FFM 2020 31: Infuriating Computer

No prompt used.

The challenge: Incorporate a real-world event from your personal life from the last 3 days, including today (that is, after July 28th), the story must be magical realism and the story must include three callbacks to previous stories written this month.

My choices of event is from yesterday, when I had to force my laptop to shut down twice during the same day because some relatively recent update to Ubuntu 18.04 has made it have “disconnect from keyboard and touchpad, fuck up playing videos, freeze occasionally and refuse to shut down normally” episodes at least once a day. I did some work and wrote this story on Windows so that an episode like that wouldn’t interrupt me, as Windows only tends to do that while select programs, mostly just games, are on.

I’m not happy about that.

As for the callbacks, I decided to refer to my own stories from this year, in this order:

Gary pressed his laptop’s power button down for the umpteenth time that month. This was the second time the darn thing was acting up today, and he was starting to get frustrated. He needed to get his work done and the stupid thing was not helping at all.

It was even more infuriating than the constant news about Windows 10 updates breaking yet another thing over and over and over again. If only he could afford a new laptop to replace the old one…

Or “if only his sister, Kelly, could use her magic to do something about it”. Actually, he had asked her about it as a joke, but she had told that she could raise the dead — among other things — but not fix computers more hellbent on ruining their users’ days than greedy, warlike aliens ravaging inhabited planets, leaving countless refugees at their wake, or humanity blowing up mechs that are trying to kill them into extinction.

Maybe he should stop reading such apocalyptic stories on his computer. For all he knew, they could frighten the poor thing and be causing its episodes.

Gary chuckled to himself as the laptop booted up. What nonsense. This one’s is just a combination of crappy components and even crappier software. It doesn’t think. There’s no way I’d ever be able to afford a sentient, magic-imbued computer like the one Kelly says her teacher has. And even if I did, it could tell fact from fiction for sure and not get an episode over what I read, not even the raunchy or gory stuff.

Had he not needed to get his work done in time, he might have sidetracked to reading something. However, he could not afford that; the bastard who was currently paying his salary had hidden some crappy extra conditions into his contract in such fine print that he had missed it. He would have to have his reading break later.

Holding onto that hope, Gary logged back in and resumed his work.

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