Those Five Words

“Farley, we need to talk,” Anne said.

Farley looked up from where she was halfway through her assigned Biology reading. All of her warning bells were going off. Klaxons screaming, lights flashing. Those five words never ended well for her, ever.

Be cool. Be cool. She reminded herself silently.

“Yeah?” Farley asked, and her voice most certainly did not squeak.

“Legal cases about necrophilia? Weaponizing the vagina? Whale tail? Water from nuclear power plants? Redneck improvised weapons? Neurological causes of impotence? Fast deadly infectious diseases? American terrorism? Unicorn hunters? What the fuck are you doing? Are you trying to get picked up by the NSA?” Anne demanded.

“No…?” Farley was confused. “How does this have anything to do with me and the NSA?”

“Farley, that is your Google search history,” Anne told her. “You sound like a psycho!”

“Oh!” Farley shrugged and looked back down at her biology book. “Don’t worry, I search the really bad stuff on public computers that are not linked to me.”

Anne covered her face. “The ‘really bad stuff?’” she asked, her voice muffled, but Farley could still hear the strain in it.

“Yeah, like ISIS recruitment techniques, waterboarding, and napalm,” Farley mumbled, highlighting a line in the middle of a paragraph.

Farley read for another minute before she realized the silence that was weighing down the room was not a good silence. She looked up to find Anne staring at her a little wildly.

“It’s for an art project! I don’t want to be a sleeper cell or destroy Western civilization! I just want to accurately portray, in an artistic manner, the political and emotional climate of the Arab world and its relationship and impact on Western civilization!” Farley said. “I AM NOT AN ISIS AGENT!”

Anne rubbed her temples. “If I get blackbagged in the middle of the night because you…”

“It’s for an art project!”

“I will use your search history to come up with some ideas of awful things to do to you!” Anne finished.

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