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February 3rd, 2017

I groggily make my way to the kitchen, and pause at the dining room table. There's an item that looks like a Star Wars lightsaber hilt.

"Hey, honey. What is this thing on the table?"

She walks over and cocks her head slightly to one side. "No idea, never saw it." She pats me on my back and walks away.

"Well, it couldn't have just walked in here," I say to nobody in particular. I go over and pick it up. It has a red button on one end, and the number '000' on the other.

I push the button.

The counter changed to '001'. Ahh, a counter. But why is this here? I clicked it a few more times while looking around. I see a piece of paper was under it as well but who needs instructions for a clicker. I click it again.

I walk into the kitchen and see my wife drinking coffee while reading news on an iPad. "I think I'm going to make two eggs." I click the counter twice. "Do you want any?"

She doesn't look up, "No thanks, hun."

"Okay." I cracks a couple of eggs and get out the salt and pepper grinders. I talk again to nobody in particular, "You see, the key to good scrambled eggs is to do at least three shakes of salt" (I click the button three times), "and two shakes of pepper" (two more button clicks).

I sit down to eat my eggs across from my wife. I take a bite and look at her. She doesn't notice me at all. I click the button a few times. No response. What about twenty clicks really fast? Nothing. Ok, how about Chopin's Minute Waltz played to you by a little clicker?

"Hey, can you stop that?"

"Oh, so that gets you to respond. I thought you might like it. It was Chopin if you want to know." She's already back to the news.

I take another bite and look at the counter: '158'. I wonder what happens when this wraps around past 999. Only one way to figure that out.


Click. Click.

Click. Click. Click. Click click click click click clickclickclickclickclick...Click.

"Honey, can you please stop that?"

I keep clicking. "Sorry, this is science now. We're going over the top."

She huffs and looks up. "How long is this going to take?"

I pause for a moment to look at the counter: '534'. "465 to go. We're more than halfway there!" I keep clicking while smiling at her.

She huffs, and gets up to pour herself a new cup of coffee. I keep clicking.

Just as she's about to sit down, I look at the counter: '991'. "Nine more to go!" Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. "Ok, here's the big one. Do you want to watch?"

She looks at me while picking up her iPad, "I'll pass, thanks."

"Your loss." Click. The counter goes back to '000'. "Well that was disappointing." I click it a couple of more times: '002'. "Nope, this is just a counter. Nothing here."

I clean up the dishes. One click for everything that went into the dishwasher, obviously. Then sit back down netx to my wife. Suddenly our phones both started beeping wildly. I go over to the dining room table to grab mine and see there was a "Wireless Emergency Alert" window. I had no idea this was a phone thing. I read the text of the alert aloud: "Emergency alert : Remain in your home. An unknown contagion is spreading in your area. Hundreds have died. Do not go outside."

My wife is already back to her iPad, "Yeah, this is already up on CNN's breaking news. It's just our city too. People are just dying for no reason."

I look at my wife, then to the counter, then back to my wife. "It can't be this, right?" I grab the note that was under the counter. I flip it over and there's more text: "Each click will cause one person to die."

"Sir, we have concluded out assessment of the life forms on this planet. Our preliminary analysis indicated they may be violent so a button click assay was used. The results from this were far greater than any other species ever encountered. It is not recommended to make contact with this species at this time."