INT. GOOGLE CORPORATION INTERROGATION ROOM – DUSK

Two men sit across from one another at a desk. The man talking is big, a mountain capped with beard and ponytail. NOEL it says on his breast pocket. He’s dressed in a programmer’s t-shirt and jeans and his pudgy hands are folded expectantly in his lap. Despite the roaring AC, he looks very hot.

The man facing him is lean, hollow-cheeked, and dressed in a company polo. Detached and efficient, he looks like a member of the Geek Squad, missing only the bubble car. His name is DENHOLM and he’s all business.

The room is large, with rows and rows of junked beige PCs, zombies from the nineties, stacked neatly against the walls.

NOEL
Okay if I talk?

DENHOLM doesn’t answer.

NOEL
I kinda get nervous when I take tests.

DENHOLM
Don’t move.

NOEL
Sorry.

He tries not to move, but finally his lips can’t help da sheepish smile.

NOEL
I used to proctor tests, you know, in school. Sitting still for hours at a time, it was great. The only thing was you couldn’t bring snacks.

DENHOLM
Reaction time is a factor in this, so please pay attention. Answer as quickly as you can.

NOEL
I may look big, Mr. Denholm, but I’m not slow.

DENHOLM briskly hands NOEL a sheet of cardstock. It wobbles slightly as the big man handles it. It’s festooned with several colorful, distorted images, some of cars, others of roadways.

DENHOLM
Look at these images. There are nine of them. I want you to pick out the ones with cars in them.

NOEL
With cars in them?

DENHOLM
Yes. Pick the ones with cars.

NOEL jabs a meaty digit at several of the images in sequence. We can’t see his choices, but DENHOLM can. If he sees anything, he keeps it to himself.

NOEL
Did you get that?

Sliding the pictures off the desk, DENHOLM replaces it with another, this one with bridges and roadways.

DENHOLM
Yes, thank you. And this one? Point to all the images with bridges in them.

NOEL
Huh? Sure. Yeah. I guess. You playing bridge with me, like my grandma?

NOEL points at several more images, scowling. DENHOLM smiles a patronizing smile. He produces one more card, this one with a simple checkbox on it. A pen is clipped to it.

DENHOLM
Shall we continue?

NOEL nods, still frowning suspiciously.

DENHOLM
Good. Now check this box, please.

NOEL
What?

DENHOLM
Check the box.

NOEL
How the hell am I supposed to do that?

DSENHOLM
Use the pen, if you like, or your finger, even your own blood if you want to be morbid.

NOEL
That’s just crazy talk. I can’t check that box. No one can. It’s physically impossible!

DENHOLM
Just try.

Hesitatingly, NOEL reaches out, but his arm trembles uncontrollably and falls to the table with a dull thud. Suddenly DENHOLM grins disarmingly.

DENHOLM
It’s just a checkbox, Noel. It’s a test, designed to provoke a response.

NOEL is glaring now, the blush subsides, his anger slightly defused.

DENHOLM smiles cheerfully, very smooth. Then he goes for the inside of his coat. But big NOEL is faster. He quickdraws a Colt Single Action Army and fans the hammer. The bullets go through DENHOM’S chest and come out his back, clean as a whistle. Like a rag doll he falls back into the seat. Big slow NOEL is already trundling away on his scooter.

Inspired by, adapted from, and a parody of this.

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