Monday, March 05, 2007

The Blog Short Story Project: FLAME WAR

Once again, Bryon Quertermous and Dave White bring you the Blog Short Story Project. This year the rules were, less than 1000 words and it has to have something in it about blogging. Without further ado, then, here is "Flame War."


IM from: MajorMotoko

LOL, Evan, that last blog post was a real reversal for you. What’s up?

The fat kid pushed himself back from the desk, picking up his cigarettes and lighter as he did. “See, Evan,” he said to the boy tied up on the bed, “that’s your problem. Your downfall, as it were. The secret to being an asshole on the Internet is anonymity.” He put the cigarette between his lips and flicked the lighter. The boy on the bed’s eyes widened, and he began to squeal behind the duct tape that covered his mouth.

“What,” the fat kid said, “this scares you? This little thing?” He took the cigarette out of his mouth and waved it in the direction of the boy on the bed. Evan pushed himself back against the dorm room wall as if he could squirm his way through it, even bound hand and foot as he was. The fat kid laughed. “I guess it does, after what I did with the last one.” He pulled the chair back up to the desk. He started to type.

IM from Nazgul

Well, you know, I did some thinking. And I eventually decided that Greedo was right. He’s actually made some good points.

“See,” the fat kid said around the cigarette stuck in his teeth, “you give away too much in your posts. Your first name. Your college. The fact you’re on the literary magazine. Christ, a child could find you.” He hit the send button and turned back to Evan. “So you probably should have been a little more careful about talking smack.” He took a piece of folded paper out of his back pocket and opened it. “Greedo, you fucking dork,” he read, “do you think anyone gives a runny shit about your fucked up opinions?” He lowered the paper. “You wrote that, right? Right, Evan? You wrote that. To me.”

The boy on the bed shook his head frantically. “No?” Greedo said. “What about this one?” He read again from the paper, which was creased and lined as if it had been folded and refolded many times. “Greedo,” he quoted, “’why don’t you just admit I’ve made you my bitch in this thread and leave it at that?’ That true, Evan? Or do you prefer I call you Nazgul? You think I’m your bitch?” Evan shook his head again, tears streaming down his face.

“What,” the fat kid said. “Somebody sneaked in and posted as you? In your blog comments? Using your screen name? What’d you do, give them your password? I don’t fucking think so, not after I had to break two of your fingers to get you to tell it to me.” He stalked over to the boy on the bed and yanked him to the center of the spread. He knelt on Evan’s legs to hold him in place and yanked his T-shirt up. His skin was pale, like a worm’s. Greedo smiled. That was ironic; “worm” was one of Nazgul’s favorite epithets. Then he scowled again. Condescending lectures about alleged use of the word “ironic” were another of Nazgul’s trademarks. Evan’s stomach was dotted with ugly round cigarette burns; it was getting hard to find an unmarked spot. Greedo took a puff on the cigarette until it glowed a bright red, then he found one. Evan’s scream was muffled by the duct tape, his frantic writhing restrained by the rope on his wrists and ankles and Greedo’s weight on his legs. “That’s for ‘fucking dork’,” the fat kid grunted. “And this one’s for ‘bitch’, and this one’s for ‘runny shit’ and this one’s for being a fucking liar.” He applied the cigarette again and again, pausing only to raise it to his lips and heat it up. Evan screamed and sobbed, and, the fat kid supposed, begged for mercy. The chime of the computer interrupted him. He got up and strode back to the keyboard.

IM from MajorMotoko

Greedo? That dick-lick? LOL! Hes such a POS…

Greedo scowled. “Careful, there, bitch…” Actually, he had no idea if MajorMotoko was male or female. The screen name came from a female anime character, but that didn’t mean anything. He typed again.

IM from Nazgul

No, Rly. He’s pretty smart

The reply came back immediately.

IM from MajorMotoko:

WTF? R U his BF now? He sucking U off?

“God damn it,” Greedo muttered.

IM from Nazgul

ROTFL! No.

IM from MajorMotoko

I never knew u turned homo LOL

Greedo sat there for a moment, his teeth clenched in rage, flexing and unflexing his fingers slowly like the claws of a predator. He looked back at Evan sobbing on the bed. “Don’t worry, Nazgul,” he said softly. It’ll all be over soon. Now that you’ve admitted that I’m right.” He turned back to the keyboard.

IM from Nazgul

FU :-). U going 2 the con ths wknd?

IM from MajorMotoko

U know it.

IM from MajorMotoko

C U there? I’d like 2 meet u

IM from Nazgul

2:00. Dark Horse Comics booth. Han Solo T- shirt. Raiders cap.

IM from MajorMotoko

OK. CU L8TR

“Count on it, fucker,” Greedo said.

IM from Nazgul

B4N

Greedo stood up. “Bye for now,” he repeated. He picked up an Oakland Raiders cap off the desk and pulled it onto his head. Then he picked up a stubby pistol from the desk. A 2 liter Coke bottle came next, and he fitted it over the barrel to make an improvised silencer. Evan was semiconscious and whimpering on the bed.

“Later, gator,” Greedo said softly, “I’ve got to go. Someone else needs to learn some fucking netiquette.” He shook his head. “It’s a good blog, Nazgul,” he said regretfully. “You get some tasty inside stuff. And you’re a pretty good writer. But you’re such a dick to people.” He raised the gun and fired two shots into Nazgul’s head.

“Greedo shoots first,” he whispered, and let himself out.

20 comments:

JT Ellison said...

Wow, Dusty! Nice job!

pari said...

Dusty,
I'm almost scared to leave a comment.

Holy crap.

Louise Ure said...

Dusty, I was going to say that you're a warped individual, but now that you know my name, I think I'll say you're a great writer that took me to a very dark place today.

Jesus H. Christ, JD. Well done.

Gerald So said...

Nicely, um, executed. :)

John R. said...

Ha! Nice. Geek-rage!

JD Rhoades said...

Geek-rage!

Got it in one, john.

Christa M. Miller said...

Geek revenge! I love it. (Except the victim's name is the same as one near and dear, so that kinda made me wince, but otherwise - great story!)

Anthony Rainone said...

Truly on the edge of my seat. Great, great.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am stunned by how good these stories are. Weird to think none of them could have been written even a few years ago. And interesting how ominously we see blogs and the Internet considering the time we spend here. This was especially haunting.

Bill Crider said...

Great stuff! After reading the story, I couldn't say anything else.

Karen Olson said...

Wow. Everyone's nightmare! Great job, Dusty!

guyot said...

Creepy good.

I liked this one a lot.

John D. said...

Great story, JD. So, Greedo's finally going to take out Han Solo, eh? Payback is a bitch. Or, in this case, a geek.

Mike MacLean said...

Man, way to let the geek flag fly!

I loved this one. Funny and creepy at the same time. The references were classic—especially the last line. In fact, they were so good it seemed like you had some firsthand knowledge of dork-dom. I don’t feel so alone anymore.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

What? And no initiative roll for poor Evan? A dodge roll? Nothing?

That was beautifully done. My hat off to you, sir.

JD Rhoades said...

Damn. Blackmoore just out-geeked me.

Steve Allan said...

Greedo shoots first! Only a true geek could appreciate a line like that. Love it.

Toni L.P. Kelner said...

Nasty, brutish, and short.

Love it!

Kristy said...

Well, you're clearly a genius. In fact, everything you do is brilliant. *bowing and backing away* Truly...brilliant...sir.

How's that Roman soldier outfit coming anyway?

Daniel Hatadi said...

Damn, that was good. I felt the burns myself.