That's Just How I Roll
by Adam Israel
fingers tapped methodically at the keyboard, the glow from the
monitors reflecting off of his glasses. The lights in the apartment
were off, the only natural light was coming from the sun just cresting
over the horizon. The news had leaked to the media overnight and the
buzz was almost audible: NASA had made a discovery on Mars.
"You're still at it?" a sleepy voice behind him said.
"Morning, Glenn. Just about finished, too."
"What time is it, anyways?"
Jakob glanced at the computer's clock. "Six and change. A few hours
until the press conference starts."
"Explain this to me again," Glenn said, peering over his shoulder.
"It's some kind of April Fools joke, right?"
"No, dude," Jakob said. "This is the ultimate prank, a meme of epic
proportions. It'll be famous, even bigger than the Lolcats Superbowl
"What is it again?"
Jakob rolled his eyes and sighed. "Just wait and you'll see, along
with everyone else not living in a cave."
"Quick, turn the TV on," Jakob said. "It's about to start."
Glenn threw the remote at Jakob and continued eating his cereal. Jakob
hit the power button and the screen flickered to life. A nervous-looking
man in a wrinkled suit stood behind a podium bearing the red, white
and blue NASA logo. A crowd of equally tired-looking men and women
stood behind him, all with large smiles on their faces. He flipped
through a dozen channels and every single one carried the same image.
The world was watching.
The man on camera cleared his throat and waited for the chatter to
down. He began the press conference when the room grew quiet.
"Thank you for joining us today for a historic moment in humankind,"
he said. "We have some spectacular news to share with you today,
compliments of the Mars Rover project."
He paused and smiled at the camera. "They say that a picture is worth
a thousand words. Let's see what history will say about what we're
about to show you."
The lights in the press room dimmed and the television cut to black
the video feed was started. The image of a red-headed man dancing
front of a microphone appeared. Glenn sprayed a mouthful of milk
across the room as the man in the video began to sing "Never Gonna
Give You Up." Seconds later the image was gone, replaced by a "We
experiencing technical difficulties" message.
"Oh my God," Glenn said. "That was epic!"
Jakob turned to him and grinned. "That's just how I roll."
Israel lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his girlfriend, two dogs
and four cats. He is a 2007 graduate of the James Gunn Workshop.