|Chap 1.3 - Page 4||frangles: Skip book 1: Writer's Bricks|
So now you're a vet." Skip and two pigeons stepped into
busily-lit office. It only had one occupant--a heavyset
and exceptionally middle-aged woman who was the single cause of
the room looking busy--busier than it would have if there were
ten occupants--who sat at a very haughty and important looking desk,
if if the stability of the known universe depended on its the
management skills of its occupant and it was hence the second most
important inanimate object in the universe.
The first was clearly
the bright glowing neon-blue seven foot radius button taking up the entire left office wall.
tall as if with folded arms with the unspoken
"Push me, and you'll learn a thing or two about quantum-repellent
field space." The secretary was busily typing at a pear-shaped
desktop computer as if the thing was about to explode and nuke a
radius if she didn't do her job with maximum efficiency. Every
press of a key on her keyboard was like a click of a team of emergency
architects staple-gunning a hammock around a live nuclear bomb in
hopes it will keep the explosion back. Click. Staple.
Todd walked carefully up to the button with a caution that
seemed uncanny for a fluttery pigeon. He somehow seemed serious,
as if he'd suddenly remembered he'd been a legendary adventurer in a past life and was quite
frused to discover his archnemesis temporarily encased in carbonite here and now.
Clickityclicklickclick. "You best get those pigeons out of
here before I hit my pigeon vaporization key." Id and the other took this
infinitely seriously and fluttered out the door to the safety of the
park sidewalk. Todd simply continued staring at the glowing blue button as if her
words didn't apply to a thrice-knighted legendary warrior.
Skip felt an odd sort of peer
pressure to act similarly. As far as they'd seen so far, he and
the pigeons had had a very similar lapse of memory, and the idea they
would recover faster than him made
a delinquent in an anonymous support group for recovering survivors of
existential lobotomy operations. Since his treja vu told him he'd
definitely been in the office at least one or two times before--and yet
had no memory of ever seeing a giant glowing blue button in his
lifetime or any past reincarnation--it wasn't hard to fake the half-lie
to fit in with Todd's sudden partial recovery and improving long-term
quickly decided the best course of action to save face would be to
assume his vague memories were on target and inquire about the thing he couldn't remember ever seeing.
"Ah, what have we here? Something new?"
Darlene raised an eyebrow. "I'd
forgotten a few extra things I have to do today and decided I don't
have time to deal with your amnesia problem, so to compensate I flicked
the decloak lever next to the button you're gawking at hoping it will
jump start your your plot and get you out of my hair for the day."
"But what is it?"
"The most important button in the
known universe. Nothing you need worry about." Clickety
click clacky clickity...
"What does it do?"
"Dammed if I know." Click clik click...
"What do you think it does?"
"You must have theory."
"But, supposing you did
know, and were holding back on telling me for your own twisted,
manipulative purposes, what--hypothetically speaking--would that
"I'm a secretary. I don't deal with hypotheticals."
Clickyclack cleckity. "And if I did, I would be much too busy to make
an exception at the moment."
Todd hadn't moved from his regal, introspective stance. It
was quite disconcerting behavior from a pigeon. The other two--in
contrast--were poking in and out of the room watching Darlene's fingers
like your standard pigeon might keep walking back to a lumberjack in a
park who had threatened them with a chainsaw, while deciding on the
minimal time period it would take before he got tired of being mean to
them and threw out some bread crumbs to shoo them off. They watched
Darlene closely, and every time she moved to hit a key they hadn't seen
her hit before, they fled back out in case it was the one she'd
threatened to murder them with.
"Alright, suppose a heavenly messenger of light descended
from heaven and told you god has granted you one wish that you could
have anything under the stars you could think up, but the fine print of
the order form he handed you said the wish had to be something to do
with the purpose of this button, what would you wish its purpose to be?"
"Are there any hidden fees?"
"Shipping and handling to send the form back up?"
"Just a stamp."
"Mandatory life insurance for the angel in the unlikely situation he gets
struck by a bolt of lightning, jet, air balloon, blimp, projectile
missile, or any other object at all not listed in the above objects?"
Click click click.
"Overdraft fees for every extra wish
I make over my limit if I forget after the first that my balance
already hit zero?"
"No. Your entire temporary membership expires the moment your wish is granted."
"In that case, I'd wish the button
re-initializes the big
bang prematurely and gives you something more important to worry about
than bothering me with your amnesia problem." Click, clack,
click. "Now shoo, all of you. You have your important
crisis, now go figure it out yourselves."
Todd finally broke his introspective silence with an eerily
poetic monotone. "And its glow had all the beaming of a shadow's eyes
deceiving." Darlene loudly thwacked a red button on her keyboard
sending Id and his friend fluppering out the door for their lives. "Shoo!"
Skip was as confused as he could ever remember being. Todd
looked solemnly confused himself, and wandered out the door after his
friends, soaking in some sort of personal dilemma. Skip was too
dumbstruck to worry about issues of peer pressure, and simply followed the pigeons' lead.
"Riddles in the blue glow."
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