Friday, July 31, 2009

Attrition

He stared at the screen. The screen returned the gesture with a vibrant glow.

Tick-tick-tick, his fingers punched the keys. A quick head shake, and the word vanished with a backspace tick-tick-tick.

"Damn."

The screen glared. The man narrowed his eyes.

It was time, now or never, a whole array of overused idioms and limp metaphors. The man grasped his jaw in one hand and shifted it back and forth. The bone came loose with a muted pop. Unhinged, his mandible dropped open like the entrance to Wind Cave.

He started with the mouse, sucking down the cable like a wispy bit of pasta. The keyboard came next, a test run to see if the larger bits might fit. Tick-tick-tick a few keys dragged across his teeth was they slid into his throat--which, as it happened, expanded like a rubber balloon to accommodate the awkward snack. The speakers popped in, one-two, and the man sat back and took a deep breath.

The monitor would come last, he decided. With his fingers, he stretched his lips over the CPU tower, forcing it in in with a few, quick taps. The cords, cables, and other loose paraphernalia rocketed down his widened esophagus.

The monitor didn't glare anymore. The man left it, alone, screen blank and muddy, on the desktop. He had won.

This time.

12 comments:

Brendan P. Myers said...

Hilarious. Well done.

Aaron Polson said...

Yeah, stories about writers don't sell.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Now I think that story should have been afforded a spot on "Fifty-two Stitches."

abrokenlaptop said...

But your army of writer friends will cheer wildly. "Yeah, that's how it is! Pop off that mandible, baby!"

I wrote an essay called A Broken Laptop (which is where I got the name for my blog) and it didn't sell. The feedback was that they liked it, but nobody publishes stories on writers. Editors don't want to read about writers, but writers want to read about writers, and readers want to read about writers. Writers spill our guts, and that appeals to the voyeur in most of us. Who wouldn't want to peek in on that?

I ended up putting that essay on my blog because I just liked it. It makes me happy. :)

-Mercedes

katey said...

Bwahahaha! Oh, no doubt we all needed that. Love it.

K.C. Shaw said...

Hehe, the best solution to that glaring empty screen I've ever heard of. :)

Aaron Polson said...

Alan - if somebody else would have written it, sure. ;) We do have a writerly story coming up in a couple of weeks that chilled me to the bone.

Merecedes - Right on. Everytime I hear "no stories about writers" I want to kick someone. I see stories about writers from the "big names" all the time. Um, like half of Stephen King's protags are writers.

Katey - I love the sound effects (Bwahahaha, indeed).

K.C. - When mine glares, I just close Word and play a game...solves the "empty screen" problem.

L.R. Bonehill said...

Nice one, Aaron. I have a story about a writer that I’ve been trying to sell for longer than I care to remember... still waiting. Maybe I should just burn it.

Aaron Polson said...

L.R. - film it as it burns, then post it to YouTube. Quite the post-modern statement, that.

;)

Jamie Eyberg said...

I am beginning to look forward to Friday's and your posts. The best I can do is separate my own shoulder, not my mandible.

Natalie L. Sin said...

: )

Jodi Lee said...

LOL - wonderful, Aaron!