April252012

Short Shot: Staring Out to Sea

You stared out at the ocean for ages, trying to figure out just how bad of an idea it would be to start swimming until you reached somewhere.  Anywhere that wasn’t here.

First you needed a measurement for “bad”, so you settled on “probability of death”.  That was the easy enough.

It was a lot harder to come up with a way to measure that, though.  You were in pretty good shape, so it would take a while for exhaustion to do you in, but the lack of food and fresh water would catch up with you pretty quickly.

How long could you go without food?  How far away was the closest unsubmerged landmass, for that matter?  Wistful thinking aside, there was no way you’d make it to Roxy, say, or the island where Jake lived so many years ago.  And even if you could make it, the carapaces would probably shoot you on sight, and it’s not like Jake would be on his island in this day and age.

You flicked your gaze to the top corner of your shades for a moment.  Jake still wasn’t online.  Back to the ocean.

Where were you?  Oh, distance.  You supposed you could ask AR to check into satellite data.  As soon as you opened up a chat window, he sent you a message.  You wondered if he knows you a little too well, even if he is you, by some definitions.

TT: Far enough, bro.

TT: And exactly how far would that be?

TT: Too far.  Do you really need me to make up some off its rocker metaphor for how crazy high this number’s set itself up to be?

TT: There’s no need to start talking back.  I simply requested a piece of data that you should have no problem obtaining.

TT: …
TT: I know what you’re trying to calculate, all right?
TT: I’m not stupid, any more than you’re stupid.

TT: Oh?  Then what’s the answer?

TT: Don’t do this.

TT: I’m just requesting that you perform a calculation.  As a mechanical entity, that’s right up your skill set, is it not?

TT: Are you seriously going to be like this?
TT: Fine.  The probability is .97, okay?  It’s 97% certain that you would die in the attempt.

You closed the chat window.

For a while you listened to the water lapping at the base of your building’s frame.

3/97.

On a day like this, that sounded like pretty good odds.

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You know how artists do 20 minute speed sketches for practice?  This was an attempt at doing that with words.

Inspiration was from a picture on Dodostad’s tumblr: http://dodostad.tumblr.com/post/21673219202/so-maybe-sometimes-dirk-gets-a-big-blanket-and

And the song Friend of the Night by Mogwai.

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