Clean


She studied his shoes.  A tiny hole had started in the left one.  She’d made the right choice: He needed this job.

“What do you want me to do?” 

“I want you to erase my life.”

He looked up from his coffee, removed his feet from the desk.  “You sure?”

She nodded.  “My boss wants passwords to all my accounts.”

“Can’t you just delete them?”

She shook her head.  “Not good enough.”  She leaned forward.  “Listen.  I need this job.”

He nodded and struck his keyboard.  The screen cast an eerie bluish glow on his cheeks.  “Facebook?”

“Yeah.”

“MySpace?”

“That, too.”

“Twitter? Pinterest?  LinkedIn?”

She waved a hand impatiently.  “Yes, all of it.  Everything.  I want it gone.  My record must be clean.”

“Gotcha.”  He grinned and tapped keys, occasionally reaching over for his coffee without looking. 

An hour later, he glanced up.  “Nearly there.  Oh, and I don’t know if my secretary told you, but I only accept cash.”

“She told me.”  She’d been reluctant to withdraw two thousand dollars from the account she shared with her husband.  But she’d assured him it would be worth it.  She would have a job.  They’d be able to pay the bills again.  She handed the stack of money across the desk.  “Under the table?” 

He shook his head, still looking at his computer screen.   “Nope.  I pay my taxes.”

“Don’t want to take a chance on bouncing checks?”

“That’s generally not an issue.  People know I can put back what I take away.”

“Then why the insistence on cash?”

He gave an evil grin.  “Because once I hit this delete button, your life will, per your request will be erased.”

“Wait, I…”

She watched his hand hit the keyboard. 

“You’re welcome,” he said.

She headed home, opened the front door.  “Sorry I’m late, honey.”  She flopped down on the couch.  “I just had the most amazing thing happen to me.”

Her husband of fifteen years looked at her; frowned.  “Who the hell are you?”

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.  This week's word was clean.
 









 


Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Clean

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Clean


She studied his shoes.  A tiny hole had started in the left one.  She’d made the right choice: He needed this job.

“What do you want me to do?” 

“I want you to erase my life.”

He looked up from his coffee, removed his feet from the desk.  “You sure?”

She nodded.  “My boss wants passwords to all my accounts.”

“Can’t you just delete them?”

She shook her head.  “Not good enough.”  She leaned forward.  “Listen.  I need this job.”

He nodded and struck his keyboard.  The screen cast an eerie bluish glow on his cheeks.  “Facebook?”

“Yeah.”

“MySpace?”

“That, too.”

“Twitter? Pinterest?  LinkedIn?”

She waved a hand impatiently.  “Yes, all of it.  Everything.  I want it gone.  My record must be clean.”

“Gotcha.”  He grinned and tapped keys, occasionally reaching over for his coffee without looking. 

An hour later, he glanced up.  “Nearly there.  Oh, and I don’t know if my secretary told you, but I only accept cash.”

“She told me.”  She’d been reluctant to withdraw two thousand dollars from the account she shared with her husband.  But she’d assured him it would be worth it.  She would have a job.  They’d be able to pay the bills again.  She handed the stack of money across the desk.  “Under the table?” 

He shook his head, still looking at his computer screen.   “Nope.  I pay my taxes.”

“Don’t want to take a chance on bouncing checks?”

“That’s generally not an issue.  People know I can put back what I take away.”

“Then why the insistence on cash?”

He gave an evil grin.  “Because once I hit this delete button, your life will, per your request will be erased.”

“Wait, I…”

She watched his hand hit the keyboard. 

“You’re welcome,” he said.

She headed home, opened the front door.  “Sorry I’m late, honey.”  She flopped down on the couch.  “I just had the most amazing thing happen to me.”

Her husband of fifteen years looked at her; frowned.  “Who the hell are you?”

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.  This week's word was clean.
 









 


Labels:

28 Comments:

At March 20, 2012 at 6:47 PM , Anonymous laciejay said...

Awesome story, it's creepy, like it's straight out of the twilight zone. :)

 
At March 20, 2012 at 6:57 PM , Anonymous Booguloo said...

I agree with laciejay on this one. Rod Sterling, if still alive and producing the show would definitely want to run with it.

 
At March 20, 2012 at 7:03 PM , Anonymous tikktok said...

Whoa, very cool! I once had a dream where my life was not my own- frightening!

 
At March 20, 2012 at 8:44 PM , Anonymous Leslicollins said...

Hah! GREAT kicker!

 
At March 20, 2012 at 9:12 PM , Anonymous barbara said...

agree that this is reminiscent of Twilight Zone . . . I was actually thinking SHE might disappear. :) Chilling.

Brava!

 
At March 20, 2012 at 10:01 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

I like your unique take on the prompt. The ending surprised me...I was expecting a good old fashioned bullet to 'erase' her life. The husband's reaction was great!

 
At March 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM , Blogger Sandra said...

Awesome ending! I really enjoyed the twist!

 
At March 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM , Blogger Sandra said...

Awesome ending! I really enjoyed the twist!

 
At March 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM , Blogger Sandra said...

Awesome ending! I really enjoyed the twist!

 
At March 20, 2012 at 10:10 PM , Blogger Sandra said...

Awesome ending! I really enjoyed the twist!

 
At March 20, 2012 at 10:17 PM , Anonymous Sandra said...

Awesome ending! I really like the twist. Also this story is so fitting in light of the recent news about employers asking for account passwords during job application process. (I apologize for leaving multiple comments on your blog. I wrote it on my not-so-smart-phone and it showed up four times, although I don't see it here on my computer. I am never commenting from my phone again.)

 
At March 20, 2012 at 11:46 PM , Anonymous Scriptor Obscura said...

This is excellent! I really enjoyed reading this story! You get my vote for the winner this week for sure. I loved this story. So good. And that ending is priceless. I think that all of us have at one time or another (some of us more often than others) wished that we knew a guy like that who could erase our lives so totally and completely like that. I think that we all have wished that we could be reborn as someone else and live another life and be somebody different, at some point. This reminds me of that movie called Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, where the characters have their memories of each other erased, so that they do not recognize each other anymore:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_Sunshine_of_the_Spotless_Mind

 
At March 20, 2012 at 11:58 PM , Anonymous karen said...

Fantastic twist. Also? Ouch. =)

 
At March 21, 2012 at 1:43 AM , Anonymous Allison said...

So economical! I love it!

 
At March 21, 2012 at 6:41 AM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Ha! I agree, very Twilight Zone. Nicely done.

 
At March 21, 2012 at 7:13 AM , Anonymous Dunce Academy said...

This was awesome and eerie! And, for me anyway, had deeper philosophical implications of how your life is a whole, you are a whole: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We can't pick and choose; we are all of our collective selves. Well-written and an awesome twist at the end. Very Twilight Zone/Alfred Hitchcock.

 
At March 21, 2012 at 11:58 AM , Anonymous Lexy3587 said...

ooh, that's a great ending! I like his all-business trickster attitude. It's intriguing that she feels pity for him at first - happy that she's paying him instead of someone less 'in need'. The whole idea of deleting your computer identity and deleting your everything-identity is great.

 
At March 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks - I really wanted to make her disappear entirely, but ran into the word limit wall.

 
At March 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Very scary.

 
At March 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Thanks.

 
At March 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM , Anonymous Kgwaite said...

Yes, Barbara, I wanted to make her disappear. Word limits...

 
At March 21, 2012 at 2:03 PM , Anonymous The Gal Herself said...

GULP! That was a shocking finish. At first it reminded me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, except you turned it upside down. Instead of forgetting, she's forgotten. Nicely done!

 
At March 22, 2012 at 2:25 AM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

Excellent write and oh so clever!

 
At March 22, 2012 at 6:53 AM , Anonymous Sam K said...

This is fantastic! And a little creepy. I find that I keep thinking about it since reading it. Well done!

 
At March 22, 2012 at 4:23 PM , Anonymous Jessie Powell said...

Oh MY - the devil is in the details. That was marvelous. I thought that the price was a little steep. But when I realized what he was ERASING....

 
At March 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. Given the recent publicity about passwords and such, this is a timely and important piece. I loved the ending, especially how you came at it with the response of the husband. Nice job! Hope to see you back again soon.

 
At March 23, 2012 at 2:00 PM , Anonymous rebecca said...

oh how i enjoyed this. be careful what you wish for, huh?

 

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