Tell us about the time you dropped the soap!
To look up from my computer desk to see an almost black figure standing at the crack of the skinny, ash-gray, and only door that grants easy entrance to my apartment was a little startling. Not scary or freakish, as this was somebody I had been expecting for a few hours now, but startling- the yelp was just at the back of my throat when I remembered that this was business. Important business at that, and I wasn't about to let a payment of two-hundred dollars run away from me, just because I had screamed upon the customers arrival.
In my date, $200 is enough to pay my rent for 3 months exact. Money has decreased in value and things have gotten cheaper as of 2199. It very well should be much different, where money decreases in value and prices shoot up. Trust me though, it's nothing to complain or feel pleased about; America had just been getting shittier and shittier as democrats continued to win elections. We can definitely get to that later of course, or not get to it all...
"Do you have the disc?"
"Drive is the word you're looking for." I replied casually, and more importantly, correctly.
"Whatever, wise-guy. Do you have the drive?" My customer let the word 'drive' slide off of his tongue with a hint of sarcasm.
"Why, yes, Camden! I do in fact have the drive!"
Standing up with an amused expression, my eyebrows raised in a ridiculously ecstatic look, I walked over to this young man named Camden. He was much taller than I was, so I always had to look up in order to meet his dull, brown eyes. Camden had the look of an athlete; choppy platinum blonde hair, muscular figure, and the whitest teeth you'd ever seen. It was all a bit much to take in, which was something he obviously noticed, as he toned himself down with plain clothing.
I had met him a few days ago at an organized event run by the 'government'. We actually met in an alley next to the organization, but it's close enough. The meeting was entirely random, though very convenient for the both of us. See, I needed money, and Camden wanted to buy my product.
Illegal? Dutifully, reader.
I run a one-man business that makes me good money, and I what I sell attracts buyers (hence making good money); no matter what law may be made, I will never shut down, I do what I love for a living and I meet people whom I share a common interest with every day.
Now, I know what you're thinking- drugs. Drugs are a very good guess, and it would have been correct about four years ago when I was seventeen. I had no job, and as much scavenging as I did, I could find no hiring positions. I made the choice for the sake of survival, and so I welcomed heroin-addicts, meth-misters, and joint-smokers with open arms. Sharp needles, clean paper, skin cover-up, mouthwash, seeds, bongs...I had it all.
Back to the present.
Motioning for Camden to stand put and wait, I strode over to a small, tan, wooden shelf that I had put a few heft books on. Behind those books was a burgundy stash-box that matched absolutely nothing in the room. And yet, behind that box, was a safe installed into the wall. It wouldn't be noticeable if there wasn't a thimble shaped lock sticking out of it.
That safe had been half the reason I'd bought the apartment; that, and for the low rent and for the seemingly non-existent people that lived upstairs. It's as if they were felines, jumping from drape to drape without a sound to hear.
I took a volume from the shelf and drifted over to another area of my apartment; the one and only window, which I had adorned with an obsidian paperweight. Not unlike most things in my adobe, there was more to this item than meets the eye.
Having created the weight myself, I installed a diminutive surveillance camera inside that was for both security and personal-paranoia reasons. I pressed a button that would begin a recording without attention from Camden, which was incredibly generous of him on his part. Usually, I would find my nosier customers watching my every move with a jealous type of intent.
They were dealt with accordingly, and on those days I would, unfortunately, not make a sale on any number of my drives. I would be paid, however, I'm still not sure if driving out of town into a dangerous area (where it'd be easy to dispose of my customer), was worth the money.
"Come on, Frank, I don't have very long..."
I put the weight back and turned to Camden, who was now tapping the toe of his Adidas shoe impatiently against the light-brown carpet. The flooring was quite plush, so the tapping wasn't giving its desired effect.
"You have all the time in the world, and we both know that."
I raised my eyebrows.
"You have more time than I do either way."
I rolled my eyes and turned away, moving slowly to the walk-in closet I had at the foot of my futon couch that I called a bed. Opening the slide-door, I gestured Camden inside with a smile.
"You have a funny way of selling things." Camden remarked, scrunching his nose as if he smelled a foul odour emitting from the closet, and was hesitant to walk in; there may be a decaying apple in there, but he seemed like he had spotted a dead crow on a shelf inside.
"I sell things anyway, we can agree on that."
"Righto." Camden stepped inside as I slid the door shut behind him.
"Don't think of doing anything funny."
"Wasn't planning on it- your wardrobe attire is questionable."
I heard him laugh quietly, and found myself laughing too.
I dropped the book onto my bed and scampered back over to the safe, this time with purpose. Moving aside the remaining books and pointless box, I pressed down on the lock and turned it this way and that, opening the safe after a good minute that was full of number combinations.
Stashed and packed into the vault was a count of 340 drives that were to be used on a computer game titled 'Grieve' (which I'll explain later). The safe could hold up to 531 drives, which I discovered on a roasting summer day that had included an air-conditioner, ice, lying on the floor naked, and much needed sleeping.
I since then had sold 191 of my stock, meaning I had made $38,200 (23709 British Pound Sterling). Thanks to that money, I've been able to assure my stay in my current residence, and I had a little extra spending money.
Taking one of the black, palm-sized drives from its fellow companions, I held it carefully in one hand while shutting the safe with the other. I again walked over to the closet (after covering the shelf with the decoy props), and opened the door.
Camden stepped out eagerly, which I found to be rather rude- it couldn't smell that terrible.
"Here." he said, eyeing the drive, and handed me my payment. I went over the cash, fanning it out to see that I had gotten the proper amount.
There was actually an extra three-hundred dollars (186 British Pound Sterling), which I handed back to Camden along with the drive.
"You've given me too much." I informed him.
"And so I did." Camden frowned a little as he spoke, but I saw something that was clearly not foolishness or embarrassment in his eyes,
I wasn't very sure about what I saw, and it obviously wasn't very important to me for I forgot about it the moment I shut the front door behind him with a "thank you" and the standard "tell your friends about me!".
Securing the single door with a series of a dozen locks that were all different, with some complicated and others not, I went to relax on the edge of my bed.
Falling back on the thin sheets, I discovered that my back had and was aching; I was used to sitting for long periods, not standing and walking around. The last time I had even left my house was two weeks ago on my annual hour visit to the black market 3 hours drive away.
I made the trip only once a month, mostly for the time it consumed. I also didn't anyone becoming suspicious of me; out of town visits were uncommon where I lived, especially coming from me.
At this black market, they sold everything common to you today; hair dye, drugs, music CD's, video games, piercings, tattoos, artwork, the list goes on. They sold the same things as the mega-mart in the city , but the products here were unfiltered and much cheaper here than in-town.
If I recall anything from my last trip, it was that I'd bought several articles of clothing, all of which were plain black or bright, clashing colours, and two hair dyes; jet black and a violent neon green.
I rather liked the look my new hair had given me. The solid black base was raped with flashes of the neon streaks, and it looked much more eventful on my feathered short hair that tended to stick out in stylish tufts. Not to mention the skinny silver lip-ring I'd treated myself to as well; the look to me was both desirable and rebellious, or either on-the-brink-of-cybergoth and exciting- I can't really tell.
But, about that game 'Grieve'...
Basically, it came out two years ago under a company named "Fortlucy Productions". Grieve is a simulated game in which your choice of actions affects the course of the story, making each play different. You either succeed or fail miserably.
The reason I had taken such a quick liking to the game was for its plot (as written from the back of the game case);
"In an unpredictable world that is torn by an atomic war, you play as an undefeated gaming champion. Your game is 'Professional Griefers', in which you control a gigantic robotic mouse in a fight against your opponents mouse. One fight event, you lose to a noob, and you become completely devastated.
Traveling the world, you seek revenge from the newbie who has destroyed your career and confidence.
In between quests and objectives, you can fiddle around with other things, such as the war or a mafia family."
This game simply began to take up my life, and I was fine with that. After a few months of relentless gaming, I began to copy what I knew about the game (such as cheats, glitches, and shortcuts) onto small computer files, and eventually onto hardware drives. This act was considered criminal, according to an old law:
Ordain 34, Stance 12 of 34754: If you are to assemble your own personal knowledge and are to distribute it among the general public, you will be fined with a total $2400, and may face up to 15 years in state prison. Severity is not taken account for in terms of your fine.
I don't know about you, but fifteen years lived with madmen and murderesses isn't something I'd like to tell my grandchildren about as a bedtime story.
"Tell us about the time you dropped the soap!"
Oh, but I'd rather not get involved.