The Disappearing Act


Sometimes your computer tries to tell you something.  Maybe something you don’t really want to hear.  Maybe it’s something you need to hear, however.

So my computer has appeared to cause my latest novel-in-progress to disappear, claiming that it cannot find what I’ve worked on and saved many times over.  A writer with more computer savvy might have found the story by now, lurking in a corner of my hard drive’s virtual space, the computer laughing so hard at its game of hide and seek that the quote marks are flying off the story and the megabytes are scrambled like so many eggs in an omelet.  But my computer knows I’m not the savvy type.  It’s really trying to send me a message.  It’s trying to tell me that I need to start over or, worse, give up the project entirely.

I protest against this unsolicited editorial control.  The computer cannot look into my mind to see the great ways I plan to develop my characters further. 

Ezekiel Grate is going to be a daddy and thus headed into Holy Matrimony, if he will only agree with his true love, Abigail Oode, that he will convert to Judaism.

Abigail will have to make a decision shortly as to when to give up exotic dancing.  Can she keep up with her act long enough to further Grate’s career objectives?

Abigail’s long-lost father has resurfaced, assigned to the Egyptian Embassy in D.C., wanting to resume a paternal relationship with his Israeli daughter.

Criminal defendant attorney, Theresa Hadley, Grate’s boss, heads to trial to defend Mo, accused of the fire-bombing at Eastern Market, but she’s threatened by a bizarre attack, her life in danger because of her prior work with the criminal element.

Grate tries to figure out how to help Theresa, stay one step ahead of the law, keep Abigail happy, prepare for fatherhood, and figure out what it means to convert to Judaism. 

Now, Dear Computer, what’s wrong with all that?  Certainly there’s enough material there that you might have been mildly amused, even if not overwhelmed.  You know, you’re only one step from the electronic equipment junk heap.  I could unplug you and carry you to my car right now and head up the MontgomeryCounty landfill.  Have you thought about that?  Is that what you want?

So, please find my story-in-progress right now.  As an added incentive, I promise to work into the story a distant relative of yours.  My DEC Rainbow sits in my attack waiting patiently for the time that it becomes an antique and I can sell it for more than I paid for it.  That should be in about 50 years.  If you give me back my story, I will make the DEC Rainbow a character.

Deal?

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About brucejberger

Bruce J. Berger has published his short fiction in a variety of print and on-line literary journals, including Prole, Jersey Devil Press Anthology, The Awakenings Review, Raphael's Village, Eastown Fiction, Black Magnolias Literary Journal, and others. He also publishes shorts stories for Amazon's Kindle. He is pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at American University beginning in August 2015.
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