…a pinhole look into the life of one not-so-ordinary girl.
The Many Lives of Fritzi
The Pogo Stick
to view the beginning of chapter one, click here.
Fritzi stepped closer to the wall and pressed it again.
She walked closer, slow step by slow step, and pressed it every couple of steps.
The wall had not stirred in any way even when she was no more than half a foot from it. Her face could feel a draft coming through the almost-invisible cracks between the wooden panels.
She let out a shallow sigh. Her shoulders drooped and her head dropped slowly until she was looking at her feet. After a few minutes, she looked up at the family portrait and reached up to take it off its nail to get a better look at it. She looked at her father’s face and wondered how he could have such interesting things in there and not utter their existence to a single soul.
She began to think it was time to give up on unveiling the secrets of the shed – at least, for that day.
She sighed again, but that time it was much deeper. She lifted her eyes from the portrait to the nail to hang it back up. Her eyes found yet another thing that had been hidden. On the wall, where the portrait had hung, was a keypad with a red light on it. She knew from somewhere deep in her gut that if she pointed the garage-door opener at that light it would work.
Sure enough, it did.
The wooden wall rose farther and farther up to the top of the inside of the shed as the mechanism pulled it parallel to the ceiling.
Allister, just like before, yelped in warning. That time, she didn’t misunderstand him – she ignored him.
Her eyes became alight with the satisfaction of a mystery solved, and yet another flood of curiosity filled them up. She had no idea why an enormous supercomputer was in her father’s shed, behind a secret door. It was teeming with life. It made ticking noises and clicking noises, as well as different pitches of beeps and burps. It took up the entire secret space – from the floor to the wooden door, which was parallel and almost flush with the ceiling. All three of the tin walls in the secret space nearly touched its sides and back.
What a discovery! She wondered if her father was a scientist of sorts. Maybe even a genius!
She immediately took that thought to its obvious conclusion: if her father was a scientific genius, that would, in fact, explain a lot about her own tendencies.
What she hadn’t, and in no way could have, concluded is that it was not just any supercomputer. It was a supercomputing control board.
She put the garage-door opener in her pocket and stepped forward to get a closer look. Her eyes widened to take in its full mass. She immediately spotted a red button.
Usually, people know not to touch “the red button”. They’ve watched enough TV or films to know “the red button” is not for just any passerby. Unless an asteroid needs destroying (not too close to Earth, mind you) or you’re on a space ship and need to evacuate, you stay away from the red buttons. But, you see, Fritzi had been a busy girl. Her curiosity had kept her very busy, indeed, and she couldn’t sit around and let her life be wasted on fiction. She wanted to know about real things – things of fact.
So, she didn’t know she shouldn’t press the red button.
So, she pressed the red button.
Tune in on Fridays for more of Fritzi!
~ I also want to take a moment to thank my big sister Genon, who so kindly and graciously, efficiently and quickly critiqued my short story to make it ever-so-much better and easy for you to read. She’s a gem!