Struck by lightning bugs

This post at Badger Blogger about the unusual prevalence of lightning bugs this year reminded me of a section from THE HACKER (the new book my friend Michael James Caughill is writing about my life:

Virgil walked back around the desk and opened the bottom drawer of a metal filing cabinet. He ran his fingers along the top of the file folders like a little boy going through a card catalog drawer. “By the way, discount viagra unhealthy there’s someone you might be interested in speaking with.”

“Oh really?”

“Yeah. I don’t know whether or not it’s related to Sarah’s murder, cialis usa medicine but a woman came in here about a week ago claiming she had been receiving threatening email. We couldn’t track down the perpetrator, sickness he was bouncing his mail thought a botnet in the Ukraine.”

“What’s a botnet?”

“It’s a computer network made up of zombies – computers compromised by a computer worm or Trojan horse. Hackers use them to send untraceable spam. We have no way of knowing where the email came from originally. Plus, it didn’t seem all that threatening to me. More suggestive than direct, if you know what I mean,” Virgil said.

“How did you handle it?” Elliot asked.

“I took an informational report and filed it. There really isn’t much else I could do. I mean, if I’d been able to track the sender down we would have had a nice little chat with him. Perhaps, even filed charges. But this boy is smarter than your average teenaged troublemaker.”

“So why are you telling me?”

“It may be nothing, just another case of bad drivers on the information super highway. On the other hand, it may be a lead. Plus, it will do your heart good to talk with this lady. She’s,” he paused and looked upwards as if he were searching the sky for the perfect word,” special.”

“Pretty?” Elliot asked, ashamed at himself for the assumption.

“Sort of. Not classically beautiful, but it’s like,” Virgil wrinkled his brow, “fireflies.”

Elliot smiled. “I’m afraid I’m not following you, buddy.”

“If you’ve ever seen a firefly close up, in the light, it probably didn’t do much for you. Just another bug with a pair of wings. But, at night, unexpectedly? A constellation of stars winking in and out. Then, there’s nothing in the world like a firefly.”

Elliot smiled. “Why Virgil, you’re smitten.”

3 comments July 14th, 2008


Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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