17 August, 2012

Flash Fiction: Friday Night Frustrations

           Andy walked into Mark’s apartment as a waterlogged fisherman who caught a school of disappointment. Mark paused his game of bus simulator still on the first level.
           “Did you find it,” He asked, taking a sip of his green tea.
            Andy sighed, “The rental store’s been gone for years now.”
           “Yeah,” Mark agreed, grinning. “But what about that Redbox?”

            Something clicked inside Andy’s brain and the door slammed behind him. Mark shrugged and returned to his game where he navigated through intersections. Every bus stop had Mark biting his lower lip, sweating.

            He muttered to himself, “C’mon. C’mon.”

            All he had to do was brake and turn precisely in short taps and flicks. Then victory would be achieved with his passengers disembarking for the mall. It was just within his reach and…

            “Found it,” Andy said.

            Mark jumped in shock, his game docking him some points for slamming into the bus stop.  He got up and walked towards Andy in a stride of stomping.

            “What was that for,” He asked, snatching the DVD case from Andy. “I almost had it.”

            “What do you mean almost,” Andy said, pointing at the case. “You have it now, thief.”

            Mark growled and gestured Andy to follow. They sat at the sofa where the TV screen blinked, “Game Over”.

            Mark lifted his palm towards the screen, “You do not know how frustrating it is to drive a bus. Took me about 15 tries before now just to get near the end of the level! Had to break out the instruction manual just to get the hang of driving it and now you ruined everything!”

            Andy looked at the screen, baffled. He could not understand the importance of the video game that made Mark sulk from reality into the television.

            “Does George Clooney drive buses now,” He asked.

            Mark just shrugged back to reality, “Maybe People magazine knows something about it.”

            He continued on into the kitchen and took out the lasagna from the oven. They ate and discussed Andy’s discovery of online shopping and the countless speedo swimsuits he ordered. He then took out the Redbox’s latest bounty, battered and bruised from the laptop bag.

            “Great thing about my laptop,” Andy said, booting it up. “Takes on DVDs and plays them.”

            Mark exhaled in relief. This time he would be able to see Ocean’s Eleven in its full glory. Even when Andy inserted the DVD into the optical disk drive, Mark was starring at the computer screen ready for the movie to begin.

            “It’s a shame about the graphics card,” Andy said.

            Mark jerked his head from the monitor, “Huh?”

            “I mean, it can do YouTube and play high-res games,” Andy said. “But it has this strange…thing going on.”

            Mark frowned. The same situation with his TV played through his mind on repeat. He took out a frying pan, and prepared his throwing hand.

            “Relax, Mark,” Andy shouted. “It can read the disc, but…ah! There’s the problem!”

            They spent the rest of the evening watching Oceans Eleven with the Rat Pack in all their glory. Andy spent the following morning calling the computer shop trying to find a specialist in optical temporal disk drives.
For Flash Fiction Project prompt #44.

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