Spotting an interesting post from a new male blogger, I click on ‘Follow’. Oh! Too Late! Just as the highlighted word changes to ‘Following’, I catch sight of his avatar photo. God! He looks like a criminal. Why did I click ‘follow’? Oh yes! I need to follow bloggers so they’ll follow me. At least that’s what I’ve come to understand. Anyway, I’d noticed he lived in the same county as me, that’s a bonus if you want me to follow you. Hey, but what if I’m following criminals, thugs and every other wrong-doer?
My friend Jayne had warned me, “Be careful what personal information you put on there; you never know who’s looking at it.”
She doesn’t understand. To access some websites, you have to give more away than you want to. I begin to reconsider all the recent people I’ve followed and engaged with. Most of them have thanked me for following them, or ‘liked’ something I’ve done, but a few haven’t responded in any way. What are they waiting for? Why do they bother posting if they’re not going to respond when anyone shows an interest in their blog?
That last blogger I just followed is writing a Crime Thriller. He says he’s never written about murder before, and in his post, he was asking for help to visualise the scene. I’ve read the ‘comments’ to his post, and his reply to each contributor was always the same. “Sorry, this didn’t help.” No variation in his words at all. After 19 helpful hints, he still wasn’t able to write about it accurately. Some of the suggestions put forward seemed really useful, to me at least. Oh well! I suppose you just can’t help some people.
I exit that page and move on to my notifications. Oh that’s good! Several new people are ‘following’ me and I have a fair amount of ‘likes’. There’s also a list of comments to reply to. I check out the websites of my new followers and add a few comments of my own. Then later, I go back to the growing list of messages I have to answer. I’m in the middle of the sixth one when the telephone rings in the hall.
No response, just silence.
I let out a sigh of frustration, and wish these irritating sales people would leave me alone; they’re always interrupting me when I’m busy with something. I knew it was one of them again, because there’s always a silence before their automated message starts. I don’t give them chance to get going on their sales pitch these days, just hang up as soon as I recognise the silent period. Since I’ve already been disturbed, I make my way to the kitchen for a mid-morning drink and then spend the next couple of hours doing a few chores. I also prepare a casserole, so now I can work a bit later and still enjoy a good meal when I’m finished.
Later, back on my computer, I finish replying to my blogging friends, and then start writing a new article.
“Ring ring” The telephone cuts into my creative thoughts again.
Once more, that annoying silence from the other end . Cursing, I replace the receiver in its cradle and in the same moment, hear a loud shattering crash from the kitchen. I freeze momentarily. Hell! That sounded like a window breaking… Tip-toeing from the hall, I cautiously head toward the kitchen. Oh no! It’s not the window, but the back door glass. Thousands of glittering pieces, like sparkles in sand, lay randomly scattered on the floor where they’ve landed. Now, I panic. I’m terrified. My heart jumps in my chest almost reaching my throat and I’m glued to the spot. I’m acutely aware of my awakened nerve endings, primed for flight.
Holding my breath, I listen… No sound now. I look frantically around… The door, thankfully, is still closed. Looking through the broken pane to the garden beyond, I can’t see anyone. Everything outside looks quiet… seems normal. Yet! Someone, or something, had broken the glass.
Carefully avoiding stepping on the shimmering fragments, I slowly inch closer to the door… Is it still locked? Frantically checking behind me while drawing ever nearer, I feel and not see, the glass-less door burst violently in with the propelling force of the intruder… He’s holding aloft the most frightening knife I’ve ever seen… My shrill screams pierce the silence but I know there’s no-one to hear. Plunging the jagged blade deep in my flesh, I recognise him. The horror on my face is clear; it’s that criminal-looking blogger and he’s going to kill me. It’s obvious now. There’s only one way he can visualise, and then write his murder scene.
Carole Parkes – Copyright September 2014
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