May 8, 2018
Writing Club Exercise
Time Limit: 25 minutes
Prompt: "Your grandmother asks you to fix the internet. As you pull out the cord, she yells, “Not that one!” and promptly disappears."
Sam groaned as the screen of his cell phone lit up. The text read, “Need your help. This gizmo froze on me again.”
Sam typed in response, “Be over in 5.”
He had just set up Gran’s modem yesterday and wired her in. “Forget dial up. It’s slow as molasses. I can’t get online and get with the times,” she’d said.
Sam offered to give her lessons on how to use the internet, but she declined. "It would be adventure," she assured him. She hadn’t done a good puzzle in a while.
Before Sam reached Gran’s front door, he knew there was a problem. Her house was lit up inside like a Christmas tree.
Gran hollered from the other room, “Sammy, Sonny, I’m a little tied up at the moment. Come on in. Door’s unlocked. Mind you don’t trip over my deliveries.”
Sam opened the door and found his way over the myriad the amazon boxes. They were stacked to the ceiling in some places.
Sam’s mouth dropped open as he saw Gran. She was dressed in her favourite floral dress, but it was frayed at the edges and burnt in places. Her gray hair was puffed up around her face, standing on end. Wires wound everywhere throughout her entire living room like jungle vines. Poor Gran was wrapped multiple times round.
“Are you ok, Gran?” Sam asked anxiously. “What did you do?”
“I think I broke the internet. I tried to 'upload',” she huffed.
Sam tiptoed over the cords to reach Gran, getting zapped once or twice.
“I’m a mite charged at the moment, but I’ll last. Setting up my smart home. Wasn’t as easy as it sounded in the ad.” A puff of smoke exited her mouth in a big “O” and she wheezed. Gran looked exhausted. Probably up all night according to the full scale mess in the house.
Sam tried to untangle the wires around her arms and legs. How on earth did she get so tied up? He was getting nowhere. He lugged an armchair over to Gran and gingerly helped her to sit. He got zapped a couple more times as frazzled cords resisted a tug.
“I guess cutting you out is a bad idea. Better unplug things first.”
Sam headed to the desk trying to make heads or tails of where anything was plugged in. Sam fiddled with the mess of wires knotted at the back of the router. Green wires twisted in with red wires. Big black wires coiled into a spiral-like snake waiting to strike.
“Gran what did you do since I was here yesterday?”
With a tired grin, Gran answered, “Been getting up to speed. Things are so much different than they used to be.”
As Sam finally found the outlet in the wall, he gave a good pull.
Gran suddenly jumped to life with a start, “Not that one!”
Gran disappeared. His phone read, “I may be a little analog, but I think I just joined the digital age.”
Our group came up with some really good stories. That's the reward of writing together, hearing a bunch of amazing stories, everyone wandering off along different tangents from the same starting point. Everyone has a different style, life experience and thought process.
This prompt was tough. I admit, had I more expertise with technology, it would have been much easier. Write what you know, in this case when the prompt came out of the box, it's write as best you can on the given topic.
To me the internet is an adventure. It existed in my childhood, though it really wasn't something that came into my childhood home until I was on the verge of leaving. During university is when I really experienced the world wide web, but with its slow trawling pace page to page, I didn't have the patience to wait. I love to regale my kids of my pre online life and they stare in disbelief. Yup, no cell phones or iPads. I love the reaction I get when I tell their peers my first computer had a whole 4 megabytes.
I wonder what I would know by now had I have had access to the information I do now. My kids are learning to code in class. I would love to learn, I love learning language of any sort, math included. An old dog can learn new tricks. I am of the mind that anyone can learn anything if they can read. One niggling little fact stops most of us though, time. As a child, you definitely have time on your side. As an adult reality of necessity stops most of us in our tracks.
Alas, Cinderella, you don't get to go to the Leisure Ball. You have to work first. Pay checks to earn, houses to clean, children to feed and nurture, physiology to support (exercise keeps a body healthy). The work is never done.
Unless you are one of those scholarly few whose mindcraft becomes their livelihood....