"Facing his fear and rage, sense and restraint seem to pale in comparison. So John's knife disappears into Jane's chest. She just whispers, 'I love you.'"
"So? What do you think?" The man reciting the line asked the small person sitting across the table.
"What do I think? Huh. Listen, Frankie. I'll be honest with you. It sounds like a line from a cheap soap opera. I've been in this business a long time, bud. You want to be a writer? That's fine. But if you want to be famous, that just ain't gonna fly. I mean, come on! John and Jane?"
"Ted, I don't want to be famous. I mean, if I can be famous, that's great, too. But it really just all boils down to how I want to start writing. I get this urge, you know? And how long have we known each other? Ten years? Fifteen? You could at least try to be a bit more encouraging."
"Frank, you don't even have a computer! If you really want to write, start by getting one at least. My niece happens to have an old one for sale. Here you can have it for cheap. Drop by the place tomorrow. Let it be known that my benevolence has no bounds."
The small man pushed a piece of paper across the table and promptly walked out the coffee shop. Frank stared at it absent-mindedly. Was this really what he wanted? He thought to himself. He was neither rich nor handsome. At thirty-eight he was by no means a young bachelor. He probably should
be socializing more instead of typing words on a box filled with wires and trinkets every night. But this was his hidden passion. To project himself into all these characters and give forms to his desires.
"And...let there be light!" Electricity coursed through the circuits in the monitor. The shapes on the screen gradually became visible. Frank's fingers moved awkwardly over the grid of plastic squares.
"John walks down the alleyway in the rainy night. Despite the dissonant sounds of cars the silence is heavy. That's when the lone shadow around the corner startles him. The shadow speaks, 'Hi, my name is Jane.'... "
"Huh, I guess that could work. Wait, no that's terrible. How did that get there anyway? Wasn't that in the first page?" With a couple of keystrokes Frank deleted the uninvited text.
"Ted, remember that computer you sold me three weeks back?"
"Yeah. What about it?"
"Well it's acting weird. Like it keeps randomly typing in lines I already wrote in the novel I am working on."
"See, this is why I shouldn't help anyone in the future. You help them once, and they just demand more help. Listen, computers don't randomly type in lines for you. You sure you weren't drunk and just forgot about the stuff you wrote down?"
"Ted, seriously I quit drinking already. Stop bringing it up all the time. And yes I am sure I didn't write those lines myself. I mean, I did but they were in the previous pages you know what I mean?"
"Okay okay. If you are *sure* something other than you did it then that leaves only one explanation. You are being hacked. Are you connected to the internet?"
"Connected to the internet? Oh yeah you mean that internet explorer thing? I clicked on it once and it showed me all sorts of advertisements."
"My niece must have set the computer to connect to unsecured wireless networks automatically. That stupid girl. Anyway stay away from those access points and you will be fine. Or just unplug your transceiver. I gotta run, bud. Later."
"Wait, wha..." Frank watched Edward's back disappearing into the crowded street. What was he mumbling about? Unsecured wireless networks? Access points? The big words were starting to blur together. The letters danced and intertwined then turned into Edward's mocking face. Frank shook that image away from his mind. Guess he would just have to live with the computer for now.
"As Pam talks about clothes and past boyfriends John feels more and more disconnected to the world..." Frank's fingers darted about the keyboard deftly. His own life started to materialize on the screen.
"...despite the dissonant sounds of cars the silence is heavy..."
Frank chuckled. Yes indeed. Wait, he didn't type that. It was the hacker!
"Who are you?"
"Hi, my name is Jane."
Frank panicked. Someone was sneaking into his secret lair. Should he run away or confront her?
"Why are you invading my space?"
"...lone shadow around the corner..."
The hacker again spoke with Frank's own words. However the disjoint sentence seemed to contain a shred of logic. Was that a reply?
"l talked to Jane yesterday."
"Yeah. You know, the hacker that has invaded my computer."
"You talked to the hacker? What did she say?"
"I am not exactly sure since she only used my own words from the novel. But they kind of make sense... Why doesn't she speak like a normal person? Why does she only quote my words to communicate?"
"I have no idea, Frankie. But if I were you, I'd unplug the wireless transceiver immediately."
"You really think it's such a big deal?"
"Of course! Listen, you don't have to lie to me. I know what you are putting into your novel. All sorts of would've could've should've, and maybe a couple of things you actually did but no one knew about. Thing is, I do it, too. And the last thing I want is for someone else to read it."
His fingers trembled as they found the keys.
"Why do you insist on speaking to me with my own words?"
"...disconnected to the world..."
"Stop sending me cryptic messages. You have violated my privacy and rendered my work half unreadable with your nonsense. I am deleting my draft because of you. Please don't come back again."
Filled with shame and anger Frank pressed the enter key. As the file disappeared into electronic void his notebook caught his attention. A small piece of plastic was sticking out of the pages. When he opened the notebook his wireless transceiver fell into his lap. On the page it read, "Facing his fear and anger, sense and restraint seem to pale in comparison. So John's knife disappears into Jane's chest. She just whispers, 'I love you.'"