30 Stories in 30 Days #01 – “Figures”
“What the hell?” Tom paused as if giving his laptop a chance to explain. When it didn’t, he continued, “When I click on that file, that means you open it.”
Tom sat back in his chair with a grunt. He swiveled it around to face the window and watched the gentle rain. “Hope it lasts,” he muttered. It had been hot and dry for a couple of weeks, and his yard was on the verge of dying. What it really needed was a long, soaking rain.
Looking back at this laptop, he saw that it was still debating opening his file. “Open,” he shouted at it.
The screen changed, well, part of it. The document’s toolbar showed up on the top of the screen, but the rest remained his background image of Sharon and Mister Boots.
Tom lunged forward, his hands around an imaginary neck. “Why don’t you fucking work you worthless piece of crap?” This was followed by several wordless grunts and half-muttered profanities.
When his file was finally loaded and displayed, Tom closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Screw it.” He opened his eyes and closed the file. As he turned his laptop off, he told it, “I was going to work on my novel, but I’m not in the mood for it now. And it’s all your fault.”
Once it was off, Tom grabbed the top of the screen. He started to close it, but then opened it to say, “If I had the money, I would replace you.” He closed the screen and left the room. Moments later, the sounds of a daytime talk show came from the next room.
Behind the laptop stood two, tiny figures. They both had sharp features, jagged teeth, and a dark green skin. One was shrunk in on himself with his hands tightly clasped in front of him. The second stood erect and carried a miniscule clipboard. He made a few notations on it, then said – in a voice surprising deep for one so small – “Congratulations, you’ve passed.”
The first threw his hands up crying, “Yes.”
The second shook his head and took a sheet from his clipboard. “You are now a Certified Writer’s Gremlin.”