Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sudden Short Story 19

They sat next to each other on the floor of the hallway, backs against the wall. One woman said to the other, "Did you hear? Mr. Montague kicked the bucket the other day."
"I heard. His apartment's right across from mine, you know."
"Well, you know what they say: Good riddance to bad rubbish. Say, did you get your alt past the RJ dungeon yet?"
"Nah, I only just caught my main up to the new level cap. But what do you mean rubbish?"
"Montague was a hoarder, wasn't he? That's not to mention his crazy ramblings, always Nineteen Eighty-Four this and Fahrenheit that."
"Oh, he's free to be bonkers if he wants to be, as long as he doesn't spoil it for the rest of us. Really, if you set aside the hoarding, he wasn't so bad. It's too bad about it, though, but at least they've finally reclaimed it. I heard them listing some titles on one of my breaks-- Would you believe that they were here for two of them? He had that many! Anyway, they didn't even sound all that entertaining. Not only were there a lot of numbers - everything from 22 to Twenty-Thousand - but some of it was strange. At the end, the bots were even surprised. They reclaimed one called "Untitled Manuscript" which, if you ask me, sounds like something right out of the Hipster Age."
"He had so many that even the bots lost track? He must've been no good. And for all of it, he never seemed happy, either. I mean, what's the point of-- Ooh, my break's over," she said suddenly, standing up. "I'll see you on the other side," and with that, she hurried back to her apartment, where finite state adventure awaited.
The neighbor across the hall of the late Bradley Montague, though, sat for just another moment, wondering just what it was that had him so obsessed with books. Her consciousness vainly searched for a reason, but eventually managed to figure it out. He had just been crazy, after all.

Author's Note: I think that this is the first time that I've used the same character in two different sudden short stories, even if posthumously.

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