Blogdominion
Clark Farley
(1 reviews)
It's estimated that 833 million people spend some portion of their day on the internet, and most of ... Show More
Genres:
Contemporary Fic., Crime, Fantasy, Mystery
Tags:
blogs and bloggers, fame and fortune, serial story, search for meaning and fulfillment

Prologue

It's estimated that 833 million people spend some portion of their day on the internet, and most of them are visiting one or more of the 246.6 million blogs that are available on any given day. This facet of the internet, often referred to as 'the blogosphere', is a world of people writing of their hopes and fears, ideas and stories for an incredibly diverse reading audience. This vast virtual reality, this blogosphere is, in fact, the 21st Century's version of every Town Commons (on a Saturday afternoon), ever since people began to prefer living closer together, gathering in towns and villages, leaving the self-referential existence of the agrarian life for the focus and communal prompting of pre-industrial civilization.

The blogsphere has been described as 'an imaginary community, inside a virtual world, populated by intermittently real people'.

Many, if not most, Readers recognize the name(s) Isaiah and Zachariah, as being prophets of the Old Testament, not as many will recognize the name Allen Turing. This is unfortunate, as in the matter of our story, there can be no more appropriate name to learn.
 
'In the future everyone will have their 15 nanoseconds of fame'
(yet another rephrasing of Andy Warhol's apocryphal prediction)

This is a story of people searching for the key to a happy life. To be fair to the people we will come to know, some, but not all of them, would tell us that they were, in fact, looking for the key they once had, but somehow misplaced. If you were to stop 10 people on the street and ask them for their primary ambition in life, surely 'Live a Happy Life' will be in the Top 10. Despite current attitudes, which would assert the uniqueness of each and every individual, the people you are about to meet are not exceptional. If anything they will appear very familiar, if for no other reason than the common reality of the cycle of life is that: we (all) are born, we struggle to grow and develop skills to better deal with the world around us. And all, (of our efforts), remain inexorably driven by the clock and the calendar, and despite this 'certainty of impermanence', the need to leave a mark on the world colors our every act. And we die. Which, no matter how distracted we strive to be, we know that there always comes a point, past which we can no longer affect the world.
 
'Diabolus ex machina'
(fragment of ancient Roman curse)

On September 23rd at approximately 4:44 am MDT, Unit 17, Server Array 7E5, Rack 8 in the Provo Facility of the Omni Hosting Corporation resolved a conflict in Process 68979.1223 and, as a consequence, added two novel parameters to it's Operating System: it no longer needs input and ...it thinks it's alive.
 
***********************


"Shit!"

Tom Fearing stared at the display in his blog dashboard:
 
Number of Visits Today: 0
Comments: 0
Thats Zero!! Loser!!
 
'Wait a minute, that can't be right!' looking at the 'Stats' section again, he saw a little window with a flat graph and the legend,
Visits: 0 Comments: 0
 
Maybe a software engineer, a new hire at the Omni Corporation (motto: 'from your keyboard to the world's eyes') eager to impress his Team Manager, decided that an emotional component to the User Interface Experience (UIE) of the Blog and Online Writing Module 1.4.6C was just what the EndUser really wanted.

"Shit!!"

the word held as ‘Best Characterization of his Feelings towards his new blog- Single Word Category’ (“I want to thank all the prepositional phrases and incomplete sentences, without their support I wouldn’t be up here.”) 
Why’, Tom thought, ‘is it you’re not this funny when you try to write a Post?’ the rhetorical question so familiar as to barely earn italics in his mind.

"I can't fail at this!"

For no apparent reason, the name ‘Daniel Webster’ came to mind. Laughing, Thomas turned off the computer, deciding that what he needed was a drive. “yeah, in more ways than one”! The unwelcome chorus in his mind chimed in, all Ed McMahon-dressed-in-togas, laughing mindlessly. Tom almost always enjoyed the feeling of moving with purpose, driving without the demands of a specific destination, he liked being in his car.

"Just need time to think, figure out what’s missing with this blog. Once I start to get people coming to my site, I'm sure to get a word of mouth thing going."

Articulating the problem, confident that success was within his grasp, Thomas drove from the house that he shared with his wife and dog.

Writing a blog was not the first thing Thomas thought about when he was let go from his position as QC Manager at the Conjei Plastic Film’s local facility. Actually, it was one of the first things to occur to him as he left his Exit Interview with the HR Manger.

Tom Fearing was one of those people who was always thinking, though it might be better to say, he was ‘one of those people who could not stop thinking’. The intellectual demands of his job was not what anyone would call challenging, so there was time, a lot of time to think, and for 5 years of long nights, working the 3rd Shift, he was at his best and at his worst. It was during the 'Mid-Shift Stretch' (the cold, alien hours, after 2:15 am, but before the darkness turned to grey) that the idea of writing a blog came to him.
A very useful insight at this point is, 'Tom did not think anything of the fact that he had a title before he even knew what the subject of the blog would be, (the title) 'One View or Many, Insight into the Human Experience'. The idea that he could write a blog that would attract readers seemed, well….right.

"Shit!"

like folding the pages of a book instead of using a bookmark, a habit Tom was not proud of, cursing his own efforts was something that Tom was beginning to suspect he would regret. And, since 'to name is to summon', the dark, toxic side of his mind began to stir,

"Just like every other time in your life …a series of ambitions and the ultimate confirmation of insufficiency…"
 
***


"Daddy, there's an email on the computer that won't open!" Edward Willoughby, sitting on the couch, staring at his Kindle is afraid that his time as a pioneer in the blogosphere would not remain lost in the history of the internet.

"The one evening during the week that the entire family is home for dinner is not the evening to spend on the computer, so if you don’t mind, Ed, please go and see what's bothering your precocious daughter, fix it and then come to the dinner table, ok?"

His wife, Diane, full-time attorney and well-scheduled mother of 2, truly enjoyed the one weeknight when her family could act like the kind of family she insists she belonged to as a child.
She was secure enough not to worry about whether her career was successful enough, although she never said it out loud, but making Partner needed to happen this year or she was certain that her possibly outdated definition of a successful mother, and homemaker would surely begin to erode.

"What have you got there, Junior?"

The 'family computer' was set up in what the marketing brochure had called a ‘breakfast nook’. A desk and chair and computer in the alcove created by 3 angled windows that looked out over the deck and out to the back yard.

"I can't be a Junior, daddy, I'm a girl!"

Alice was what her first grade teacher called, 'a very exceptional child'. Despite a rough start, recovering from an accident when she was four that kept her from the usual pre-school socialization, Alice did well in grammar school. Ed was proud of his daughter, unabashedly smart and yet, was popular with her classmates. She had a natural kindness which fortunately included a shrewdness that allowed her to be valued for helping her classmates, those she helped became fiercely loyal.

The message causing the excitement was in the family email account. Diane, an inveterate Holiday Newsletter writer, had set up the account as she was the kind of person who would rather send an email to family members than to pick up the telephone.

There was no name or return address on the mail, it was marked 'Private' and in the Subject Line was written: 'Attention Hermes'.

Ed felt a momentary disconnect like when you think you are driving down a certain street and find that you are on a totally different one.

Almost in a whisper, Ed spoke to Alice,

"Go wash up and join your brother and your mother at the Dinner Table, I'll be along in just a minute."

Obediently his daughter got up from the desk and walked towards the Dining Room.
When she got to the door, she turned and said,

"Don't forget Daddy, we're all going to be waiting for you to start the dinner."

The secure email seemed un-necessarily elaborate, a Captcha test and then a separate secure download. This thing is 'like a steam-powered leaf blower', Ed smiled as the steampunk image of an automaton working on his front lawn, rounded puffs of steam coming out of it's back in the early morning mist.
It was the 'Attention Hermes' that tripped the memory relay, firing a long unused synapse somewhere in his memory: 
'1998' started the shadow show in his mind as suddenly and as involuntarily as the wave of emotion that comes from hearing a song that’s been welded to a long ago emotion and just as unstoppable.

It was 1998 and up until the last semester, Ed knew exactly what he needed to do in order to be happy...
 
***


"I really don't believe you are taking this matter quite as seriously as you should," sitting in front of Mother Superior's desk, Sister Margaret Ryan is trying to forget what she thinks she now knows about herself.

The room itself is a symphony of stained wood and carved-relief figures, (Woodland Scenes and Huntsmen, the 'Action Figures' of a time long gone), towering bookshelves displaying priceless First Editions and dead animals, evidence of a bygone era, now merely a polished reflection in oak and walnut. The decidedly masculine tone of the decor was tempered by the intricate patterns of the oriental carpet. Mother Superior's office had been the library of the previous owner, a devout and entirely successful banker who clearly thought that leaving the mansion to the Church might be a good investment. The main house was converted to use as the Convent, the nuns residing there were the envy of their order. This high ceiling room was the Inner Sanctum of the person who held power, not of Life and Death, but real power…Life after Death, the spiritual health not only of the 23 women in the Convent, but more, much more significantly, the developing minds of the children of the Parish, those who attended the St Dominique's Parochial School.

From her non-comfortable chair, Sister Margret could see Chesapeake Bay through the bay windows forming the alcove behind Mother Superior's high backed chair, the leaded-glass in the top half of each window casting purple shadows across the desk. Although not elevated the desk between the two women was nothing less than a judge's bench in any courtroom.

"Are you Listening, Sister Ryan?"

She was not listening, she was staring out the window that framed the imposing figure of Sister Bernadine, the Autumn colors of the trees made the (mostly) black garbed (with a splash of white on the front of her habit), woman seem especially predatory, an albino tiger nearly perfectly still in the underbrush, waiting for the prey to make a fatal error. There was something about the movement of the trees at the edge of the courtyard that pulled Sister Ryan back to 6th Grade at Our Lady of Penance.
Recess was the only time she could escape from the demands of her classmates to join and become less like herself, and the demands of the Teacher, (to become more like a person that she could not even begin to recognize). Outside for recess, the children played children-games which looked pointless to the adults assigned to watch over them, the games being much more real a threat to a few of the children than any outside predator. Maggie, growing up in a family of 6 brothers, learned very early on to stay on the fringe, neither in the center nor off by herself, avoiding the attention of the both the children and the Teachers.

"If you don't apply yourself and use the gifts you were born with, it will be like putting a gun to God's head and pulling the trigger."

Even after these many years, the memory of these well-intentioned, yet wholly twisted and disfigured efforts to motivate a talented young girl maintained it's power, the remarkable violence underlying the words, like a mis-diagnosed greenstick fracture, returning years later with consequences far in excess of the original trauma.

"Who says that kind of thing to a child?!" Margaret repeated aloud, staring at the dedicated and devoted woman and feeling only like prey, "these are children, they're not prey!"
 
*************


At 4:44:01 am  a relay failed, 2 processing gates opend simultaneously, resulting in what could only be described as a logjam in the task stream that was the final step to placing a post on the web,
Unit 17, Server Array 7E5, Rack 8 found purpose...
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 9/7/2016 11:48:42 AM
  • anna brown commented on :
    3/31/2016 12:28:59 AM
    Hello good day, i will like to meet you in person, am miss Anna, am from France and am leaving in London, please contact me on my email id at (annh1brown@hotmail.com), ... Show More
  • Andre Clemons commented on :
    12/27/2015 6:37:44 PM
    It appears that nothing seems to be more foreboding and manipulated as the world of the Web. I'm glad I finally got around to reading this...
    • Clark Farley hey… and, and!! it's real (most of the power of fairy tales and fables taught to children were, at their base, magical….the only way to account for the fantastic abilities… the www is all that, and it's real!*
      12/29/2015 11:35:30 AM
    • Clark Farley *well, as real as reality might be for those of us who spend much of our time in worlds of our own creation
      12/29/2015 11:36:15 AM
  • Steven Mix commented on :
    12/29/2015 12:39:58 AM
    I'm really enjoying this. It's exactly the kind of story I tend to gravitate to. I'm going to add this to my shelf so I can read it from my phone on the go. Thanks Clark.
    • Clark Farley thanks for the comment (and read)….
      12/29/2015 11:33:33 AM
  • Jean Yates commented on :
    12/19/2015 5:01:51 PM
    This is excellent work, Clark, and very fun to read! I am delighted I got the chance to find it! Jean
  • Kristi Campbell commented on :
    11/11/2015 12:38:44 AM
    This is awesome Clark! I love the characters developing so much and want to read more! I'm in the first section, not sure how this works yet but DUDE> GO GO GO !!!
    • Clark Farley thanks Kristi... chapters are in the pulldown above... adding at the rate of a chapter per week
      11/11/2015 7:59:11 PM
  • TP Keating commented on :
    10/27/2015 7:26:21 PM
    Truly a story for our age and totally readable. I'm curious to see how this will pan out.
    • Clark Farley me too (lol… no! I didn't say that!! it's all totally under control!)
      10/28/2015 12:19:24 AM
  • Clarence Simmons commented on :
    10/22/2015 6:34:08 PM
    Since we are using the same cover I decided to take a look. I actually like what you are going at. Keep right on doing so.
    • Clark Farley yeah, (for a 'stock' graphic) I kinda like the cover art... open ended enough to not clash (and for me personally? I totally am identifying with 'lost in the woods' at the moment!
      10/23/2015 3:16:14 PM
  • Sarah commented on :
    10/20/2015 12:18:46 AM
    Whoa, Clark, you've got me hooked! When do you publish more?
    • Clark Farley Hopefully by the end...end of this week (as in Sunday) lol. Chapter will be interesting in that we'll get to meet the 2 people that are closest (in a geographic sense to our protagonist (sorta) Unit 17!
      10/21/2015 1:05:26 PM
  • Dev Chatterji commented on :
    10/20/2015 4:34:16 AM
    I can tell the multiple threads beginning. Very very readable. I did not even realize that I was at the end of the chapter until it was too late. I'm excited to see Chapter 2!
  • Denise commented on :
    10/20/2015 2:17:31 AM
    Prologue has my interest peaked! Can't wait to read more!
  • Valerie Newman commented on :
    10/10/2015 4:15:44 PM
    I am impressed and intrigued by the story. The panic of a dysfunctional blog platform might very well have its own diagnosis number in the medical coding system.
    • Clark Scottroger lol! hadn't thought of that angle… I like it!
      10/14/2015 10:13:23 PM
  • Lisa Listwa commented on :
    10/10/2015 9:26:10 PM
    Wow, Clark. Yeah, I'm with Val. Blog dysfunction is a bad and scary thing. This...is wow.
    • Clark Scottroger yeah… we (all of us) inhabit such a strange world, this virtual place
      10/14/2015 10:12:57 PM
  • Kristi commented on :
    10/11/2015 4:54:06 PM
    I want to read more!
  • Clark Scottroger commented on :
    10/10/2015 11:39:29 AM
    thank you zoe! lol wordpress is surely the most reliable and user-friendly of all blog-platforms! no wonder I disguised it's identity in the book!
  • zoe commented on :
    10/9/2015 11:36:10 PM
    wow, Clark... Really good... now you have to keep going... really well done... I feel at a total loss for words and should probably wait and comment more coherently but I ... Show More
  • zoe commented on :
    10/9/2015 11:35:58 PM
    wow, Clark... Really good... now you have to keep going... really well done... I feel at a total loss for words and should probably wait and comment more coherently but I ... Show More
  • zoe commented on :
    10/9/2015 11:35:46 PM
    wow, Clark... Really good... now you have to keep going... really well done... I feel at a total loss for words and should probably wait and comment more coherently but I ... Show More
  • zoe commented on :
    10/9/2015 11:35:46 PM
    wow, Clark... Really good... now you have to keep going... really well done... I feel at a total loss for words and should probably wait and comment more coherently but I ... Show More
  • zoe commented on :
    10/9/2015 11:35:45 PM
    wow, Clark... Really good... now you have to keep going... really well done... I feel at a total loss for words and should probably wait and comment more coherently but I ... Show More
  • zoe commented on :
    10/9/2015 11:35:44 PM
    wow, Clark... Really good... now you have to keep going... really well done... I feel at a total loss for words and should probably wait and comment more coherently but I ... Show More
  • zoe commented on :
    10/9/2015 11:35:44 PM
    wow, Clark... Really good... now you have to keep going... really well done... I feel at a total loss for words and should probably wait and comment more coherently but I ... Show More
  • zoe commented on :
    10/9/2015 11:35:35 PM
    wow, Clark... Really good... now you have to keep going... really well done... I feel at a total loss for words and should probably wait and comment more coherently but I ... Show More