Chapter 3 – Matt


The worst part of the red eye had not been the humiliating plea for a possible upgrade, which he failed to get, or the agonizing long wait before his luggage arrived at the belt. The true horror had been the dark, when the lights went out and the windows were darkened, when the massive body of guy sitting next to him bulged under the armrest and pushed him against the old lady sitting on his other side. He had fled to the bathroom and spent the major part of the red-eye there. It was small as a coffin but at least the glaring light kept him breathing. Matt looked up from his hands and dropped the toothpick with which he had been scraping the dirt from under his nails. He wriggled free from the plastic upholstery of the bench that stuck to his back and took his laptop from his backpack.

Today’s top story was Victoria’s. She carried the title Queen of Wastebook with pride.


Victoria Walter

Was googled 170,141,183,460,469,231,731,687,303,715,

884,105,728 times today 🙂


Grant Tarpin

hehe… now you have to add 1 more! What can I say – I’m trying not to work so I googled you. 😉


Dallas Bard 

it’s more impressive a figure in binary, ms Walter!


















Matt logged off and logged back in using his own profile. V was online and that usually called for lots of comments. Comments that would serve him well. He keyed in his made-up travel information and V’s reply came within seconds.


Matt Turing

AMS -> KEF -> BOS -> SFO. 😦


Victoria Walter

Stop whining, Turing. You are one lucky dog working for Giddyap and your life is about to improve on so many levels, I can’t even start counting.


Matt Turing

That’s only up to Dallas, V! Only up to the Messias of Algorithms.


Victoria was right, even if she had no idea to what extent. Soon life would improve. He watched the list with comments grow until he caught sight of his suitcase and duffel bag on the luggage belt. He logged off, stuffed his laptop in his pack and leapt up. He snatched the case and bag from the belt and took off. Not long now, before he could scrape off the film of sweat and grease and dirt that had him zip-locked and made it prevented his skin from breathing. Not long now too, before he could try and rub out the memory of earth settling into the folds of his skin that paralyzed him every hour of the day and night, and that sickened him whenever he even tried to close his eyes.

Matt slipped the handles of the bag over the pull handle of the suitcase and tried to ignore how his shirt stuck to his back. He brushed past a family, toppling over a stroller. The child shrieked, as did his mother.

Matt shrugged and sped to the one free customs desk, but the very moment he handed in the customs form, he realized that the man behind the desk had seen what he had done and, more important, that the guy wasn’t amused.

“Fuck no,” Matt muttered.

And that too proved to be a mistake.


digital data flow through optical wire