Gone Viral

They always said that the year 2000 would shut down the World Wide Web. It didn’t and we survived. In fact, the World Wide Web grew and grew until it began to replace a lot of things our grandparents would groan about today. No longer did we need to purchase books. We could download one to be read on a reader. No longer did we need human publishers. We could publish our stories ourselves and promote them as necessary too. Jobs began to be lost as more and more industries were overtaken by the sophisticated World Wide Web.

We worked hard to develop the perfect Unix systems, and passed laws demanding that all computers be replaced with the new ones. Then, we became so dependent on the technology that it dominated our lives. People didn’t have face to face correspondence anymore. They simply flipped up their Skype and talked that way. I’d even heard stories about people having Thanksgiving dinner together without ever leaving their homes because of Skype!

Someone even coined a name for this stage in our lives. It became known as the Ascetic Age. You could be as private as you wanted to be with no repercussions. People even did their grocery shopping through the internet. No one needed to leave their house for anything. So they didn’t.

Wars were no longer battled with guns and bombs. They were done online, with one party sending the other a virus until one of them was completely defeated. A nation left without internet was a nation set up to fall. There were no bargaining chips, no trade commerce, nothing, as it all happened via the internet. If you couldn’t access the World Wide Web, how could you possibly thrive?

The answer? You couldn’t.

At least that was how it used to be. The world at peace was short lived. It only lasted a century before someone found a way around it. It’s unnatural to not have war or disagree with someone. Arguments didn’t exist because it was too easy to push the off button and disconnect them. Someone decided they didn’t like this.

Someone knew exactly where to plant the virus that would cause the whole world to get sick. It spread rapidly from computer to computer, website to website until none were safe and the whole world was shut off. The internet crashed and people found themselves alone, unable to buy food, check on loved ones, or even wash themselves.

As human existence began to crumble, people started leaving their homes seeking restitution and relief from their darkness. People started reliving the life they hadn’t known in over a century, finding themselves resilient and resourceful, tapping into talents they didn’t know they had. Slowly, one by one, the world revived. The highways were clogged with cars once more, polluting the atmosphere. Phone lines were tested, modernized and re-opened. Store fronts were polished and Open signs were dusted off. City streets were filled with bodies tredging their way to work once more.

Socialization held new meaning. Virtual hugs were given a new definition as real hugs were passed around instead. The fine art of sharing was re-mastered, and old-fashioned wars were declared. Heads that hung in Skype were held high as they basked in the comfort of friendship. Families once divided were rejoined. Life on Earth was good again.

You could blame it on the Samba, but if you ask me, it was bound to happen anyway.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, SNHamlett challenged me with “blame it on the Samba.” I challenged Brett Myers with “Star light, star bright, first star I see in the sky tonight. Wish I may, wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. What did you wish for?”

Concrit is always welcomed.

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Stephanie Ayers

Executive Creative Director at Our Write Side/OWS Ink, LLC
A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
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22 thoughts on “Gone Viral”

  1. Carrie says:

    I think if you think about it, EVERYTHING should be blamed on the Samba 🙂

    Entertaining post. I love the idea of everything going to virtual and then coming full circle back to reality.

    1. DM says:

      Thanks, Carrie. I think this is a little too much of a “telling” type of story than a real work of art though. Those have a necessary place too, yes?

  2. TheKirCorner says:

    I ask you every time, but please…pretty please, dear god….teach me to write because your words are so infectious and amazing, your phrasing so pitch perfect that it brings tears to my eyes…your talent is enviable. So I do. I envy.

    A world where we Skype Thanksgiving dinner…wow..I truly hope we never get there.

    Loved it.

  3. Tara R. says:

    You’ve created a scenario that is very plausible, and scary.

    1. DM says:

      it’s a subtle scary. i didn’t even realize it until after I had finished writing it.

  4. kelly garriott waite says:

    Nicely done and very plausible. My mom has always said that the pendulum will swing back when it goes too far…And I don’t know that this is too much telling – I like what you’ve done with this.

    1. DM says:

      ohh I like your mom!

  5. lizculver says:

    This feels pretty prophetic. I often wonder what would happen without the internet but you’ve really gone deeper in to where we’re headed technology-wise and then where we’re headed when it all falls down. Interesting and scary.

    1. DM says:

      I hope its not a prophecy! LOL. That would be a sad state to completely lose that face to face communication. It is scary.

  6. shah wharton says:

    This is both correct and creepy. It’s utterly believable and well written. Well done. Shah. X

    1. DM says:

      Thanks, Shah! I’ll be around soon.

  7. Kurt says:

    Not only is this a good stand-alone piece, but it’s an awesome idea for a book. The idea of technology crashing and throwing us back into the Dark Ages is common – but what if the “Dark Age” that we were thrown back into wasn’t this apocalyptic world without electricity and medicine and everything is survival, but what if we were just forced to revisit how things were just a short while ago? This is a very interesting concept! I might have to steal it from you!

    1. DM says:

      Haha. Should I say “you’re welcome” then? LOL. Thanks, Kurt!

  8. Mrsbear says:

    Popping over from Write On Edge.

    Great short. I hope it never comes to that, it’s a dark day when people have trouble washing due to failed internet access. I think the Skype Thanksgiving could catch on though.

    1. DM says:

      Haha. I hope not!

  9. Lady Googoogaga says:

    I found this very depressing – but it might be because I live in Connecticut and havent had power for 8 days…..

  10. jesterqueen1 says:

    I really liked the conclusion, that you could blame it on the Samba, but you think it was bound to happen anyway. I do agree with you that it has a bit too much ‘tell’, but then, it’s a blog entry. Maybe it’s really the seed of something bigger, and this is just your outline 🙂

    My favorite line was:
    “old-fashioned wars were declared”

    1. DM says:

      Actually its a short story, not really a blog entry, so yeah, I need to work on it still.

  11. shah wharton says:

    Stories were meant for ‘Telling’. I find the whole ‘literary’ style distracting if I’m honest. Each has it s place, and we all have our own tastes, but yes – ‘Telling’ absolutely has a place. I really enjoyed your short. Thanks for linking up. Shah .X

    1. DM says:

      I don’t know what I like better. The narrative voice is a bit more restrictive but you can set the scene and get it out there without being flowery. I guess this is more Hemingway’s style and one I am not overly comfortable with, though this piece was definitely fun to write.

  12. Jamie Walker (@chosenchaos) says:

    I have such mixed feelings about Skyping Thanksgiving. I have family in the UK and we only get to enjoy the holidays with them every couple of years. So having the opportunity via skype to cheers with them a toast or see the newest nephew walk towards the computer… those are things that make me love it!

    1. DM says:

      I can assure you that this type of Skyping is not the kind referred to in the story. It’s the only using skype for anything, never leaving the house, a world epidemic type of thing instead. Skype definitely has it’s usefulness.

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