Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I Owe You a Post

I'm going to put a bonus post in either April or May (not sure yet - depends on life stuff) to make up for the lack of a proper 4th post now.  Normally, I wouldn't do this, but I've got way too much IRL stuff to worry about that now. 

Sudden Short Story 73

He saw them well before they arrived.  Land approaches that did not use the pass below were still impractical.  He met them in what passed for his front yard, on the path leading to his house. 
They stopped before him.  After a moment, they spoke in unison:  "Are you the guru who lives atop the mountain?" 
He paused.  "My name's Steve?  I'm the only person who lives on top of this mountain." 
The visitors looked at each other, not with puzzlement, but with antagonism.  They hesitated, but then spoke in unison again:  "Our world is torn by endless war.  Lacking any ability to negotiate peace, your sides decided to seek the most removed individual to determine the final outcome.  We ask you this question in the hope of ending the war:  Are you a Neo-Thracian or a counter-Neo-Thracian?" 
Steve gathered his thoughts for a moment, and then spoke.  "I will have to disappoint you.  Your war will have to go on as before.  I have never even heard of these things.  I am neither a Neo-Thracian nor a counter-Neo-Thracian." 
Only the envoys' sheer shock delayed their shared reaction.  Both drew hand-held firearms from hidden locations on their persons.  Both pointed their guns at Steve. 
The man was the first to speak.  "You antisemitic racist!" he accused. 
"You despotic fascist," she accused.  "I always suspected that this was a counter-Neo-Thracian media ploy." 
"Don't think that you can fool me," said the man.  As he moved to point his gun at her, so, too, did she point her gun at him.  "You sought to use this encounter to kill me.  'A Neo-Thracian will exploit everyone, at every opportunity, no matter how small,' Zeke 91." 
"Your fundamentalist pedantry means nothing to me," retorted the woman, "It's full of lies, like the idea that you would ever concede peacefully." 
Steve had gone back to his house to make some tea, while the visitors were too focused on each other to notice that he'd left.  He was curious what would happen when one of them noticed that he was gone, but not curious enough to be near them when it did.  The kettle hadn't even boiled when he heard the gunshots.  He looked outside, and then wondered what he should do with the bodies.  The cliff on the other side of the mountain seemed as good of a place as any, but he took his time to think about it.  After all, they weren't going anywhere. 

Life Update March 2015

So here I am, updating on the last day of the month again.  It kind of snuck up on me this time, actually.  I've got a ton of stuff going on in real life.  I don't want to get too much into the details, but at some point coming soon I have both travel and an actual move, so I've been super busy preparing.  I do have a short story idea, so I'm going to write that one tonight, and that leaves me with one other blog post to get to my 4 for the month. 
And yes, this also means that most of April's posts won't happen until late April.  :-\

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sudden Short Story 72

"Hey.  I suppose that you heard the speech last night," said Joe as he entered the department Monday morning. 
"Yeah," replied Mary.  "The whole office is uneasy.  Everyone's got that suspicion that anyone else could be from the other dimension."
"I don't think that we have too much to fear, here," said Joe.  "We're not the military or the FBI or anything.  Where's Dan?"
"He called in sick." 
"What a first day back, eh?  Well, how'd the consultant do, anyway?"  The consultant's last day had been Friday. 
"He did pretty well, actually.  He said that he could improve data fidelity with another layer of normalization.  He said that he even got some of the tables into Codd-Boyce Normal Form." 
"You mean Boyce-Codd Normal Form," Joe said, as he sipped his morning coffee. 
"Well, DBA's not really my thing, but I'm sure that he said Codd-Boyce Normal Form, or sometimes CBNF." 
Joe slammed his coffee onto Mary's desk and ran to his cubicle.  "How sure are you?" he asked, as his fingers flew across his keyboard. 
"Quite sure," Mary said.  The printer started running. 
"Call Nick.  Tell him to cut our internet, have his team start turning off machines and unplugging them from the network, and put every pre-Roger backup tape in a vault somewhere."  Joe grabbed the printed page and ran out.  "I've got to talk to the president - and the president." 
Mary sat down, wondering what to make of Joe's ramblings, when an e-mail appeared in her inbox, from Joe.  It had no subject, and the body was just a link, to Wikipedia's article on Boyce-Codd normal form.