15_betelgeuse5_secondlife_writing_irez_lizziegudkov
Betelgeuse 5

Version 2.05

“Program: Bird Watcher version 2.05”. That’s what she wanted. It was the last box in the store and he got it! She would be thrilled.

When he got home, at the suggestion of the seller, he opened the box and tested the program. A series of menus appeared. “This is quite unusual,” he thought. It was far more complicated than the previous version, which had been a complete commercial success.

When he finally managed to install the program, he realized that this was a dreadfully awkward version. Instead of the standard beautiful birds, version 2.05 was filled with dark crows, cloudy skies and empty fields. The typically beautiful trees had been substituted by dark rocks and the clear lake was filled with black water.

He heard the key turn. She was home. He tried to turn the computer off quickly, but when she walked into the living-room, she managed to take a glimpse at the screen. Her eyes opened wide, fascinated. “Where did you get this?” He shrugged, lining up a few lame excuses about the seller making a mistake, selling him the wrong program. “This is much better! I love it!” That was the beginning of her obsession for crows, an obsession that cost him his marriage, his house and his happiness.

Today, a century and a half later and approaching the end of his life, living in a recovered Earth with real birds and trees and lakes, he still hates the seller for not having warned him about the changes in version 2.05.