Fiction: Numbers (529 words)

18 Jan

“Rodney!” Emma sprinted down the hallway, sliding on the tiled floors with her socks. “Rodney, Rodney, Rodney!” She repeated, slipping just a little past his door in her excitement, and having to back track a bit.  She had the biggest grin on her face as she came to a stop outside his room and started knocking repeatedly, loud heavy blows on the wood.

When Rodney finally opened the door, he was in pajama pants, a tank top, and all the hair on the left side of his head was standing on end. “What? Good lord, what on God’s green earth could cause you to make such a racket?”

“I’ve figured it out.”  Emma said simply.

There was a beat while that sunk in and pushed through Rodney’s half asleep brain. At first, he just blinked at her like she was crazy.   But then, slowly, a grin spread across his face, bright and ear to ear.  “You got it? You figured it out? You’re sure?” Emma nodded so hard she made herself a little bit dizzy. Rodney stepped out into the hall, not bothering to get proper clothes or even a pair of shoes.  “What are we waiting for, Em—lead the way.”

Watching the security tapes later, you would never imagine they were about to change the world as we know it. They made quite a pair.  They sat in an official government lab, her in an old hooded sweatshirt, a pair of blue jeans, and socks, but no shoes, her hair a mess and the distinct wide eyed look of a woman who hadn’t had a proper night’s sleep in a while.  He was still in pajama pants, tank top, and his hair sticking up at all kinds of odd angles. They stood silently in front of a fleet of white boards, occasionally pointing at something while the other nodded, or stepping forward to write string of an equation in a perfectly straight line. For four and a half hours, they didn’t say a word, just analyzed those boards and wrote out strings of letters and numbers that would take years of schooling to even come close to being able to understand.

Finally, around day break, they both sat down at one of the little tables to the side of the lab, markers finally capped. He was breathing heavily, panting almost like he’d just run a mile rather than standing still for several hours. She kept smiling even as she laid her head down on the flat surface in front of her. When the Colonel finally came in for his usual check on them around 9am, they were still sitting there.

The Colonel looked up at the boards, about to make one of his usual jokes—about how it always seemed like they were doodling instead of working—but Rodney held up a hand to stop him.  “It’s ready,” he laughed, almost like he couldn’t believe it, “It’s ready. It’s time for us to take it to trials.”

After confirming three times that Rodney was sure, The Colonel turned on his heel and left the room. So much was done, and still there was so much to do.

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Posted by on January 18, 2017 in Stories


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