3: Heed the warnings

Uploaded 14 Dec 2007 — 10 favorites
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© Jason Schupp
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More of Jason Schupp’s Photos

  • 4: Regaining consciousness
  • 3: Heed the warnings
  • 2: The new partner
  • 1: Reassignment

Photo license: © All rights reserved

As R.A.H.N.E.E. gave me the tour of the ground floor, the sounds of cleaning up could be heard from rooms away, but stopped when we got too close. Indistinct men and women, dressed in light colors and on the edge of vision, moved throughout the house, always leaving through one doorway or another when you turned directly towards them. At first I thought I was imagining them. In the study, I asked, "We're not alone, are we?"

"No," said R.A.H.N.E.E., "They are the clean-up crew, it would seem."

"Hired help?"

"That is not entirely accurate, as Mr. D explained to me."

I heard the clinking of glasses being picked up behind me. When I turned, I caught only a flash of white pant leg and pennyloafer going back into the hallway. I squinted, listened for a moment, until I understood. "Cron jobs."

R.A.H.N.E.E. shrugged, walking past me towards the hallway. "That is outside my purview. For now, there is more you should see." She led me through the dining room and the lounge where a collection of pictures had been left hanging on the wall. I pocketed a stray sticker someone had left behind before we moved on to the kitchen so I could get some coffee. (The mug I pulled from the cupboard said World's Greatest Photographer... cute. I'm not sure whom that belongs to.)

We walked past a bathroom full of bottles to the galleria, where photos, framed and annotated with info such as how many times it had been favorited, covered the walls. A light table and another work table stood in the center, the latter with a sign reminding us that food or drink belonged elsewhere. I scanned the walls for empty spots; there were none. "I don't get it," I said, "It doesn't look like anything valuable's gone missing or anything's been ransacked. What about upstairs?"

"I have come to the same conclusion, and when I checked the upstairs, it seemed to be in order, except for an excess of dog hairon one of the beds," said R.A.H.N.E.E. "I have tried shuffling through every room's layers, adjusting curves to find evidence. I have found nothing yet."

I handed her my coffee and pushed the sleeve of my coat up enough to get at my forearm comp. (One of the benefits of living near Apple HQ: you sometimes get their finest before anyone else.) The left-hand keypad swung down underneath my fingers as I tapped on the topside with my right. The screen rolled up and out like paper. Once on the wifi, I poked around a bit, but didn't find what I was looking for. I took my coffee back, took a swig, put the mug down on the table. "Hmm. Maybe if we look--"

That thought was interrupted as electricity arced across the table's surface, coursing up my arm and connecting with R.A.H.N.E.E.'s plating. I only just saw her start to fall to the ground, much like I did, and I assume she, too, hit the ground before blacking out.


6 responses

  • Nicole Gesmondi

    Nicole Gesmondi gave props (14 Dec 2007):

    You're never going to figure out how we did the JPG BALL behind your back! But we love your stories!

  • Jodie Andrefski

    Jodie Andrefski gave props (14 Dec 2007):

    Nicole's right.....we are toooooo stealthy! heh

  • Paul Lavallee

    Paul Lavallee gave props (14 Dec 2007):

    when it says "no food or drink..." Jaschu, you gotta listen

  • Jason Schupp

    Jason Schupp said (14 Dec 2007):

    Man, don't I know it now!

  • Rachel Mckinnie

    Rachel Mckinnie said (15 Dec 2007):

    I know nothing of the dog hair on the beds...nothing.

  • Jason Schupp

    Jason Schupp said (9 Jan 2008):

    I think the cron jobs were able to clean up the dog hair after we left. No worries!

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