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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Comedy · #2110877
Once upon a time on WDC ... A WDC Teen Contest Entry
The Enemy ... Within?

Ken sat at his computer staring at the “nice try but …” message sitting in his Writing.com email inbox. The blinking cursor seemed to mock him, its metronome rhythm causing his eyes to lose focus as he inwardly searched for answers. How could I have gotten the prompt wrong? He was positive that he had checked the Daily Flash Fiction prompt message, that had been posted, several times. Either Arakun the Twisted Raccoon had changed it during the night or … somebody must have hacked the site and changed what I wrote!

He ran a hand through his long, greying hair as he searched for an explanation. Ken felt a small chill run down his spine. He remembered the article he had read at Breitbart about all the Russian hacking but, as he remembered, it had all been denied by them. That’s right. Even the President said it wasn’t the Russians.

“Something must be going on,” he mused out loud. He looked around the room and then, like a bolt of lightning, it hit him. "Aliens. They're playing tricks on my mind. That has to be it!” He rummaged through a stack of papers lying next to his desk. He found a copy of the National Enquirer with its blazing headlines, Alien Mind Control. “Well, that's not going to happen to me again."

Ken ran to the kitchen and rummaged in the pantry. “Aha! There it is!” He picked up the box of aluminum foil, raising it triumphantly. “I’ll show those darn gray creatures that I’m not one to just sit around and do nothing!” He pulled out a long sheet and made a crude hat, settling it on his head. "This'll show them,” he chortled, heading back to the computer.

Macy, his West Highland terrier, lifted her muzzle up at the crinkling sound hopeful that it meant food. Ken turned to her. "They're setting us up; it's a plot to use our brain power to take over the world."

She listened to his ramblings. Doesn't he know the real enemy is squirrels? Humans!, she snorted. When no treats appeared, she flopped back down and returned to her dreams of chasing those rats with furry tails.

Ken sat back down, adjusting his cap so he could see the screen. He carefully copied and pasted the day's prompt onto the blank page and began typing. Whether aliens or hackers – he kept both possibilities open since he didn’t trust the President - he would not be denied today.

Finally finished, he sat back and reread each word. No misspelling, reads right, word count at 300. Yep, this should do it. Glancing at the clock, he verified that he was within the proper time window. With a victorious grin, he hit the save key ... and the page went blank.

"no, No, NO!" Ken's wails could be heard throughout the house, obscuring the giggling sounds coming from under the bed.

Deep in the shadows, the Dust Bunny chuckled, turning from the device he had cobbled together from misplaced thumb drives, missing earrings, and out of date cell phones. "Humans aren't the only ones who know how to use technology," he laughed.

The Sock Monster clapped him approvingly on the shoulder, sending dust motes into the air. "You're an evil genius, DB. So, what do we have planned for Ken for tomorrow?"

“Not just Ken,” DB laughed malevolently. “Wait until you see what I have planned for the The StoryMaster and his minions on Writing.com!”

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An entry for the Jan/Feb round of "Invalid Item
Prompt: Open for February
Word Limit: 2000
Word Count: 577
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