Wednesday, July 31, 2013

His hands flew over the keyboards, one on each, macros and command lines firing out into the void. He used to tell his friends he worked in computers before people got savvy about it; how he tells everyone is a consultant, a word so bland as to mean nothing at all. Politician is another such word, and Dave does admit to sending spam emails but even he has standards.

The macbook pro pinged up a notice. A reply to the offer of a vacation in the Maldives, but the name was familiar. He paused to get coffee, instructing his computer out loud to search for that name. Proper voice activation cost money, but money was not an issue: spam emails existed because people responded. In Dave's experience a sucker wasn't born every minute as much as every kilobyte of data.

His coffee didn't grow cold – he was a professional, after all, if only in a profession most found morally abhorrent – but the list that scrolled down the screen gave him a moment's pause. She – he'd decided the other person was a she (you can make of this what you will) – hadn't replied to every spam, no. But every one about a vacation, with comments about her husband, hurling his credit card at the internet as if daring someone like Dave to sink into it.

He hadn't when it first came up, expecting a trap, and it had fallen off the radar. Now he wasn't as certain, and more sad than anything else. He checked the balance on his swiss bank account twice, wired money into another account. It didn't happen often, that the spam emails were real, but enough for urban legend. Enough for people to sink more time into them. He normally didn't make it a whole vacation, but in the face of such hope he felt half-compelled to answer it.

He thought he understood the high God must get on answering a prayer as he hit the enter key and put money in her account with the dates of the flight he had booked. Then he turned back to the other screens and bombarded yahoo email accounts with offers of free televisions for filling out a simple virus-laced survey.

It never occurred to Dave to think that such a thing would let him understand the Devil as well.