Solitaire.exe is a collection of blog posts thought to have been written by Joseph F. Wallace, a man cut off from connecting to the Internet by his internet service provider. At this point, details concerning the sudden and abrupt end of his online services are not known, but some discoveries involving Mr. Wallace's laptop indicate that he used it to "steal internet" from several of his neighbors, all of whom had unsecured networks with passwords easily discovered by investigators. It is also not known how the journal itself came to be uploaded to the internet since at the time of its writing, Mr. Wallace himself admits that he has no connection. What is known is that the documents were produced on his home computer, the same computer found switched on in his otherwise ransacked mess of an apartment.
Mr. Wallace was not friendly with his neighbors and upon questioning them it was found that he lived a solitary, almost reclusive life with no other comforts but his beloved laptop and tower-style gaming computer. Any attempts by those in his neighboring apartments to discuss local problems or concerns were usually met with anger, yelling or both and no further attempts were made to make his acquaintance.
Since Mr. Wallace's deprivation was so sudden and so complete, it has been put forth that he was ill-equipped to deal with the sudden onrush of real life dealings and because of this, he further sequestered himself alone in his apartment, attempting to somehow find joy with his computer. After quickly running through his meager supply of movies, mp3s and other assorted entertainments, authorities have theorized that he discovered the computerized card game titled Solitaire which ships with all versions of the Microsoft product called "Windows." What then occurred can only be described as a struggle, both mental and physical, which ended with Mr. Wallace’s complete mental breakdown.
The following entries were found online in what appears to be a rudimentary blog that details Mr. Wallace's life up until his unexplained disappearance.
The journal itself spans 37 days,from the 3 of June 2010 to the 9th of July, 2010.
Being deprived of my internet, I have resorted to using my computer in unorthodox ways. One being that I have watched many stored movies that were downloaded over the course of the last few years. I feel that I am catching up on lost files. Two, I am discovering all the ins and outs involved in Windows Seven. That being the operating system I am now forced to use due to my other machines being in the shop.
A quick scan of my start menu reveals an old friend. This program used to help me while away countless hours of tedium during my days as a warehouse manager. The boredom involved in telling 200 people what to do often was relieved by Solitaire.
Happily, I have discovered that this game I play does not infringe upon my processor's other needs. In fact, the simple card game takes up so little memory; I may watch movies while I also attempt to seek out free internet by typing imagined passwords into my neighbor’s wireless accounts.
I have also hit upon an excellent strategy with Solitaire. While playing the game, during its normal course of events, I have discovered that it is wise to move through the cast out deck quickly. This allows me to look at all of the cards available to me in short order.
All of that strategic posturing is for naught. I have now realized that the game’s scoring involves the quickness of play. That is, the quicker a player finishes, the more points he will score. Currently, I find myself hovering around the 3 minute mark. A game takes me roughly three minutes to finish when I do finish at all. My win ratio is around 29%. Could this game be conspiring against me?
Angrily, I allow my sticking, sweaty arms to pivot with the mouse across my computer’s table. It is hot in this room and my abilities with the cards are only making me more disgusted with my playing style. Nothing else matters now, but to beat this infernal machine at its game that seems to be so random…yet is not. Oh yes Windows, I see your card tricks and I use the F2 button to escape them. Ah Ha! And also the H button is now lending me tips.
This discovery of helpful keys has aided my game, it seems. I am now finishing games in less than two minutes and my actual score is now hovering around the 6000 point level. I play so furiously, sweat and cigarette smoke curse my eyes while I deftly finger the keyboard as a concert pianist would.
Previously, I was of the mind that the top score allowed in this game was 8000 points. This is not true however, as the other day through some luck from the Gods, I was shown that I was sorely mistaken. My score of 8609 astounded me. I finished the game with a total tally of only one minute and twenty-eight seconds. Surely this inhuman ability to flick mouse and keyboard keys will somehow grant me the ability to obtain a job or some internet access in the least. If not, I intend to apply these skills to minesweeper or spider solitaire should my current addiction abate.
I have increased my win percentage to 34% which means that for every three games I play, I win one. People will probably express the notion that I am somehow cheating this game, but I ask how? How is it possible to cheat a computer? Granted, I will admit that the dastardly machine will often give me such dismal cards that I think it may be slighting me, but still…there is no way to disturb the ultimate sanctity from my end of the game’s spectrum.
Actually, I was affronted by the idea that I could cheat. The cards flutter past my eyes so quickly because I am racing against that little digital clock, I cannot think of any sort of chicanery while I make my moves. It is shear rubbish that I would cheat now. Even if my internet connection was alive, I would not use search engines to discover such foolishness.
I no longer see suits, numbers, or even colors. Kings, Jacks, Twos all speed past my vision in a never ending waterfall of flickering lights and sad computer animations. Clubs, Hearts, Spades…mere foolishness that resolves itself within a blur of madness. My ability to press the H key has become a matter of record, while my unerring use of the drag option is only rivaled in speed by the very birds in the sky.
I no longer pay attention to what is displayed upon the screen, I only have time to punch, drag, click.
Punch. Drag. Click.
These cards, they are like flaky yellow wallpaper that is moldering upon my home’s walls. I must pick them off. I must drag them off the chalky drywall that holds them to my eye and holds them in my mind. As soon as I strip off the old cake, a new gaudy card is revealed. It is not me now. These cards, their intricate designs and the green felt of the playing background are now full screen in my thoughts.
Let the rivals beware. I am not afraid of you, nor shall I shirk from any challenge. Today, the computer dealt me three straight hands of solitaire where the first three cards laid out face-up were six. Ha! Six Six Six!
I have discovered the greatest side dish of all time. 90 seconds in the microwave will allow me the brown, sugary goodness of canned pork and beans. They are a dripping sweetness that packs a soft-to-the-tooth bite welcomed by my belly.
I only mention this because I refuse to play Solitaire any longer. Oh no, I leave the program on. The green field is on my screen, there as a challenge to my will. Sometimes I leave it on in fullscreen mode. Yet I must eat, and I have found such sustenance in my cupboard. As an added treat, I gave the bowl a few squirts of mustard.
It is hot. The humidity is around 90% and I do not forget any kindness, yet I do not forget rage either. I can see only blurring lights from my eyes any longer. I fear the mucus that collects within the corners of my eyes is trying to glue my eyelids to my cheeks. THIS MUST NOT HAPPEN.
My teeth feel like hollow, sore boulders within my head. I chew and chew and all I have left is the dysentery allowed to me. Possibly sent via the courtesy of some demon.
I purchased a bag of ice. I then refer to myself in a strange narrative that is unknown to me. The game has its lucid moments, yet I feel that I am no longer a player. Pulled in and grasping, I have succumbed to its wild charms once again. It has cool green felt, it has fiery red Queens. Oh those Queens, they drive me. No further tally of scores will suffice. I have played more than two thousand games and I will no longer need to discuss any scores or times. Why? I am the game.
It is here that the narrative completely breaks down. There are several more entries into Mr. Wallace’s blog, but they are little more than gibberish, typed hastily and filled with many errors. Upon closely scanning the remaining entries, it can be surmised that Mr. Wallace suffered some sort of injury to his left index finger that undermined his access to the H key. Since the H key is the “hint” key in Solitaire, it can be hypothesized that Mr. Wallace, yet again cut off (in this case physically) from outside stimuli, slowly sank into a catatonic state of no return. This is only conjecture at this point, as Mr. Wallace is still missing.
A subsequent investigation of his apartment only yielded several empty pizza boxes, drained soft drink bottles, overfull ashtrays, a kitchen lacking women and full of garbage and one boldly and viciously scrawled notice, written in blood, upon his bedroom wall: "LAS VEGAS RULES ARE SHIT"
Since Mr. Wallace’s blood type is unknown and he cannot be found, it can only be assumed that the message was written by Mr. Wallace himself prior to his complete break with sanity and subsequent disappearance. A general All Points Bulletin has been issued by the local police, but as of this writing, Mr. Wallace is still missing and no new clues have turned up.
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Solitaire is part of a series on
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