Magical Computer Adventure

I wasn’t sure what the issue was. Well, I knew what it was, but it was the why that evaded me. I stared at the screen which cascaded green numbers and characters at rapid speed. I tried turning it off and off again, but to no avail. I was getting somewhat irritated.

“What did I do now?” I asked myself. I wasn’t the most computer-savvy as they say. In fact, I was inadvertently destructive at times, whether it was clicking on a link I wasn’t supposed to, or by downloading too many MP3 files. But this was a whole new beast. Maybe it was due to the Windows update. I searched on my phone to see if this was being experienced by others, but it seemed like I was the only one.

Eventually, I took it to my closest ally, someone who is more well-versed in the ways of digital technology. “Well, well, what did you do now?” My sister, Hayley, asked in a sardonic tone that displeased me somewhat.

“Look, can you fix it?”

She sighed. “Let me see what I can do.” She opened my laptop and typed. I paced the room as she attempted a number of fixes. After an hour of this she glared at me. “Can you stop that?”

“Sorry. It’s just that I have very important work I need to do.”

“Social media marketing is not important work.” She shook her head. “But…this is beyond me.”

“Beyond you? But, you’re the computer-person!”

“I know. I know…but this is quite serious. I’m going to have to take this to The Council.”

“The Council?”

“That’s correct.”

“Okay…so, who are they?”

“Look, the specifics don’t matter. What matters is that they are the only ones that will be able to help you. Come with me.” We drove all day and all night eventually reaching a large, decadent mansion on the outside of known civilization. He stepped through the door and were lead down into a dark basement with stone walls. That is where we met The Council.

They towered above us, a single light above illuminating their gold masks. Hayley motioned me to kneel down as she did a very intricate and somewhat impressive series of gestures. Then she kneeled next to me and we bowed our heads. After a few moments of silence, a voice boomed across the darkness.

“SPEAK!”
“Right.” Hayley rose. “We are here to seek the aid of The Council. You see, my dim-witted brother, who is very dim-witted, is having an issue with his laptop.”

“PROCESSING SYSTEM?”

“Um, Windows 10.”

The Council murmured among themselves. Then fell back to silence. The voice returned. “Has it been updated?”

Hayley looked over at me and I nodded.

“Please provide THE DEVICE!”

Hayley pulled out the laptop and a servant quickly snatched it from her hands. The council surrounded the laptop and tried typing in some commands. They spoke among themselves. “Maybe try activating safe mode?” “I’ve been trying Hubert! But it won’t let me!” “Maybe that’s no longer a feature.” “That’s stupid!” “Hey, take it up with Microsoft.”

“Um, excuse me?” I rose. Hayley shushed at me, but I just needed the Council to be aware. “Um, sorry. But, do you know how long this will take? I need to do some work and have some things due tomorrow–”

“SILENCE! We are TROUBLESHOOTING!”

I kneeled back down and groveled. “Sorry sirs. Sorry.”

“Now, where were we?” “Perhaps we can try taking the battery out and putting it back then.” “Or maybe he can just use Apple from now on.” “Yeah, or Linux!” They snickered at this. After a few more minutes The Council tossed the laptop at our feet.

“There is nothing that can be done. Please leave.”

“Yes Council, thank you,” Hayley said as she bowed. I grabbed my laptop and ran after her.

“Well that was a load of balls! Just a big pile of balls!” I ranted as she drove.

“Well, they’re the best. And if there’s nothing they can do…”

“God! Why can’t computers be easy! And–oh seems to be working now.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I just opened it and now it’s back to the start-up screen. Huh. Wonder what that was all about.” I shrugged and from there I proceeded to continue my work, completely forgetting about my adventure as my mind went numb and I worked for hours and hours doing things with emails and Twitter.


Written for OLWG and The Sunday Muse. Image source is Markus Spiske at Pexels.

Schedule

Today is the day I stop.
The windows will stop glowing.
The planes will drop from flight.
The sun will close its eyes
And the faces will no longer blink.
Today is the day that the universe
Ends its speech. And for a few seconds
Your thoughts will tatter on
As your body remains pinned in place,
A stiff ornament to this moment.

But then the day will continue.
The birds will return to sky
And you will be able to look
At your hands and at the world
That, for a few seconds, was
Thrust into new silence.
And I will brush along, letting
The blue air curve around me
And the sun dangle above
The scatter of faces.

The Cure

“Don’t worry, Morton, it’s a simple procedure. And non-invasive too!”

“Um…alright. But, it just seems kind of big.” Morton pointed to the c-clamp that was as large as a baby elephant.

“Yes, it is quite big.” The doctor nodded. Silence permeated between the two. “Oh! You were wondering about the logistics! Well, that’s what I have my partner for!”

“Your partner?”

“Um, Sydney!” The doctor called-out. That’s when one of the walls of the doctor’s office opened-up and an immense, spindly red man crawled into the office like a spider that lost control of its limbs.

“Yesss sirrrr?” The red man said with a smile.

“Hello Sydney, today is your lucky day. Morton here needs a procedure performed on him.”

The red man’s eyes glistened beneath the fluorescent lights. The red man clawed for the c-clamp and shifted slowly towards Morton.

“Wait! Wait! I don’t get it!”

“Don’t be silly, Morton,” the doctor said. “As I explained before, we are just going to delicately clamp your head and leave a modest amount of pressure on your temples for fifteen minutes and–”

“But how is this supposed to cure my depression?”

The doctor thought for a moment. “Wait, you said depression?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh. I thought you said measles.” The doctor motioned Sydney back to his chamber. Sydney let out a sigh as he dropped the clamp and then disappeared behind the door. “Poor guy. It’s really the only thing he looks forward since the divorce.”

“So…” Morton said.

“Yes?”

“My depression?”

“Oh, right! Yeah, there’s no cure for that.”

“Oh.”

“I mean, there’s pills and therapy and stuff. And plenty of people get good treatment out of that. The key is finding what works for you which…is a lifelong process sometimes. But then again, maybe the clamp–”

“No. I think I’m good. I’ll try the pills and the therapy…or whatever…” Morton left the office feeling…somewhat better. But the words reverberated: “a lifelong process…” He knew the doctor was right, but maybe he should have given the clamp a chance. Maybe that would have worked for him. But it was too late as he walked back to his car and back to the solitude of home.


Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #174. Not sure what the source of the image is but reverse image search led to this Twitter account.

The Storyteller

A man stepped out of the sky
As I was jogging through the morning.
He stopped me and wished to tell
A story. I smiled and didn’t say anything
And continued jogging, jogging, jogging.
But it didn’t take long for me to see
The man again ahead of me sitting
On a bench, sandwich in hand.
“It’s a very good story,” he insisted
With a grin. But I didn’t stop
And merely waved my hand.
That’s when the pavement
Surrounded me, and my feet
Crumbled, and the sky launched
At me as I fell into asphalt.
Soon I couldn’t see, but I could hear
A few words drifting through my skull:
“Thank you. I promise it won’t take
Too long…” and I listened as the man
Told me of my life. My life. My life.
Each detail. Each embarrassment.
Each lovely dream. And without
Style or reason or drama. A slow
Poisonous prose that would press
A dictionary to sleep. To sleep.
I tried to shift, I tried to claw,
I tried to raise, but I lost my body,
And the words still came. Finally,
After many, many years, the man
Intoned, slowly, something I recalled:
“A man stepped out of the sky
As I was jogging…” something leapt
Through my heart, my eyes returned,
And I was on the road again, my body
Young and intact, the sky open
And above me. And there was silence.
I slowly got up though everything shook.
I swayed for a moment before
Returning to my jog, hoping to never
Hear another pointless tale.

Thoughts Across the Dark

The day walks beneath branches.
The sun dragging across a puddle
Until color swirls into shade.
I’m not sure where my mind is
Destined. I can hear it stepping
Between trees. A shape joining
Other shapes.

The stars are grabbing for
Something, lights stretching
Across the unborn years.
When we finally see, the stars
Have already lost their grip.

I need to stop wandering
With the cold. A dandy could be
Mistaken for a seer or silhouette
Even by the already-sleeping
Stars. But the years have clarified
That I am not a wizened hermit
Nor even interesting enough
To be a fool. I’m just a face
That hasn’t gathered enough
Words. But maybe loss does not
need another breath.

Aware

The sun today, another
Dull remark. Sitting. Leaning
Back. Today’s mind drifts along
The long, anonymous pavement
Of sky. Memory adheres
To moment, and I let my eyes
Slip away as the rooftops
Capture a darkening hour,
And the hills vessel orange shadow.

There is nothing inside myself
This cool porch reminds me.
Perhaps a yearning, a whisper
That denies form like a figure
Stepping into smoke. I wish
I could tell you the memory,
But it’s already gone. My eyes
Have nothing even as they reach
Back out to day. The buildings
Go black. The air moves
Through the chimes. The stars
Start to give themselves away.

A Routine Art

I dropped out of my life.
It was a necessary change.
The day was no longer
Significant, a softness
In the corner.

And I watch myself,
A mute figure tethered
To the road. But I see more
Of the wind and the cars,
The hand of birds twist
Around sky.

The self became
A peaceful theater–
One that didn’t need
Commitment. I could
Step outside and watch
The air fix a red voice
That spills across hills,
And then return to watch
The pale movements
Of another scene.

No Man’s Land

There was a time when time
Broke-down. You may not remember,
Happened the other day, but I was there.
Moments were frozen to themselves.
The sky stood above silence. The cars
Were sad, purposeless structures;
The people within had no clue
That time had a malfunction
And that they were no longer alive
Nor dead. But, things were fixed
And everything rushed along
Beyond knowledge as if the time
When time broke never occurred.
Not even the universe knew
As it continued to retread its grave.


Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #172.