Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Short Story: Space Is Limited

What is lost is not always found. What is ignored may be no more.

Or something. And I know it's not Wednesday yet. Close enough.

Enjoy.


Space Is Limited
by Paul Darcy


"Hi, Grampa."

"Hi, Willy. How did the game go?"

"Great, I got one run. We won by three."

"How was your birthday?"

"All my friends came. Mom let me have a new tri-dee game, an L rated one now that I’m ten. It was so cool, we all played it."

"That sounds like a lot of fun. How is your mom, Willy? She should come visit me more often."

"She’s really busy with work right now. Um . . ."

"Don’t worry, Willy. I’m not upset. I’m glad you had a great time at your birthday. And I really like to see you. Come visit me again soon. Okay."

"Yeah, I will. See ya."

"Bye."

***

"Hey Grampa?"

"Yeah."

"I have a girlfriend."

"Really. What’s her name?"

"Angela. She’s great. We hang out together and everything."

"Everything?"

"Oh, Grampa. You know what I mean. Hey, and next year I’ll be old enough to drive and then I can take her out in the car. How cool is that?"

"Sound’s really fun. Well?"

"Well what?"

"Well what does she look like, this Angela?"

"She has dark brown hair. Slender, but not gaunt like some girls. Very, very pretty. She loves volleyball and is really good at it too. She is so cool."

"Sounds like you really like her."

"Oh, yeah I do. Grampa I got to go. I’m taking her to the show tonight."

"You have fun then and say hi to your mom."

"I will. Bye."

"Bye."

***

"Hey, Grampa."

"Hello."

"Kate got her first tooth today. I felt it myself."

"That’s great. How about Annie? Does she like grade three?"

"Yeah she does. I help her with homework a lot. Um, grampa?"

"Yeah?"

"I won’t be able to come bye for a while. Um, my new job starts this fall and Angela and I are getting ready to sell the house, prepare the kids. You know."

"Sure, no problem. How long do you think?"

"No more than three years, I promise."

"Three years, that will make Annie, what, ten. My gosh. That’s how old you were when I moved in here. Wow the time has gone by."

"Yeah, well. Nice talking to you again. I’M sorry, but I have to go now."

"Okay. See you in a flash."

"Nice joke, Grampa. No more than three years, I promise."

"Okay then. Bye."

"See ya."

***

"Hey, Grampa."

"Hello, Wil. How is everything?"

"Not so good, really. Mom is very sick now and can’t get out of the house. That’s why she hasn’t dropped by in a long while."

"Has it been a long while?"

"Four and a half years. Look, sorry our lives took a busy turn. I’m here now though, but only passing by on a business trip. I actually have a meeting in about ten minutes."

"Oh. So fill me in."

"Well, Angela has a new job now too. She sells enhancements. Really good at it too. So good we could buy a bigger house and send Annie to a really good school this year."

"That sounds great. How is Kate doing?"

"Just fine. She loves school and has a ton of friends."

"I wish I could see her."

"Yeah, well you know that can’t happen."

"I know, but I can wish can’t I?"

"Sure can. Oh, there goes my alarm. I’ll catch up with you next time I pass through."

"Okay. Give my family your love, will you?"

"Sure thing, Grampa. Goodbye."

"Goodbye."

***

"Hello, Carl?"

"Wil is that you? You don’t sound like Wil."

"No, actually it’s Simon."

"Oh. Do I know you?"

"No. I just started here six months ago."

"Oh, is something the matter with my family?"

"I really don’t know that."

"What are you visiting me here for then?"

"Company policy really. It’s part of the contract you signed before coming in here."

"Oh. Is there something wrong?"

"No, everything is working fine. It’s just we are running out of space here, and because it has been over five years since your last family visit. Well, in short, we need to evict you."

"What? Have you talked to Wil about this? Has anything happened to him?"

"Who? Look, I don’t know. Really. I’m just here to let you know we need to evict you. Today. In a couple minutes actually. We are running out of space and there is a waiting list."

"But what about Wil? Shouldn’t Wil know?"

"Look, I don’t know this Wil and I don’t really care. Obviously he hasn’t been by and the account has expired so nobody paid your rent, so to speak. My job is to follow the policy and I’ve done that."

"But... Is there nothing you can do."

"Sorry your time is up. I hope you enjoyed your extended life here in virtual-home."

"How can you do this?"

"It’s my job and it’s quite simple really. All I do is dump the memory with a command word like this, type yes for confirmation, and... You’re gone. Begin format for the next resident, and voila. I love my job."

the end.

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