Story part: Assembler

Written 2011
Exclusive to


She codes. She looks only at the screen. And codes.
The code is measured in lines, each beginning with white space, each ending in a semi-colon. Her friend Felix would look at them and say, you could have saved four bytes there. Her boss would see the quote from a line of his own code, and smile. His boss would watch the check-ins and grunt with satisfaction at the LOC count and lines to defect ratio.
The screen she looks at is blue shaded in the background, and white on the page she is looking at; even though there is no real page because this code is designed to be compiled, not published. The typeface is Courier New, long popular with coders (or more likely, just a given circumstance of her editor).


When she backed away far enough, you could see it was a perfect clod of dirt – studded with a million contexts (a bug’s hideout here, a recess where a stand of Clostridium tetani lie in wait to be injected into some mammal there).


She’s focused on coding, its art and its results; her bank account and investments; her house at the beach and her apartment in the City where she works. She’s no good at being with people; she does reading detective novels, her music (light rock of the 80s and 90s – amusement there) and quiet moments of sunset. She’s not here to get involved with anyone, or to have adventures.
But adventure comes seeking her the moment she becomes remotely interested in someone romantically. This has never happened to her before, but as they say, there’s a first time even for the most unlikely of us.
And with that romance, and the compromises it engenders, she is dragged against her will into her first real adventure since she was a kid.
She remembers when she was a kid, making up stories, taping them, until she discovered machines and their intelligence; she loves them, their orderliness, their challenges, the fun and bravado of doing it well, better than the boys.


Copyright © 2011 Bob Jude Ferrante