The Mini-burger

FanFic in the Birmoverse

Tastes Like Chicken -Samuel C.

Randy Green was getting off work at his job at Microsoft.

It was a great job, all things considered: after everything went crazy, the world’s biggest software company was still mostly intact, with no American competetion. The world still bought its software, and it had found a new niche as a government contractor. It was a hot ticket.

As usual, he walked back to his car along the northeast side of campus. It was getting dark, but he could see Joe now. Joe was a homeless derelict from who-knows-where that somehow managed to avoid Microsoft security. The guy was clearly schizophrenic, but Randy enjoyed having someone to talk to as he went back to his car. Lately he had begun feeling bad for the guy; before the Wave, he had been indifferent to the homeless, but the Wave, to its infinitesimally small credit, had given him a desire to help people. Today, Randy had brought Joe a nice chicken sandwich he had purchased at lunch.

“Hey Randy,” Joe called out.

“Joe, hello,” Randy answered. “How’s it going today?”

“Not bad. I had enough time to finish all my projects today.” Randy wasn’t sure if he was joking, if he really had had something to do, or if he was just out of it, as usual.

“What sorts of projects?”

“I was writing a letter to the President, but I couldn’t find a typewriter. I don’t think anyone has a typewriter. I looked everywhere.”

“Why did you want to write a letter to the President?”

“I wanted to tell him I know how the Wave happened. I need to tell him so he’ll get on the TV and tell everyone it’s ok. I know how it happened.”

“How did you find that out?” Randy asked, playing along for the hell of it.

“They told me,” Joe answered. “That first day, I looked at it, and they told me.”

He hears voices all the time, Randy thought. “Are you sure it wasn’t just all in your head?” he offered.

“I told you I heard them! So many voices. They told me they were sorry. The impact wasn’t supposed to happen that way.”

“Impact?” Randy began to get more interested.

“Like uh, a pumpkin floating through space. It got squashed when it hit us. It was traveling to another dimension, from another dimension.”

“You mean the Wave? What happened to the pumpkin seeds, then?” Randy asked, joking.

Joe looked through him a moment and answered cryptically, “They’re children, Randy. We’re all children.”

Randy was chilled. What could any of this mean? After a moment, though, he shook it off and was filled with compassion for the poor man. Not because of his madness, but because of everyone. Everyone needed to stick together these days, in the face of the far greater madness of the Wave. Aliens, time travelers, some obscene fluke in the universe-how could one person cope?

“Here’s a sandwich for you, Joe. I’ll see you tomorrow, ok?” Randy said, handing Joe the sandwich and patting him on the shoulder.

“Thanks…” he mumbled, “Say, is this dolphin-free?”

“It’s chicken, Joe.” Randy started to walk away. He could hear Joe mumbling to himself again, something about chicken farms on the beach. Something that made a lot more sense than the Wave, he admitted.

Randy Green: software engineer for Microsoft. Mid-thirties.
Joe: Homeless schizophrenic. Mid-fifties. Hangs around Microsoft campus a lot.
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3 April, 2009 - Posted by | Pepsi Challenges, Without Warning

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