Sunday Snippet, Flash Fiction, Hanging Chad by Bill Chance

“I think computer viruses should count as life … I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.”
― Stephen Hawking

Frisco, Texas

Hanging Chad

One of the tasks that Craig was assigned while he was back in his hometown for his father’s funeral was to “clean out” the old man’s computer – make sure there wasn’t anything important there. Before they threw it in the trash (although the ancient thing had cost a fortune new – it was beyond useless now).

The work was easy, nothing was password protected. Craig gave the digital collection a cursory once-over – it was obvious from the start there was nothing there that would be of any use or interest to anyone other than the now-forever-absent father.

Still, curiosity had him opening a few files, mostly plain text, just to see.

One small file was labeled mysearchterms.txt and was twenty years old.

It said:

Hanging Chad
Tura Satana
Monkey’s Paw
Power Washer
Leonid Shower
Apple Pectin
Bilbo Baggins
Power Forward
Daily Inventory
Letter of Intent
Echinacea and Goldenseal
Temperature Sensitive
Disodium Inosinate
Glycol Ethers
Alanna Urbach
Parker Posey
Anchovy Paste
New Yorker
Thyroid Diary
Corkscrew Willow
Bonded Filling
Alberti Bass
Oxford Comma
Reverse Calenture
Marfa Lights
Rigid PVC