Defragmented Kernel, Rebooted Panic

The first thing that came to Jasper's mind was that he never felt that much pain in his entire life. Of course, he never did have the chance to get his skin pieced by the sharper end of a kitchen knife before, tearing the skin on his tanned chest, puncturing his lungs and blotting his green shirt with blood.

For most people, the first thing that will enter their minds when in Jasper's situation is a highly common expression of "Oh My God! I've just been stabbed!" But Jasper, being who he was, didn't give this thought a chance. It wouldn't be what he first thought of, nor would it be the second thing in his mind. On the contrary, it wouldn't appear at all. Because the only thing that entered his mind before the immense pain finally shut him down into unconsciousness was how it sucked to have his favorite shirt drenched in blood.

Of course this was highly unusual for Jasper; he often said that the brown graphic tee he bought for Christmas three years ago was his actual favorite shirt. But it didn't matter at that moment. Because in ten minutes or less, if the luck of someone finding him sprawled on his chest and bathing in his own blood on his kitchen floor wasn't there at all, Jasper Stuart will be dead.

The events that led to this uncomfortable scenario in Jasper's life wasn't at all that exciting. In fact, the day had been fairly routine.

He woke up exactly seven-thirty that Saturday morning and after finishing up the morning rituals common to all males around the world, he walked to the kitchen of his two-bedroom flat and tried to shake the sleep from his body by jumping around a little before turning on the coffee machine. He then went to his front door to get the paper, always delivered at around six in the morning, picked it and went back to the kitchen, where the smell of brewed coffee starting to infuse the room woke him up even more.

He sat on the stool by the counter and then scanned the broadsheet, looking for something to pique his interest. Like any other day, the news was too bland too gain his readership, so he threw the paper across the counter and into the living room, where it landed on the growing pile of dailies beside the couch. He took out the black mug for his morning poison and filled it a little under the brim with a regular house brew from the coffee shop down the block. As he walked towards the living room, he took his first sip of the hot coffee that practically banished all sleep left in his body. He pulled the blinds up from the large window that sported an ugly view of other windows and plopped himself unto the couch. He placed the now half finished mug of coffee by the table in his front and being satisfied with the start of his regular Saturday, he smiled..

Highly routine it was. This was how you'd expect every one of Jasper's Saturday mornings since he settle in his flat three years ago.

If there was anything that wasn't like any other day, it might have been the sudden muffled noise that Jasper heard, a sound that was a cross between a phone ringing inside a feather pillow and a phone ringing inside a stuffed bear--both of which sounded pretty similar, with the difference of the phone within a stuffed bear sounding a little more sinister. Jasper's question of where he could have possibly placed his cellular phone was suddenly interrupted a wild vibration just below the crack of his ass, startling him a bit before he reached to his back and grabbed the now dated Nokia model he kept for the sake of saving a few quarters. The few quarters he saved could now be used to repair the vibrating device inside the old crap of a phone because the vibration lagged behind a few seconds from the actual ringtone. Not that it mattered, of course.

The difference of this particular Saturday from any of Jasper's others could also be his decision to not turn off the phone and stuff it inside his bag. Instead, he looked at it and tried to figure out who could own that number that was flashing on it's tiny colored screen. It wasn't stored in his phone book.  And although he hated taking calls from people not stored in his phone book, Jasper quickly quited the tiny voice in his head that told him to dismiss the call and keep the time honored activity of hoarding the whole saturday to himself when he pressed the answer button on the keypad and steadied the device to his ear.



The deep tone that called out his name pinged a memory inside Jasper's head, but it too early in the morning to get a defragmented picture. "Yeah.. Who's this?"

"Hey! It's Thomas."

For a split second, it was as if a ten-wheeler truck suddenly crashed into Jasper's living room, sending him into a state of shock as images of his whole life flashed before his eyes.

If only it was really his whole life passing through his eyes.

Unfortunately for Jasper, who momentarily lost his ability to create a coherent sentence as a glaze of tears seared his eyes, the memory that entered in his mind was the one memory he tried to place in the recycle bin of his mind.

Because three years, five months and sixteen days ago, Thomas Williams entered Jasper's office, crashed his computer and rebooted his life.

The End

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