Right Click. Save.
By Casey Douglass
as part of #fridayflash
Bathed in the soft white glow of the screen, the figure leans forward, his nose only inches away from the display. Indistinct fleshy rectangles dance up the screen as his permanently bent index finger diddles the smooth warm rubber of the mouse-wheel.
The hard-drive clicks and stutters into brief life but the sound fades unheeded. He coughs and clicks the mouse, the images on screen all taking on a different appearance, but their forms staying very much the same.
He drags the mouse to one side as one image flows and fills the entirety of the screen, his hand knocking a small note pad skidding over the edge of the desk. It lands with a dull slap on the floor. He looks down at it and with a grunt, leans down and pushes it away, the pages flicking open to tease diagrams and sketchings, goals and ideas, that disappear from sight into the darkness beneath the desk.
Another image fills the screen, this time a moving one with low moaning sounds and fleshy thumping grunts. A small sigh darts out from between clenched teeth as he adjusts himself on his chair.
A tinny beep causes him to sit more fully upright, snaking fingers diverting the mouse to another open window. This one contains a smiling amiable face, the eyes still alive and interested. His. A mass of expertly honed text spreads out beneath, every word and turn of phrase weighed and mulled until it dazzled. A pop-up slides into view announcing a special discount for anyone wanting to upgrade to a premium membership, assuring any reader that they will be sure to find more success in love should they take the chance and back themselves with a token of belief. Twenty tokens of belief as a matter of fact.
He snorts and dismisses the message with a vicious jab of the left mouse button, the small white pointer causing the little trash icon to flicker and the message vanish. Two more deft clicks sees him back to where he left off, his eyes glazing slightly as they drink in the sights.
He right-clicks and saves, right-clicks and saves; the cascade of file requests coming and going like a fly repeatedly buzzing against a closed window.
His tongue moistens his dry lips. The room is muggy, the air thrumming with the warm exhaust of the computer fans and the occasional sigh of its human occupant.
He feels like a troll. Sitting in his cave watching the world pass by the entrance. Those people who looked normal and fine practically a different race to his own, their lives full of the kinds of things that life should be full of. The people who looked so friendly and kind, yet were either unaware of his existence, or disinterested in it to varying degrees.
People...women who wouldn’t give him the time of day. Oh they talked a good game, but when it came down to it, they wanted someone more able, someone who had so much more to offer. He understood that, but it didn’t stop that old spiky feeling in his bowels; when his innards turned to ice and he just wanted to not be here any more.
He was out of ideas, well and truly. Wherever he went, whatever he did, it all came to nought. Not that he craved mere sex; he wanted the whole package. He just could never get beyond “You’re so lovely. Why are you still single?” Just like someone praising a painting on sale but never actually buying it.
So he chased ghosts. The abstractions of what could have been. These women who he worshipped from afar and who infused his mind with the tickling tingling of hope and then smothered it with pity. He found those like them on the internet. He enjoyed searching, enjoyed the hunt. Revelled in seeing their most private moments of vulnerability, even though it was often staged and sponsored by some big faceless company, eager for his money to sell him even more stunning milfs, gang-bangs and Hollywood film parodies. It was a sham, it was a hollow promise. He knew it...but it was a window into a world he was barred from.