Faceoogle Wants to Know
Bench Pressing Strong Verbs
Four years ago I set out to become a serious writer. And one hallmark of good writers is use of strong verbs in place of weaker verb propped up by adverbs. Through the magic of the internet, found a list of 179 strong-verbs, and elected to make a game of it.
Today, we build a story using ten randomly chosen strong verbs: act, forge, contradict, evaluate, solidify, appear, distort, legitimate, rebut, and recreate.
And we turn again to Janet, our urban witch, where she fights for privacy.
Fluffy, wet snow fell, soft and mesmerizing. Janet hugged herself, willing herself to act, to move from the window, to face the sins of waiting until the last-minute to file, not that she’d experienced any great joy or grand adventure, for dread ever lurked at the corners, waiting.
But a listlessness born of a long week emptying into the gray morning of despair weighted her down, forging an unbreakable bond with the silence. After all, who was she to contradict such a lethargic setting.
Still…she must file by midnight.
With a sigh, she turned back to her desk, and the open laptop. A cursor blinking on a virgin, blank table. She pressed her hands to her closed eyes and held her breathe again, focusing on the spell, willing numbers to appear on the screen. Many heartbeats she opened one eye a little and peeked through her fingers.
She took a deep breath, wiped a trickle of sweat from her face, and leaned back in her chair to evaluate a pile of receipts, only to shudder. Must she enter them…by hand…like Muggles?
Bad Bunny’s opening bars of Amorfoda erupted.
She stared at her phone. Gregor. Had he finished?
“Done yet, darlink?” He asked, turning the g into a k sound. “I’m bored. Let’s go do something.”
“I think you are not done.” He laughed. “The faceoogle spell works wonderfully. Try it.”
“Never.” Janet glared willing him to sense her resolve. “By using their software, you solidify their control over you. They sell your information. You know that…right?”
“But I’m done,” he said, laughing. “And I’m ready to go play. If you want I shall come over and do the incantations. And you can tell your brain-damaged friends you didn’t use the spell yourself. Afterward we will go play.”
“No. If I even appear to give in, faceoogle will own another bit of my soul.”
“Your soul has nothing to do with it…assuming you had one. Are you hiding something?”
“None of your business.” Why did he distort her words, insinuating that she had something to hide. It’s not that she wanted to hide everything from everyone. But she didn’t want to show everyone everything, either. “I’m going back to work on my—”
“Why?” She glanced at the screen before thumbing through the receipts.. Without them she couldn’t legitimate her expenses, and she would have to pay more than if she didn’t. “Honestly, Gregor, I need to go.”
“But…I haven’t finished all—”
“Goodbye, Gregor.” She hit the red button and waited until the call disconnected. The longer she stayed on, the greater the opportunity it gave him to rebut her fears with empty platitudes that sounded for all the world like they came from faceoogle’s website.
The phone remained silent.
She sighed, almost wishing he would call again. Didn’t he care? Could she ever hope to understand him?
The cursor blinked.
Butterflies swirling in her belly, she summoned all her powers, willing herself to recreate the crowd-sourced spell which had worked last year. Teeth gritted, she grabbed the first receipt and pressed it against the screen.
And…numbers began to march onto the form.
She giggled, suddenly light-headed, almost floating, and snatched the next one. Maybe she would call Gregor later…and make him take her to supper. Let faceoogle track his spells.