by Stanley Lieber


tags: 1961, Æsir, mars2, maude_mold, odin

1 October.

Maude felt bad. Odin was the áss. He’d knocked over Spiro’s computer, destroying the CRT, and, most likely, the CPU. Buckling-spring keyswitches lay strewn about the dining room carpet. She’d have a hard time returning the thing, now. Oh, well, there were probably more disused units back at Plinth’s office. Nobody would notice if she made off with another one.

But first she had to get rid of Odin.

Maude reviewed the uncontract. No, there was nothing here but code. Either the operation completed without error or it didn’t. Undo had not been implemented.

A crash from the kitchen. Odin’s wide-load elbows again, flapping like a lot lizard working the passenger door on a big rig. The microwave, she guessed.

There wasn’t much time to get him out of the apartment and to fold up the plastic tarpaulin from on top of the couch. Forensic hygiene was already a lost cause. Maude knew the jig was up, but fully-automated adultery had never been a sport for quitters.

Odin ripped off the spoiled condom and lobbed it into the kitchen trash. The little yellow trash can reeled from the impact of his heavy load, biting its lip in mute perseverance. It wobbled from side to side, finally tipping to the floor and surrendering its contents across the fractal remains of the microwave, pretty as you please, in precisely the kind of artistic flourish forever absent from Odin's married life.

The hair on the back of his legs stood up.