Outside: Part Ten

This is the tenth part of a fiction serial, in 812 words.

Staring at the blank screen, Gillian was wondering what to write. She had the blog now, but was yet to publish anything. After reading a few other blogs, she had a rough idea about tags and categories, but her first blog post was supposed to introduce her to other bloggers, and she wasn’t too sure how to go about it. The last time she had written anything was for a school essay. Her fingers started to move over the keyboard, and she typed a title first.

Asking for a friend.

Hello, everyone, I am Staceydarling. I live alone, and don’t like to go outside. Not even in the garden, or out the front to the gate. I don’t understand why that is happening, as I used to do it without thinking. Anyone else feel like that? I would like to say I’m asking for a friend, but it is for me.

She read it again, clicked on ‘Preview Post’, and saw what it would look like as a blog post. It was too short, she was sure about that, but she had no idea what else to add. Taking a deep breath, she clicked on ‘Publish Post’, and there it was. After considering deleting it for almost fifteen minutes, she went and made herself some cheese on toast instead.

That afternoon her new phone was delivered. It took her a while to set it up and register it. Included in the deal, it already had ten pounds credit. As she had nobody to call, she was sure that would last a long time. She tried the camera out by taking a few photos of herself, but only from the neck up. The blog had mentioned a profile photo, but she was undecided about adding one. So she had used an image generated by the company that looked like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. Placing the phone on charge as it was only showing a quarter of the bar on the indicator, she went back to the computer to check on her blog.

There were no comments, but someone had liked it. They came up as Anonymous though, so that was a disappointment. She looked at her admin page, and saw that the post had been viewed eleven times. So only one out of eleven had bothered to like it, and nobody had commented. Oh well, it was just an experiment, and it hadn’t cost her anything. Then the notification sound kept going off on the mobile phone, so she went to see why.

Three text messages. Who could be texting her? She hadn’t given anyone the number. They were just from the phone company. One was welcoming her as a customer, and the other two were special offers on other phones and phone contracts. Why did they do that? She had only just got the bloody phone, and was hardly likely to buy another one the same day. Thinking that she might have made a mistake getting a phone, she went into the kitchen to prepare dinner.

While the oven was warming up, she checked her blog again. There was a comment, and that made her really excited.

GentlemanZorro
Dearest Staceydarling, I am sorry to hear you feel this way. There is so much to enjoy about life, and it is a tragedy to lock yourself away. And no profile photo? Don’t be afraid to show your face to the world!

Gillian had not ticked the box to approve comments. She hadn’t even noticed it as she had been clicking through the various options. GentlemanZorro had a profile photo. He was wearing a mask, just like Antonio Banderas in the film. But the rest of his face looked very nice. She clicked the like star to let him know she liked his comment, but it was time to put the chicken goujons in the oven, so she would think about replying later.

When she had eaten, she went up to her bedroom and did her make-up. It wasn’t as smart as when Mandy had done it, but she knew how to do it better after watching her. Then she brushed her hair. As she was only wearing a pink dressing gown, she turned the collar down so it wouldn’t show, and took a photo on her phone just showing her head and neck. The first one was too dark, so she took six more, eventually settling on one she quite liked.

It was a fiddly process getting the photo off the phone to her computer using Bluetooth, but the charger cable fitted into one of the ports so she transferred it that way. Then she went into her blog admin page and replaced the random image with the photo of herself. Before she could reply to the first comment, he had commented again.

GentlemanZorro
I have just seen your profile photo. You are lovely! No need to hide away, Staceydarling. XX

As she began to type her reply, she could feel her face blushing.

31 thoughts on “Outside: Part Ten

  1. (1) To its credit, the new phone has 10 pounds. But like Gillian, it will continue to gain weight.
    (2) Anonymous is one of the most prolific followers of blogs worldwide. Let’s hear it for the Big A!
    (3) I was once got a bloody phone. It was a dead ringer.
    (4) I sworda like the name GentlemanZorro.
    (5) “GentlemanZorro had a profile photo. He was wearing a mask, just like Antonio Banderas in the film.” Wait until Gillian finds out that GZ’s voice sounds a lot like Puss in Boots’.
    (6) It was a fiddly process getting the photo off the phone while Rome burned, but Nero eventually settled on a profile pic he liked.
    (7) GentlemanZorro got his blogs mixed up. “I have just seen your profile photo. You are lovely! No need to hide away.” He meant to write that on Lolita’s blog, “D-Haze of Heaven.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am very much enjoying your story Pete. I must confess to not being able to summon up much sympathy (do I mean empathy)? for Gillian, as she does not come across as having the quality of empathy or much else to make her likable, but perhaps I am being unfair. I look forward to reading the next installment. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kevin. I rarely write sympathetic characters, and Gillian is no exception. My mai reason for that is that in my experience, most people I have met in my life are not very easy to like. But I am aware that she had a closeted home life with a mother who doted on her. So I do understand her.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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