Justin slipped into the room. A quick scan showed a floor riddled by toys and books. With a smirk and practiced ease he slipped across the room, sidestepping the various noisemakers and child-designed snares, which could only be out with the hopes of alerting the others to his presence. However, one awkward step, brought about by his still sleep-addled mind, almost brought a tower of blocks crashing down with a raucous alarm. He snapped his hand down and caressed the leaning tower before it could push itself beyond its balance point. With a final flourish and a quick dash over the remaining obstacles, he threw himself into the computer chair with grace that belied his body that edged its way closer to seed every day. He cocked his head sideways he listened for any sound of unrest, but met only the hollowness of a house still at rest.
He turned in the chair just enough to take in the desk and computer that laid before him. The blank screen reflected a tousled hair man in his late twenties with a roguish stubble. He ran a hand quickly over his unkempt features before he slipped it down and turned the computer on with a gentle snick. The monitor hummed on and the system began to stir and wake itself, thrumming in a manner that defied the silence that the house sought to maintain. The computer danced its way through all of the usual steps, while Justin sat in impatient silence.
Almost there… he thought to himself, but something was not right. It was taking too long. The computer should not have been taking as long as it was. At the same time he could swear he heard the gentle stirring of someones covers shifting, and he gripped his hands tightly as his ears searched for further sounds while his eyes stared at the computer pleadingly. However, though he failed to hear any further movement, the computer screen gave him a message that brought his heart to a stop.
FAILED TO LOAD DEVICE.
“Noooo….”, he moaned softly, but it was still enough. A patter and thump were the only warnings he got, before-
“Hi, Daddy!” Logan exclaimed from over the baby gate that kept him in his room. But Justin could only stare at the computer with eyes full of tears and disbelief.
Ah, but only if it had actually been that dramatic. Alas, I knew this damn computer was bound to break down on me sooner or later. Which is exactly why I was glad that I had backed up my family photos, personal files and, most importantly, my writing the day before. Three weeks, two new hard drives and one new motherboard later, and I have returned. My best bud set me up with these parts, and has given me a machine to be proud of. I do apologize about my absence, and hope that what few readers I have will continue to grace me with their presence and insight. I promise to continue to do my best to entertain, and hopefully will have some news about my writing once I have completed editing my short story.