Author Topic: Glorious Inefficiency  (Read 366 times)

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Glorious Inefficiency
« on: May 02, 2017, 09:07:56 pm »
She is looking at her cupped hands intently, like there is nothing else in the world. Her toes are pressed down hard on the tile floor, her heels perched in the air. One knee bounces nervously. There is no one else in the bathroom. The stall door is closed. She stares at her hands.
She imagines a fire in the empty space between her fingers and her palms, holds it gently like a bird's nest. She does not see the fire. Her heart is racing.
"Breathe," she mouths to herself, and obeys. She purses her lips and breathes out into the fire that is not there, imagining the ash and embers dancing in the steady airflow, imagining fuel catching, feeding it life.
She feels static in her fingertips.
No one else is here, no one else can see. She breathes out again, tightly controlled steady stream of air touching her fingers, feedback in her nerves mingling with the electronic noise that doesn't stop but increases. Her fingers make small, unnatural movements, like insect legs. The joints feel creaky and unresponsive. She is not plugged in right.
Her brain floats in a soup of adrenaline and cortisol, muscles tense, heart too fast. To call her scared would be a mistake. She is on edge. There is something on the other side and she does not know what it is and the fear is not the kind you get when a man in a mask jumps out at you or something fangy and ill-tempered spots you, it's the kind of fear when you're about to go around a corner and you don't know what's there, but you know it's not whatever's behind you. She wants to see what's around the corner, but her legs are frozen.

A noise like a footstep. Her eyes snap back into focus, her hands still tingle. Finish up like a human, she tells herself.
The sensor does not know she has gotten up. The button malfunctions. The pipe is leaking. Does it know she's not plugged in right? She forces it to work.
The sink in front of her has a sign that says out of order. She does not remember if that sign was there before. The sink next to it does not work either. She stands in front of a third sink, moving her hands that feel like animatronics in front of the sensor, trying to trip it, trying to connect. It takes forever to work. When she steps away the water keeps running for fifteen long seconds.

She is broken, and her malfunction makes the machine inefficient. And when she tells people they want to help her work better, to plug her back in correctly, but all she wants is for someone to see her and revel in her glorious inefficiency.

Her footsteps are all wrong.
Overheating Pheremone Pustule of Last Saturday's Jiggle Fun| _xgeWireToEvent: Unknown extension 131, this should never happen.

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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Glorious Inefficiency
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 02:25:55 am »
This is awesome.

It's like you spent a few years in Arizona.
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Junkenstein

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Re: Glorious Inefficiency
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 01:20:44 pm »
This is awesome.

It's like you spent a few years in Arizona.

This.

Also a good candidate for the usual big words treatment.
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Glorious Inefficiency
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2017, 01:33:10 pm »
This is awesome.

It's like you spent a few years in Arizona.

The funny part is where my other friends read it and get confused when I say "nonfiction."

This.

Also a good candidate for the usual big words treatment.

I don't know how poster-worthy it is.
Overheating Pheremone Pustule of Last Saturday's Jiggle Fun| _xgeWireToEvent: Unknown extension 131, this should never happen.

Don't fucking judge me, I've got tentacles for a face.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Glorious Inefficiency
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2017, 06:25:47 pm »
This is excellent.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”