By: Timothy Law

Steph realized that something was wrong a few days after the May edition of the magazine went live. First one, then another and then a third writer sent a message. They were all very courteous and polite, similarly they all queried absent pieces. Steph scratched her head and checked the file. Everything seemed intact, nothing seemed out of place. She contacted David to see if he had any ideas.

"What do you mean, missing?" wrote back David in reply. "How could they be missing?"

Steph sighed before responding, understanding that David could not see what she could see, he could only see what had published. Part way through typing back to David there appeared another query from a writer about their submission.

'Hmmm…' thought Steph. 'How could only half a story appear?'

"Three writers have noticed their pieces have not appeared in the latest edition…" Steph wrote.

"Not enough room?" asked David, Steph noted he was online.

"I have those pieces in the file; they just did not appear when May went live…" Steph sent as a response.

"?" sent David, immediately.

This was followed by the emoji of a quite bamboozled David, quite lifelike, Steph almost laughed.

"Another writer has reported part of their story is missing, I'm checking it out now," sent Steph before jumping onto the website she knew so well and loved so much.

To her shock and amazement Steph discovered it was indeed true. The story reported did in fact finish after only seven hundred and eighteen words. Steph checked the original file and did a quick word count. One thousand and eighty-two words, the count popped up in the lower left hand corner.

Steph jumped back to her chat with David and reported her discovery.

David did not respond for a few moments and Steph wondered what was going on.

"Hey Steph, sorry was AFK… Dinner…" wrote David.

Following this he submitted an odd looking emoji that looked greenish brown, horned and scaly.

"What is that?" asked Steph.

"Gremlin!" replied David. "They get into your computer and steal the files."

"Anti-virus?" asked Steph, hopeful.

"Try chicken first," suggested David.

This time it was Steph's turn to send an emoji. Her confused face was almost a mirror image of her mirror image.

David sent back the laughing emoji.

"Is chicken a file?" asked Steph.

"No, use real chicken…" typed David. "Raw but room temperature… Place it near one of the USB ports."

"You must be kidding," laughed Steph.

As David seemed serious she thought she would give it a go.

The chicken Steph had thawing in the fridge for her curry tea that night was just about room temperature by then so she trimmed a bit off, left it on a plate next to her laptop and went off to fold some washing.

"What the heck?!" yelled Steph half an hour later.

She had returned to discover the piece of chicken half eaten.

"Hey lady, not so loud!" squeaked a voice that came from behind Steph's laptop.

Peering cautiously in the voice's direction Steph gasped as she discovered a little figure that looked like a cross between a devil and a goblin.

"What on earth are you?" she murmured.

"That's a better volume," said the little thing. "Not what are you but who…?"

"No, I'm pretty happy sticking with what…" stated Steph, crossing her arms as she awaited an answer.

"10010110010," replied the thing.

"?" said Steph, her unspoken question escaping as a squeak.

"That's my name, 10010110010," replied the thing.

Steph immediately snapped a picture and uploaded it, sending it to David.

"Yep… Gremlin…" David replied almost instantaneous.

"It says it has a name…" replied Steph.

"They speak a few languages but their main one is binary," sent David.

'That makes sense then,' thought Steph.

"Where could it have come from?" asked Steph.

"Mine came from Sweden, that new hard drive I ordered," typed David. "First day of install and data started going missing."

"I did try loading the magazine file direct from the cloud this time," suggested Steph.

"Probably not the cloud," replied David. "They are a physical being after all."

'True,' thought Steph.

"I'll ask," she typed.

"You have a question?" asked 10010110010.

Steph noted the chicken was almost all gone.

"Just wondering how you got into my laptop?" Steph asked.

"Oh that's easy to explain," said 10010110010. "That new fridge you had installed last week, remember how the ice dispenser originally wasn't working properly?"

"So that was you?" asked Steph, slowly, still unsure whether she believed what she was seeing and hearing.

"No, that was my mum, 1001011001, I'm her first born," replied 10010110010. "I'm the reason your smart TV was not so smart."

"So you came in on the fridge and then moved to my TV?" Steph asked, trying to clarify.

"Yeah, the data associated with your TV is far more interesting than bread, milk, bread, milk, ooooh orange pop…" explained 10010110010 with a laugh. "You have quite the list you've been binge watching."

"But the TV repair guy said he'd fixed my problem," said Steph, still confused.

"It is amazing how much you can repair the latest technology with just a little bit of room temperature uncooked chicken," 10010110010 said with a smile.

"So then you moved into my laptop?"

"Nah, I was curious about that vacuum cleaner you have running around your house," explained the creature.

"No fun?"

"Too much dust and the same old program every day," groaned 10010110010. "Left corner to right corner, down the middle and around the desk… Talk about boring."

"You could have taken over the program and had some fun though, right?" asked Steph.

The creature pulled a face at that.

"I'm not a monster, lady!" it huffed. "I'm a gremlin."

"The gremlin in the machine," pondered Steph.

"You've got it," agreed the gremlin.

"So how do I get rid of you then?" Steph asked. "How do I get my data back?"

"Oh, that's easy," suggested the gremlin. "All you need to do is


SYTAX ERROR 10010110010




Rate Timothy Law's 1011

Let The Contributor Know What You Think!

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...