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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Flash Fiction: The Pixelated Man

Flickr via altemark

He could feel the Great Designer changing his base code again--to [blue]. Why was it always blue? With the [mark][mark/] of blue, he knew that sorrow would creep upon him, lingering, filling his insides with unabated hollowness, until he wouldn't be able to rise from bed most days. He'd have to call in sick, maybe, if his boss didn't demand a doctor's note, something saying, "his coloring is off, and his base pairs are aquamarine, and his [helix] is decaying as it so often does with [mark] blue [mark/]."

Maybe the Great Designer could deign to send him on vacation, for a change of scenery, something more than this gray, foggy land of skyscrapers; something more than the skyboat taxis flitting about with their acrid exhaust, or the barreling, inexorable trains and the bored commuters on it.

Or maybe have him lose some weight, for an image source change.

"Stop blaming the Source, Href," his wife chastised. This morning, her lipstick was one millimeter just outside the lines of her oxbow lips, and with the bright pink lipstick tube, she frowned, adjusted the numbers [center], and reapplied. There. That was in order.

Varia reached up to adjust his tie, muttering code beneath her breath to help her put him to rights. His jacket altered slightly to better fit his frame, but still the [blue] in him only saw it as her worry that they would be seen in a less than fit state, and not as he'd convinced himself when he was a normal color, proof of her [love].

Maybe the Great Designer hadn't decided to give Varia anything resembling [love], and in his [blue] state it was all he saw--her flaws. The bustling way she made her world tidy, the way she denied disorder. Despite himself--or because of himself--he reached out to draw her to him, and he crushed her to his chest with a desperate might that made her squeak in surprise.

Href was crushing her dress, he knew.

But instead of drawing away, irritated that he had so crushed the bright flowery fabric, she held him tighter. At her touch, part of him could feel the [blue] changing slightly.

He hoped not to [gray].

"The only Great Designer," she said quietly into his tie, "is yourself. The [blue]...I'll help you, Href, any way I can. There are others that deal with [blue]," and she said it without the shame that others did, "and though I'll never understand it completely, you can tell me."

How could he have though her without [love]?

"Let's run away, Varia," he said, even knowing as he did so that she would bat aside the idea. They had plans. Jobs. Stability. People, friends, family to whom they owed their time. "You know, we've always wanted to travel to Neon City."

Href could feel her sigh against him.

"I'm serious." He held her at arm's length, looking into her asterisk-shaped pupils, so wonderfully beautiful, the same as when he'd seen her for the first time, the (flower 9 pattern). "Let's go now, forget the party, forget everything. Call in tomorrow. Let's just...run, Varia. [Live][life][fun][joy!]"

"Maybe..." she started, lowering her eyes. "Maybe...this weekend."

And he could feel the [blue] shifting, not by some other, giant hand, but by his own code. The [blue] became [blue/], which melded, formed, became--

[gray]

He pixilated slightly with the shift, but Varia didn't notice.

Through the numbness of [gray], he forced himself to smile, to still his body from twitching in pixels again.

"Of course," he said, voice a dead drone. "Later. We'll find all of that later."

His form dissolved into a million rod-shaped pixels.

[GRAY]

612 words

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