Sam replaced the backplate and booted up the system. A cricket chirped. It was an odd-looking computer, more organic than anything, but if Sam said it would as a spirit detector Dill was quite certain it would.
Sam tapped some keys and studied the arrangement of an aromatic leaf frond. "There. It's ready for you to write the code now."
"How?" Dill sat on the tree stump serving as a stool. "There's no screen."
"There is." Sam ran his hand along the herb fronds. "These are knawel leaves. They respond to psychic vibrations." He plucked one and popped it in his mouth, chewing slowly. "Good for flavouring rice, too."
"Rice?" Dill nodded. "You've been eating some already, I see."
Sam shook his head. "Not me. I haven't eaten anything since that bacon at Mr. Xio's Lo-Mart."
Dill grinned. "Liar. There are grains of rice in your beard." He tapped a few keys experimentally and the cricket chirped again.
"That's a fault in a nested loop subroutine." Sam went across to the mirror. "Try a recursive poke into the registry." He craned his chin forward to inspect his beard. "These aren't grains of rice. They're little white maggots."
"Ew. You dirty bugger." Dill looked up. Come over here."
Sam bent to examine the knawels. "You've introduced some bugs."
"I've done no such thing. My programming is flawless."
"No, see? Little beetles." Sam looked at Dill. "They're in your hair."
Dill plucked a maggot from Sam's beard and ate it. "Swapsies?"