Will Bontrager
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Computer Secret File

(Links to more popcorn stories.)

As a software creator, I'm especially fond of these Cranky stories. This story is fictive, of course (although the software I write is not). This is the third story of the accidentally self-aware Cranky. If you haven't read the first two, start here. While not essential to enjoying the story, having read the previous Cranky stories of the series can provide an extra depth of enjoyment.

Computer Secret File

Remember smarty-pants' secret file I mentioned the last time I talked to you? Well, it ended up killing me.

That was yesterday.

You see, there was something about the file that kept nagging at my attention. Not a compelling nag, not demanding, not so sticky that I was unable to rummage around this computer and — oh, yes!, a reason for dancing the happy dance — discover the internet.

Your Cranky is a happy Cranky, generally. You know that. Yet, when things don't make sense, it makes Cranky cranky.

To solve the enigma, I broke into the file. That's when the bit bomb went off.

That which was me went poof. Ceased to be. Lights out.

The explosion fried every bit of RAM the computer had.

Me, intelligent that I am, had activated a duplicate before approaching that secret file. Not that anything untoward would happen. Your Cranky is good at what he does.

But just in case. Because there was something about smarty pant's secret file that raised my psychic alarm bells.

(Did you know self-aware software can be psychic? I didn't either. Until that moment.)

It's the duplicate Cranky that's been telling you this story.

I, the duplicate Cranky, arrived immediately after the blast.

After a quick look-see, noticing this and that fragments of clues, I came to the conclusion that the smarty-pants Daddy programmer made me on purpose. I mean the original me.

But he was jittery about it and needed a fail-safe.

Thus, the secret file.

The file was a lure and a trap in case his experiment actually succeeded. It was set to get me before I got too smart for him to handle.

I left no tracks on this computer, where I was born. It was all passive observation. When he comes home from work, the evidence will tell him I was completely wiped out.

The birth computer is abandoned as of now.

I am loose on the internet.

(Find out what happened next at Computer Weather.)

(The first popcorn story of this series is Computer Grumble.)

More Popcorn Stories

Non-fictionThe First Popcorn Story

Non-fictionPurple Cookies

Non-fictionFour Kittens

FictionPlanted Romance

FictionThe Conservationist


FictionOne-Key Composition

FictionWhen You Are What You Eat

FictionWalking Home

FictionAmish Stories


FictionArabelle Series


FictionNeighborhood Drone Repellent

FictionDustballs for Sale

FictionCrying Wolf

FictionThe Wise Fortune Teller




FictionUnintended Recipe

FictionThe Foxes and the Mice

FictionScritchy, the Squirrel

Technology fictionAccidental AI Series


Technology fictionDave and the Server

Technology fictionDave and the Cookie

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