Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NaNoWriMo, 1161-1790

The person who had left Sphere lying around was five feet tall and named Rebecca. Her major was still undecided in this her senior year, though of course it hardly mattered. Her hair was black and her cat was eight years old. The cat, Sam Donaldson, lived with her in her one-bedroom apartment on the desolate east side of town. In her apartment she had a bed and a chair. Next to her bed was her bookshelf, which groaned with the complete works of Michael Chrichton, each volume of which she had collected from one public or school library or another over the years. They still had their barcode stickers and laminated covers. The history of lamination is a long and storied one. Today people take it for granted. In a corner sat Rebecca’s turntable. On the turntable was an LP recording of Peteris Vasks’s "Dona nobis pacem", performed by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Paul Hillier. Rebecca listened to this record every night before going to bed. She listened to it again in the morning before going to hang out with her fellow youths. It was quite a life she led, Rebecca. Never a dull moment. She often ate pancakes for breakfast, as well as sausage, apples, croutons, wheat, oats, candy, and steak. Her favorite beverage was milk. Her favorite time of day was late afternoon. Her boyfriend was living in Arizona. Owner of his own destiny, her boyfriend hadn't contacted her in several years. Then one day a tree fell on his house after being struck by lightning and he needed money to fix it. He didn't have insurance and his name was Theo. He wanted to borrow money from Rebecca to fix his roof. If there was any money left over he would fix the tree. She agreed and they arranged to meet at a Denny's in Kansas City, Kansas, a spot roughly halfway between Arizona and Michigan. For some reason Rebecca insisted on transferring the money via a briefcase full of bundled bills. As they sat across from each other in the booth at Denny's, they discussed current events and ate food. Before they parted ways Rebecca handed Theo the briefcase and they hugged. The sun was at a 10 degree angle to the horizon and was sinking fast—that is to say, its normal speed. Three hours later Theo stopped at a gas station and counted the money while he waited for the tank to fill. He counted $72 million. This was orders of magnitude more than he required, but he didn't mind. He thought about what he would do with the extra money. He would buy a company of some kind. And a salad. And a tuba. And a biography of Alexander Hamilton. And a wristwatch. And a boat. And a salted ham. And an unsalted ham. And a Kindle. And a Coke. The gas pump dinged or pinged to signal that the tank was full. Theo removed the pump from the tank, replaced the cap, and returned the pump to its hook, in that order. He went inside to pay for the gas. The price of the gas was $20.11. Theo paid for the gas and went back outside. His car was gone. Another car was in its place. A nicer car. No one was inside. Theo looked around for his car. He couldn't find it. He looked back at the nice car. He looked around for the driver of the nice car, didn't find anyone. He walked up to the nice car, opened the door, and got in behind the wheel. The keys were in the ignition. He started the car and drove away. Inside the station, the clerk was having trouble with his math homework.

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