Monday, May 31, 2010

2,000 and counting

An excerpt from David Abrams' novel-in-progress, Fobbit:
When Stacie got to his office, booted up his computer and read the e-mail from G-3 Ops, he stared at that figure—the 1 standing at attention, the 5 slouching, the zeros with their empty, shot-out innards. It was such a nice, perfectly-shaped number—deceptively pretty, falsely clean. Then he thought about trying to count 1,500 people (heck, let’s not even make it people—say, popsicle sticks, instead) and he realized how hard it would be to count, how exhausting to tally that volume of popsicle sticks. He was sure he’d lose track halfway through—distracted by the image of sitting on the back porch with his mother, slurping at a Fudgsicle evaporating in the Tennessee heat—and he’d have to start over from the beginning. One thousand, five hundred. That was nearly half the number of soldiers in the division.
-- The Quivering Pen