Michael stared at the result of the short story competition, working up a violent, impotent rage. He wanted to kill someone, needed to set a crucial example. He could punch his laptop or chew his modem–those actions were perfect expressions of the purest rage–but their poison would harm him and him only. He had not won the competition, had not even appeared on the final ten list. Did he suck that bad? Had all his effort been for nil? He couldn’t take that. For goodness sake, the blood of the nation’s second Nobel laureate, Ben Chude, pulsed through him. How could he not win?
As if to confirm his genealogy, he shot out of the chair and glared at the photo hanging on the wall over his bed. It was a copy of the original, of his father, dwarfish and bald, in a black French suit, holding a copy of the book that had brought him the prize–To Kill an Iroko–and addressing the audience, who were listening with rapt attention. To make matters worse, his dad had told him about the competition, understanding the yearning of his son to be a writer too. How could he not have won? he asked himself. He glared with such hostility at the picture that it could have gone up in flame of bright orange.
A knock sounded at the door. It was his mom calling him downstairs for supper. At the mention of food–he was sure it was his favourite, fufu and egusi soup–his stomach grumbled, as if telling his mother that he would be down, give him a minute. Michael remembered how he had suffered long bouts of hunger in order to set the story right, how he had worked hard for weeks on his grammar, punctuation and cohesion. He remembered his effort, all wasted now, and wanted to bawl.
With a glance at the door to make sure it was still locked, he returned to his chair. His plan was simple, really simple. There was a chest of three drawers in his desk. He pulled out the middle one. From it he took out a green CD case, snapped it open and slid out the disc. He tossed the case on the desk. Then glancing furtively at his window to make sure it was locked and curtained, he slotted the disc into his laptop’s DVD ROM, and waited for it to load.
The disc contained his revenge: a deadly computer virus that his geek friends had cracked and downloaded. They called it Green, although its technical name was amoeba. What it did was, like a plant, reach deep into the hard drive of whatever system it was sent to and rig the lighting of the monitor in a way that the computer monitor emitted covert strobic pulses into the user’s eyes, setting off a signal in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing the user to suffer a seizure, whether prone or not. It could kill, but Michael’s ultimate aim was to torture. A seizure was not a thing an enemy wished on a friend, heeheehee.
Michael uploaded the virus to the website, which he first hacked into. Anybody who hit the website would automatically trigger the virus and, hopefully, feel the power of Michael’s authorship…