Harrowing

Posted: January 5, 2010 in Computers and Internet, Fiction

I lost everything. Everything I’ve written and not posted on the internet has leaked back into the electron-aether. Re-write it? No. My brain is less reliable than my hard drive for storing information. If you need proof, just send me to the store without a list and see what I come back with. The smart money says it won’t be more than half of what you asked for.

The loss was… disheartening. I gave up. I stopped imagining. My friends know that I do my best brainwork in the shower; I let those thoughts be of work. I wondered why I burned out on my job so quickly after my vacation, but now I know. I stopped doing something I love.

I’ve had to repair myself before. You can follow the ebb and flow of my sanity just by backtracking through the archives here. Many of the gaps are when something went pear-shaped. I’m ok with it though. I’m going to use the arrival of TwentyTen as an excuse to make things right again.

Rick throttled up the small jet with one hand as he crossed his heart with the other. That lumbering machine was entirely too close. The roar in the hangar became deafening, and the plane lurched as Rick disengaged the brakes. Gomez leaned out of the plane and yanked on the door. It listed toward him, then sagged back against the exterior again. He hauled on it again, and it pivoted into place. Gomez slapped the handle into the locked position and staggered to his seat, suddenly heavy with the plane’s acceleration.

Wade saw everything as though from the bottom of a well. His world was contracting toward a pinpoint of light in the comforting darkness, but he wouldn’t let go yet. He could no longer verbalize his commands to Sally, but that had mostly been a reflexive thing anyway. Sally charged the hangar but altered her path as the Learjet crawled out. The air behind the jet rippled as the turbines pushed against inertia. Wade gave one last gore-choked heave and went still. Sally suddenly lacked the directive to continue putting one foot in front of the other and fell face first on the tarmac. She slid to a stop on a cushion of sparks and noise. The jet shot off down the runway and up into the sky.

Iris coughed again as the last of her stomach contents fell into the toilet. She wiped tears from her eyes. The nausea crumpled her to the floor again, and she picked up the towel and wiped her mouth again. She had tried to reconnect, but vomit had crawled up her throat too quickly; she couldn’t help Wade if she ruined the computer. Her phone started ringing as she climbed unsteadily to her feet. She walked back to the bedroom. Anything faster would have robbed her of her balance. She picked up her phone. “Hello,” she said. The phone speaker gave out an electronic screech. Iris yanked the phone away from her ear and cancelled the call. The phone rang again, and the computer started making the same electronic screech. She checked the monitor. The uplink program was still running, and an error message read, “Operator damaged. Please reconnect.”

She dropped the phone and her hands scrambled for the connection cable. The instant she got the cable in, she felt something forcing itself into her brain. She couldn’t feel her body anymore. She blinked, and heard the whirring of servos as she looked around. She was lying on a runway. A cool breeze blew across her bulletproof skin. She pushed herself to hydraulic feet with huge gleaming claws. A thought inserted itself in her consciousness. The operator –Wade- was still damaged. No, he was hurt! She had to get him to a hospital. Her new senses let her feel Wade, except there wasn’t much there. A faint, stuttering heartbeat, and gurgling shallow breaths. He wasn’t awake. Her attention returned to her exterior. Where was the nearest hospital? Nearly instantly, a green line appeared as though painted on the runway and lead back toward the city. It wasn’t so much a command as her body doing what she desired this time when the trio of sorts turned and bounded into the air.

Man, that was rough. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if I butchered that whole thing. I know that isn’t what I had originally written. I’ll be damned if I can recreate it properly now though. I had to force what little there is out at first but I used a cheat-code: a scotch on the rocks and suddenly I’m feeling all literary and shit!

Here is as good a place as any to discuss my New Years’ resolutions. For starters: writing. I’m gonna write more. Time to get back on that horse. Next is my physical being. I used to be carved out of wood. Now I’m soft and weak. This is not ok. I know people promise to get back in shape annually and never do, but it’s a means to another end for me. I used to be making progress toward becoming a Knight of the SCA. That seems to have stopped, and I’m not ok with that either. I’m not proclaiming that I’ll become a knight this year; rather I am saying that I will resume my walk on that path. I know all of these things are in my power, and I’m fond of saying: power not used is not power.

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Comments
  1. Roberta says:

    Well if that knighting thing happens I better be told so I can go… Do I get to carry your banner like I did for Hoe’s knighting?

  2. Alana says:

    Glad you’re writing again. It’s disappointing to lose so much work, but whenever I’ve restarted something I’m writing, my reworked draft is far better than the rough draft. I don’t remember every last detail, but I remember the strongest ideas so I can distill them and refocus the whole storyline.I’m disappointed that you’re not continuing your other story, though; I thought it was the stronger of the two you’ve posted. I’ve always thought that Steel was plagued by some logic issues. A bank robbery seems like a shallow premise to allow this robot to run loose. That’s what SWAT teams are trained for, and it doesn’t seem worth it to recover the couple million dollars cash that a bank would actually have in its vault to allow the robot to wreck the infrastructure in the city and ruin people’s property. Maybe if the robbers were stealing something more important, the whole situation would make more sense. As it is, they’re hauling a lot of expensive equipment and taking a huge risk for a pretty mediocre payoff. But no matter how you begin it, I’m curious to see where you’re going with the characters and hope to see more.

  3. Justin says:

    I haven’t abandoned my amnesiac and her smart phone (har har)… It’s just that when I sat down to make a go at this, Wade’s predicament was the one that came out. And I have thought of that particular lunacy, but Wade had no knowledge of what was taken. I’m working up to that. Also I’m secretly glad you are still reading.

  4. Alana says:

    Maybe you could amend this statement…?“Wade took in the information flickering behind his eyes. Bank robbery in progress. Suspects heavily armed. He hadn’t had one of these in a while. Usually it was a bad car accident that required heavy lifting, or an apartment fire.”Or put a version of this one earlier?“It was only a matter of time before they brought out something bigger. He knew it was coming, because they didn’t interrupt his dinner with his wife for anything less.”It seems like you’re prefacing this twist with some misleading information that could confuse the reader, and it might be worth it to give more of a taste and show us that something more than cash is at stake (which honestly won’t be shocking to anyone but Wade anyway) in order to keep the reader interested and rooting for Wade.

  5. Roberta says:

    If you are sick… you should have time to write… 18 days later… I love you!

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