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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Search Engine (10/06/11)

By Robin Ocasio


Thomas and Lucas where happily meandering down the boardwalk. Innocently enough, intent on their conversation when they heard the words, soft at first, but growing louder as if coming from a great distance.

“Looking high, looking low;
His piercing eyes traveled too and fro.
Some would think, he’d made a great stink,
For ‘the pong’ was surely amongst the great throng…..”

Thomas was intrigued, “What is this?” he wondered.

As if on cue, two large metallic objects appeared before him. One tall, rectangular with a large, very, very wide door, the second was similar in size and shape but its entrance seemed small, insignificant. It appeared to be almost mirror like.

“It’s the PONG” gasped Lucas. “Radical!”


“PONG, dude it’s only the greatest search engine of all time. It’s said that the PONG will search out every person at least once in their lifetime. When it does you have to make a choice. I heard it knows all about you and it can give you everything you ever wanted!

“That crap is for the old timers!”

“I don’t know man. My gramps has told me stories about the PONG since I was little.”

“Looks like some kind of weird game to me,” scoffed Thomas.

“Well, it does have something to do with the game of life, if I remember right. Come on lets check it out.”

As the teens walked closer, a being appeared before them, he held a tablet in his hands which he held up so that Thomas could look into it. “Look inside, search and see, then make your choice. Two paths are before you. Enter the Pong, obtain your hearts desire. Wide is the way of pleasures and gold, the price is small its’ only your soul; Find the Pong, find life!”

Thomas peered into the tablet, he pressed the button marked Wide and saw a multitude of images flash before him, everything he could ever want was before him; it drew him like a moth to the flame. Barely discernable in the background of images flashing before him was a red glow bathed the scenes playing before him. Reluctantly, he pulled his gaze away, looked at Lucas and said, “This is way cool! See you later dude I’m going in.”

“No wait, you need to be careful, one way is a trap! You have to check out both paths,” Lucas cautioned.

“It looks good to me; nothing bad at all. It’s all my dreams come true!” Besides, something foul smelling is come out that little door over there. Reaching out, Thomas slapped the wide lever, and in an instant he was whisked thru its entrance.

Lucas could hardly believe his eyes, his friend was gone, but not before he had glimpsed one last look on Thomas’s face. It had started out as joy but had quickly turned to something else. He wasn’t sure what, maybe dismay.

“Step up, young man its’ your turn now,” proclaimed the being.

Hesitantly, Lucas put out his hand. It hovered over the buttons. He remembered his friend; thoughts scurried thru his mind, long forgotten words spoken by his Gramps. He peered closer, suddenly; he pushed the smallest of the buttons. Instantly, he was engrossed in a bright light. He felt like every part of his being was being immersed in it. He knew he had chosen correctly, with a start he realized the stench he had smelled before was coming from his own self and that it was being pulled away, replaced; a new smell was in its place. He felt like a new person as indeed he was. The PONG was real. The choice was real! He knew he had to go and tell others. He was now a part of the PONG he would search for others and help them too….

The being spoke, “You have chosen well my son.”

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This article has been read 533 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Curtis10/21/11
This amazing story has me both intrigued and confused at the same time!

The concept for the story is excellent, very sci-fi and it has great potential.

The name of the Search Engine - PONG - does that have any special meaning? Is it an anagram? I wasn't really sure of the context behind it, and it made it just a little confusing.

I really liked the way you presented the two doors, and the boys had to make a choice. I got chills when he mentioned the look on Thomas' face as it changed. This is a good way of showing the reader that Thomas indeed chose the wrong door, all was not as it had appeared.

Just one last thing (sorry!), there are just a few punctuation errors...nothing major though.

Overall a good story with a massive amount of potential! Well done!
Beth LaBuff 10/21/11
I love your creativity in this allegory. Your message is relevant and vital. Nice work!
C D Swanson 10/22/11
WOW - Hahahahaha...Good job! I enjoyed this ingenious entry. God Bless~
Patricia Turner10/22/11
Very imaginative!

Watch out for incomplete sentences. You have a couple here and there.

Your dialogue was outstanding and very believable and your story entertaining.

Good work!
Linda Goergen10/24/11
What a creative story you have woven around the topic! Captivating read, very well written! What a great children’s story this would make! Terrific job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/26/11
This is very creative. You stayed on topic but it was quote fresh andunique. There were some parts where I was a tad confused. Don't be afraid to use all 750 words- I often have to cut 500 words or more. I think a few more descriptive sentences after the dialog would clear up any confusion. This is an intriguing story.
Melinda Melton 10/30/11
Very creative piece. I believe it would fit well in the Children's stories and catch the interest of boys and girls alike.

The entry fit the topic in a Syfy way. I could easily picture the whole scene and the flow kept me reading to the end. Great job!