Books: An Abridged Existence (excerpt)

He finds some rather thick safety goggles and puts them on his head. Charges up his drill, and starts work on the device, which he has named X6-g, and is commonly referred to as “the box.” He raises the drill, and prepares to operate on the box, and finally finishes the last few connections, when the phone rings.

He hastily switches off the drill, and sets it down while running to the phone behind a large concrete shield wall in the lab.

“What?” Carl barks into the phone, angered at having been interrupted while nearly starting work on the box.

“Hey, Carl, remember me? It’s Sid,” the voice says.

“Hey, what’s up?” Carl asks, his tone is much more civil, hearing that the caller is not a telemarketer.

“Not much, except for my apartment, in smoke. You?” Sid nonchalantly answers.

“Pretty good, pretty good. Did you just say your apartment burned down?” Carl responds, at first not digesting that Sid has just said his home burnt down.

“Yep, completely destroyed.”

“That’s terrible, I suppose you’ll be needing a place to stay?” Carl replies.

“Yeah, I was wondering if it wouldn’t be too much if I could stay with you for a little bit? Just for a few nights or so, until I can find somewhere else?” Sid answers calmly.

“Well, seeing as how were little more than strangers, why not. I can give you a ride here, where are you at?” Carl does have shady intentions, however, Sid is unaware, and is kept in the dark regarding why Carl is really offering him a place to stay for a little while.

“That’d be great,” is Sid’s unaware response. He also tells Carl where to pick him up at.

“Alright, I’ll be there in about half an hour. See you then,” concludes Carl.


Carl hangs up the phone, and starts looking for his keys. They hang neatly on a peg in the wall. Throwing a tarp over “the box,” Carl walks outside and locks the door to his laboratory, which is really just an oversized garage in the outskirts of the city. Hopping in his car, he drives away to the rendezvous point.

Carl soon arrives at the restaurant, and Sid is waiting outside for him on the curb. “Hop on in,” Carl says with a smirk. Hopefully this Sid character can turn out to be a friend. It has been a while since Carl has actually had much of any human contact for a while. All of his old friends have turned out to be boring twits, and he has decided to distance himself from them, lest he become contaminated by their stupidity.

Sid climbs in the car with a nod, “Thanks.”