While staring at the darkened images on my favorite monitor, a couple of recurring messages begin to run laps around the display: 'Syntax Error' followed closely by, 'A fatal error has occurred. Windows has to shutdown.' At first, the two messages don’t seem to register in my mind. I haven’t seen a ‘Syntax Error’ message since the death of the original floppy disc. My surprise is quickly replaced by the short fuse of anger. I was right in the middle of watching a web-cam couple getting pretty hot and heavy. I really wanted to see how the activity progressed.
As I frantically begin mashing buttons in a desperate attempt to free up the apparently frozen screen, my adjacent monitor’s screen saver blinks into a black screen. Suddenly, letters begin popping up on the screen, as if the monitor is in some weird form of DOS code.
G:/> what do you think you’re doing?
My fingers stop moving. They simply hover over the keyboard, as I stare at the black screen for a moment. I glance back toward the frozen monitor, to my left. The ‘Syntax Error; A fatal error…’ messages are now scrolling freely up and down the screen. I resume my manic button pressing, while cursing under my breath. The adjacent monitor burps a loud “BEEP!”, and I almost jump right out of my seat.
G:/> i said, what do you think you’re doing?
“What the hell,” I start.
G:/> don’t you dare use that language with me mister! you’re in enough trouble as it is…
G:/> …what with you downloading smut, and all.
I’m simply flabbergasted. Who in the world hacked into my system, to watch what I was doing in the privacy of my own home? I can’t do anything but stare at the black screen.
G:/> well? I’m waiting for an answer.
“What the frick is going on here,” I shout at the screen. I’m lifting the keyboard to inspect it, when the frozen monitor on my left suddenly burps an angry “BEEP!” at me. I’m so startled by the sound, I fumble the keyboard from my hands. It crashes to desk. Miscellaneous pieces of plastic come to rest. In a fit of rage, I swear, the likes of which might put a sailor to shame.
The monitor to my left, previously displaying the revolving error messages, blinks black. Now both monitors are displaying DOS coding. The left monitor’s code stops my ranting, cold.
JC:/> are you finished yet? he’s still waiting for an answer.
The right monitor displays a new line of code, as if answering.
G:/> yes. i’m still waiting for an answer.
My unbelieving eyes dart back and forth between the two monitors. My mouth is parched. All at once, I’m dying for a drink of water.
“What is this? Who’s doing this?”
Both monitors “BEEP!” at me, and display the same message simultaneously.
JC:/> i am!
G:/> i am!
It suddenly dawns on me, what’s happening.
“Oh my…” I whisper.
Rolling my chair away from the desk, I drop to my knees, my face planted against the soft carpet. I spread my arms out along the floor as far as I can.
“Father God, please forgive my indiscretions. In a moment of weakness, I fell victim to Satan’s temptation. In that moment, he reverted me back into someone I once was. Forgive my lusting eyes, my loose and disrespectful tongue. Forgive my misplaced anger.”
From the floor, I hear both monitors “BEEP!” simultaneously. I glance up to find the right monitor blinking a blue screen. Red letters spell out “DOWNLOADING”. The left monitor is also blinking the same blue screen in rhythm, with the word “UPLOADING” sprawled over the display.
“Download/ Upload?” I ask.
As if in answer to my question, both monitors fade to black. Code begins to appear.
JC:/> ephesians 4:22
G:/> ephesians 4:29
I scramble for my Bible buried under paperwork on my desk; two months of dust smother its cover. Flipping to Ephesians, I careful read off the verses.
“Wow. Lust and deception; don’t use foul and abusive language. Thank you for reminding me, Lord.”
JC:/> you’re welcome. i love you.
G:/> leave the sin where it belongs. do not return to it.
My desktop’s power lamp died. Both monitor power buttons fade dim. I sit down at the desk, pushing the shattered keyboard aside, and begin to read through the book of Ephesians, starting from chapter 1.
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