Several years ago, I wrote a short story for a British anthology. Most of you never saw it. That’s okay. The book was full of stories even I didn’t like (and couldn’t read), but I still enjoy mine. 🙂 As the rights are now mine again, the entire thing will be posted here, complete. It runs around fourteen pages, so pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee, or a glass of wine, and settle in.
Wag sat in a windowless room all day, every day, creating computer viruses for his boss, the owner of a company that marketed a popular antivirus program used by easily half the PC owners in the country. The owner had a nice enough name, but Wag called him Big Evil Boss, (i.e., Bob). Not to his face, of course. That wouldn’t have been prudent, as jobs like this were hard to find unless you wanted to enlist in the Anonymous corps of worldwide hackers, and Wag enjoyed his paycheck too much to do that.
The Tardis Tornado that had swept the Internet six months ago? Wag had created that. He’d thought it was hilarious having the Doctor stick his head out of a blue police box every single time an exe file was run. The spoken words “Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!” added a nice touch. Bob had sold a shit ton of programs, even as the nasty cleverness of the virus was admired online for weeks. Wag’s bonus had been substantial. He’d bought himself a new couch, though he was seldom home enough to enjoy it. His life was code, and he was damn good at it.
The morning everything changed, he was at his station, tapping away on the keyboard while acid rock blasted through his earbuds, when Bob opened the door and came in. Accustomed to the way Wag zoned out on music while he worked, Bob waved his hands wildly until he got his employee’s attention.
He removed the buds. “What’s up?”
“We hired someone and need to put him in here until we get another space ready. Is that okay?”
Like it wouldn’t be? No one tells the boss “No, won’t have it, can’t do it.” There’d been an extra desk in his office since he started, shoved up against the back of his.
“No problem,” he said dutifully.Continue reading