Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)
TITLE: Of Tasting Your Own Medicine
By Amber S.
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“A new program I'm working on,” he murmured, intent on the computer screen.
Jaqui watched as he tapped away on the keyboard, creating what to her looked to be complete nonsense. She flicked her head, sending her bangs out of her face, only to return a moment later.
She narrowed her eyes.
“There!” The computer screen flashed white before showing a little “Loading” icon. Ash grinned.
“What is it?” Jaqui pulled a chair up to sit next to him. “You're not hacking something, are you?”
“I would never!” Ash exclaimed, face a little too innocent.
Jaqui snorted and leaned forward. Her pale greenish blue cat eyes reflected in the well kept screen. Distracted, she turned her head to ensure her shoulder cropped hair was in order. She flicked a piece of purple streaking back into its place, then licked a finger to pat down a bit of black that stuck up.
Ash cleared his throat and Jaqui snapped back to reality. She studied her arm and picked at a black scale. “You shouldn't keep it so clean.” She glared up at him through her bangs.
His lips twitched. “My apologies. Now, want to see?”
“'Kay then. I've named it AME.” He clicked a button that popped up.
Jaqui drummed her fingertips on the chair. “And that means...”
“Automated Manuscript Editor.” Ash continued typing. “See, you upload a document,” he opened a new window and clicked something, “Then it scans it and lets you know what should be changed based on current public demand!”
Jaqui blinked. “That's cool...”
Ash nodded, running a hand through his scruffy brown hair and leaning back. “Very cool. I'll make me a lot of money.”
Jaqui smirked. Humans and their attachment to green paper was a constant source of entertainment for her. Ash's in particular. “I expect you'll charge an arm and a leg for it.”
“Of course not.” His grey eyes looked out the window. The magnolia tree's limb bounced in the breeze, scattering petals to the wind. But Jaqui knew he wasn't seeing anything but buckets of money. “An arm, a leg, and a head would suit much better I think.”
Jaqui rolled her eyes. “Ever heard of doing things to help other people?”
Ash focused on her, still leaned back in his chair. “Never. What's that?”
Jaqui's foot flashed out and she swept his chair from under him, sending him toppling to the floor.
“Heyy...” He sat up and brushed himself off. “Be careful, wouldya?”
Jaqui glanced back at the computer, forcing herself to put her attention elsewhere before she clouted him on the head.
Ash rose and reseated himself before checking his program. “Low battery?! I just charged it!” Ash muttered under his breath and ducked under the table. Jaqui felt glad she couldn't quite catch what he was saying.
“Where's my cord?” he exclaimed.
Jaqui studied her fingernails.
“Alex!” Ash called. “Al-”
Alex's head poked into the room, brown hair falling over her shoulders.
“Have you seen my charging cord?”
“Nope. Y'didn't leave it at the library did you?” she sniggered.
Ash's face paled. He whirled to Jaqui. “Can I borrow yours?”
Jaqui leaned back in her chair, smile playing at her mouth as she considered. “For a price.”
“That I have a hand in deciding the price of the program.”
Ash's eyes went big. “Now, Jaqui...”
Jaqui smiled and played with a piece of her hair. “Deal or no deal?”
“Oh... Fine.” Ash slumped into his chair and Jaqui ran to her room to get the cord.
As she halted next to her bed, she pulled another cord from her pocket.
“Jaqui, is that what I think it is?” Alex asked, looking over her shoulder.
Jaqui chuckled as she tucked Ash's computer cord under her pillow. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” She turned, her own charging cord in hand, winked, and ran out of the room.
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