Non Sequitur Stories

Scope Creep

They knows they should not be here…

Alone, walking nervously in the passageway– they freeze.

Ahead of him an arc-like stain of crimson appears embracing the silhouette of the fedora floating above a worn trench both shaking in the misty smoke covering the ground. It approaches. From beneath the fedora, behind a muffler, unyielding eyes appear emblazoning an alabaster face. The face that might even be considered handsome, possessed an unnaturalness that summons from the souls that gaze upon it disgust even while it ensnares awareness.

With the sound of thundering cloth, the developer falls backwards as the silent footsteps ceases. The long coat blooms and lustrous gimmicks come into view.

“What do we have here…” in a voice, neither male nor female.

“Who– no, what are you?!” the helpless voice from below asks.

“It matters not. We are but here to serve; We possess the finest articles… They can be yours and, up-front, we shall demand neither time nor money. BELLS! WHISTLES! YES– THERE IS NO NEED TO BE SHY!”

Entranced by the shinies, the developer just gapes without scrutiny.

Plucking a device from the inside of its trench, the Scope Creep lightly shakes it producing an ethereal, irregular melody. “How about it… beyond the dreams of Solomon… Maybe read comma separated values from a photograph of a printout–” dropping it, it takes another thing to his lips and lightly blows, “or perhaps you want virtual reality visualization of analytics… All this is available and more.” it continues as the edges of a smile breaches the top of the inky scarf.

“But… but… our resources are limited.”

Calmly, “That. That is of no concern.” looking over its prey

“But… the technical debt.”

“The future is built on the shoulders of the past. Charge it, they will pay… As they rightfully should– after all, they will reap the benefits”

“But…”

“No buts. What is it you covet? What fancies do you seek? Name your wishes. We shall see them fulfilled: actions shall be taken.”

For a moment, the developer was paralysed as though fixed in stasis. Vocal cords come to life: “I wish…”

The Scope Creep muffler lowers as a Cheshire grin widens the jaw, ready to devour the helpless mouse before it–

“NO! I have resolved to have temperance!”

“You cannot resist forever…” the Scope Creep hisses while fading into the blankness, “the very ones you serve, unbeknownst to themselves, crave the same things.”

Drenched in diaphoresis, the humble programmer stands and ponders for a second before continuing from the water cooler to the break room for a much needed cup of coffee.