the water

At first, she thought it was a screensaver Ed, the computer guy, had attached to her computer. He was always "fixing the interface," as he said, putting in new programs without warning her. The last time he had put in the newest version of WordPerfect and had somehow managed to set the screen start up with a primal scream. He hadn't told her about this ahead of time. So it was as much a surprise to Kit as it was to John Wiliiams, the president of Save Our Streams, when Kit brought up the motion to move the court to order minimum instream flows on the Upper Arkansas and the computer started screaming out the lyrics to Marilyn Manson's latest, and refused to do anything else. Somehow, neither of them had gotten the joke. John harrumphed and told her to let him know when she finally got the motion ready to file. Kit nodded curtly and said she'd be right on the problem.

This time, though, Kit was alone when the water started streaming down the screen, rushing over sharp rocks onto cool moss banks and past the clock on the lower right of her screen--the one that was still six minutes off. She moved her mouse impatiently, trying to get her appellate brief on renewed rights for instream flows on the Colorado River back on screen. When the waterfall refused to budge, she turned off the machine, mentally cursing and trying to figure out how much of it she might have lost.

She restarted the computer. The waterfall came on even before the Windows NT screen did. She called and left a message for Ed and went out to her meeting without the document.

When she got back, she found a sticky on her monitor with Ed's impatient scrawl across it: "I booted up and it was just fine. Did a defrag and virus check. The machine is set to go."

Typical response, Kit thought. And turned on the screen again. The waterfall rushed past, the light from the water flowing in glowing patterns across her screen. She called Ed, who was out again. Left another message.

By the fourth round, she demanded that Ed get her another computer. Ed transferred her files, walked her through the start up, and things were fine.

Until Ed left. Then the waterfalls started again. Gradually, Kit learned that if she joggled the mouse over the clock and right-clicked, she could get her e-mail and WordPerfect files to appear over the water. Her spreadsheets were gone under the falls entirely. And any time she took her eyes off the screen, the falls started in again.

the water / falls / in torrents / as if it were the only / force that mattered / sweeping / everything / from its path

the word is / the sound / of water / dripping from/ ancient symbols / tiny particles / of merging / realities

Follow us all: Amy/Anna, Sophie/Yuki, Kit/Richard, minor characters or sift through water leavings and river journeys.