UnBooks:My Moose Ate My Homework
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It has been over ten years since the drug baroness Allycia Keyrnes suddenly and presumably unintentionally released her hold on the criminal underworld of the Pacific Northwest in the tragic Bombing of Klamath Falls. In the years since, there has been much controversy and intrigue surrounding the question of just how such a seemingly normal woman was able to maintain and expand her ruthless underworld into what was quite possibly the furthest-reaching crime empire run out of a small town in the middle of nowhere in history. Speculation over what might have pushed her over the edge, her psychological make-up, and just how a graphic designer could have the existing experience to so easily enter the world of organised crime has abounded, but the lack of first-hand documentation has severely hindered serious analysis, as most of the evidence blew up along with Keyrnes and the seat of her empire when the western end of Klamath Falls mysteriously exploded one fateful morning.
Now, however, investigators have managed to verify with some accuracy that Keyrnes not only truly was the baroness of KF empire, despite conspiracy theories alleging to her being only a figurehead or even just a myth, but that she also left a stash of old diaries in her parents' attic before setting off into her wildly successful second life of crime. Through deciphering her nigh unintelligible scribbles, some insight may finally be gained as to just what might have happened to precede the twenty-three years that followed her disappearance. From there, even the events up until her fittingly flashy death may now come to light.
This is the final entry of Keyrnes' diary, unedited save for the fact that the only secretary to be found capable of making out such small print proved to be incredibly anal and fixed all of the grammatical errors when typing it up, refusing to go back an undo it. Thus, any chance of reliable insight into the young Keyrnes from her syntax has been lost.
5/12 - the final entry
18:44: Another long day, nearly over...
Classes done, back from work, got a nice cup of tea, settled by the fire and propped up my feet... yes, this is good. Just need to fill in the timesheet and finish a last bit of coursework due in the morning, all right on track. And here folks said holding a job while attending uni would be crazy; this isn't so bad. A little rushed at times, maybe. Commute is certainly fun, twenty minutes to get three cities over, but it's mid-afternoon. Not much traffic. The coursework as a whole isn't a problem, either. I just need to stay on top of things, no biggy. Get it done ahead of time, and I always was rather good at that. True, it can be a bit problematic when a TA holds the review session during my shift, but I can get notes. It can even actually be somewhat funny when the boss tries to make me come in on a Saturday night; he knows I have observatory then. We even wrote it down in the contract.
Ah, it's all certainly doable. Long days, deep sleeps. Rinse, repeat. Over in no time; advisers said I should graduate in three years, honours and all. Two years now. I'm right on track, and even paying my way through to boot.
So let's see, here. Astronomy. Nice, simple class, though the topics get a bit strange sometimes. Lab write-up due... need to finish off some calculations. See what it takes to crash Jupiter's moons or some such... it... odd. Where is the file? I could have sworn I saved it right here...
No? Here, then. But it's not here, either.
It... it's gone.
It's happened again.
My moose ate my homework.
19:04: Okay, don't panic. Don't panic, Allycia!
Maybe I'm just imagining things. This hasn't happened in years; why would it possibly happen again? Especially now, of all times. I finally get my life on track, finally settle down. Even kicked the drug habit... silly, that. I didn't even smoke the stuff, but dealing weed was just so much fun. So exciting! And the money... oh, I got carried away. Spent it all on fancy perfumes and pretty clothes and nice new computer I never did quite learn how to use. Who ever really does, though? Technology, can't live with it, can't live without, or however the saying goes. I even bought a pair of goats and... well... a large moose.
I like moose. Mooses? Meese? Well, whichever, I always have. Adorable creatures, large and massive and loud and always utterly on top of things, so astute. Unlike me. Well, the old me. I didn't even think ahead, back then. Spent all my money without a thought for the future, delighted in the pleasures of the moment, didn't work an hour of a day. Just...
Okay, I'm digressing. Focus, focus.
Surely I am imagining it; I don't even have a moose anymore! And it couldn't have eaten my coursework even if it had been here, because moose eat plants and furniture and paper, not bits on a hard drive. I'm on a computer now, not like the old days. The moose days. Not like when my moose really did eat my homework and I told the teacher and the teacher didn't believe me and I got a 0 and my mum yelled at me even though she knew about the moose, she knew I wasn't lying; she'd been trying to make me get rid of the thing for months, so she yelled at me for it being my own damn fault for having a moose in the living room! Oh, but my dog ate my homework, that's one thing. But a moose? Who even has a moose?! I couldn't even prove it because the teacher thought the photo was doctored. Doctored! Who would doctor on the shredded drapes? The mutilated plants? The ludicrously happy moose munching contentedly on who knows what now in the centre of the room? No, that was real.
Too real, perhaps.
But I don't even have a moose anymore!
19:32: But the file is gone. It's actually gone?
And it's the same feeling. Strange and low and horribly surreal. Stared down by a moose. I would recognise the feeling anywhere. But why? I do not have a moose. Definitely not. The gerbils wouldn't hear of it, and where would I find the time, between the courses and the work and the lab... oh my god, the lab. It's due tomorrow! It's all gone, I don't have anything, and it's all gone and the moose ate it, it must have eaten it, because it's gone and I have this moose feeling and it... it...
No... it couldn't be.
I named the computer Moose.
But how could that possibly have anything to do with it? It was harmless, just a name, a small thing, network protocol, communication. Completely innocent. A name doesn't make a thing its name, of course not. That's just silly. I could call your ferret a cat all I like, but it will still be a ferret.
...right? It will still be a ferret...
Moose is still a computer... that... still ate my homework.
21:18: It's actually happened again. My moose ate my homework.
It really did. It ate it. Six years smooth sailing, right as rain, 100% moose-free, except I just had to get a fancy new laptop, just had to call it moose. Tempt fate. Walk the line, ruin... everything. Everything, ruined!
And now I've spilt my tea on the floor! Even the carpet's ruined.
It's hopeless, now. I'll fall behind. I can't redo this lab, not now, not from the start, not all over again, I can't. It's too late! And when I miss the deadline, my grade will fall and I'll lose my scholarships and I won't be able to pay for this! Not anymore! And even if I get the lab in late, I'll still have to spend the time redoing it, and I'll fall behind with everything else, everything that had to stay on track, I was so on track, it was all so perfect, so perfect, so... perfect.
And now I'm doomed. Because of a name. Because I named the computer. Moose. How could I be so stupid? An invitation like that, just begging the spirit of the moose to come in and ruin everything! It didn't matter before, but now... I tried so hard to get clean! So hard to be a hard working, self-sufficient, on track, not a drug-dealer girl, even putting myself through college without any drugs or moose or goats or anything!
Except there is one Moose.
And it ate my homework.
And it ruined my carpet.
And now I'm doomed.