It was a cold evening, the wind was howling outside. I was in England, trying to relax after the busy week. Then came the call, one of THOSE calls. I knew by the pause before he spoke who it was. He took his time. “Kevin, I have a job for you, but it must be finished by Monday!”. His voice always alarmed me a little. He was a very small man, a little over 4 feet 6, and with his small frame his voice was light, sometimes you could mistake it for a young child’s voice. But there was always a tension in his voice, an air of demand. It was like a child wanting to get his way, except this man was much more threatening than any child.
“Monday he said, at the latest!”. He described the job to me. I didn’t want to do it, and under time pressure too. I didn’t have a choice. I owed him. Something he never let me forget. And he took his payback, frequently. This time the job didn’t seem so bad. My weekend would be gone. But I could do this one.
So I made plans, thought it through. If I kept sharp, kept focused, I could set it up Saturday, and make the “delivery” on Sunday.
It was a tougher assignment than I thought. There were problems. Unexpected people “in the way”. But I “sidestepped” them. By late Saturday night the set up was in place. A good night’s sleep, Sunday was going to be a long day….
And so it was, this assignment was nothing more than a hard grind, laying low, my only focus to get the job done as painlessly as possible. It’s true, other people suffered. I kept away from some others, I didn’t want them to see me in this world, see what I really did.
By Sunday midnight, it was complete, I’d done the man’s bidding. I called. “Good” he said, with little appreciation in his voice. “You did good”.
Did I want to do good for this man? -Maybe one day I’ll have a choice….
– Well it wasn’t quite like that but I was reminded on Twitter that in 1984, I wrote a game for a computer magazine that was published as a listing. It was called
“European Championship Cup”.
I did write it over one weekend, under time pressure to deliver!! 🙂
You can see about it here, and
and try it online here!