Life Arts

Short Story: "Making it Count" (Part 2 of a series)

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"Nah. The third K's silent, so it doesn't count."

She laughed delightedly. "That's good. I see you inherited her sense of humor. Well, Kendrik, a few years ago, your grandmother Natalie helped me get back into the workforce after my marriage fell apart. Not in a million years would I have ever dreamed that I'd be fabricating public art installations for a living. And yet that's exactly what happened, because she believed in me. I owe her. I owe her big time. So what's the plan here?"

"It's pretty simple, really," Jason said. "We need a flash-mob, and we need it now. But in order for this operation to get any traction, we absolutely have to get some livestreams going. It's a sure bet the local media aren't going to pay any attention to us unless we give them something they can't afford to miss. And that means there has to be something to see. We'll need signage, traffic, and lots of warm bodies."

"Great," Althea said. "I'll go get my cutters and whatever else I can rustle together. Back soon."

People started arriving, most of them looking for friends and relatives who'd been at the encampment. After he got them up to speed, Jason asked them some questions to gauge their interests and abilities, and started assigning them to various tasks. He also asked anyone with a cell phone to put the word out about what else was needed. Marty assembled a team to start cleaning up the debris that remained on the site, but since Althea hadn't returned yet, they scaled the fence and started policing the area.

As the morning wore on, Kendrik, who'd taken it upon himself to welcome people to the new encampment, became antsy about how his school might have reacted to his absence. If they called his parents, he'd be in for a lot of trouble. Fortunately, Althea returned with more than just the bolt cutters. A couple of her friends had chipped in to get stuff to eat, so at least he wouldn't have to do his worrying on an empty stomach.

Once the chain was cut, people who weren't up to climbing the fence started streaming into the site. And that's when the police car rolled up. Kendrik drifted closer so he could hear better.

"That's right," the officer said, "a bunch of people have re-entered the site. It looks like they cut their way in. The thing is, I don't know whether they're trespassing or not. The landowner did say the Occupy Wall Street people could stay they there as long as they wanted. So unless they break that new rule, I'm gonna just sit here and do what I can to keep the peace."

Kendrik jumped when Jason suddenly tapped him on the shoulder.

"Got a minute, kid?"

"Sure. What's up?"

"We've finished setting up the new video streaming kit, and were discussing what to do with it. Althea had the best suggestion. She thinks that since your grandmother set off this morning's fireworks, we ought to give you the honor of telling the world this isn't over yet. What do you think?"

Kendrik gaped. "What would I say?"

"Well, you can probably say whatever you want, but I think you ought to think about it like you're speaking directly to your grandmother, and everyone else is just lurking on your skype call."

"All right. Where are we doing this?"

"How about right here?"

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Ever since I learned to speak binary on a DIGIAC 3080 training computer, I've been involved with tech in one way or another, but there was always another part of me off exploring ideas and writing about them. Halfway to a BS in Space Technology at (more...)
 

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It's becoming increasingly difficult to convince y... by Philip Zack on Friday, Oct 5, 2012 at 4:39:47 AM