Sunday, July 21, 2013


Error Elimination

My winning entry in the "flash horror" writing contest hosted by the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Story had to be 250 words or less.

"We can’t get your credit card to work. The computer says you are deceased,” said Farley.

"I suggest you correct it,” said Albert as he glared at the store clerk and leaned up over the counter to intimidate him.

“I'm afraid it's going to take a while,” said Farley.

 "Wrong again," Albert said clinching his fists. "It's going to take you five minutes."

 Farley had to tilt his head back to look Albert in the face. He stole a glance at the girl with Albert and again noticed the burn marks on her arms and her black eye. He cleared his throat. "We could use the quick method of error elimination."

"Yes, I'd advise you to use the quickest method you've got,” said Albert.

"If you'll follow me, sir," Farley said as he ushered Albert to a door marked Private.

He was gone a few minutes then came back with only Albert’s credit card.

"There you are Mrs. …

“Miss Wilson,” said the girl.

"Ah, Miss. Better. You won't need this again." She watched as Farley snipped the card in two with scissors. "Sad to say, this customer is deceased."

"That was the computer's mistake. Albert isn't dead,” said the girl.

"I assure you, our computer is not in error," Farley said solemnly.

She placed one hand over her mouth. Farley slid the bed sheets across the counter toward her and asked, “Would you accept these with our compliments?"

She extended her hand to shake Farley’s. "That would be lovely.”

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