Duncan sat there, staring blankly at his screen, eyes wide, fear slowly filling his brain, it had happened again, the dark embrace of nothingness had lifted its veil and hovered menacingly over to Duncan’s small corner of the earth. The five bars of joy no longer filled the corner of his screen, just grey faded shadows of what they once were, the small yellow hazard sign staring him in the face, mocking him. It had been exactly three days since the internet last went down; three joyful days which Duncan spent trying to forget the stretch of wireless inactivity, his great web collapse. Why was this happening to him? Was the world against him? The government? Did he forget to pay his inte-rent, his web fee, the monthly penny picking boredom relieving fiasco? Duncan felt extremely out of touch with everything around him, World war 3 could be starting right now and not only would he not know about it, but he wouldn’t be able to tweet about, which made him furious, #FURIOUS! He couldn’t check his emails which made him anxious. What if something important happens, what if an email goes out, a special email, and email that will change everything, forever and he misses it, the dark embrace of nothingness’ grip tightened around his soul. He felt depressed, he wanted to look up the symptoms of depression but he couldn’t which only made things worse.
He decided he couldn’t take anymore, sitting there staring at a screen wasn’t going to help, so he opted to stare out of his window instead. It had been a long time since he looked outside; saw the real world, a world which doesn’t just stop working for no valid reason. He looked down at the people going about their daily business, checking their phones; emails on their phone…their phone… phone…Duncan had a phone! Duncan lunged across his room searching furiously for his dumb smart phone; he found it nestled neatly in a pile of clothes at the bottom of his bed. He held down a button on the side of the phone and waited patiently as it started up, the glow of the screen illuminated his miserable face in the dank misty pit he called his flat. He gazed longingly at the wifi signal in the corner; grey, faded, not connected.
He threw his phone to the ground holding back tears of rage, what was he supposed to do? What did he do the last time the internet was down? He had all but repressed the memories of the past week, his cyber collapse, the great downfall situated all within his apartment, or was it his apartment block? Do other residents have an internet connection; is this thing bigger than he first thought?
Duncan put on some clean clothes, well, cleaner clothes, and charged across his flat to the front door. The door was dusty, cobwebs had settled over the handle, the wood looked lonely, Duncan didn’t understand how but it just did. It had been a long time since Duncan had stepped out his flat, it was a scary notion, what if he is not used to the oxygen; he could die, maybe. He grasped the handle nervously, if only he had the internet, he could do a bit of research before he goes and puts his life in danger, but he couldn’t, he had to risk it. He flung the door open taking a cautionary step backwards just in case something terrible happened. He poked his head out slightly and looked down the narrow corridor outside his pit. There were only three flats on this level, one at the bottom of the corridor and one adjacent to his, he chose the closest one, he didn’t want to be outside too long, he didn’t want to get contaminated. He shuffled nervously over to the adjacent flats door and knocked lightly. Then he waited. He could hear movement inside, but he couldn’t hear any mouse clicking, or the hum of a computer tower, what if this person didn’t even own a computer, what if they didn’t know what the internet was; ‘Preposterous’ Duncan thought, everyone has the internet nowadays, unless they are over 90 years old. Much to Duncan’s dismay the women who opened the door fell directly into the category of over 90 years old and in fact had no idea what an ‘internet’ was. Duncan stood in the doorway looking baffled. How has this women survived? Maybe she could teach me to live a normal life’ thought Duncan, ‘NO! THERE ISN’T ENOUGH TIME!’ Duncan slammed the door in her face, he heard a slight whimper before it slammed shut, he didn’t care, she wasn’t important, she didn’t even have Facebook.
He slumped to the floor miserably; what’s the point in being alive if you can’t even post a status about being alive. He closed his eyes, remembering the forums he was on yesterday, they were discussing the war in Iraq, Duncan wished he was there, he might get killed, better than this, this disconnected life, this void of pointlessness, Duncan’s worthless little existence; Online Duncan was somebody, many somebody’s, he was a Blood elf, and also a forum moderator, a professor in architecture and also an infamous troll; but in real life Duncan was just Duncan, a normal-ish guy currently slumped on the floor outside an old women’s flat whom he might of injured slightly when slamming the door, and no one will ever know it happened, except for Duncan, and no one will ever know who Duncan is, because he cannot get online.
He stared at the ground, the carpet was shitty and generally uncomfortable, but at this moment in time Duncan didn’t care; He didn’t know how long he was going to stay on the floor, but it seemed a fitting place for someone who had nothing better to do. He sat silently for about a half hour and then began to doze off.
Duncan flew through various websites, catching up on his latest news and facts, he flapped his mighty cyber wings in the cool megabyte breeze before heading over to twitter to hash tag the fuck out of anything he could think of; #Awesome #InternetsBackOn #ICanFly #ThisIsAwfullyStrange #WaitASecond #AmIDreaming #FUCK.
Duncan jumped out of his cyber nap to see a polite looking old man staring at him, he was holding a clip board, and wearing a blue polo shirt with the words TALKTALK written across it.
“Duncan Aymmes? Flat 4B?” He said with a calm look on his face. Duncan liked that he was calm; it made Duncan feel calm for the first time that day.
“Are you here to fix my internet?” Duncan queried
“I sure am son” The TALKTALK man chuckled
Duncan leapt up from the floor filled with a sudden burst of energy. He gave the TALKTALK man a huge hug before skipping back into his flat and directing the man to his computer. The man bent over looking at the screen, he clicked a few things, looked at his clipboard a few times and coughed/ grumbled a few times before looking back at Duncan shamefully.
“Can’t be fixed today” He said quickly before making his way to the door
“Now just you wait a fucking second” Duncan snapped. “This is your job, do your job, I need the internet you fuck!”
The TALKTALK man looked down to the ground before apologising once more and turning his back on Duncan. “There will be someone out to fix it in the next couple of days” He said with his back still turned. Then he left, leaving Duncan to go back to doing what he had been doing all morning; staring blankly at his screen, eyes wide, fear slowly filling his brain. He turned his computer off, he’d had enough; He slumped joylessly back into his chair.
World war three started later that day and Duncan had no idea, it was over before he had the chance to tweet about it. His internet is still not working.