Major style edit
Hyperlinks to all pieces of literature i know of that i have placed in this story. Rathish, thanks for this idea!
This one started out as a very small story on a bored work afternoon; but before I knew it just went on to morph into a fine short story in its own right. I truly enjoyed writing it, mainly because I was able to capture the true insanity, that i was feeling… Have fun 🙂
July 4, 2030
He wrote; they read. He talked; they listened. He danced; they enjoyed.
He was a star. In the surreal alternate reality of cyberspace, he was a star. Every word he podcasted, people listened to it. Every video he put on the page, people looked at it. He was all around, ubiquitous; and he listened to their every act, nothing ever worth talking missed his eye or the ear. He felt passionate about everything under the sun. The passion he awoke in people inspired others many. He was da address for witty, charming, disarming, mature, taboo conversations. He served everyone. He likened to anyone. From masochists to feminists to anarchists to puritans. Everyone was his audience.
Its been 5 years since he arrived. From a small page on blogspot which he called his own; his rise was nothing short of meteoric. A few comments here, a few there and a tremendous personal overdrive to network; he soon had people flocking to his pages to have a look at the content on his blog. Blogspot soon went into overdrive; its server crashed frequently owing to the heavy traffic to his spot. Google enjoyed having him on their adsense list. His site generated thousands of clicks for their ads on his page. Soon rumors flew about, proclaiming MSN and Yahoo contacting him and offering him 1TB of free signup space and unlimited bandwidth! There were legends born though that they were giving him an offering of click per page.
But he stuck with blogspot. And he grew. As a meteor shooting across the sky; everyone took notice of him; he was everywhere; on everyall the pages; people linked to him like crazy; he was on everyone’s blogroll. Blogspot now had his link as a part of their standard templates too! He was now featured in mainstream media. He was contacted for interviews, but he only granted them, ones on a remote podcast server. That is all. His profile showed a star as his photo. Nothing else.
He was anonymous; faceless. People dedicated a wiki to him, “the anonymous” others heralded him as the “Neo of Zion“, in due remembrance of a hugely (un)successful franchise of a movie(trilogy). They drew his pictures. Wiki had already gone from putting words together to putting images together. Thousands of people had their artist sketches about how he would look. Some had a clean shaven look to him; others had a Men-in-black look; others made him a orange-robed gentleman; some others drew him in pyjamas with flip-flops and a thin stubble; some had him to be a woman. He was a man for every man; a man for every woman; and a woman for some.
And then he just stopped. People came flocking to the site. All they could see was void. Not even a 404-page not found. Just Void. Empty. Silent. Nothing. The wiki had disappeared too. The blogspace had just disappeard. He just went poof! No, not even the sound ‘poof’. He was gone. The pen, the voice…. gone.
It started flame wars all around. Blogspot enjoyed this increased activity. Amidst all this, conspiracy theories flew hard and thick. There were rumors about the team of most enlightened Chinese Zen crackers put together by M$ and Yahoo! to go ahead and pull his site down. Rumors flew thick about the 24/7 elite hacker team from India hired by Google working overtime to repel any DoS attacks. M$, Google and Yahoo! had 60/60/24/7 live stories of Dubyaman running an elite team of hardworking NRIs and NRCs uber geeks to pull down the site since the day ‘the anonymous’ put a post about Dubya who went to war with Somalia when he misunderstood that ‘War on Poverty‘ meant ‘War on the Poor’.
And then he came. He appeared as suddenly as he had disappeared. A ‘Hi’ on every blog on the planet. People couldnt doubt it was him. But they couldnt trust it was him either; he wouldnt go and key in the authentication code manually could he? They rushed to his site immediately. Flash bulbs popped all over the mainstream TV media. But all they saw was the number “22 8 2030“. Again conspiracy theories flew thick about a possible hidden interpretation of the number: the number of people he visited? or the number of visitors to his page? or a hidden code in a remote indian or aztec civilization about an impending doom? Finally a kid said it was a date. And again theories flew thick, and of course their sub-conspiracy theories too. he was coming back to blogging/podcasting now; he was going to reveal who he is; he was going to tell his secret…
Again, the traffic to his site increased. People said ‘We love you’. Others said ‘We miss you’. Some others however professed their undying loyalty to him and had setup secondly RSS feeds/aggregators to find any clues to his sites. Others had genetic algorithms running on the next version of Deep Blue connected to Wikipedia and a pirated version of Encarta to decipher a meaning using his ‘alleged’ hidden clues.
And then came ‘22 8 2030′. People flocked to his url. M$, Yahoo and Google gave freely downloadable desktop aggregator programs which would stream the latest post from his site. Three of them even offered a free T-Shirt with “22 8 2030” on it for the first 5 thousand people who would download their own aggregators without using the competitors’ product. Google even had its blogger modified to be able to stream the words to people’s TVs, Desktops, mobile phones as soon as started typing on the keyboard. The stage was set.
And then a cornucopia of mobile ringtones flooded the silent hushed world. The screens went black and letters started appearing on the boards everywhere in a green phosphorescent glow. With Multiple language support enabled, and online text to speech converters available, everyone across the world could see what the English speaking world was seeing too!
“Hi” – The first sentence flashed.
“How long has it been that you went into the real world and talked to the people? When did you give a visit to the local park and played with with your dog? When was the last time you closed your eyes, tasting the sweetness in the lips of your lover, when they gave you a wonderful kiss? When was the time you walked? When was the last time you slept because you were physically maxed out? When was the last time you stopped visiting this site?”
“For me, it has been a long time, ages. And now I come to say to you just three words: Life is beautiful. Leave this place. Forget that it exists. Remember to forget that it ever existed. Forget that it even serves any purpose. Forget that it means anything to you at all. Just let go. Go”
“–Anon” – And it blanked out in farewell. No one believed what was written; No one believed it was him talking.
They just closed the browser window…
*Dedicated to the tens and hundreds of bloggers who are now a part of my existence and conscience*