Bellasini had backed up her assignment the previous evening, and was just about to raise her hand, when that little voice inside her head, that we all hear from time to time, advised her not to.

 

Some people call it their conscience, while others just call it the little voice in their head.

 

However, on this day, Bellasini heard the voice loud and clear.

 

My conscience is right, she thought to herself. How can I raise my hand, when all my friends have lost their assignments?

 

"Mr. McRam!" called out Bellasini. "My dad was called into the bank last night to repair a virus that is attacking their computer files. Maybe it's the same one, and just maybe he has already fixed the glitch."

 

A dejected Mr. McRam slowly stood. "I hope you’re right Bellasini, because right now, we all need a miracle”.

 

As he walked out the door to telephone her father, Bellasini thought to herself, what sort of person could be so mean to name a virus, the ‘Happy Birthday Virus,’ on her birthday?

 

After a few minutes Mr. McRam returned.

 

"I'm afraid I have some bad news for everyone. The virus is much worse than I thought. It appears that it won't be able to be repaired by tomorrow. So I'm afraid you will all have to redo your assignments."

 

He went on to explain, he had also spoken to the National Education Board about the problem, and they had allowed another week for students to redo the assignments. However, only those assignments that were submitted by tomorrow, would be eligible for the National Student Computer Awards.

 

"Will anyone be able to submit their assignments by tomorrow?" he asked, turning in Bellasini’s direction.

 

Bellasini glanced around the room, to find only two hands raised. So again, she decided to leave hers down.

 

"Ok then, it would appear we all have a lot of work to do. So we had all best get started," announced Mr. McRam.

 

Bellasini could see that Mr. McRam was feeling a sense of loss, on behalf of all the students. However, this was the year he thought one of his students was going to win the National Computer Awards, which would see his lifelong dream fulfilled. A dream that was crushed in a single second, by a computer glitch.

 

Who could be so cruel? thought Bellasini.

 

The rest of the school day dragged on. The school network remained down, and rumors began to emerge that nearly all the businesses in town, had been affected by the same virus. Chaos was gripping the small township of Montville, as telephone and electricity services, began to fall victim, to a network glitch.

 

There was no doubt, this had been the most horrible birthday, Bellasini had ever experienced.

 

She was glad to be heading home, and was looking forward to stopping in at Gran’s house. If there was one person who could cheer her up, it was Gran.

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