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2004
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Resolution 258

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Genere: Fantascienza
Lingua: inglese
Lunghezza: circa 14900 parole (tempo di lettura: 46-68 minuti)
Prezzo: Gratis
Estratto

1



    Time was pressing on Jack Blackburn as he cleared away the breakfast dishes. A glance at the pine-surround wall clock showed him that it was already 8:15. He would have to be away by half-past if he was going to drive the five miles into Sheridan and still open up the store on time. Normally, his assistant manager, Frank Reynolds took care of Saturdays, just as Jack had always done before getting promoted. The title 'assistant' meant that you almost always drew the weekend and Friday late closing shifts, although it was never officially included in the job description. But Frank was down with the flu, along with several other members of his staff, so he had no choice, Sheridan Hardware and Mercantile couldn't run itself.
    Shame though, he thought, that it's the same day as Julie pulled a double shift nursing at the Clinic. It left Tom at home on his own all day, which made both he and his wife feel uneasy. Not that it made any real difference if anyone was in the house with him or not, since he almost never came out of the spare bedroom that had been hijacked to become his computer workshop. Jack would never have admitted it to anyone else, but his son undoubtedly qualified as a 'computer nerd.' When he wasn't 'online' either gaming or chat-room socialising with other gamers, he was pulling computers to pieces and putting them back together in a seemingly endless attempt to increase speed and capacity. If Tom didn't have to go to school, Jack sometimes wondered if he would ever leave the house at all. There weren't any computers when he was fifteen, but if there had've been he couldn't imagine missing baseball and girls to go on one.
    On the other hand, Jack reflected as he ferried backwards and forwards between the breakfast room and kitchen, Tom was also missing street crime and drugs. The few friends that his son had were just as wedded to their monitors as he was, so maybe the fascination with these machines wasn't quite so peculiar as it sometimes seemed to him. Besides, without their computers, would they be training to become sports stars or just wandering the streets?
    Nevertheless, neither he nor his wife liked to leave Tom all day on his own. 'Only child syndrome', their friends called it. Silly now that he was as big as he was, but they still worried as to whether he would be okay.
    Once the table was cleared, the plates and pans stacked haphazardly beside the steel sink unit, he left the kitchen then went upstairs to get his jacket and slip on a sweater. From the kitchen window, he had seen that the sun shone from a diamond-blue sky, but it was late fall when even the lightest breeze carried the sharp edge of the Wyoming winter to come.

*

    Over a thousand miles to the southwest, in Washington DC, Katie Dolton was outside and would have welcomed a cool breeze. It wasn't so much the early morning sunshine that was making her hot, although it was every bit as bright as Jack's but retaining the memory of summer, but the hard work that she was doing. For weeks, she had been asking her dad to take off the stabilisers on her bike. She was much too old to have the silly things on; they were for babies. None of her friends had stabilisers on their two-wheelers, and she didn't need them either. When she played at Jenny's house, she was always riding Jenny's bike and never fell off, well almost never. But her dad didn't seem to do anything for her anymore. Ever since he gave up his real job to go into Poly-Flicks, he was seldom at home and, when he was, he and mom spent all their time talking about these Poly-Flicks and ignoring her. Even now, she could hear them sitting at the patio table behind her droning on and on.
    So this morning, she had got her bike tool kit from the draw in the washroom where she had seen mom put it after they had peeled off the paper and cardboard on her birthday. She was taking them off by herself. Or, at least, was trying to. There weren't very many tools in the blue, soft plastic case. Two, short flat-ended metal sticks; some rubber patches with paper backs that reminded her of the plasters mom put on her knees when she grazed them; a stick of chalk and a funny, flat metal thing with different sized holes in it. Carefully, she had tried the different holes until she got one that fitted onto the nut holding the stabiliser to the hub of the back wheel. But however hard she pushed and pulled she couldn't get it to turn. And trying was making her hot and sticky. Sitting back on her haunches, she frowned at the red-framed bike, laying on its side like a shot deer, one end of the spanner locked on the nut, the other sticking up into the air. It crossed her mind to ask for help, but a glance at the patio table showed her parents drinking their coffee while pointing at something in one of the newspapers. They wouldn't want her bothering them. Besides it would spoil the surprise.
    Then it occurred to her that if she could hit the spanner at the sticking up end, the nut might undo at the other. But hit it with what? After some thought, she remembered the wooden hammer-shaped thing that she had seen her mother use to hit meat sometimes. She left for the kitchen to find it.

*

    At the top of the stairs, Jack turned right down the hall as the door to the spare room snatched open; his teenage son catapulting out so fast they almost collided.

...continua...

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:: Peter Ebsworth

    Peter Ebsworth vive a Norfolk, in Inghilterra con la moglie Julie e il figlio, Tom. E' membro del gruppo di scrittori creativi della sezione britannica del Mensa e ha avuto racconti pubblicati su varie riviste e raccolte antologiche in Gran Bretagna, negli Stati Uniti, in India e in Australia, tra cui Fantasies - An Anthology of the World's Great Short Stories.
    Una raccolta dei primi testi di questo autore è stato pubblicato nel 2001 dalla Searle Publishing con il titolo Dark Whispers.
    Su Internet le storie di Peter sono presenti su Mysterical-e, Distant Worlds, Ultraverse, Gothic Revue e Halloween Stories.
    L'autore è entusiasta di avere la possibilità di lavorare con Marco Giorgini della KULT Virtual Press per pubblicare il suo racconto ''Resolution 258'' in formato e-book e vede a disponibilità di questo testo anche in italiano come un punto focale della sua carriera di scrittore.

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