Wednesday, October 14, 2020

#ShortStory - The Day Dave Broke the Internet - 13


Dave didn't know he was lonely until his friends pointed it out. But when he gives in and tries an online dating site, something catastrophic happens - talk about a bad omen.

The Day Dave Broke the Internet
by Tara Tyler

Nathan howled in pain.

While they lied on the floor, Dave watched Tariq's brother escaped through a side door with its window broken out.

With a frown at Dave, Tariq ran after him. "Sorry, man."

Tires squealed, and they were gone.


Sharon and Dave rushed over to help Nathan who'd found a chair to plunk into. He was holding his arm, rocking back and forth in pain. Blood soaked his sleeve.

"They shot me! I can't believe they shot me! Was that Tariq?"

Dave couldn't believe it either. He'd never seen so much blood in real life, only in video games and movies.

"Yes, and his brother. They were looting the vending machines and whatever else they could find."

Sharon ripped Nathan's sleeve and looked at the wound on his arm.

"Well, it doesn't seem too bad. He just grazed you. You'll live. Dave, can you get me a towel or something so I can wrap this up?"


"I have a medical kit."

"We'll save those supplies in case something worse happens."

As Dave scampered into the kitchen, he wondered what could be worse than getting shot. The kitchen was a mess, completely ransacked with everything from the counters thrown all over. Dave found a clean dish towel and ran it back to Sharon.

Watching her work on his friend, Dave wondered if he was dreaming. How did this happen? Nathan got shot! Tariq always seemed so level-headed. What was happening? Dave was discovering that extreme situations revealed what a person was really made of. He hoped he could hold onto his convictions. He also hoped he didn't have to find out if he would.

Once Sharon tore up the towel and wrapped up Nathan's arm, the bleeding stopped. She spoke to Dave while she finished up.

"Thanks for covering me back there."

"Oh sure. It was a gut reaction. I hope I didn't hurt you."

She gazed into his eyes and smiled, warming him all over. "No. I'm fine."

She was wonderful and so calm in the intense circumstances. He admired her nerves of steel and felt closer to her with every passing minute.

Glancing at Nathan, Dave realized his friend was holding his own as well, much tougher than he expected. Even though he'd been shot, he wasn't whimpering about it. Dave felt like the slacker of the three and needed to brave up.

"So Nathan. What did you find out?"

"Huh?" He looked a little woozy as he watched Sharon clean up the remains of his bloody shirt.

"You came up to tell us something."

"Oh, right. Right! I was able to contact the local police. Their generators are working and their internet connections were reinforced like ours. They're broadcasting a general message to tell anyone who can hear them that they're working on fixing things and they should stay home and conserve their resources."

"That sounds promising."

"Too bad it's all lies to keep everyone from panicking. Things won't be back to the way they were any time soon. I also got through to some friends who told me what they know. Several cities lost their primary transformers which shut down some major power grids. Fortunately, rural areas farther out seem to be functional. From our combined calculations, the cities hit were New York, LA, Chicago, Miami and Dallas. Anything in a 200 mile radius of those cities was slammed and shut down."

"That's most of the country. Who could've done it?"

"Terrorists is the first assumption."

Taking in the new information, Dave cogitated over it. His strength was utilizing what was available to come up with solutions. And he wanted to show Sharon he wasn't useless. He wondered if those who planned the shutdown thought any farther than that. If they did, Dave and his friends would have to be on guard for organized terrorist activities as well as looters. He suddenly felt defenseless. He needed to find a gun of his own and practice with it. Plus, a safe place to plan a strategy. This was all so crazy!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

30 Days of Gratitude - A Countdown to Thanksgiving!

Welcome to IWSG - the Insecure Writers Support Group - monthly meeting.

I cling to this monthly post. It reminds me that there are other struggling writers out there--and I'm very happy to have many of you as friends. Sometimes I doubt the effectiveness and purpose of my blog. I often wonder if I should give it up. There are days I lose faith in writing. As technology grows, it seems like less and less people in the world read books--video entertainment is so much easier to access and process. Am I wasting my time? Then I express my feelings at our monthly meetings and get encouragement from my writer friends. And it feels even better to encourage them right back. We're in this together! 

And to help encourage each other even more, I'm bringing back a blogging tradition!

Starting on Oct 27, I'm going to blog every day with something I'm thankful for. I haven't done a Blog Hop in quite a while, but I think it's time.

If you'd like to join me on this 30 Days of Gratitude Countdown to Thanksgiving, here's the sign up list... This way, we can encourage each other and spread the thankfulness and positivity -- something we definitely need more of these days!

I'm going to do my best to visit everyone who signs up each evening. The 30 days are: Oct 27-Nov 25. Using the prompts is optional, but could be helpful.

A special note: I have to share my inspiration for this. I didn't come up with it on my own--lots have done it in the past. But recently, I was inspired by my friend Patty who's doing a similar daily thanks on Twitter. And after I made this, I saw Tyrean is taking on an even bigger challenge - daily gratitude through the end of the year. I have awesome friends!

In other news:

If you need to rant, join our weekly #WedWrant Chat on Twitter: 7:30-8:30 PM est. We have fun complaining, supporting, and making each other laugh!

Thoughts and prayers to anyone struggling or affected by the Virus 

or any other tragedies from this crappy year...

Things have to get better soon!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

#ShortStory Series - The Day Dave Broke the Internet - 12


Dave didn't know he was lonely until his friends pointed it out. But when he gives in and tries an online dating site, something catastrophic happens - talk about a bad omen.

The Day Dave Broke the Internet
by Tara Tyler

Sharon smiled encouragingly and pointed for him to look.

His whole body shook and shivered as if he was standing out in a blizzard in his pajamas. Dave could hear the ransackers moving around in there breaking things as they rummaged. He feared they'd catch him peeking and shoot him between the eyes. Trying to soak up some of Sharon's confidence, Dave steadied his nerves, reigning in his terror. He was sure his face was twisted, exposing his fear as he searched for the gumption to even look in the window.


He couldn't stand there and do nothing. He trusted Sharon had his back. He had to, even though he doubted she'd been in an actual situation like this before. At least she seemed to have more training for it. And he didn't want to lose her for being a wuss.

Bracing himself for the worst, he pressed his back against the wall and inched up it. With minimal exposure, he dared to sneak a peek in the window. Two men were stealing the food out of the vending machines. When he saw their faces, he did a double-take. His fear slipped away and he walked in despite Sharon's glare.

"Tariq? Hey man, what's up?"

Sharon followed him in.

Tariq jumped like a spooked rabbit. When he saw his co-worker, his shoulders relaxed a little, but his face stayed apprehensive with his eyes darting from Sharon to his accomplice and back to Dave.

"Dave? Oh, hey man. Nothing. We're just, uh…"

With another glance from Tariq, the other man pulled out a gun and pointed it at Dave and Sharon.

"We don't want any trouble," he said. Tariq's friend shook as he aimed his firearm. He didn't look too confident, which made him even more dangerous.

Dave jumped and threw his hands up over his head. "Neither do we." He definitely didn't want to die over some stale Twinkies and Doritos.

Sharon moved up next to him and trained her gun on the men. How did the situation turn drastic and deadly so fast? His heart raced faster than his brain. He didn't want anyone to get shot, so he tried reasoning with them to calm everyone down.

"Wait. There's no need for violence. We're going to fix things." He knew he was being extremely optimistic, but he needed both sides to believe it.

"Not any time soon. We know what happened. My brother said we should take what we can. Soon there won't be any food around. Sorry, man. It's family."

"It's not as bad as that. They'll get things back up and running soon." Dave wasn't so sure, but he wanted to talk his friend and his nervous looking brother out of their panicky reaction. How many other normally decent people would resort to stealing and worse?

While Tariq considered Dave's rationality, Nathan burst into the cafeteria.

"Hey guys. Guess what!"


Dave grabbed Sharon and dove to the floor under the tables.

Nathan howled in pain.

While they lied on the floor, Dave watched Tariq's brother escaped through a side door with its window broken out.

With a frown at Dave, Tariq ran after him. "Sorry, man."

Tires squealed, and they were gone.

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