Finding my muse – a short story

It has been a rough couple of months. Ever since this pandemic started I have been stuck at home struggling to make ends meet. As one does, I decided to check out a few ways of making money so that I could survive. 

I tried a couple of things that ended up failing like motivational instagram pages which surprisingly are very lucrative and require little to no effort but the market was so oversaturated that it was impossible to prosper, and yes I know how stupid that sounds but I was desperate. After a while I came across cryptocurrency and fell in love with the concept. Decentralized finance that is not controlled by any banks or regulations. It appealed very highly to my rebellious side. I have always disliked my surroundings and the nepotism that plagued my country so this seemed like perfection. 

Sadly, I did not really have a lot of money to start with so I scoured through the internet for a solution. A huge rabbit hole was presented for me full of a lot of information but sadly mostly disinformation. Apparently one of the best ways to make money online is to rip other people off and the crypto world was full of people. The best way to avoid them was to learn how things worked. This is where the unfortunate circumstances would come to my aid since I had nothing but time on my hands so I sat down and started reading. 

After a while, I managed to find a few “faucets” that gave away free crypto and I invested it in the biggest cryptocurrencies along with some of the money I had left. And lo and behold it started increasing. It was a minor amount but the fact that it was slowly getting bigger was a great sign for me. More and more people were getting into the crypto world so the prices were skyrocketing. I started studying the cryptoverse in great detail and found some really great projects. One in particular drew my eye. 

It was a new site called https://verynifty.io/ that was giving away NFTs (non fungible tokens) to the first people that would contact them. I wrote to them and for the first time in a while I got very lucky and won one.  

The premise was simple. I had to feed it gems which you purchase with your “muse” tokens that you get from your pet each day so that it can keep living and keep feeding you the tokens. It required some initial investment but once the ball got rolling it was definitely worth it. Plus I enjoyed the project so I did not mind spending some of the crypto that I made in order to progress in the “game” as they called it. Pretty much a tamagochi that is unique to you only. I was patient through the ups and down of the token price and managed to make a decent profit during it all.

One day, as I was checking on my NFTs I noticed that I have a new one. It did not resemble any of the other NFTs that I saw so it was odd. It was just a blank silhouette of a human. But I just assumed that it was just a part of their promotion again and did not bother looking into it or checking the address from which it came from. I was able to mine the tokens and it was good enough for me. I wanted that money so I did not care.

The next day was interesting. When I came back to gather more of the tokens I noticed that my new NFT was a bit different. The shape was more distinct, almost familiar. But who cared about the design. The prices were going up so I did not really pay much mind to it. I just focused on profit and profit alone. It was all that I could think of. I started ignoring everything else, barely eating and investing all that I had into it.

After a while I came to a point where up or down, left or right I did not care for the prices I was just a farming and accumulating all sorts of currencies and NFTs. Before I knew it I was fully automated performing the same tasks day in and day out just to increase my wallets. I did not even know why I was doing it. I just did.

Looking back on it now maybe I just saw it as an escape from all of the madness that was happening outside. The pandemic, the riots and many other things that just made me depressed each time I would open a news article. The world was going to shit and my only escape would be accumulating as much wealth as I could and running away. But essentially I was replacing one problem with another. I liked to think that I was doing something meaningful for my future but in reality I was just fooling myself. I lost myself in the process and in more ways than one.

The realization came to me when I finally started paying attention to my actions. I took a look at my screen and completely froze. The blank figure that used to be my NFT was now… Me. Or at least some sort of version of me. And he was looking at me. Almost as if it was following my movements.

I jumped out of my seat. The shock was too much. At first I thought I was dreaming since I was getting little to no sleep but this felt too weird even for a dream. Composing my thoughts I approached the desk again. But much to my surprise my other self was gone. Honestly, a part dark and small part of me was disappointed. I think that in a way the concept of me losing my mind appealed to me. Being focused that much on my work to the point of lunacy possibly meant that I was doing that good of a job that it brought me on the brink of losing my sanity. But I composed my thoughts and returned to my seat. There was an empty slot where his body was which gave me a slight sense of relief but that did not last long. As soon as I let my guard down I felt a sharp pain on the back of my head.

When I came to, I saw that I was stuck in some sort of a box. In front of me was a huge screen that resembled my room. In front of me was “myself” yet again. Only this time, the tables were turned. My NFT took my place and I was watching myself in front of the computer doing the same thing I always was, for hours, maybe even days on end. There was no stop to it. He kept going without any interruption and I have been stuck here, watching him. Hoping to get out and break the chain. Seeing this from the other side was a harrowing experience. It is a lot different when you are doing something that you think is right but once you take a step back, or in my case see it from a different side you begin to see the error in your ways. But alas, it seems to be too late for me. I just hope that I can stop my next owner from making the same mistake.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Notes: For the record I am really involved in the nifty project as a player and I have been enjoying it so far. I just wanted to write a horror-ish story about it since I have known people in the world of crypto that can take things too far to the point where crypto is the only thing they know and talk about. Although beneficial it can be another form of addiction and people are unaware. So I saw this as a fun way to showcase it. 

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