18 Jan 2013

The Forest’s Clean Air

“You need to take these charges more seriously Mark.”

Trevor Trivinski was a stout bald man who annoyed Mark Zuckerberg, especially when Mark drove him home after their fortnightly squash match. Mark didn’t even like squash. He had only offered a ride once and after that Trivinski took it as a given.

“Every successful company comes under undue scrutiny. What makes this that different from any other IPO?” Mark replied, barely trying to hide his disinterest.

“We can’t keep ignoring their discovery requests, the evidence they have already is —”

“I need to head back to Facebook tonight, is it okay if I drop you here?”

“But… my house is another two miles at least, it wouldn’t take you more than…”

But Mark was already pulling onto the shoulder of the road before Trivinski could finish. He motioned to reach for the passenger-side door, but his guest took the hint and stepped out of the car onto the grass.

“Just tell me you’ll give it some thought,” Trivinski said. Mark said he would and pulled away, turning as if heading back to headquarters. He kept driving that direction until he was sure he was out of Trivinski’s sight, then he turned north. He drove for an hour and a half. The shapes of the city fell away and he reached the towering pines of the woods. The sun had now set and the sky was a sickly purple. Mark pulled the car over at a spot that felt isolated.

For a moment he stood at the rear of the car taking in deep breaths of the forest’s clean air. He opened the hatch and took out the sealed bucket, its contents thumping around inside. In a single motion he opened the lid and spilled the little green creature onto the wet ground. It looked up at him with an unearthly malice. Mark took the tyre jack and, there under the pines, beat the thing until he was sure it was dead.

Driving back he turned on the radio. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d listened to the radio.