Power Outage
by Frankie Forrester from Wilson High School
Published in the 2007-2008 WITS Anthology I Once Was Young and Strong (Available for purchase)

You know the feeling. When you’re sitting at your computer downloading, oh I don’t know, that Gorillaz album that took you FORTY-FIVE minutes to find because Isohunt was being stupid and your dogs wouldn’t shut up outside. I mean, they KNOW it’s just the neighbor’s dogs, there’s no need to hold a woof-IM over the World Wide Web that is the backyard. Anyways, there you are, innocently downloading your music and reading that fanfiction story, you know, the one with the LAST chapter you HAVE to read or else you’ll die! You need to know why this Lost fic is different. More specifically why Kate picks Sayid over Sawyer and Jack and how come Aaron is suddenly Charlie’s baby. That’s okay, non-Lost fans. That one was meant for those of us who avidly sit at the couch on Thursday nights at ten o’clock (nine o’clock central) with a bag of popcorn and chew our nails as the drama unfolds on ABC.
A sudden da-dink catches your attention. Your friend has IM’ed you.
Lol u there?
Not thinking, you respond.
Yah, srry. I was in da bathroom lmao
Dood ok, TMI.
You don’t care that your spelling is horribly inaccurate. That’s your friend from across the street too! Why you don’t just call her and hold a normal conversation, you don’t know. In a separate IM box your friend who lives across the world in Australia is talking about how her crazy cat keeps trying to get in. She repeatedly meets the Australian stereotype by exclaiming in all caps Arial 12 font, “Crikey, mate! Stone the flamin’ crows! Dingo ate my baby!” Your responses are countless LOLs and xDs.
Needless to say, you’re busy.
But then, like the striking head of the cobra, EXCLAMATION POINT!
Blank screen.
You blink in confusion, stopping your bored swivels in the office chair. Tap the screen. Kick the monitor. You realize how loud it suddenly is: the birds outside chirping just a little too happily, the cries of children actually doing something with their lives a bit too lively. That’s not natural. Something is missing.
A trip past the kitchen confirms your worst nightmares have come true. The microwave clock is off, and so is the stove.
You are experiencing a power outage, firsthand.
No lights, no telephone, no computer, no TV… but thank the Cingular Gods for your cell phone! Feeling your withdrawal set in, you frantically dial your best friend.
“Hey, did your power go out?”
“Yeah, it did.”
“Dude, what do we do now!?”
“I dunno!”
You’re going cold turkey and what feels like days has been in fact two minutes. You sit on the counter, staring at the microwave, waiting for those dull-green numbers to say *blink* 4:32 *blink* 4:32. You bite your nails, tap your feet, twirl your hair around a sweaty index finger….
You loathe those twenty-two minutes, thirty-six seconds, and an unnecessary amount of milliseconds that drag past. Then, like the rising of the sun, it’s over and you’re back to LOLs and fanfiction and the general addiction that is the internet.
Life’s good again and the shadow of hate passes.
Momentarily.