Individual Entry

Discordant

You were the chief architect of the Tacoma Narrow's Bridge project.

You had a lot of freetime in 1941 as nobody really wanted to hire an architect whose bridge fell down so spectacularly.

You spent ten years going over the calculations, trying to find what you had done wrong. None of the theories you found ever added up to you.

Everyone else had moved on long ago, having accepted the half-baked "wind-speed matching the bridge's natural harmonics" theory.

Eventually you came to the conclusion that there was no rational explanation left for the collapse of the bridge, which left only, magic!

You spent the next 25 years training in Akido and trying to track down those who had magically wronged you. In 1976, when you had bested every swordsmen in your dojo, you take out the address given to you by your source. It contained the name of agency in downtown L.A. which he said contained the coven of witches you were after.

You conceal your wooden bokken sword in an architectural tube, sling it across your back and point your bike towards vengeance.

"Calamor Designs" was on the third floor of a five story office building. You take the elevator up, and are greeted by a young secretary with a dark bowl cut, she apologetically tells you that everyone is in a meeting right now, and gestures towards a set of 4 seats and some magazines. She asks if she can get you anything.

"Yes, the last 30 years of my career back!"

You unsheathe your bokken from your back and strike her across the face before she can react, she crumples out of sight behind the desk.

You burst into the conference room. There are 5 middle-aged woman all dressed in long flowing dresses. One of them is standing by an easel, frozen in the act of flipping a page. The other 4 are seated around a round wooden table. They turn towards you.

"Before I finish you, tell me one thing, why did you do it?"

One woman rises from her chair slowly, but unafraid. She has long curly black hair and a darker dress than the others. You are struck by her eyes, and all that is implied by them.

"We have done nothing to you."

Your knuckles whiten and your hands redden as you clutch your sword tighter.

"You have ruined me!" you scream.

"You ruined yourself," she replies calmly. She gestures to the woman at the easel, who flips the large pages back to the beginning of the presentation entitled "Transverse Vibrational forces of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge".

She then goes about explaining how the support plate design and poorly tethered suspension cables went about to force the bridge to act as it did, and how it was inevitable that the environmental variables would eventually be perfect to cause in a resonant event which could only end in the bridge's collapse.

At the end you nod, the understanding washing over you.

It was your fault.

You look around sheepishly, sheathe your sword, and get up to leave. At the door to the conference room you look back to say something, but words fail you.

In the lobby, you see the secretary has pieces of blood-soaked kleenex in her nose, and is holding a sweating Tab can to one side of it.

You manage to stutter out a vague apology, on your way towards the elevator.

"Buzz off Geek!", she snarls.

You avoid her gaze as the elevator doors close.
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Meta Information:

Title: Discordant
Date posted: 08 Aug '08 - 14:45
Filed under: General
Word Count: 579 words
Good Karma: 99 (vote)
Bad Karma: 97 (vote)
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Previous entry:  Disappointing Spider

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