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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hacker or Virus (computer) (12/15/11)

TITLE: My Name Is Andrew
By Leola Ogle


“Hey, Jonathan! Jonathan Martin! Wait up!”

Andrew turned and squinted at the young man sprinting towards him, his hand raised in salute.

“It’s me, Michael.” The young man extended his hand, his smile slowly fading as he studied the look of irritation on Andrew’s face. “Michael – from Beaumont High. We went to school together all four years there. Surely you remember me.”

Andrew frowned. “My name is Andrew – Andrew Tate.”

Michael shifted his stance and stared in disbelief. “Seriously? Is this a joke, Jonathan? We played on the same football and baseball teams for two years. And you turned when I called your name.”

Andrew clenched his teeth and turned to walk away. “You’re mistaken!” His voice was firm and unyielding, squashing all further conversation.

“But….” Michael’s voice faded. He shrugged, continuing to stare at the back of the man he knew as Jonathan until he disappeared around a corner of a building.

Andrew waited a few minutes, then peaked around the corner, dismayed to see Michael still standing there. He gave a heavy sigh before walking on.

When he got to his apartment complex he glanced over his shoulder, fearful that he might have been followed. “Hey, Andrew,” his neighbor called out. Andrew gave a half wave before hurrying into his apartment.

He was no longer Jonathan Martin. It had been two years since he had assumed the identity of Andrew Tate. He still marveled at how easy it had been.

He needed a way out. His life had been so messed up. He had warrants out for back child support, for speeding and other traffic violations, he was being hunted by a loan shark that he owed money, he had gambling debts, and had been involved in a drug bust and barely escaped being captured by the police.

He was on the run and hiding out when something on the news caught his attention. It was a story of a young man named Andrew Tate who had been involved in a serious car accident, leaving him in a vegetative state. Jonathan used his computer skills to hack into Andrew’s accounts – bank accounts, facebook, email, and several other accounts. Between that and all the information about his accident, Jonathan soon had date of birth, social security number, address, schools attended, parents names – everything he needed to take over Andrew’s identity.

It was almost too easy to get copies or replacements of all the necessary documents. He moved to a suburb outside of New York City. Now everyone knew him as Andrew Tate. He was Andrew Tate.

He had really intended to stay out of trouble, but he soon put his skills to use hacking into accounts, making fake ID’s, stealing credit cards and bank account information, and anything else people were willing to pay him to do. He reasoned that it must be a special gift, this talent, this ability of his. Why not use it?

This Michael, though – that might create a problem, being recognized. He might have to move. He’d really hate if that happened, he had a good thing going here.

He grabbed a beer from the fridge. Taking a long drink, he rubbed his lips with the back of his hand. He paced nervously back and forth and then went to the window, peering through a slit in the blinds. His heart stopped. The police were out front talking to his neighbor, the one that had called out to him earlier.

Had he been found? Maybe it had nothing to do with him, but he couldn’t take a chance. He hurriedly packed a duffel bag, grabbed his stash of money, and his laptop. He peered through the window once more and saw that another police car had arrived.

He slipped out the back door, made it to his car and sped off. He kept glancing in his rear view mirror until he was safely out of town. He’d have to get a new identity, and get established in another city. Not a problem. He had skills; he had talent. It was a gift.

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This article has been read 411 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Amanda Brogan12/29/11
Great job with portraying the crazy life of a hacker. It's sad that they feel the need to live a lie.

The title is perfect! It encompasses the essence of the story very nicely.
C D Swanson 12/29/11
Clearly a fantastic job with your depiction of a "Hacker's life"- and the portrayal of his personality. He didn't care that he almost was caught-for he was going to merely snatch another identity in a different town. Poof! - Nicely done. I liked this. God Bless~
annie keys12/29/11
This would make a good series; beef the story up with adventures and such and always end with being recognized and moving on. Cute idea---I'd read more of the missadventures if you carried it on.
James Brown12/29/11
I enjoyed your story and take on the topic. You have a good flow from start to finish and bring it to a successful conclusion.

Remember that spell checker's aren't perfect. It should be - he peeked around the corner - not peaked.

You do a great job telling the story, but you'd have a greater draw if you showed more and replaced weak adverbs with strong, active verbs.

Over all, you've got a great story.
Allison Egley 12/30/11
Oh wow. Very creative.

This seemed like it was a bit unfinished. It seems like it could have gone on longer, but I think word count may have gotten to you. I was kind of hoping for just a glimmer of hope for the MC, and was a bit disappointing when I didn't find it.

Nice job with this.
Helen Curtis12/30/11
What a sad tale. I really felt for the MC, poor choices he made that just kept giving birth to more poor choices, eventually robbing him of his life, so to speak. Well written and fast paced, I did enjoy this. Well done.
Jenna Dawn12/30/11
This was an entertaining read. It flowed well and held my interest, maybe more than any other story I've read on this topic so far. I liked the intrigue and mystery you created around Andrew. The ending was a little surprising. Not what I expected, which is good.

I agree with the comment about using less adverbs. You have nine "ly" adverbs, many of which could be changed to make the writing stronger.

Instead of "He had really intended to stay out of trouble" you could say "He had resolved to stay out of trouble". (The verb "resolved" makes this a stronger sentence.)

In the sentence "He paced nervously back and forth and then went to the window" . . . you don't really even need the word "nervously". The fact that he is pacing indicates he is nervous without spelling it out to the reader. You can intensify his feelings of nervousness if you'd like by coming up with another action like biting his lip or drumming his fingers, etc.

Instead of "He hurriedly packed a duffel bag, grabbed his stash of money, and his laptop." . . . show that he was in a hurry with strong action words. "He snatched up a duffel bag and began shoving things in it."

Your dialogue was believable. I'd keep the "Seriously" adverb. ;) I use that word a lot.

This was one of my favorite stories. I'm sure it will score well. Great job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/04/12
Oohh I love a good suspense story. You did a wonderful job building up the conflict. I also enjoyed his reasoning that he had a gift. What a great message- it is up to us to use our gifts for good or for evil.
Edmond Ng 01/04/12
Excellent plot! This story deserves further expansion to a fiction novel. Well done!
C D Swanson 01/05/12
Congratulations Leola.
God Bless~
Amanda Brogan01/05/12
Congrats on placing! Andrew will be pleased. ;)