Good Morning Ted and Jody:
After much winter (rain). The clouds decided to shift to a new wardrobe yesterday. Since they were on the runway, I got out my trusty Brownie and took a few photos of them. It not quite so promising this morning, but then, it isn’t raining either.
For some time, yesterday, I had a bit of trouble getting up the old enthusiasm for writing the next episode in the Agent Amanda story. You will have noticed that the story has focused on the protagonist for five (six counting today) of the first six (seven counting today) episodes. I got to wondering if that is too much exposure all at once. Maybe that was responsible for my enthusiasm deficit. Perhaps, I should have interspersed scenes with the protagonist with other characters like I did in Amanda7. As I say, I don’t know. I would love to know from the reader’s perspective? At this point she is the central figure in the next three or four segments before we get back to anything like the present. As you may recall, time travel is a strange way to go. In any event the 7th episode is appended after all the photographs of clouds from yesterday.
I hope this finds you in good health (at our age, that usually means breathing), happy, and warm.
Warmest regards, Ed
008 Alice Reads Obituaries
Fiction in 446 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
Alice Beaverton awoke to the sounds of surf. She stretched her arms while still in bed and smiled. ‘Now, if I can sleep without any background noise, I will finally be free of that place.’ she thought. “Computer did I successfully complete the sleep module for the fifth course required prior to receiving an ATI implant?” she asked.
The screen in her cubical came to life and the computer replied, “Yes, you successfully completed the sleep module for the fifth course required prior to receiving an ATI implant. Did you want the surf soundtrack to continue?”
Alice said, “No, computer you can turn off the surf soundtrack.”
Alice busied herself with her morning prep for the day. ‘I really am a creature of habit,’ she though. Pulling her clothe out of the freshener after her shower, she shook her head at the old dress. ‘If I went anyplace that anyone knew me, I might be embarrassed; but, I’m not, so tough it out old girl.’ She finished dressing and said, “Computer give me a list of Asian female infant death notices in the Chicago, Illinois, United Sates of America for 1978 to 1982.”
The computer replied, “There were 107 Asian, female infant deaths in Chicago, Illinois, United States of America for the period requested.”
“Computer, list them in the order of oldest to youngest and show me the obituary for the oldest one” asked Alice.
“The oldest one is on the screen now,” said the computer.
She began reading. After a few minutes, she said, “Computer show me the ones on the list that died with no surviving family members, oldest first.”
The computer said, “There are six Asian, female, infant deaths in Chicago, Illinois, . . .”
Alice interrupted, “Yes, yes, computer, show the obituary of the oldest.”
The computer displayed the first death; and, Alice began to read. “The whole family in an apartment building fire: Samuel Chu, Susan Chu and Silvia Chu a husband, wife and 5-month-old baby girl. No surviving family of any of the victims. Recent immigrants, green cards, child citizen.” She made notes in her facsimile notebook and said, “Computer, show me Silvia Chu’s birth certificate from March, 1978 in Cook County Hospital.”
The computer replied, “I am displaying Silvia Chu’s birth certificate from the State of Illinois vital records.”
Alice made more notes, in particular the file number and date filed. She then asked, “Computer now Computer show me Asian female infant death notices in the Chicago, Illinois, United Sates of America for 2005 to 2007 who died leaving no surviving family members.”
The computer displayed one and Alice took notes on her notebook facsimile with her pencil facsimile.