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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blog (10/20/11)

TITLE: The Next New Thing
By Cheryl von Drehle


Girl2-3-65 sat in her pod, glaring at the computer message streaming across the blue screen: “this blog has been torn down and uprooted; time to die.” A chill crept up her spine. She deactivated her computer without shutting down its programs.

Girl collapsed into the sleep corner of her pod, trying to comprehend. She could not believe Boy had been caught. And what was the meaning of that ominous last phrase? A warning? Were they on to her also?

She and Boy7-30-62 had been private blog inter-communicators for three years, even though only public blogs were sanctioned. Private blogs were deemed incompatible with the goals of other social media. Contraband private blogs eventually disappeared as popular attention riveted to the exciting and ever evolving public forums. But Girl had different desires and abilities than most and she managed to develop a private blog. When Boy hacked into it, she realized she was not as alone as she had always imagined.

From reading Boy’s private blogs she eventually deduced that her unique talents were the gift of an undetected genetic error in her test tube manufacturing procedure. Boy was the smartest person she knew, a genius. Like her, and a few others, he was also an undetected error.

On their private blogs, read only by select others granted access, Boy and Girl shed their generic tags given to them at inception, and went by Thea and Theo. Thea blogged about her inner world, posting creative stories spun from dreams and fantasies, imaginings and longings. Theo experimented with grand ideas about the universe and the nature of being,

Then last month Theo blogged about an experiment he had initiated. It was sure to be the most amazing discovery since the very invention of the computer, which he concluded had occurred over half a century ago, although history was virtually impossible to obtain. Girl wasn’t even exactly sure what the word history meant. But Theo had remarkable abilities to conjecture and surmise.

Through years of pondering equations and paradigms, blogging on esoteric subjects, considering metaphysical formations and pushing all the limits, Boy determined it was at least theoretically possible for people to emerge from their pods and survive. But even more unfathomable: pod dwellers could actually, literally, in real time, engage in face to face conversation with each other, instead of communicating via social media!

Boy realized the possibility of in-person communication was an astounding discovery, rivaling the very invention of social media itself. The ability to visit each other’s pods and carry on conversation in each other’s actual presence could eventually render social media obsolete. The implications were staggering.

Girl curled up in her sleep corner to contemplate her next move. Boy was too intelligent to get caught. She drifted into sleep as she considered possibilities, then startled fully awake with the flash of recognition. Boy’s blog had not been discovered and shut down – Theo was sending Thea a message.

Girl re-booted her computer and clicked the link to the missing blog. She stared at the scrolling message as she recalled the poem Theo had posted on his blog last week. Then she pulled up her private blog and posted a final entry before shutting everything down: “a time to plant, a time to build, a time to be born.” As she emerged from her pod for the first time in her life, she closed the door behind her without a second thought, thrilling at the possibility of finding Theo and talking with him in person.
Inspired by Ecclesiastes 1:1-11 and 3:1-8

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This article has been read 736 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/03/11
Wow! I love this! You did an outstanding job with creativity. The start grabbed me and I had goosebumps throughout. The ending was grand too. It left me both feeling satisfied while wishing I could read more about Thea.

The only things I can even think of critiquing is you had a comma instead of a period at the end of a paragraph. I also wondered if all records and accounts of history were erased how did she know about Ecclesiastes. But then again, that's why the term literary license was invented.

Outstanding writing. You have a great deal of talent! I so enjoyed reading this.
Sydney Avey11/04/11
Very tight writing focused on a state of mind rather than an imposed state of being. You've chosen a perfect genre to express you thoughts. Although you've used your words well I would suggest using fewer multi-syllable words that slow the reader down. If you substituted a few (not all)simpler, shorter words the rhythm would be even better.

On the other hand, perhaps it's a choice you made to show us how we complicate our lives unnecessarily.
Danielle King 11/04/11
This was certainly unique and creative. It flowed well and from the start I was curious enough to want to read on to see what it was all about.

Full marks for an original approach to the topic!

Theresa Santy 11/07/11
I loved this. There are so many wonderful layers in this piece.

I hope to live to see the day when mass culture returns to want of privacy, which ironically should bring a return of face-to-face communication.

C D Swanson 11/09/11
Cute- nice story and well written. God Bless~
Noel Mitaxa 11/09/11
Very creative and thought-provoking material.
Leola Ogle 11/10/11
Great creativity and good flow. Interesting and well written. Great job! God bless!
Edmond Ng 11/15/11
I like the way you write this piece like a sci-fi. The settings, the plot, the pace, and the suspense are intriguing and captivating from start to end. I especially like the story idea about the need and possibility of engaging in face to face conversation rather than communicating via social media. Thumbs up for an exceptionally well written piece!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/17/11
Congratulations! I'm delighted this story did so well. I think sci-fi is a great avenue for spreading your message! :)
C D Swanson 11/17/11
Congrats! Great job...God Bless you~
Rachel Phelps11/18/11
Interesting premise. Congratulations on your EC!