Tag Archives: Internet

Net Sacrifice – Friday Fictioneers

I am crazy busy these days. I apologize for not being around more and not posting as much as usual. Someday, perhaps, things will get back to normal. Thanks again to all those who shared my post about my t-shirt line, Fiction T’s. I’ll be drawing for the free t-shirts tomorrow.

copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy

copyright Douglas M. MacIlroy

 Net Sacrifice

They dragged the screaming goat into the sweltering, LED-lit cave where hulking monsters hurled beams of light across the world, billions a second.

“We have the offering,” Mark said.

The Switch sat enthroned among the machines, a wizened creature with the light of a trillion bits gleaming in empty sockets.

“Goat,” it sneered. “I need more power! More speed! Bring me human.”

“Of course.” They escaped, the goat’s dying shriek echoing as the door slammed.

“We can’t do this,” Larry said. “People won’t stand for it.”

“No, people won’t stand for Google or Facebook slowing down.”

A pause.

“So . . . who?”

To me this story seems clear, but since it is sufficiently bizarre, for those who aren’t clear on the meaning, let me just say, it is as if the book Tubes, by Andrew Blum was instead written by H.P. Lovecraft. That’s all I’ve got: follow the links. Bonus points if you get the significance of the people’s names.

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GoMotivateMe.com

Jorge woke up an hour before he had to leave for work and found that all his motivation to get up had leaked out during the night. Lethargically, he looked under his pillow. No motivation there.

Five minutes of staring at the ceiling yielded no motivation. Its creamy, stucco surface was like a desert of motivating power. He thought about calling in sick but could not build up the necessary will.

As usual, the Internet saved the day. Jorge did have motivation to check Facebook on his phone and while he caught up with the witty adventures of the children of high school acquaintances, he noticed an ad on the sidebar.

GoMotivateMe.com: let crowd-sourcing fuel your wildest dreams, where drive, will, and ambition are the only limitations. With a shrug, he clicked on the link.

It took five minutes to sign up and create a new campaign. “What would you like motivation with?” the pop-up asked. Jorge typed: To go to work today.

“How much motivation would you like?” the next box asked. It was an odd question and Jorge was not sure how to quantify his necessary motivation, but luckily there was a drop-down menu. Jorge chose A lot of motivation.

And that was it. The screen showed the number of donors (zero) and a progress bar. A few seconds later, the donor number jumped to 1 and a message from skwirlz0495 popped up at the bottom of the screen: “I will text you and say ‘Good job!’” The progress bar moved a millimeter.

This was fun; a lot more fun than getting ready for work. He watched as another donor message popped up, this one from chunkylover53: “I will bring you half a dozen doughnuts.” The progress bar moved to 20%. Jorge could feel it working: he was starting to want to go to work.

Then another message popped up. It had multiple paragraphs. The username was skullpunch_drunk_love.

“I have traced your IP address. I know who you are, Jorge. If you do not go to work today, I will come and find you. I will urinate in your mailbox. I will tell your neighbors your cat is a Fascist. I will steal the family of garden gnomes in your front yard and burn them out in the desert.

“If you do not email me a note from your boss saying that you went to work today, I will be there in 24 hours, Jorge. You will not see me coming. I will break every window in your house, one each day and I will cut the tops off your tulips. Your car will only have three tires every day when you come outside. Go to work today.”

The progress bar shot, improbably, to 114%. Jorge put down the phone and went to the bathroom to take a shower, a funny feeling in his stomach.

On his way to work to work an hour later, he looked at his family of garden gnomes. “I’m doing this for you,” his whispered. Then he wondered vaguely how he was going to get his half dozen doughnuts.


The World is my Stage – Friday Fictioneers

copyright Sandra Crook

copyright Sandra Crook

The World is my Stage

“1 billion hits by midnight or New York City is gone!” screamed the title of the live Internet feed. Seven hours left: 540,000,000 hits needed. The CIA considered them a credible threat and now the whole world watched, breath held.

Jason sat in front of the nuclear weapon mock-up, webcam capturing everything except his own screen. Members were reporting from all over the country. Everything was almost ready, and then the real strike, the hammer blow of vengeance, would fall.

The first rule of sleight of hand, Jason thought. Keep the audience focused anywhere but where the real action is.


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