Flash Fiction #97

Telecommuting

PHOTO PROMPT © J Hardy Carroll

FULL PAST – EMPTY FUTURE

I’m not sorry I’m retiring tomorrow. This train station used to be a bustling, interesting place, a social hub, full of people coming and going to actual places, meeting and talking to other, real people, doing the same.  Train travel was interesting, exciting, educational.

Then, along came the Internet – and telecommuting, work-from-home, and stay-cations. It’s no better over at the bus terminal.  Nobody actually goes anywhere anymore.  They all just sit at home, in front of a different idiot-box, staring at pictures that somebody else took of all the great things that this country has to offer.

I’m outta here! 😦

***

Here’s a YouTube link to Arlo Guthrie’s song, The City of New Orleans, an elegy for the passing of a time when trains were so important that some of them even had names.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Flash Fiction #97

  1. Even when they do travel, they sit heads bowed, staring at a little box.

    Visit Keith’s Ramblings

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      So true, so true! The volume of noise/conversation is lower now than it was even a few years ago. Two people, side by side, don’t talk. They text. 😕 All you hear are little beeps or dings. As long as I don’t get somebody’s head in my chest, I guess it’s okay. 🙂

      Like

  2. Jim Wheeler says:

    But, it’s not true that “people don’t go anywhere anymore.” Consider: the nation’s airports are maxed-out and TSA lines are 3 to 4 hours long. Where are all these people going? They can’t be all business travelers. No, school’s out and they are just . . . going. That can’t be it. No, I think it’s that travel gives the appearance of some kind of progress, progress towards newness (not to mention, an excuse to eat profligately). New sights, new people, something to talk about, to tweet about, to Facebook about. (My spellchecker just capitalized Facebook for me – shouldn’t that have become a common word by now?) Oy.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Three and four hour airport waits??! It’s just as well the wife and I can’t fly anywhere. 😯 😦

      A common term, and a common noun are two different things. Both Kleenex and Aspirin have been around since (about) 1920, but are still capitalized, even if Puffs tissues or Naproxen are actually what are being referred to.

      Like

  3. Jim Wheeler says:

    What’s the opposite of a proper noun. Maybe it’s not “common” noun. Improper noun? Oy.

    Like

  4. But people travel… to Thailand, in search of WiFi, when beauty is just around the corner-

    Like

  5. wmqcolby says:

    A good story as a reminder to unplug. I still have a memory of being not so connected with the world any one time. It must be reinforced.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      I’m old enough to remember, and miss, the days when we had to live inside only our own head. The only time you should be on a phone in a grocery store is when you, or your wife, has forgotten something. I am amused, yet dismayed at several aisles worth of conversation about nothing. There’s a new, electronic version of ‘separation anxiety.’ 😛 “I haven’t seen a new Kardashian tweet for 8 minutes.”

      Like

  6. gahlearner says:

    Where I live, trains still have names, and planes too. I think you describe the narrator’s unease with change perfectly. Good things go, but not always completely. And the things following aren’t always all bad.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      By names, do you mean the likes of ‘The City of New Orleans’, or merely Berlin Express?
      I’m still slowly learning, and learning to deal with, computers and social media but that ‘unease with change’ has always been mine also. 😳

      Like

      • gahlearner says:

        I mean the first. Intercity Express trains usually are named after cities, so are planes. I’m not sure about named lines, no idea if the Orient Express is still in business. Social media and I aren’t on the best of terms either, but I’ve always been delighted about the WWW. I accept change, want it or not, it happens anyway. 🙂

        Like

  7. Good night America, how are you? Don’t you know me, I’m your native son…

    Yeah I went there. Good one.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

  8. Good story, Archon. I love trains. My dad’s father was a telegrapher for the Erie Railroad in Ohio. My dad bought a house in a neighborhood near a train track. I’ve loved riding trains in the past. A lot of people still ride trains here in India as there aren’t as many cars. Thanks for the link to one of my favorite songs. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      I’m glad to be able to bring back some happy memories. We’re just north of Lake Erie, and get down into Ohio occasionally, including my 9-part, ‘Fellowship of the Blog’ series, starting here, where I first met a lady blogger in Buffalo, and continued on through Ohio, in search of a male blogger in the tiny village of Fresno. 😆

      Like

  9. athling2001 says:

    Great story I think about the way we cushion ourselves from the world and each other. Soon we won’t even need to leave our houses. Sadly.

    Like

    • Archon's Den says:

      Science fiction writers often write about trends, years before anyone else notices them. I just re-read the original Buck Rogers novel. written in 1927. The Chinese Hans have conquered America, and ruled it for several hundred years, but have automated so many things that they almost never leave their cities, and often, not even their apartments. They are, of course, ousted by the vibrant, outdoor, Americans. 😯

      Like

  10. Ellen Hawley says:

    Moving to Britain’s given me a whole new look at trains. They’re heavily used here–in fact, some are overcrowded.

    Like

  11. Jacque' says:

    The wife and I noticed your blog and appreciate the content you have here, we have always wanted to travel by train but have yet to. Please allow me to encourage you to keep writing and never abandon this site. I am a mobile developer, and if you are ever curious about having a mobile app version of this blog, I would love to help. We appreciate the hard work you have put into this blog and wish you all future success in business and in life.
    Thank you for your time, it is the most precious thing we all possess.
    -Jacque’

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s