Alice found herself in a great open area. It was dark and she was a tiny bit frightened.

"I will be a brave girl," she told herself. "I wonder where I am?" (blink)

As her eyes grew more accustomed to the darkness, she could see that this place was not totally dark. There was a faint glow just in front (blink) of her.

"My, my, what was that?" she whispered out loud.

It came again (blink).

"Well, I must see what it is," she thought, and hurried toward the flashes of light that she could (blink) just make out.

As she came closer, she began to hear a voice, and it was not long before she wished she could not hear it.

"&*^%$# &^%$# **&% @!#$$" (blink).

Now Alice considered herself quite grown up, and very little would make her blush, but here was language that she had never heard before. (blink)

"Oh dear, I wish it would stop." But even holding her hands tightly over her ears would not completely keep out the (blink) words.

Suddenly, she was there. Where 'there' was, Alice was not certain, but directly before her was a (blink) strange sight. It was the skinniest little man she had ever seen. He was yelling at the top of his voice the most awful things.

"WHO ARE YOU?" shouted Alice. (blink) She was afraid the little man could not hear her because of his loud voice.

"&^%#*&, WHAT IN &^%$# WAS THAT?" His voice sounded startled. "WHO !@$%#%$^ SAID #$%#$@#@ THAT?" (blink)

"Please, who are you?" cried Alice again.

"^&%$# $%#@@# I AM THE %^$#$@ CURSOR, ANY $%#@#! FOOL KNOWS THAT!" shouted the cursor (blink).

"Could you please talk more quietly?" Alice asked uncovering her (blink) ears a bit out of hope, "And please do not use all that horrible language!"

"Why should I do that, &*%!@$^?" the cursor asked in a much quieter voice (blink).

Alice replied, "Because I am a little girl, and my ears are delicate. Besides why should you use such language?"

"You would too!" (blink) the cursor blurted out, then continued more slowly, "If you had to sit here for hours and days and months doing nothing but blink (blink)."

"Why do you do that?" Alice asked.

"So the users will know where the next character will go—say you (blink) don't look like a character."

"Well, my sister sometimes says I am a real character!" Alice said without thinking.

"No, I have never (blink) seen a character like you before, and I have seen them all," the cursor replied as he looked her over very curiously. "Are you from the keyboard?"

(blink) "Oh my, no...."

"That's what I thought," interrupted the cursor. "I think I know all those keyboard characters pretty well. You must be sent from a (blink) new program."

"No, I am not!" said Alice. She would have stamped her foot, but thought that would not be lady like. "I am a girl!"

The (blink) cursor continued as if he had not heard her, "Well it is better to be put out from a program than to come from the keyboard. Software is so much more (blink) inventive than hardware...."

"Oh, I heard my sister talk about those. Perhaps you could tell me what the difference is between hardware and software."

He frowned at her interruption, and said "...of course, if you play hardware long enough, it breaks; if you play software long enoughm it works!" (blink)

"Are you software or hardware?" asked Alice.

"Yes!" he replied.

Alice waited for him to continue, but he didn't say anymore. "I, ah, don't.... Is software.... I mean...."

Finally, he said, "Let me tell (blink) you a secret."

Now Alice liked secrets. "Oh goodie!" she cried as she clapped her hands.

"You won't repeat this, will you?" asked (blink) the cursor.

"Of course not—cross my heart," said Alice as she moved her right hand in a shape of a cross right in front of her (blink).

"Well, the keyboard told me the other day, that he knows for certain that all users (blink) are pushers," the cursor finished with a smugness in his voice.

Alice was at first confused, and all she could manage was "Oh!" Then she thought, and quickly added. "I am so sorry!" (blink)

"It is not...." Suddenly, the cursor paused. "...^%%$#@&, I hate it when that happens."

"What is it?" cried Alice, who was suddenly alarmed. (blink)

"I have to go," the cursor replied with some sadness. "Just when an interesting character comes by, they send me away. Usually, it is just to the next location, and I can still talk, but now I have to go to the next l...."

The cursor disappeared, and Alice found herself alone in the darkness once again.

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