Hemingway didn’t completely believe in computers. They were so terribly newfangled and made his hands itch for the comfort of a pen. They made his ears twitch for the sound of a typewriter’s classic tat-a-tat-a-tat pattern. The only sound the computer’s keyboard made was a muffled taptaptaptap, which was not the same thing at all.
The computer was so complicated. So many menus. So many programs. And all he wanted was a simple blank page.
Yet, even he had to admit that there was something wondrously hypnotic about the words appearing on the screen without any hammers or ink. Voila! The words were there.
It was a bit like sorcery.
Yet, there was something insubstantial and effortless about the whole process that felt wrong to him. It felt like cheating the muse somehow. He couldn’t really explain how or why.
Hemingway picked up his tumbler of Scotch and took a sip. “Well. Enough musing.” He put his glass down and rubbed his hands together. “Time to get to work.”
He typed page after page, making careful notes in another document of what he needed to change when he did his second draft. His mind was on fire. His Scotch went down one sip at a time. He wrote fast and furious in both documents.
This will be the greatest thing I have ever written. I know it. I can feel it inside my finger bones.
I should probably stop and save it. But genius BURNS!
Then, for no real reason, his words came to a halt. He typed and typed and typed, but the words did not appear on the screen.
He frowned and poured some more Scotch into his glass.
Maybe if I wait it out.
The screen turned blue. A skull appeared in the middle of it. The skull laughed out loud “AHAHAHAHAHAHA! WELCOME TO THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. AHAHAHAHAHA! ALL OF YOUR DOCUMENTS BELONG TO ME! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
And the screen went black.
“No. Nonononono!” He tapped the keyboard.
He pressed the on button, held it for forty-five minutes, and released it.
He picked up the computer and shook it hard.
He set the computer down and backhanded it back and forth.
Something happened. The computer screen cracked and dislodged from the base.
He swore furiously at it.
The computer burst into flames.
He quickly pulled out a fire extinguisher from underneath his desk and put out the flames. “Pauline!”
His wife entered the room. “Yes, dear?”
He looked down at the fire extinguished computer. “Grab your purse. We need to go to Best Buy.”