Wednesday, October 21, 2020

#ShortStory - The Day Dave Broke the Internet - 14

       

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

RECAP 13:
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!


14

While he helped Sharon get Nathan to his feet, Dave voiced his concerns.

"If Tariq and his brother's reactions are any indication, staying in the city is not the safest place. And the major transformers will be hard to replace, keeping us in the dark for a long time."

Nathan nodded. "Presley said those monsters take months to build. Probably longer without electricity. Then they have to find a way to jump start them. It could be a few years before power is back up to normal levels."

Sharon frowned. "People aren't going to wait years. They need to know what they can do in the meantime. All the basic necessities will be used up quickly. Fresh water will be limited to natural sources. Recovery and survival will be difficult and slow."

"Maybe that's where we can help. Nathan, does Presley have any government connections?"

"Yes, but I doubt he'd want to help them."

"Why?"

"They shot him down every time he presented the possibility of this scenario. Now he's probably thinking, I told you so and waiting for them to come crawling to him."

Sharon tilted her head. "Maybe we should come up with our own plan. Something in the middle of the extremes to help everyone?"

Dave's heart warmed at her logic and how closely their minds were in sync.

"Exactly. I have a few ideas, but we need to get some place safe. Some cars work and some don't, so those that do will be a coveted commodity."

Sharon perked up. "My aunt has a farm in Kentucky. That's where my shelter is."

Nathan did some calculating in his head.

"Most of Kentucky should be out of range of the shutdowns."

Dave smiled at Sharon. "Perfect."

As they gathered Nathan's things and headed to the car, Nathan groaned.

Sharon checked his wound. "Are you all right?"

He frowned. "Yeah. But we should go pick up Kitty. She's not going to like this." He nodded toward his wound.

Dave grinned. "At least you're alive. She'll be ecstatic."

They sped away from town to Nathan's house in the suburbs. When they pulled onto his street, Nathan's wife, a petite blonde, was addressing a large group of people using a bullhorn on her porch.

Nathan pulled over and ran out.

"Kitty, what are you doing? You're supposed to be in the basement."

She shoved the bullhorn under her arm.

"These people need our help. I was sharing the list with them."

Nathan took her elbow and guided her into the house. Dave and Sharon followed. 

"That's all well and good, but we need to think of ourselves and the baby first."

"Nathan!" She whipped her head around. "Dave, did he tell you? And you? Sharon, right? From the meetings?"

"Yes. Nice to meet you. And congratulations."

Nathan found a cloth grocery bag and filled it with food from the fridge.

"Sorry honey. They wormed it out of me."

Kitty rolled her eyes and leaned against the counter.

"Well, I couldn't just sit in that basement with everyone wondering what the heck was going on." When she saw him tearing through the cabinets, she furrowed her brow. "What the heck is going on?"

Then she saw his injury and pointed at it. "What happened to your arm?"

"Oh, that? It's nothing. He barely grazed me."

"You were shot? Oh my God!"

"I'm fine. I promise. Sharon fixed me up."

Kitty covered her mouth. Her eyes grew as big as light bulbs as she stared at her husband, frozen in shock.

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

RECAP 12:
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.

13

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?"

"Sure."

"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!

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