Assignment 1

[This was supposed to be an intro to a story – or a complete story – up to 350 words. I realised I forgot to give it a title… oh well.]

I sit and stare at the screen, glaring at the thin blue line. The retro type underneath the flashing bar tells me it’s at 95%. It has been there for the past hour. How on earth can it still be loading? What could possibly be taking so long? The internet speed is the same as it always has been, so why am I treated to this agonising wait? Why now? Why today? Does the universe know something I don’t about the content of my email?

The government censorship is a possible explanation, but not a plausible one: there’s no way anything risky or risqué has sneaked in there. I’m the kind of person nothing exciting ever happens to.

Unless the seismic activity has caused a power cut I don’t know about. Yet again.

I look over at the modem. Nope. All lights are green and blinking. It’s clearly working, so what’s the holdup? What is the problem???


Of course, due to the capital letters in that sentence, I sound like I’m yelling. Yelling across the infinite darkness of the Internet where only a few fortunate can hear. Fortunate because they have not lost the means to communicate with others. Few because not everyone is privileged enough to have a computer with an Internet connection. The earthquakes took out most of the terrestrial network. Even if a wireless network can transmit, it’s most likely broadcasting into nothingness. Echoing across a void.

Now there’s a thought.

In my mind, I can imagine the words bouncing, rebounding, falling together and then being torn apart letter by letter until there is nothing left. And then, it occurs to me that phrase doesn’t make sense – sound needs a medium to travel through; a void describes the absence of matter, therefore it wouldn’t contain the particles necessary. Or is that a vacuum? Does that then mean if a tree falls in a vacuum, no one would hear it?

I’m considering abandoning the entire endeavour. But I need to check my emails. There might be one from her.


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