26 December 2014

Published December 24, 2014 by rochellewisoff

happy New Year



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The next in this line of photos is the PHOTO PROMPT. Is the staircase going up or just coming down? Where does it take you? Tell me your story in a hundred words or less. 

My story follows the prompt and the inLinkz blue frog. I appreciate honest comments and constructive crit. 

PHOTO PROMPT - Copyright -Björn Rudberg

PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright -Björn Rudberg

get the InLinkz code



Recently, I woke to find that our internet was down. Cut off from my online friends, a sense of panic flooded me. I felt empty and alone. The what-if’s bombarded me. 

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 100


             Couched in complacency, we never saw it coming.

            The first few hours weren’t bad. We figured the electric company would remedy the problem while we enjoyed sandwiches and chips by candlelight and a break from television.  

            After a month we were still in darkness and the grocery shelves were bare.  

            My car with its solid state circuit for a brain is a useless hunk of metal.

            Local doctors are at a loss to treat the simplest diseases.

            Real books are in demand.

            We’re learning to live off the land but the internet is dead and the silence is deafening.  

123 comments on “26 December 2014

    • Dear Björn,

      We’ve become quite dependent, haven’t we? I speak for myself. I’ve made so many friends online…ones I can’t imagine life without. The sci-fi of my youth.

      Thank you for commenting and for the beautiful photo.




    • Dear Sandra,

      I cringe when I think of the prospect. That one morning had me in a tizzy. I was disconnected from certain friends accross the airwaves who’ve become dear to me. Then, of course, my imagination took a fast train to doomsday.

      Thank you.




  • Rochelle, Another imaginative and well-written story. I’m going to be an optimist and say that I think greater, not less astonishing things are going to take place. With new improvements, generaltions in the future will look on these as the computer “horse and buggy days.” It’s hard for us to visualize that because most of us aren’t computer wizards like the young people coming up. Well done yet again. Happy Holidays!🙂 — Suzanne


  • I remember reading what-if comics of xkcd magazine and they are quite fascinating. Well your what-if certainly have a different perspective of very trivial yet neglected issue owning to our very dependency on technology in modern lifestyle. You nicely said your words Rochelle! Merry Christmas🙂


    • Dear Chandan,

      I’m chiefest among those who are addicted to technology. I remember life without the internet and I don’t relish the prospect of going back there. I know I take it for granted and have made so many friends online, a few I’ve gotten quite close to.

      Thank you for your comments and compliments.




  • Spinning the yarn fabulously, although manually. We would survive but it would be tougher on the younger Hip generation that has never know “pre-Internet” days. You make us think with every story.


  • A thinking story. I love the whole idea of it, the everyday things we don’t even give a second thought would throw us into a tiz if we suddenly found ourselves without them. I imagine we’d survive without TV, but the internet, whoa. That throws a wrench in the whole shebang, doesn’t it? I wrote a post a couple of years ago about what happened when the power was out in my neighborhood. It was pretty nice for a few hours. More than that may not have been so good. Technology is crucial for our way of life. I’m thankful for it, especially just now. This prompt is spectacular. I so want to go to that green, magical, secluded place. Just for a visit, of course.


    • Dear Stephonie,

      As I said, that morning when I couldn’t get online made me think. I take it for granted, all of it. When I wake up the lights work, the furnace pumps warm air or the air conditioner, cool air, and my internet will take me around the world in seconds. TV I could live without.😉

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope you’re on the mend.

      Shalom and Merry Christmas,



  • Chilling and the story makes you think. I hope you continue your story into novelette.
    I thought of having no Internet for long period would cause me anxiety and panic. It would hard to adjust to pre- internet when we are so used having access to the Wide World Web. We will have relearned different communication styles. Good story.


    • Dear Creativemind,

      Hm. A novelette might be interesting. I’ll have to give that some thought.

      I personally shudder at the prospect of no internet. It’s become such an integral part of my life.

      Thank you for coming by with your kind words.




  • Dear Judith “The Hammer”
    Let me know if you need some color books and crayons (although, as an artist, I’m sure you have your own.). I find them really handy during periods when our internet goes down. We even have some Dick & Jane readers if you get really, really, really bored.
    Best wishes – Puff


    • Dear Puff,

      Thanks for the offers. I’ve always loved Dick and Jane. I had a lot of fun with them in the late 50’s when no one even dreamed of the internet.


      Judith “The Hammer” Maccabee-Wisoff-Fields


  • Dear Rochelle,
    I enjoyed your story. It got me to thinking:

    Those like myself who grew up in the custody of a careful, attentive, plan-for-anything father will be well prepared for such times when they arrive. My dad used to quiz us on outings to the park so that even today I can’t walk through a nature center or other local outdoor setting without thinking about which plants are or are not edible. When the power goes out, we should make a pact to start a trek toward one another and meet halfway. By the time we encounter one another, I should have enough wild edibles for a hearty stew, and Jan will have bagged a deer or other wildlife. We can live off the land quite well, and we’ll even have proper utensils as I know how to whittle chopsticks from tree branches (also a part of my childhood “wilderness training”).

    On the other hand, let’s hope this event is a long time in the future. I don’t relish the 20-mile hike.🙂

    Marie Gail


  • Well-written, Rochelle. I, too, panic when the power (and the Internet — gasp!) are down. This horrible “what now? what if? what then?” runs amok in my brain. Oh, sure, I remember the pre-Internet days — but — well — other than brief breaks, who wants to go back? I don’t — have met so many wonderful friends online – people I’d never have met otherwise. And with computers/ electronics running everything? The chaos and confusion would be terrible. Fingers crossed — let’s hope it never comes to that.


    • Dear J,

      I, for one, don’t particularly want to go back to the pre-internet days. I’ve been online since 1996, the earlier days of aol chat rooms in which I made some lasting friendships. Facebook was instrumental in a regathering of my graduating class. As a result of that, a few of us came together and put together a most amazing forty year reunion. Yep. I’m addicted to the web.

      Thank you for commenting, complimenting and sharing your thoughts.




  • Yikers! No internet? I think I would die. My wife would probably go into shock. No working car, living off the land…easy peasey. No internet would be the real problem. We’re spoiled, you see. As long as we had books we might tough it out. Brilliant idea, Rochelle. This dystopian vision is terrifying. I imagine it would go like that.


    • Dear Joy,

      When the electricity goes out in the summer we swelter without the AC and our fire alarms all go off.

      In 2002 we had a horrid ice storm and were without power for a week. We just about peeled all the paint off our walls by boiling water on the gas stove for warmth.

      The thought of being without the internet and losing contact with my friends sends me into cold-sweat panic.

      Thank you for commenting.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Rochelle, I owe you an apology. I did not receive your Friday Fictioneers post in my email as my subscriptions are set. The first post I got was Dawn’s. I assumed Dawn was doing the Friday Fictoneers for you this week. I don’t understand why my subscriptions are so messed up, but they are. I am receiving posts that I am not subsribed for and not getting them for some that I am subsribed for. Please accept my apology.


  • There is an invaluable saying… If you want to get your family in one room, simply switch off the WiFi🙂 But having said that, can only imagine how dependent we are today on the Internet and a day’s loss of the Net can bring about total chaos in the house.


    • Dear Asarpota,

      And isn’t the internet littered with families on their iPhones, side by side, not paying attention to each other.😉

      The loss of the internet is a great fear of mine that makes my palms sweat and my hands tremble.

      Thank you for commenting.

      Shalom and Happy Connected New Year,



  • Rochelle,
    this is definitely my kind of story, although it would be less fun to actually live through it. I don’t think we could ever really realize how dependent we are on the Internet until it disappeared, although hopefully it never will. Have a great holiday season and I hope your Internet stays up.🙂


  • Hi Rochelle,

    This story reminds me of something that happened this summer. Every year, hubby and I go camping up on the shore of Lake Superior. We do lots of hiking, and don’t see a whole lot of people outside of our fellow campers for several days. Cell phone coverage can be spotty, since the area’s so isolated, so no internet for us.

    This year, we kept hearing fighter jets flying overhead, though it took a while for us to figure out what they were. We’d just hear this oncoming roar, then the explosion of a sonic boom as they passed overhead. It was already dark the first time we heard it. The second time, we were on a mountaintop, resting and snacking on what we’d brought with us. The rock underneath us actually trembled.

    While we were hiking to the car from our campsite, we happened to look up to see them dropping flares. Immediately, I started thinking of worst case scenarios – namely domestic war.

    On the ride back home, we learned those jets were actually the Blue Angels rehearsing for a show in the nearest town. That was a relief, even if I did feel a bit stupid for getting freaked out. Obviously, my imagination got the best of me.😉

    Anyway, thought I’d share. Very well done on the story! You captured the feeling of isolation and fear quite well.

    Take care,


  • Here we an eye-opening disaster scenario. I always think that if we lost electricity (which wouldn’t be such a surprise considering our electric grid is fragile and from the dark ages!), this would happen. We would be so lost, yet it’s a possibility that is not too remote. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.Cheers to the holidays! I like the sandwiches and chips by candlelight part!🙂


    • Dear Amy,

      That’s the part that terrifies me…how fragile is our electric grid. I’m so tied to the internet, as evidenced by the fact that, at this moment, I’m reading and commenting while Skyping with a friend.

      A power outage is the only way I can get my husband to eat by candlelight.😉

      Thank you,




  • Hopefully the silence would not last long. Humans are incredibly resilient. Time would heal all – something would take the place of the internet. Although these two lines are disconcerting
    After a month we were still in darkness and the grocery shelves were bare.
    Local doctors are at a loss to treat the simplest diseases.


  • Dear Rochelle,

    It’s the end of the world as we know it….

    And I’d feel fine. Except for the part about Novocain running out and dentists drilling with foot pedal powered drills and…. The list is endless. I hope none of this happens until after I’m already dead…

    Great story. Thanks for the extension this week. I may just rewrite my story. (Not) but I will be able to start the long slog of reading and commenting…right now.




    • Dear Doug,

      Of course you won’t rewrite your story. It’s brilliant.

      The thought of the dentist with the foot pedal powered drill sans Novocain is making me cringe as the song runs through my head. Thanks heaps for both of those.

      (Yesterday Lasted Indefinitely)

      Shalom and Happy Slogging through the New Year.



    • Dear Liz,

      I understand about the son. I have three sons spread out all over the States. As often as we see them, they may as well be overseas. We Skyped with two of them at Christmas and spoke to the other one on the phone. The internet’s about the only way I know what’s going on in their lives or see my one and only granddaughter.

      Thank you.

      Shalom and a Happily Connected New Year,



  • Wow! What a frighteniing thought ~No net, no power, no friendly communication,. Sadly this is more than a remote posibility now, with all the current unrest in the world. A very perceptive write Rochelle ~


    • Dear John,

      I actually wrote this story before the whole Korean debacle. It’s just a thought that came when my internet was down. I have some close friends on the web and would be devastated if I couldn’t communicate with them.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Shalom and a Happily Connected New Year.



  • No electricity for a month! I think I would be okay for awhile if I was somewhere warm and not in frigid temp of -30’s like here. There’s so many implications involved! If there was no Internet, we would deal with it, of course. I like reading, doodling and all kinds of crafts. I can hand sew. But there are sooo many things involved.



    • Dear Lily,

      There are only a couple of months out of the year when we could live without either A/C or heat. We have temps in the triple digits in the summer and, like today, in the mid-twenties in the winter. For me the biggest issue would be the internet. And (gasp!) no Friday Fictioneers.

      Thank you for commenting.




  • Rochelle, that would be a nightmare! I don’t know how people do it, honestly, live without electricity I mean. Whenever I try to picture it in my brain, it’s like but that can’t be real.🙂 Hope you have a great 2015!!!


    • Dear Anne,

      I know what you mean. I’m not one of those back to the land kind of people. I like all the amenities technology has to offer. Not to mention the great friends I’ve met online.😉 n

      Thank you for commenting.

      Have a happy, warm and connected New Year.




  • Yikes, I’d be lost without the internet. Although I love to read, so I’m sure I’d be fine. This is one of those stories that makes you think. I really enjoyed it!
    I have to apologize for the links I added. The first one didn’t link properly…user error I’m sure. The second one is just the basic one to my blog in general. I didn’t know how to go back and edit my link for my specific writing for FF😦
    Thank you again for doing these prompts for us. I hope you’ve had a nice Holiday Season🙂


  • Love your story Rochelle, and I think even us old timers would miss the internet enormously and it is so scary to think about the power grids being down. I guess we will have to adapt – but hey – that’s what human’s do best! Happy New Year. Nan


  • Happy New Year, Rochelle! So glad you extended this one, as I bounce back from a mean flu and our trip to NYC– where time and wifi were limited! It’s amazing how dependent we’ve all become on the internet, our cell phones, being plugged in… admittedly, my computer is usually the first thing I turn to each morning.

    I love the way you painted this scene, not overplayed or too dramatic, but equally impactful.

    Shabbat shalom and all the best in 2015! Thank YOU for all you do at Friday Fictioneers, it is much appreciated by so many! xox


    • Dear Dawn,

      It seems that people were busier this year than last with the holidays and travel.

      Sorry about your flu…and on vacation yet. Bummer. I had something three weeks ago. Don’t know if it was the flu but it was miserable nonetheless and put me on my back for three days.

      Like you, I’m at my computer before the sun comes up. I cherish my internet friends and Friday Fictioneers wouldn’t be possible without wifi.

      Thank you for your comments on my story. I find it cathartic to write about what terrifies me most.

      Sh’vuah tov v’shalom,


      Liked by 1 person

  • Oh so possible, Rochelle. You make the prospect as daunting as it should be, and yet find some light in the bleakness with the line about real books. Happy New Year and thanks for continuing to guide us through the darkness.


    • Dear Jennifer,

      There’s something cathartic in writing about one of my biggest fears.

      It’s comments like this that make Friday Fictioneers one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and honest comments.

      Shalom and a Happy New Year (with a blessing on the way for you😉 )



  • Hi Rochelle

    I liked your story, although I don’t share your fears – I can go, 4 – maybe even 5 – minutes without checking my smartphone.


    Actually your line on ‘real books’ is an interesting – if the power ever went off, I wonder how many people would find themselves with bare bookshelves…?


    • Dear KT,

      A good question. Although I do know quite a few readers who’ll be just fine reading by candlelight.

      Glad you liked my story. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go check my iPhone for messages.

      Shalom and a Happily Connected New Year,


      Liked by 1 person

  • Interesting take on this. The thoughts your story provokes in addition to the photo take me to a place entirely different from the world I live in as I type this. It’s as if your story is part one and the photo is the end result…a bit scary although the image is beautiful and your story is well done. I can live without the internet, but I can’t say I’d prefer it!😉 I do however remember the power going out as a kid and how much fun it was. Then I got older, got my own place, and it wasn’t so much fun anymore.

    Btw, I have a piece written for this however Inlinkz says the collection is closed…? Is it too late to post?

    Thanks for sharing and making this challenge possible.


  • Dear ELPY,

    I’m afraid I’m one who’ll go through serious withdrawal when the power grid is lost. You did indeed follow my intent with the photo being something of the result.

    However I use the prompts as inspiration as opposed to illustration. I encourage writers to look at the photo and let it take them somewhere, not necessarily staying 100% true to the it. I hope that makes sense.

    As for the link. This one closed last Tuesday. Generally, the prompt goes up Wednesday morning at 2:30 Central Standard Time and closes the following Tuesday. I’ll be happy to read your story.

    The current prompt is here: https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/2-january-2015/ There’s still time to write for it if you desire. The next prompt will appear Wednesday.

    At any rate, thank you for commenting on my story and welcome to Friday Fictioneers.😀




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