Site Surfing

Surfing through the Internet you find a strange pop-up: “Click now to receive three million dollars! Just press the link! … You have 30 seconds.” The lights immediately turn off and a timer begins on your screen. What happens next? What do you do?

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511 thoughts on “Site Surfing

  1. Mya

    From erasing my friends porn on the computer to receiving $3 million from an ad is great. At least, it was great before I had no choice but to follow the request given to me after clicking the link in the ad. I should have known that that ad was trouble the moment a timer went off along with the power. What could I do? Its money, everyone wants money, the moment I saw those zero’s after that 3 I clicked the link immediately. Well, needless to say, the request is the result of a bad omen. All I had to do was try out a machine the creator of the ad made, seems easy enough. The small pop-up on my windows had a black background and white text, the pop-up used bold to emphasize that the machine will be delivered to my house in exactly five minutes. So I waited, I couldn’t click out of the pop-up and my life revolves around my computer so I patiently waited. I have a feeling I’m not going to get my money…

    The doorbell rang but I didn’t hear any car pull up or any footsteps for that matter. I opened the apartment door to a large box, about my height but a tad bit smaller. As I dragged the box up the stairs I realized that I didn’t give them my address, but with google maps now-a-days you can find anyone. The box was too heavy to drag up the stairs to my room; I just left it in the living room. I got my beloved machete and began hacking away at the box, whether I break something or not is not my business, curiosity took over. Cardboard pieces lay scattered around my feet, a person watched me with glowing eyes. No, not a person, a clone, a robot perhaps. Still don’t see my money.

    The things skin was deathly pale, like mine. Short brown hair with bangs covering one eye, like mine. Bloody hell, even the breast size is the same! The only main difference between her and me is that she is half an inch smaller and the fact that her eyes look like bold watercolors blending and un-blending, never the same color twice. “My name is Lyra, pleasure to meet you.” The copy bravely put out a hand; I grabbed it forcefully and shook, like the mature, civilized person I am. Don’t slap the girl, don’t slap the girl. “What a coincidence, my name is Lyra as well, the pleasure is mine.” The copy glared at me, “Now let’s get down to business.” She didn’t even have to say the colorful curse words she was calling me in her head, for I did the same. Screw the money.

  2. Profcharmander

    There was no sound when the prompt appeared on the screen. It materialized in front of all other windows, an alert of high priority:

    Congrats! You’ve won three million dollars! You have thirty seconds to accept!

    Below the message was only one option. Accept.

    Micheal was not naïve to the scams dreamed up by the cons of the internet, just disappointed by the ad-blocking software he had trusted for so long. There was an ‘x’ in the top right hand corner. Micheal clicked it. Every light in the house went out. The display of his stereo was dark, his phone stopped charging, even the TV that had been left on for background noise was in an electronic slumber. There was no power going to anything except the desk top computer in front of him. But the screen had changed. It was now black with the number 30 displayed across it in red. After a moment it began counting down.

    29, 28, 27

    A virus. It had to be. This was not the first time Micheal had dealt with an infected computer. Instinct led him straight to the its power cable. He yanked it from the wall.

    26, 25, 24

    The sequence continued despite the computer being unplugged.

    23, 22, 21

    Micheal moved his mouse around. Nothing.

    20, 19, 18

    None of the keys on his keyboard responded either. Not enter. Not control, alt, delete. Not escape.

    17, 16, 15

    A sense of dread came over him at witnessing the phenomena taking place.

    14, 13, 11

    He didn’t understand how this was happening.

    10, 9, 8

    Or why.

    7, 6, 5

    All he knew

    4

    Was that he did not want to know

    3

    what would happen next.

    2

    1

    The screen flashed red for a second. And then it too went dark. In that instant right before utter blackness Micheal could have sworn he’d seen a face staring back at him from the monitor. Now he was blind. Alone with only the image of a half seen face in his mind.

    Then everything came back on. All the lights. The air conditioning could be heard starting back up, and the TV began playing a perpetual loop of static. Aware that this must be some sort of prank, some kind of gag being pulled by a friend, or neighborhood jokester messing around with the transformer outside, or something. Micheal looked out the window. Dim street lights, and an empty suburban street was the only view to greet him. The transformer appeared untouched, and it occurred to him then that to tamper with it would be a dangerous length to go to just for a prank.

    Micheal decided to look online to see if anyone else had encountered an experience like this before. Plugging his computer back in he booted it up, and Mozilla reopened his previous session. There was no prize announcement this time only the last window he had open. Which happened to be his online banking site. And there on the page he saw just below the tab that read ‘Checking Account’ a total balance of $3,002,523.67.

    Heart sinking, Micheal’s eyes were ensnared by the screen, and his ears were invaded by the constant sound of static from the TV. Another Ad appeared:

    Congrats! We are watching you.

    There was no option to click underneath the message. No ‘x’ in the corner. Silence where there was once static. It took all of Micheal’s courage to turn his head around. On the TV several men wearing suits sat around a long rectangular table. Each of them were so still, and silent Micheal would have mistaken it for a picture if not for the steady, gentle motion of their breathing. A stoic, solemn appearance was carved into each face making them into some grim, foreboding monument. And they were all looking at him. Micheal grabbed the remote, but they were on every channel. Even the power button was incapable of saving him.

    His dead cell phone rang. Micheal answered it.

    “We’ve given you a lot of money, Micheal.”

    “Who is this?”

    “We need something from you, Micheal.”

    “How do you know my name?”

    “There is a large knife in your kitchen, Micheal. You will need it.”

    “I don’t want your money!”

    “We gave you wealth, Micheal. Now we must ask something of you.”

    “I never accepted the damn money!”

    “Don’t you remember, Micheal? You never had a choice.”

  3. lionetravail

    Goth Girl Overdrive

    “You know that stupid, bubblegum-top forty song where the bimbo is singing about having sex all night long and how good it is?”

    The speak was Nadia Fox, aka “Not A Fox”, at least among the cool kids at school. I wasn’t one of those, which was why I was with her at her house so she could show me her brand new Alienware 18 with AMD game bundle with its freaking cool one terabyte quad play solid-state hard drive which clocks at an omigod 4.4 gigahz speed before the turbo boost. “Uh,” I said, which was at least consistent with me not being one of the cool kids at school.

    “Well, she’s an idiot,” Nadia said. “All night sex is good for two things: chafey bits and migraines ‘cause you don’t get enough sleep.”

    “Urk.” At least, that’s what I think I said. She was talking about sex, and I felt like my brain had shorted out somewhere.

    She looked at me with her different sized eyes from a pale, puffy face with a beak-nose and goth makeup which combined to make me think of Betty Boop after she’d gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson. “You are such a mouth-breather, Roger,” she complained.

    “Wait, what’s that?” I said, pointing.

    She glanced over her shoulder before turning back. “Spadware.”

    “What?”

    “Spam, adware, right?”

    “Oh, right, right,” I said. There was a box about 3 million dollars, and a timer counting back from thirty. “So, you were saying…?”

    “Right. All night sex is stupid.”

    “Uh, sure?”

    “But regular sex is pretty good,” she said. “Even when it’s bad, it’s good, you know?”

    I felt my face flame.

    “Oh,” she said. “You don’t know, do you?”

    “Urk,” I said, at the risk of repeating myself.

    She looked at me for a moment more, then reached down and pulled up her black turtleneck to expose large breasts in a black bra and a figure which was less wasp-waisted than caterpillar-waisted. I felt that tightness in the front of my jeans that you never want to get when wearing a speedo at the local Y pool.

    The timer on the screen was at :03 when she said: “You want to find out?” and she undid her bra and let it fall to the cluttered floor of her room.

    The clock reached zero and the world seemed to dim around her.

    “Urk!”

    1. lionetravail

      (I mean, whatcha gonna do when you have a spare 25 minutes at work and there’s not a new prompt yet? This one sprang almost fully formed into my brain :))

  4. thetelleroftales

    Only the link flashing on the screen gave light to the night-dark room, whose lights had mysteriously turned off as soon as the link appeared on the screen.
    “Win three million dollars! Click here!”
    Three million dollars? Hot dog! College debts, so long, and I’d still have a little spending money left over. Heck, I could pay my roommate’s debts, too, and I’d still have money. Not that I thought the link was legit, but still, it’s nice to take a break from studying and drift off to Dreamland every now and again. Yawning, I looked at the clock on the computer, but in its place was a timer counting down from thirty. I guessed that in thirty seconds, either the link would disappear or my computer would explode. I shrugged my shoulders.
    “Just for the funny papers,” I muttered, and hovered my mouse over the ‘click here’.
    Something rustled in my room, and I froze. Then the sound of someone apparently being smothered, and my spine tingled.
    The smothering, though, didn’t sound desperate, like someone screaming for help. It sounded more like… laughter? I jumped up from my chair to search the room in less than thirty seconds, and followed the sound to under my bed.
    I flashed my cellphone light under the bed.
    “CANDACE!!! Get OUT of here, little worm! And stay away from my cookies, you thief!”
    Candace emerged, grinning, cookie crumbs sprinkling her lips.
    “Aw, man, Candace, why’dya have to go and laugh before she clicked on the dumb thing?”
    Her roommate, Eloisa, exited the closet and switched on the lights.
    “Get out, both of you!” I howled.
    “Candace, the computer!”
    Before I could stop her, she leaped forwards and clicked the mouse down on the link, then disappeared with her roommate into her own room. I turned to assess the damage. I found that my computer was frozen, and the screen was asking for my password, even though I didn’t have one. In the background, I could see all my notes disappearing. At the bottom of the screen was written: If you want to gain three million dollars, play the lottery or get to work.
    Of all the creepy-crawlies, I thought, Candace was the creepiest and the crawliest.
    Which gave me an idea. Good thing I knew where all the spiders and snakes on campus were.

  5. steelebob

    “Seriously?” What was I thinking, I know better than that. What am I always telling the wife and kids, don’t click on anything if you don’t know exactly what it’s going to do. I just wiped and loaded this computer not 2 months ago.

    $3 million should have been my first clue. 30 seconds to go. The lights though, why would the lights go off, this house was built at the turn of the last century, although the wiring was updated, it’s still almost 40 years old and in no way connected to my computer.

    “Escape!” I exclaimed as I pounded on the ‘Esc’ of my keyboard. Nothing, as if I thought something would happen. I frantically began moving the mouse around the screen, I don’t even see the pointer.
    “Unbelievable!”
    25 seconds remain, and all I could think about was the criticism I would be getting from the wife and kids. I could press this button and my computer could be filled with unsolicited porn, hmmm, no. Wait a second, neighbors!

    20 seconds: Nope, neighbors have power. Well, I have power, this is a desktop, so I must still have power, why did the lights go out?

    15 seconds: What if it’s real? In 15 seconds, I could be sitting on $3 million. I would need to change my phone number, take the kids out of school, quit my job. Every Tom, Dick and Harry would be knocking on my door about some life threatening disease they had and need money for a miracle medical procedure.

    10 seconds: I could buy that BMW convertible I pass every morning. My wife could get a boob job. Not that she needs one, but because that’s what rich people do. “Ha!” I laughed.

    5 seconds. Moment of truth, virus in my computer, end of the world, a millionaire?

    I close my eyes tightly, 4, 3, 2, 1. The lights come back on, the screen returns to the desktop. There’s the picture we took at the light house near Cape May last year.

    Ding dong. The door bell, who could that be? As soon as I stood up, the lights came back on. Now I am scared. My heart was beating a mile a minute. I walk to the door, look out the peep hole, “Jerry, thank God!”
    I open the door, my next door neighbor standing there, with a Guinness in his hand, typical for a Saturday afternoon.

    “Hey Frank, what’s going on?”

    “Jerry, I have had a weird day” I said, holding the door open.

    He looked at me, kind of checking me out. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost, are you ok?”

    “Like I said, it’s been a weird day, a weird minute actually, what’s up?”

    “Well, I was told to come over here, ring the bell and when you answered the door point behind you and say, ‘what’s that’?”

    He pointed over my left shoulder, I turned around.

    “Surprise!” there were 40 people in my house, my kids holding a banner, ‘Happy 50th Birthday DAD!’

    “My birthday isn’t for another 2 weeks,” I said.

    My wife came over and said, “oh we know when your birthday is honey, but being the big 5-0 this year, we knew you’d start snooping around for signs of a party, so we decided to push your party up by 2 weeks to throw you off.

    “So, the $3 million prize, that was all part of the hoax?”

    My wife looked at me, baffled “huh?”

    “The $3 million, ‘click here, you’ll win $3 million…”

    “Honey, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    The front door flew open as my friend from across the street came rushing in. “Sorry, I’m late, Frank…turn on the TV, it’s on every channel.

    Breaking News scrolled across the screen, an image of what appeared to be the White House in flames was on every channel. I stopped on CNN, “…not watching a Hollywood movie, this is live coverage from Washington DC, just moments ago, the White House has exploded, we are uncertain of any casualties and we have not had any confirmation of whether or not the President or his family were in the White House at the time. An eyewitness, who happened to be recording a video of the White House with his phone states that he heard a high pitched noise and then the house just exploded. CNN is desperately attempting to get a hold of that footage…”

    I couldn’t look anymore. Did I cause this?

  6. keyhonay

    “Money Money”

    I was trudging through the pop-ups when one appeared and stated, “Click now to receive three million dollars! Just press the link! … You have 30 seconds.”, then a 30 appeared on the screen and started to count down. Easy money, I thought, just click the link and why not? Even though I didn’t earn it or even deserve it in the karmic scene. But if I would just click, it would be mine, so says the pop-up. That was if I was to believe this random pop-up from the depths of the internet.

    The counter was at 25 now. What’s the worst that could happen, I asked myself? With that, my imagination casted images of my computer screen exploding, my computer freezing or all my data being wiping away in a micro second. Or of course it could be real and my simple click of a mouse could cure my money problems. I could pay off my house, help out family, maybe even go somewhere; see the world. But, it was not like money was needed to do these things. My house would be paid off in another 22 years regardless. I was always helping family and the best trips I have ever been on cost me next to nothing.

    17 seconds now left on counter. Even though the thought of three million lit up my imagination to the possibilities, my logical held my pointer finger hovered over the mouse button.
    What would the cost be, I pondered? My time, my computer, my personal information or even my soul. I wasn’t sure what it would be but there would be a price to pay for this money and I knew it.
    We are all taught that there is always a cost to everything, nothing is free. The longer I thought about it the less I could trust that only a click of the link would allow me to have this money.

    11 seconds left, three million was a lot of money but what was three million really worth? It could not make me happy; I could not eat it when I was hungry or drink it when I was thirsty. I could buy these things with the three million of course, providing that someone would accept this money. So I asked myself again, “Is it worth the risk?” Logically if I did nothing I would break even. Even if it was true and the next person that gets the pop-up and received the money; I would still break even.

    7 seconds remaining and my finger remained locked above the mouse key. A voice from my past whispered in my ear, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I said back under my breath, “nothing ventured, nothing lost.”

    3 seconds remaining and I know what I’ll do so I do it.

  7. Colonel Plops

    The Delivery Man

    “It’s a scam. Don’t click it.”

    “But what if it’s not? Imagine what I’d be missing out on…”

    “I’ll tell you what you’d be missing out on: a virus in your computer, that’s what.”

    “I don’t care about this old computer, I’ve been meaning to get a new one anyway.”

    “And… great. You’ve clicked it and now have a virus in your computer. Good work…”

    The lights go off.

    “Umm… what just happened?”

    “I have no idea, power outage? It is storming.”

    “No, not the power. Look.”

    “That ads still running…”

    “Yeah, I know. It says…”

    “Congrats! You’ve won the three million!”

    “Who just said that? Did it come from your speakers?”

    “No. My speakers are off.”

    “Well then-”

    “Here you are.”

    Hundreds of bills suddenly fall into his hands.

    “Who is that?”

    “Delivery Man. Delivering your three million sir.”

    The lights return.

    “What was that?”

    “I have no idea. Is this a joke or something?”

    “I didn’t do it. Who was that third guy?”

    “No idea. That was weird.”

    “Wait, is that real money?”

    “Yeah, I think so…”

    “This is actually three million dollars! Where did this come from?”

    “Your guess is as good as mine, but let’s spend it-”

    The computer beeps loudly before they can leave.

    “What was that?”

    “The computer.”

    “What’s it say?”

    “The Delivery Man will be back later for his payment…”

    “His payment?”

    “I don’t know dude… let’s just go, we have three million dollars!”

    The two men leave the room, never noticing the eyeless creature sitting behind them the whole time, wearing a blue uniform with a name tag: The Delivery Man.

  8. thatbillguy

    The Karma Loop

    One — Now

    The flashing message on the computer caught my attention. They knew it would. Even in a world of scams, it was hard to resist a link promising three million dollars at the price of a click. I sat on the edge of my lumpy mattress with broken springs, cradling my head in my hands. I was sweating. The air conditioning failed sometime during the night. Humidity invaded room. Everything was uncomfortably sticky and damp.

    Flower-scented Febreze and the stink of soured cigarette smoke hung aggressively in the air. An ancient incandescent bulb flickered yellow in its final hours of life from a nicotine stained lamp on the nightstand. The room was dark, except for the red glow of the alarm clock on the floor, the brightly lit LED screen of my laptop and the blue-white strobe from the police cars outside.

    I was going to die.

    The message popped up at three in the morning, with a familiar pop. I fumbled for the battered laptop. I slipped and bumped the nightstand, endangering the delicate light bulb filament, and knocking the alarm clock to the floor. Red light from the digital face dimly illuminated the room.

    After a few experimental shoves, I regained my balance and picked up the computer.

    “Hello,” a happy, somewhat airy voice said.

    “Hello.” I said.

    “Click the link below, and claim your prize! You have thirty seconds,” voice said. The speakers rattled and buzzed.

    I was still groggy. It had only been asleep for fifteen minutes or so before the interwebs informed me of my good fortune.

    I clicked the link and waited. Nothing was happening. There was silence. I eased back into bed and closed my eyes.

    Then the phone rang. I sprang upright in bed, eyes still closed. My unwashed hair retained the contour of the misshapen pillow.

    It rang again, vibrating on the nightstand. I fumbled for the dingy yellow plastic receiver.

    I started to nod off. My head rolled onto the handset.

    “Yep,” I said, waking up a bit.

    “In thirty seconds,” he said, “you are going to die.”

    This new information made its rounds in my sleep-depraved brain, until finally settling in for processing. The timer on the screen started, counting down from thirty.

    “Say again,” I said.

    “In twenty-eight seconds, you are going to die.” The voice was familiar. I just couldn’t place it.

    “Wait!”

    Typically, I would have hung up by now. I just couldn’t shake the familiarity of that voice. Even through the damaged, rattling earpiece, I recognized the voice. I was suddenly wide-awake.

    “Who is this?” I asked. There was a moment of quiet. The line hummed with a low static and the quiet countdown down emphasized that I was running out of time.

    “I am you.”

    Two – Twenty Five Seconds

    I hung up the phone. Hard. I tossed the laptop to the foot of the dirty bed. I was more than just a little pissed that I was taken in so easily. My mind was tired. My body was tired. Hell, for all I knew the whole god-damn thing was just been a dream.

    I settled my head back into the smelly lump that occupied the place where a pillow should have been. It had a faintly burnt smell, like when clothes are left standing in the washing machine too long–and then dried.

    My eyelids drifted down as my mind began to relax.

    The phone rang.

    I sprang upright in bed. My unwashed hair retained the contour of the misshapen pillow. My eyes were still closed.

    The phone rang a second time. Annoyed, I reached over and snatched up the phone.

    Before I had a chance to speak, the voice said, “Twenty-five seconds.”

    I was angry, tired and worried. There was no good reason for me to believe what I was hearing, but I did. I saw a flashing strobe through my closed eyelids. After images and the black and white, off-the-air static faded in and out of my perception with each pulse.

    I opened my eyes. The cigarette stained curtains pulled over the window glowed blue in the staccato flashes.

    I was all too familiar with that particular flash.

    “Cops,” I said.

    “Yes,” said the phone. “Fifteen seconds…”

    I rushed to my feet, frantically searching to gather my things and get dressed, only to realize that I had nothing and had worn my only clothes to bed. I dropped the handset and sat down on the edge of the bed.

    I heard a tiny sound from the earpiece. I reached down and grabbed it roughly, desperately. The phone carriage jumped from the nightstand following its cord. The dead lamp plummeted to the floor and flashed white as it died with a faint pop.

    “Why?”

    Three – Ten Seconds

    The laptop screen flickered to life. A video was playing. Then I realized what I was watching.

    The robbery hadn’t gone as planned.

    The blonde woman and the security guard. I wore a ski mask, but they still knew I wasn’t going to hurt them. I tried to them to stay calm.

    We argued.

    They were shot for it; the blonde woman in the head, once and final. The security guard got it twice in the chest, one slamming hard into his bulletproof vest, the other slipped by the edge of it and into his vitals.
    In an instant, they were dead. I didn’t kill them, but I was with the remorseless fucks that had. It was my fault. I didn’t stop it. I don’t know if I could have, but I didn’t even try.

    They lay there, with their eyes open and faces in shock, looking at me. Accusing me for what I had done–and for what I hadn’t. I felt pity. I felt remorse. I felt fear. I ran from the bank.

    “You are… we are responsible.” The phone voice said. “I’ve tried many times to fix it. This is as close as I’ve gotten.”

    “Fix it? How? What do you mean?”

    “It would be impossible to explain… with the time you have left.” The voice, my voice was nervous and hurried. “You have to die now. There won’t be any more chances if you survive tonight. You have to die!”

    I threw the handset down. I needed my keys. I had to leave. I reached into my pocket. The door flew inward, nearly broken from its hinges.

    The officer saw my hand coming quickly out of my pocket. He drew and fired.

    Four – Now, again

    The flashing message on the computer caught my attention. They knew it would…

    1. Reaper

      Okay, I want to know what the message said. So good job. There seem to be a few missing words that would be caught on another edit pass. However the tension on this is palpable, hard to do with one guy in a room. You managed to no only do it but do it well. Normally I wouldn’t say this about a story where the MC dies at the end, but this begs for more. Because it was him on the phone, and dying was the only way to more chances this seems like the beginning of a great high octane thriller.

  9. JRSimmang

    ALL’S SWELL THAT ENDS SWELL…

    Outside, the storm was brewing just enough to kill the power to the living room lights in their trailer.

    “Well, hol-ley shit.” Lester was hunched over his computer, picking out the keys when the most recent advertisement leased out retail space on the desktop.

    Carl was in the living room, polishing his toothpick. “Ya’ find sumpin’?”

    “Well, this’re box tells me that I could win a purdy sum.”

    “Fuckin’ breaker’s blown again,” Carl responded.

    “Tells me that I’ve only a few seconds to get it.”

    Carl stood and walked over to the computer. “Well, goddammit, click the damn box, you moron.”

    Lester did as he was told and clicked the ‘Claim Your Prize’ box and was immediately whisked away to a separate page where he had to insert his private information.

    “30 mil,” he said after a brief reflection. “Sheet. Don’t even know what I’m gonna do with 30 mil.”

    “Take a bath,” said Carl snidely.

    “Sheet. A 30 million dollar bath? Better be gold water!” To that, Lester laughed a hearty, belly laugh.

    “‘Sides, it’s only 15 mil.”

    Lester paused for a moment. “15? Whaddaya mean?”

    “Well,” Carl inhaled. “I figger I gots claim to half it.”

    “Whadday mean?” Lester repeated, this time turning to face Carl.

    “I’s the one told you to click the stupid box, din’t I?”

    “I’s gonna click the box anyway, dumbass. I’sn’t about to let 30 mil slip through my fingers like that,” and Lester snapped.

    “Would you? You waited awfully long to click that box. Plus,” Carl threw up a hand, “the computer’s mine.”

    “No sir it ain’t!” Lester stood, his face beginning to turn red. “I bought that computer last time I’s in Memphis!”

    “Liar! You broke the last’n you bought, ‘member? You stuck your clown-foot into the screen!” Carl stepped toward Lester. “And, you broke the TV that same day!” He clucked, “your computer my ass.”

    “Listen, you little sister-bangin’ critter, you. Ain’t. Gettin’. Half.” Lester thumped Carl on the chest when he said ‘half,’ resounding off the walls of the trailer.

    “That’s it, you buck-toothed pig-fucker.” Carl reared back and hit Lester across the jaw. Lester hobbled back on one leg until he got the other behind him. He swung back at Carl, his fist making contact with Carl’s left eye, which made Carl stumble into the computer desk, sending papers and empty beer cans crashing to the floor.

    “My Natty!” shouted Lester, who let out another swing, striking Carl in the stomach. Carl absorbed the blow, and secured an upper-cut straight to Lester’s chin.

    Lester let out a howl, his mouth spilling blood, as he fumbled backward, tripping over the TV dinner tray, and falling backward into the holey, scuffed, and otherwise in decent repair Laz-E-Boy. “Mah dhongue, you fuckuh!” he managed, blood trickling down his chin.

    “Whadday say now, Les? You gonna split?”

    Lester shot out of the chair, and hurdled himself toward Carl, bum-rushing him and tackling him around the mid-section. “Nevah, yuh pai’ i’ my ash!”

    The two were on the ground, struggling against each other’s strength. Lester landed a few glancing blows off Carl’s forehead and cheek; Carl managed to hit Lester’s face several times, breaking Lester’s nose.

    Carl mustered his strength and threw Lester off him. “Git yer stinkin’ pits off me!” Lester fell onto his back, and Carl sat up, his nose bleeding, his eye swelling, and blood dribbling over his ears. “Fuck, ass! You need to calm the shit down.”

    “I ain’t schpitting the firty miue!” Carl shouted from the ground.

    “Fine! Fine, you stingy ass.” The living room was in shambles. “Where’re you hurt, pussy?”

    “Fockoff.”

    Carl stood up, offered his hand to Lester, who took it, and grabbed them beer from the fridge. “Still kicked your ass, numbnuts.”

    “Schtill firty miue doyars richer.” Lester laughed a gurgling, backwoods laugh that caused Carl to laugh too.

    “Computer’s broke.”

    “Damn.”

    The lights in the living room came back on.

    -JR Simmang

    1. Reaper

      This is amazing. So different and it pulled me into the moment. The change of the threat from a virus or anything computer oriented to being human nature is wonderful and then the end. Brilliant storytelling.

  10. Hash_tag5

    “PETEY!! C’MERE!! QUICK! SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE PC!”

    Pete lowered his book and looked over my shoulder from where was sitting on my bed, confused.

    “PETE!”

    “Please spare my ears and don’t scream. Am right here in the room with you.”

    “Do something! My screen thingy just froze and no matter how much I move the mouse, nothing’s happening.”

    Oh god! This can’t be happening now. This is a new PC I got a month back. Well, I bought it from a second hand shop but it’s new to me. Like, new in my house. Like, an old-new PC. Like….you get what I mean right?

    “Firstly it’s not a ‘SCREEN THINGY”, it’s just a ‘SCREEN’. And secondly, your PC freezing means moving your mouse won’t work.”

    “Don’t be a PC Nazi and fix it! You just wasted 15 seconds. GREAT!” I am not liking this at all. The timer in red against the dark background makes it look like a bomb. Holy smokes! What if it’s a bomb?? I can’t die at this age! I mean, am only 23 and I don’t want to die single! What would everyone say? But….How can it be a bomb? WHY would it be a bomb? I am not even privy to national secrets? Wait..Did I unknowingly make contact with like aliens and now a secret sector wants to cover that up by blowing me to pieces. Or did I accidently hack into something important? ……………… NAH, I can’t hack to save my life.

    “Have you tried looking for that little cross there that closes the pop up ads?”

    “Yes! Nothing. Can’t find it. Petey, please, what if it’s a bomb or something even worse like a VIRUS? What if there is a virtual epidemic and all the PCs in the world crash and stuff? I mean..”

    “FOCUS! And no it’s not a virus and not a bomb. 5 seconds left. Just don’t PANIC. Ok?

    4……….3……….2………1

    “Umm……”

    “Can I get back to my book now? It was a really interesting chapter. You made me lose my page.”

    Petey doesn’t understand. Ok, maybe it was indeed just a pop up ad but it could have been so much more. But…if it were to be something more, wouldn’t it have been, like, exciting. It could have been something life changing and not every day you face situations that changes your life. It doesn’t matter to me, I mean, I earn. Even though it’s minimum wage, but still. I have Petey. My best friend. I am happy with my life. I am, I swear. Ok maybe my parents kicked me out but who cares right? I wake up and look forward to working and come home. Cook, eat, I watch T.V, sleep. I love my independence. I can do whatever I want. Yea. I don’t need interesting things to happen to me. I am content. But one has to wonder, what if….

    1. Reaper

      This is so chaotic in a believable way. The contradictions between I don’t want excitement but I really do was nice and very realistic. The beginning through me off because at first it seemed like it was in third person then when it was in first I wasn’t sure which of the characters we were following. Once that was past it was very readable however.

  11. pinkbamboo

    I’ve been missing for 6 prompts and gotten so rusty. Here’s me trying to start again.

    ***

    “I can finally get the swimming pool behind my yard and that sweet car that I always wanted”

    Mark smiled to himself as he stared at the timer in front of him. Katie would like to go for a cruise and he can get the twins whatever they want.

    No more sold out movies, they can have their own cinema. No more winding down the car window during long rides cause the air conditioning went out. No more bus rides for the kids, he can have them chauffeured to school.

    Mark let out a big laugh and pressed down on his mouse. It was done. The cash was transferred to his bank account. Mark went to his children’s rooms and kissed their foreheads before he snuggled up to his wife.

    The next day, Mark returned to his study room. He paused to look out the window where his pool would be built and that old car parked at the porch. Mark stood there for about 2 minutes before he moved back to his study table.

    Then he took out his cheque book and began writing. Katie walked in and looked over her husband’s shoulder.

    “Animal shelter .. children’s hospital .. retirement centre .. Mark, what’s this?” she picked up the cheques on the table.

    Mark smiled. “Honey, remember when we were first married and we stayed in that small apartment?”

    Katie nodded “Yeah, I remember those days”

    “I think we have a pretty good life now. It’s time for us to give back” Mark smiled at his wife. He could afford to share his richness now.

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      Welcome back, Pink! After reading it a couple of times, I see what you did there. 🙂 He thought about how far he’d come since he was younger, and while looking back he realizes he has a pretty good life now. His sudden sense of altruism happened rather quickly and without explanation, which is why I had to read it a couple times. I’ve always liked the message that people can change, but I’m also incredibly cynical, so I feel like he might have changed too sudden. Why would anyone give up that much money to charity? Well, I know why I would (and I often give a lot these days), but most people are selfish, so I have a hard time believing his motive. With only 500 words, I can see why it would be difficult to rationalize a huge change like that in a person, so you did really well with what you had.

      Thanks for sharing, Pink, and we all miss you around these parts! Come back again!

      1. pinkbamboo

        You know, I actually wanted to end it another way but I thought.. Nah, let’s end it with a nice kind touch. I thought of ending it this way, continuation of the last paragraph

        ******
        Katie smiled proudly at her husband and left to tend to the twins. Mark closed his cheque book and opened his drawer to put it back when he noticed that black and white image at the bottom. Mark looked around before taking it out. It was not very clear but Mark knew through experience that he was looking at a baby. He turned the ultrasound image around to read those words again ‘Mark, please call me. Love, Sarah’

        Mark got up and closed the door before he picked up his phone.

        “Danny? Yeah, I got the money now. Can you take care of someone for me?”

        *******

        An alternate ending sort?

    2. Critique

      Welcome back pinkbamboo 🙂
      Our world needs more people with a generous caring heart like Mark who want to leave the world a better place. I love stories like that. However, I have to say the second ending sizzled in my view – it left me wanting more!

    3. Reaper

      Welcome back Pink. You have been missed for six prompts. Don’t make us send a search part out for you. You know the master plan for world domination depends on you.

      I liked the heartwarming story. The way I read it was the altruism was in your MC from the beginning and just set off by realizing where he was sitting in life. Your second ending was very creepy and showed a very different man. The disturbing part is both being so believable for me from the same setup. Nicely done on both.

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