Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Between the Dark

This is an excerpt from one of the two stories I'm working on, so I hope you like it. Comments are welcome.

Even though Jacob gripped his white cane, he still swore when he tripped over a crack in the sidewalk, made by the roots of the chestnut tree. He silently fumed at his parents for what they had denied him. It’s the year 2050, but I’m stuck in the Stone Age. There are devices that let you know when you’re approaching obstacles, flying one- and two-seat vehicles that drive themselves and so much more I could be using. Will they allow me to use any of them? No, for some unfathomable reason, and I’m suffering the consequences. He let out his breath in a leaf-stirring gust, and set his face into a ferocious scowl. He didn’t know, and couldn’t really ask, why his parents didn’t like technology. If looks could kill, birds in trees all the way down to the corner would’ve dropped from their branches.
He turned the corner, and heard a roaring sound. I wonder if he does that for my benefit, or if he likes deafening people as a hobby? The roar grew closer, and eventually Jacob saw him. As usual, his friend was going to land on his head. The hover car, also as usual, missed by inches and came to a stop about a foot above the street.
As the door opened, Jacob asked, “When are you going to stop doing that? It’s not like I actually believe that you’ll land on me. The first few times maybe.”
“How do you know?” Max asked, laughing. “You can’t see. You may think it’s me, and then find out the hard way by getting squished that it isn’t.”
“I don’t think so,” Jacob responded, chuckling as he got into the car. “Your vehicle is the only one I’ve heard that makes such a racket, and I think you can count on my hearing. Who overheard those girls say that you were cute, and who overheard the answers to that math test from half a hallway away, I might add? As I recall you got 100 on that test, and you’re currently going out with a nice-looking girl. Trust me, I can tell when your hover car is coming.”
Max punched him in the shoulder lightly, saying with a smile, “You’re too clever for your own good. One of these days, I’m going to shove you out of this hover car, and then I’ll see if any of your gismos will let you fly.” He passed Jacob a bag that would’ve gotten both of them in boiling water if Jacob’s parents found out. It contained all the illicit technology that he was forbidden at home.
And I couldn’t care less what my parents would do if they ever found out.
He reached in to make sure it was all there, and it felt to him that it was. The BookIt was a device that, when passed over an open or closed book, would instantly save the entire contents to its memory, and read it back at any time. When he took it out, and waved it in Max’s direction, nothing happened.
“I guess that must mean there’s nothing up there,” he said, tapping Max’s forehead.
Max grabbed for the BookIt. “Let’s see how you fare under its gaze.” But finally he fell back without the item.
Jacob would always be grateful that Max was one of only a few who treated him like a normal person, and not like porcelain. But he wouldn’t tell his friend how much he appreciated him.

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