared neither it nor silence. The events of that morning made Harry as certain of his creative might as never before. He began writing his next novel, which seems to have the potential to become best-selling in the future.

Peter felt just as fulfilled. After all the years of trying, he managed to prank his best friend eventually. Though he felt pride, he chose not to disrupt Harry’s festive humor. In fact, both the man decided to keep their secrets safe by sealing them with silence. Ever since their friendship became stronger than ever.

This story portrayed the events that took place today, on this very Saturday (01/04/2023). This is just one of many success stories of AI:pril’s users. We’ve got many more. Yes, it’s our product. Yes, it’s powerful enough to make laugh virtually everyone. Yes, we’re proud of our creation and happy that our message reached Harry just in time.

This year, we offer you the new, refined version - 1.04. As always, it’s downloadable only for 24 hours. Be quick or be pranked! AI:pril-1.04 will allow you to:

- generate original, hilarious prank ideas for All Fools’ Day,

- store your favorite ones so that you can use them any time a need arises,

- plan when to send/post your pranks and do so automatically, at an appropriate time,

- scan all the messages you receive, detect when someone tries to pull a prank on you, and generate a counter-prank to stifle other pranksters’ ambitions instantaneously. We labeled this feature as a “detecto-protector”.

We know - the whole thing may sound improbable. It’s like a dream comes true. AI-pril is a must-have. Why? Because once you start using it: - you’ll never find yourself again in a situation in which you cannot come up with a prank,

- you’ll never be pranked again,

- the level of your confidence will skyrocket, making an impact on every sphere of your life. Wait no longer! Download your AI:pril and start pranking your friends now. Wanna learn more or talk about your app idea? Leave us a message at:

Just don’t try to prank us. That is if you don’t want to be counter-pranked with our detecto-protector.

P.S. Harry’s fine. Just in case, he got rid of his old wall clock right after his last conversation with Peter.

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