A science fiction story about the end of the world, love, zombies, money, business, blogging, and everything else.
Episodes and/or related writing are published on this blog – most Mondays and Wednesdays. Please subscribe to this blog to get a reminder when the next episode is published. Subscriptions are free.
Vanilla Ice, Ice Ice Baby
The Book of Carrot
Book One: Principal Virtues
Chapter One: Love is a battlefield
Episode Five: Part Two: Rape of the Sabine Women
“Stay cool, drink lots of water, and stay indoors. It’s 10:15am in Bucharest and it’s hot as hell – 48 degrees Celsius!” announced the news anchor.
“Madam President declared a state of emergency due to the increasing number of heat-related deaths and traffic accidents. Starting tomorrow, a daylight travel restriction will be in effect between the hours of 9am and 9pm for as long as the heat wave persisted. Travel by private car during the restriction period will be limited to business, diplomatic and other persons who have obtained a road pass from local authorities – the tax for a one week pass ranges from 100 to 300 Euro depending upon the necessity.
A spokesman for the Council of sectors, a self-proclaimed government watchdog group, calls again for Madam President to resign. This call for resignation, group claims, is justified because they believe that the state of emergency is nothing more than a poorly disguised ploy to steal the lunch money of working people. Members of Parliament, however, have voiced no such outrage or accusations.
In international news, the U.S. Census released a controversial report about the 10 year, persistent increase of American poverty. In 2022, 83 percent of American households had income below the adjusted poverty level. This new data charts an average increase of American poverty by eight percent per year since 2010.”
“3 Million paying subscribers! How do you do that? How much money do you make?” Ioana excitedly asked John.
“6 Million paid subscribers,” John corrected her with a grin.
“6 MILLION! WOW! WOW…”
It must be good to be you. How old are you- 18! I only have 30k in subscriptions. Tell us your secret, John!”
Three things are the key drivers of online success – blogs, apps or whatever: reach, need, and wow.
“I’m all ears, John! I think we all are – all ears!”
“You have to find a way to reach people. You can have the need and the wow – but without reach, no one will know about what you’re doing, no one will know that you really have what they need. Obviously, no one’s getting excited about something that they don’t know about.
Ever since search started to cost money and bandwidth fees (however modest) got passed on to the individual user, people began to turn away from the noise. Little by little, they came to rely on word of mouth recommendations of taste-makers.
Reach, of course, can be tremendously expensive. It always was. You can spend a million and if you get a .02 percent response – that’s just a lot of lucky. It’s all luck, I’m saying, because there’s no credibility, reputation and love in the echo.”
“Tell us about need, John.”
“All we need is love,” John replied and laughed.
Really, all we need is love. The Beatles said it.
“You’re very funny.
What are you talking about?!”
“We need to be a part of something. We need to be needed. We need to serve and give ourselves in love.
“John, this is crazy! Like Tina Turner said, What does love got to do with it?”
“We need examples, stories, wisdom and the how-tos of the heart – things that help us live out the fullness of love in our relationship with the world and others,” John explained with a calm and steady voice.
“The closer you get to giving people that – the more readily people will recognize that they need you like they need air.
Or your product or service.
They’ll share that with others too. Because they want to give themselves to others – the best of themselves. So if you make a difference in their lives, you become a part of them – a part of that best they have to give to others, and, I gotta say, that’s the best kind of reach there is…”
“That’s some crazy shit, bro,” George said to John as they walked out of the radio studio.
“It’s wild, wild west laying smack down on the Buddha bar.”
John pondered George’s words: Now that is some crazy shit…
“Oh – Fish called while you were in the studio. He said you’ll be bankrupt in 48 hours, but Hachi’s blog is unstoppable and up. If you’re lucky, he says, you got 10 days to figure out the money.”
“You still hung up on that dream, bro?”
“It’s going to work out. It always did.”
“I don’t know,” John said as he sighed.
This is Internet TV Romania. I’m Eric Chaos and once-upon-a-time, I was a wanna-be film maker, ninja purveyor of child porn, good-for-nothing internet troll and -shhhhh- ex-convict.
NOW – I’m one crazy American expat in Bucharest – exercising my legal right to smoke the Mary Jane… in your face… live on Internet TV Romania!
I’m throwing whiskey and smoking dope with Zombie hunter, John Dionisius.
Tell us about the hack you used, John.”
“It wasn’t a hack,” John replied.
“Did you buy that uniform on Ebay? How much did you pay?”
“I won it in a tournament.”
“You’re lying, John.”
“I use a hack,” Eric explained to the camera. “I buy gear on Ebay. We all do. How else are we gonna make bank – right?”
An animated Pedobear throwing 100 Euro notes danced across the live video image of Eric Chaos and John Dionisius.
“Tell my people where to get the hack, John! My people got to know! They gots to eat and they gots to pay the rent.
Make my people happy and you’ll pick up another million subscribers – BAM – just like that!”
“You’re a douche bag, John. But you gotta know – people are going to PK you for that uniform!
I heard an hour ago that a Pakastani Imam put up a 12,000 GIGL bounty on your uniform. That’s SOLID currency!”
“You just made that shit up.”
“I planted an idea in the minds of millions,” Eric said and winked.
John was out of his chair in the blink of an eye and he landed a haymaker in Eric’s face.
“Let him go, boys,” Eric told the two Samoan sumo-type security guards restraining John.
“We just went viral – AGAIN!
“Nice working with you John and, hey, good luck on your game and your dog blog,” Eric said as he offered to shake John’s hand with his free hand – he held a bag of ice to his face with the other.
“Being a slut pays the bills, kid. It’s all about making sure my people got something to share.”
The Samoans released John and John launched at Eric. Eric threw his hands in front of his face but John’s fist stopped short.
“Fuck you,” John said and walked out.
“Remove the kid’s blog address from the video,” Eric told the producer.
As John opened the stage door to leave, Eric rushed up behind John and hit him in the back of the head with a 2×4. John fell to his knees.
“Cut – and add that to today’s footage.”
Eric’s phone rang.
“Noemi- baby. I made you another million tonight. The Youtube views are spinning like mad stupid – 10k a minute. Gotta love that!
How about dinner with your number one talk show host?
Not tonight? How about a raincheck?
No – it’s okay – I know you’re busy, Mrs. Letizia. I was just thinking if you were free, we could talk about some new ideas I have about the next show.”
You just watched it – that’s great to hear! Who is he? Just a kid, a gamer, no one important – um- you want me to send him home in a limo – what?
The limo pulled to the side and stopped near Rosetti Square.
“What’s up?” George asked the driver – suspiciously.
“Mrs. Noemi Letizia would like to apologize to Mr. John Dionisius for the behavior of her employee.”
The driver got out and opened the door.
A wide-smiling face with big blue eyes, and blonde locks beamed from outside. She wore a slinky, black dress that showed some cheek as she climbed into the back of the limo with John and George. George noticed that she was panty-less.
“Prego baby – please accept my apology for that animal…” said Mrs. Letizia as she sat back across from the boys and crossed her long, slender legs.
“I also hear your server and connections charges are killing you – that’s solved now.”
“It’s very kind of you, but – really – no thanks…” John started to say.
“Hush – it’s done. This is something that can’t be undone! You’re welcome,” Mrs. Letizia replied as she rolled her eyes.
“Um, no…” John said flatly.
“Um, yes…” Mrs. Letizia replied with a smile as she leaned forward, licked her lips, and exposed more of her cleavage.
“But, you can still show me your manhood,” she said and winked at John.
“Being disagreeable – this is not manly.”
She leaned forward more and stretched her hand out and tapped John in the center of his forehead.
This is how I want you to think. You will work for me. You’ll sell me the blog about the dog and you’ll make two other blogs for me.
One about your zombies. The other will be about our affair. One million GIGLs per month for six months – or the equivalent in Euros – whatever you prefer.
We’ll travel the world. You can bring your friend here. Bring your girlfriend too!
“I’m going to fuck all three of you,” Mrs. Letizia said teasingly as John and George got out of the limo near Cismigiu Park.
John had been silent since the indecent proposal. He was angry, he wanted to hit something right then but he also knew that he could not afford to insult the woman to her face.
“And you’re to have the time of your life!”
The driver closed the door and the limo drove off.
“JACKPOT – BRO! This is what you wanted. It’s everything you could ever have wanted in EPIC proportions – everything counts in large amounts”
George was almost pulling his hair out in excitement. He stomped around – repeating the word, EPIC!
“Not this – no way,” John replied with clenched fists at his side.
George couldn’t imagine that John was serious – George started stepping to the beat in his head: Vanilla Ice’s one-hit wonder, Ice, Ice Baby.
Next Episode: Everything Counts in Large Amounts
All Rights Reserved by Stan Faryna
03 October 2012