kindle pitch

Mr Francombe’s hair is sticking up so outrageously it’s like he’s spent the night hanging from a rail.
‘It often goes like that,’ he says, licking his palm and attempting to paw it back into place. ‘That’s what happens when you get old, you see. Your hair takes over. Amongst other things.’
No-one could say that Mr Francombe hasn’t embraced technology. Apart from his TV and radio, he has a laptop on his over-chair table, a mobile phone, and a Kindle, in a smart, red fabric case with elastic strap.
‘What are you reading on the Kindle at the moment?’
‘Oh, nothing much,’ he says, giving it a shake. ‘We-ell, I downloaded a couple of things the other day. There’s this one about a guy who runs a small island, like one of them criminal masterminds, you know? And this family’s sent there to basically kill him and everything, but then they’re captured, and they have to try and escape. And then there’s this other one about this guy that’s had this implant in his brain, so he becomes like a plaything in a rich man’s game, hunted all over the island, like – you know? – like an animal or something? And he has to figure out what he’s going to do, and how he’s going to escape.’
‘Same island?’
‘Different island. And then there’s this other one, a bit more life-like, where this young kid from Carlisle has to move south to look for work, and then this terrible thing happens. Which is why I thought I’d download it. ‘Cos that’s where I’m from. Carlisle.’
I want to ask him about the terrible thing, but instead, to make conversation, whilst I’m packing my stuff away, something else occurs to me to say instead.
‘Imagine how freaky it’d be if you downloaded a book on Kindle,’ I tell him,’…completely at random, because you liked the cover or there was just something about it. And then you found out it was exactly your life, the things you said, the clothes you wore, everything. Where you lived, the whole bit. You’d be scared to carry on reading it, because you’d worry what it might tell you about the future.’
He studies me quietly a moment.
‘Nah!’ he says. ‘I don’t think I’d download that one.’

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