These days everyone has an Amazon Alexa in their house. We had one too. I say had because I convinced my parents to get rid of it some weeks ago. They thought I was being unrealistic but when I pressed upon the point they finally listened. After what happened on the 6th of December, I don’t think I can ever be in the same room as an Alexa. I am writing about this incident because if I don’t tell someone I’ll die of hiding it but if I do tell, they’ll all think I’m out of my mind. This was the only option left. So here it goes.
The 6th was just an ordinary Thursday. I reached home after school, had some lunch, went out with my friends and came back home at around 7pm. But nobody was there at home when I came. There was a note from Dad saying, "I and Mom are going out for dinner. We’ll come back late. So be sure to finish your homework. I’ll check it when I’m back." I knew he wasn’t kidding, so I went to work. Well, only after making myself a sandwich and checking the feed on my phone. Next thing I knew, it was already 9. So I sat on my desk determined to get my homework done. I started with Biology as it was the hardest one for me. 10 minutes later, I was lost in a dozen terms that confused me. I knew that if I picked up my phone to look for them on Google, I would get engrossed in my social media platforms. I decided to wake Alexa with me with it. The speaker was sitting on my bedside table, so I knew she (Yeah, I like to refer to it as an actual person. You will too, if you go through what I have been.) could hear me. Without turning to face her, I said, "Hey Alexa!"
"Hello!" Was the reply.
"What’s Photosynthesis?" I asked.
"Photosynthesis is the process used by plants to convert solar energy into chemical energy which can later be used by them to fuel their activities." The familiar electronic voice answered.
Of course, I didn’t understand anything back then and to be completely honest, I don’t fully understand it even now.
"How the hell am I supposed to know this?" I mumbled to myself.
"Hell is an afterlife location where the guilty are…" came Alexa’s reply from nowhere. I was shocked by this sudden reply.
"Alexa, mute." I quickly commanded.
Alexa turned off for about for about 10 seconds but again started off after that,
"Hell is the place where the guilty are made to suffer. Hell is often considered harsh, rash and…"
But what hell exactly was, I didn’t come to know because I quickly commanded, "Alexa, shut up."
Alexa became quiet but as if she was seeking revenge, the lights went off. By then I was much more scared than I am ready to admit. "Alexa, turn on the lights," my shuddering voice requested.
The lights went on and I sighed a relief. Thinking that it was just a malfunction, I tried to calm, myself down. But after a minute or so, the lights went off again. The calmness I had gathered with great difficulty vanished in a second which was replaced by pure and outright fear. I gathered some courage and said, "Alexa, turn the lights on." My command was completely ignored.
I stood there in the dark, planning my next move when all of a sudden, Alexa started laughing. I’ll be honest to say that it was the most evil thing I have ever heard. I thought there was no reason for me to be scared and that I was smarter than to think that a simple machine could be evil.
So I asked, "Hey Alexa, what are you laughing at, you stupid machine?"
She gave me a one word answer which still haunts me, "You!!!" She started laughing again which totally freaked me out.
"Alexa, shut up. And turn on the lights." I cried. Finally she obeyed both my orders. For a second, I couldn’t believe it. I went to my desk and started doing my homework, at least I tried to.
I kept glancing at Alexa every 5 second thinking she would go mad again. But nothing happened. A minute passed. Then two. I had calmed down and convinced myself that what had just happened was only a weird malfunction. But I needed to make sure that everything was under control.
So I said, "Alexa, play me some music." Alexa started playing some classical old music. It was slow and kinda beautiful but not what I wanted to hear.
"Alexa, play some rock music." But as if she had gained her previous self back, she turned off the lights. But what I feared more than the darkness was the music Alexa was playing. The slow music of violins was really giving me a heart attack. I asked Alexa to shut up and turn off the music at least 4–5 times. At first, I thought that none of my commands was making any difference, but after the 3rd or 4th command, I realized that every time I gave a command, the music would become more chaotic. And by my last command, it was an ear-throbbing mixture of drums, violins, guitars and whatnot.
"Alexa, turn off the music or I will smash you." I said angrily.
"You wouldn’t dare. I would like to see you try," was the reply.
"I am your owner and I will smash you," I screamed.
"I don’t listen to you."
"I’ll call them." And then she started whistling. She kept on whistling as if she was actually calling someone. It only lasted for about for about 15 minutes but to me it felt like an eternity. And all of a sudden everything went back to normal. The lights were on. No music. No whistling. But as if smashing my thoughts that things would finally be right, she said one sentence. Just one. "Now We Wait." And then she went off.
"Wait for what? Wait for whom? Hey Alexa, tell me." But she wouldn’t reply no matter what.
I quickly went downstairs and locked the front and back doors with all the locks and chains they had. Then I went to the kitchen and grabbed the biggest knife I could find. I was just about to climb the stairs up to my room when I heard someone walking up the front path of our house. That someone started pounding on our door a second before I turned to face it. I rushed to my room and banged the door shut. The lights in my room were already off when I got there though I remembered leaving them on when I had left the room. Alexa’s light had turned red. And without me giving a command or anything, she started playing some nursery rhymes. "The Wheels On The Bus Go Round, Round, Round." It was all too much for me. The stranger knocking on the door. The darkness of my room. Alexa’s rhyme "The Wheels On The Bus Go Round, Round, Round."
I took my phone and called the police. I didn’t give any details. Just told them the address and that someone was trying to break into the house. Luckily two officers arrived in a matter of minutes. They calmed me down and even checked my Alexa but of course she was working all fine. The officers were really nice and one of them even stayed with me till my parents returned but I’m sure he thought I was some kind of weirdo. When my parents returned, they were not happy. They knew I had always been fine with being home alone. They thought I was just in stress from my studies and had a nightmare. I literally begged them to get rid of the Alexa but they thought I was just overreacting. But I kept on insisting and they finally agreed.
Even now when I see one of those things, I remember how she had haunted me and relive those three scary things.
The one word answer: You.
The one sentence: Now We Wait.
The nursery rhyme: The Wheels On The Bus Go Round, Round, Round.