Author : Andy Bolt
WELCOME, Chip Winkler, TO STORYWEB 9.0! PLEASE INPUT LITBASE:
Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea
LITBASE FOUND! LAUNCHING . . .
Enrique was mindswiped by the storybot as he dangled from the 93rd floor window of the Kentaka building. He was a little preoccupied rewiring the entire structure for atmospheric transdigitization, but he always liked contributing to storyweb.
GREETINGS, Enrique Mendoza! YOU HAVE BEEN RANDOMLY SELECTED TO CONTRIBUTE TO TODAY’S STORYWEB TALE BEGINNING:
The old man had gone eighty-four days without taking a fish.
PLEASE INPUT LINE:
Fighting the tide in his fully submersible XLJ thermodynamic subship, the old man deployed a series of fish-seeking nanobaits with attractive carbon fiber lures.
LINE REGISTERED! THANK YOU, Enrique Mendoza!
The storybot found Mindee Walsh as she was on her thirteenth shot of semi-intelligent Nuevo Tequila. Her boyfriend had just dumped her, and she was out doing her best to erase the memory of his face. It took her twenty minutes to notice the blinking prompt in her right eye.
And he was miserable because nobody loved him and he was probably going to die by himself all miserable and sad and miserable!
LINE REGISTERED! THANK YOU, Mindee Walsh!
Billy Watson was playing Slaughterhouse 5000 on his quantum box. He was assaulting his way through the chainsaw laser level when the storybot caught up to him. Reading over the first paragraph distractedly, Billy found himself focusing more on the arterial spray of lupine aliens.
Then the dinosaurs in helicopters attacked with their acid guns! “Let’s get carnivorous,” said the old man.
LINE REGISTERED! THANK YOU, Billy Watson!
Marion Day was in the middle of her forty thousand word dissertation on interracial relationships in postcolonial sub-Saharan Africa.
I would like to unsubscribe please.
LINE REGISTERED! THANK YOU, Marion Day!
Milton Wilks, an anal-retentive librarian from Greenbrier County, was alphabetizing his coupons.
That’s right, thought the old man. I’d sure like to unsubscribe from this rain of hydrochloric thunder lizards, if only that were an option.
LINE REGISTERED! THANK YOU, Milton Wilks!
For the rest of the week, the storybot bounced from person to person. The old man fought off the dinosaurs, mused on the nature of human existence, fell in love with a woman who turned out to be a zombie, then a robot, and then his sister, had crab cakes and fine wine on the Parisian seashore, traveled back in time to kill Hitler, unsubscribed from six separate situations, violated seven copyrights, fell asleep in the sun, denounced the president, praised the president, committed suicide, came back to life, and finally, grew himself some gills and went to live with his true love, a mermaid person from Zeta Beta VII.
By Friday, the story had ended and bounced home. In his office, Chip Winkler smiled at his work.
“Perfect!” he cried.
Two months later . . .
GREETINGS, consumers! THIS SUMMER: A MAN. A SEA. THE MERMAID WHO LOVED HIM AND THE DINOSAURS WHO DIDN’T. WILL HE DEFEAT HIS ZOMBIE ROBOT SISTER IN TIME TO BE WITH HIS TRUE LOVE? WHICH WILL GET HIM FIRST, HITLER’S LEGION OF CYBER MONKEYS OR HIS OWN NAGGING FEELINGS OF SELF-DOUBT? THE HUMAN SPIRIT WILL BE EXPLODED OFF ITS HINGES. THE OCEAN JUST GOT EXISTENTIALLY DEADLIER.
THIS SUMMER: THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
Based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway
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