Everybody Knows

Everybody Knows

“Hello World?” Xavior sneered. “Can’t I write something else? Something more interesting?”

Lilianna drew a deep breath and released one of her long-suffering sighs that indicated silently how difficult her only friend made her life. “No! Every programmer writes the same first program in every language. It’s a tradition! What was the first thing you learned to write as a kid? Probably your name. How exciting!”

Xavior grumbled something under his breath, but Lilianna didn’t bother trying to discern it. His fingers dutifully poked each key in turn, typing the words she’d printed out for him to follow. Though considering how much time it took him to find each key on the pad, she was going to have to add ‘typing lessons’ to the list of things they needed to cover. Unless she wanted to spend a year watching him compile a proper program.

Despite his protests, and horrible typing ability, Lilianna was less annoyed than usual. They had come far from the disaster of Xavior’s initial introduction to technology, when the command double click the folder icon had resulted in her friend wheeling the cursor into place with agonizing slowness, clicking once, waiting several seconds and then clicking again. She still recalled the deer-in-the-headlights look on his face when nothing happened.

No, no, she’d admonished. Double click. You have to do it twice in quick succession.

Not to mention his obvious frustration when she told him to click the start bar.

“What in blazes is that?” he ranted, hovering the cursor over every icon and waiting for the pop up before growling in frustration.

“It’s the button,” Lilianna replied, her finger pointed steadily toward the lower left hand corner of the screen. “The one on the bar?”

“Why don’t they have manuals that explain these things?” Xavior exploded. “Or a diagram or… or…”

“Because everybody knows how to use a computer these days. We learn when we’re like two years old.”

“Well I don’t know,” Xavior replied as though the entire world should make a special exception because it was him. Secretly, Lilianna liked when he talked like that. She didn’t regard it as arrogance so much as a special kind of confidence most people lacked. She’d never let him catch a hint of her admiration, though. Instead she adopted her most stern and slightly condescending expression.

“That’s because you were raised in the wild. Like a barbarian.”

But if she could learn to swim and wear clothing that even somewhat matched, he could learn how computers worked.

“That’s it?” Xavior sounded slightly disappointed when he ran his fledgling program and it only printed the words Hello World in flashing green letters.

“Well yeah,” Lilianna replied with a grin. “It’s just to show you how the simple commands work. Now you know whatever you put in the print tags will show up on the screen.”

“You could have just told me that and then I would know.”

“And you could have just told me to lay on my back in the water and I would magically float.” She rolled her eyes. “We learn by doing. You have to know how every part of the program works. You have to know what it feels like, until you can build it all by instinct.” Her area of expertise might be a foreign world to him, but when she talked like this, Lilianna could tell Xavior understood.

“Now, let me show you what these little bumps on the F and J keys are for…”

Check out what my writing partner did with this prompt!

And if you’d like to participate, leave a comment with a link to your response. There are plenty of prompts to choose from ;)

3 Replies to “Everybody Knows”

    1. Me too! At the time I thought it was silly, but now I spend so much time writing on the computer, it’s a life saver!

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