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by BP | Score: 4800

"Come on, baby. I swear it works."

The smell of cheap beer splashed into Veronica's face. She felt it curl around her like smoke, tendrils encases her face, cutting off the rest of the club.

"Sure. I believe you, baby."

Something dark flashed across the man's face and Veronica felt his arm snake around her back. "Let me show you."

Another wave of stale beer. Veronica stifled a gag. It was midnight. The club had come to life an hour ago and the movement of hundreds of perfumed bodies racing against each other had turned the room into a wet sauna.  And still, his breath turned their immediate vicinity into a sweltering bog.

"Anything to get out of here."

His apartment was smaller than he let on. Loose clothes and old, unwashed dishes hung around the living area like deadbeat friends. The young man stumbled as he tried snatching a pair of pants off the back of the couch. He had to swipe at it three times before finally getting hold of it and tucking it under his arm.

"I work from home," he muttered.

"I can see that."

When he disappeared into his room with an armful of old dirty clothes, Veronica began looking around. She didn't know what she expected. The tired trope of the messy genius nagged at the back of her head, but she resisted the term. Genius. All he had done was build a prototype of a new form of social media. A clever one, no doubt. The hours she alone had spent on it was a testament to that. But genius? It wasn't like he'd invented time travel...

"You want a drink?"

He stood in the doorway to his room, arms up, holding onto the door frame like he was Brando. Except instead of radiating smoldering lust he seemed more occupied by trying to stand stray. His body swayed from side to side. At one point he overcorrected and lost his balance, stumbling into the doorframe.

"Sure. Then you can show me little game."

"It's not a game. It's the first ever hybrid... social..." His hand waved in the air like he was stirring soup. When he finally gave up trying to invent a name he laughed. "I haven't thought of a name yet. Branding, you know. It's like, the most important thing, I guess. But it's not a game."

The refrigerator door slammed open and the sound of glass bottles clacking against each other followed. He pulled two off the door and walked over to her.

"It's, like, going to change the whole landscape. Disruption, you know."

"Oh, I know." Victoria sat on the couch and patted the seat next to her. "You gonna show it to me?"

"Yeah." He went to leave to retrieve his laptop then, realizing he still held both beers in his hands, stopped, placed them on the coffee table, then hurried off.

Victoria's mind returned the apartment. It wasn't surprising that the [social-game] responsible for so destruction would be born here. If a million people obsessed with games, social clout, and the American Dream of instant celebrity spent their days hammering away on the Next Big Thing, then odds were one of them would hit on it. Looking around, she almost felt bad for the poor slob. She practically had to throw herself at him to get him to say anything at all. Then she had to fight every impulse to let him keep talking. It had only taken two hours, but convincing Dylan McFee, the oft-forgotten architect of Spark, to take her home had been the easiest part of her assignment so far.

It was the next part that would be tricky.

"So, it's still in prototype. And, I mean, I haven't asked anyone else for help. Not really." He plopped down next to her and placed his laptop between them on the coffee table so they could both see. "I'm designing the UX now. But the backend, that's pretty much all done."

Veronica fought not to seem too eager. She didn't know if he had any idea who she was but 

Completed challenges

The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:

Begin Start typing to begin
Event Someone has a world-changing idea
Location A nightclub
Words Reach 50 words
Words Reach 100 words
Letter Use the letter P
Words Reach 200 words
Words Reach 300 words
Words Reach 400 words
Words Reach 500 words
Prop Include a comic book
Words Reach 600 words

This story was written using Taleforge, the free writing exercise app powered by The Story Shack. Curious? Try it yourself.

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