Â Every Tuesday I take a small chunk of something Iâ€™m working on â€“ fantasy, mystery, mainstream, whateverâ€¦ and post it. Â No titles, no other info, utterly random.
Yâ€™all can give feedback or not, as you wish. Â Or even try to guess what itâ€™s from, if youâ€™re so inclined. Â There may or may not be a prize for getting it right.
There will be no prizes for nitpicking typos: all teases are from works in progress, which means typos are a natural side-effect of production.
Later that day, she gets a phone call that is bizarre even by help desk standards.
“I’ve lost god.”
“Excuse me, sir?”
“I’ve lost god.”
She waits for the punchline â€“ a dyslexic looking for his dog, maybe?Â She would laugh and direct him to the pleh desk, then, and if he got it, she’d carry the joke with her all day.Â But the voice â€“ male, deep and crunchy â€“ doesn’t laugh, just repeats his comment.
“Sir?Â This isâ€¦ we’re here to help, sir, but I’m afraid that our knowledge base is more technological than theological.”Â She’ll probably be docked for using big words, but this call’s going to take her stats down anyway, why not roll with it?
“There’s a difference?”
“God’s in the modem?”
He does laugh then, and it’s not a pretty laugh or a sweet laugh â€“ not a bad laugh either, not scary or bad; more like clouds over rocks, if that makes any sense at all, and she immediately wants to hear it again.
“My connection keeps cutting in and out.Â Some times I have perfect clarity, other times there’s nothing there but an echo.”
“Have you checked to make sure your plugs are secured?”
“Nothing’s changedâ€¦ I think it’s me.”
Her supervisor comes over and raises an eyebrow â€“ anything wrong?Â She makes a helpless gesture, the international sign for ‘nutcase on the line,’ and he draws a finger across his throat; international boss-talk for ‘cut him off.’Â She doesn’t want to, irrationally, but her stats are on the line.