Nothing is Free :: @v4vapid Block-Chains Contest Story

in #blockchains-contest4 years ago (edited)

(story preview only)

This is an entry for @v4vapid's BLOCK-CHAINS Conspiracy Writing Contest IV.

Title image by @negativer using Canva

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Hi Neg!

I'm back to congratulate you on your well-deserved win! :D

And, wow, I think @v4vapid may have noticed my stark reaction to the ending... he mentioned that "some people" ... etc. ;) Well, I've always been in the "some people" category I guess. ;)

In any case, I'm very pleased to see you take home the gold. As I said in my first comment, your story is an amazing combination of remarkable, thought provoking, and disturbing. It very coherently and concisely paints a believable picture of a future gone severely wrong.




If he reads the comments, I applaud him for his thoroughness. He definitely wants to make the right choice and see what other folks are saying as well. Steemit needs more folks like him.

Your reaction joined more than a few others, I think, in that category of people that were caught off guard by the suddenness of the unhappy ending.

I do promise to find a reason to write a happy ending soon, though! :)

Thanks so much for the congratulations, and your support!

I really do appreciate your work, and I'm glad to think that my "squeaky wheel" complaints might actually one day draw a happy ending out of you!

I've had similar good results with my friend @johnjgeddes by persistently nagging him to write more poetry... Now he writes lovely pieces almost daily! :D

That was a happy ending to me. She broke free. I suppose many people may not understand the sacrifices one must make once the contract has been signed. Any way out is a happy ending. The key is not allowing the contract to be made in the first place.

That's a very uplifting viewpoint. She made a choice to free herself, and acted on it. She lost something in the process, but probably gained a lot more. I like that perspective.

Geez, Neg. Add this one to my list of favorite short stories, too. As in, favorite ever. Not just favorite from the Block, or favorite from Steemit. Favorite ever, ever.

You know how much that comment means to me? A lot. Thank you for reading, and for the comment. I'll probably print it out and tape it to my monitor. :)

:-) Well, the comment is true.

As shocking as the end is, I believe that it follows the caution of: "A word to the wise is sufficient." We need to be vigilant about our freedoms and those who are willing to neutralize them. As boring, tiring, and annoying as our system might be, we need to be well informed and then make our moves accordingly. Unfortunately, our system of maintaining freedom in this country seems to be at a point where it's being compromised. We need to be able to make an informed choice before heading off to the polls for whatever election. If nothing else, we have the knowledge that we have, to the best of our ability, endeavored to make the right choice. Great story!

It's true. We always need to be vigilant, because even little things are just individual steps down the path that could lead us to something much worse.

Thanks for reading! :)

Love this line: "The men in their ivory tower painted coal with colors of gold and called it a token..." And the idea of getting stuck at home because you ran out of traveltokens... depressing and plausible. I wondered if he'd be able to get into his apartment, with all the traveltoken dinging he'd done. And the ending... tragic, yet fitting. :(

The 'tokenizing of everything', kind of where SMT might take us, feels wrong to me, but it also appears like that's a road we might be headed down.

Thanks for reading, geke!

You already have the commoditization of everything. Tokenization just seems to offer more ways to skin the cat, right?

I feel you on the moral ambivalence on the effect of the blockchain. I like the idea that it is immutable and public. That's good. Right?

AAAAaaaarrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!! :O :O :O

I was loving this until the ending...

Sorry friend @negativer, for the negative reaction.

IMNSHO, your story is plenty remarkable, thought provoking, and disturbing without the horrifying ending.... Could I please have the 'B' version, where the little girl isn't mutilated at the end? :O

I'm going to re-write it in my mind... In my new version, Michael has seen the light on the way home and instead of walleting his little girl, Michael, Mika, and Kayla pool their remaining resources and move to a commune in the country... ;)

Again, apologies for the strong reaction... Just my open, real, raw reaction.... You're an amazing writer, my friend.


@creatr ending that's ... not sad? I ... don't understand. ;)

I hear you though. It made me sad to write it, but to really emphasize the 'sacrifice' she was willing to make, there had to be a... sacrifice.

I do need to write more uplifting stories once in a while, to balance things out.

Thank you for reading, and sorry for the harsh ending!

Hey, my friend, no need to apologize! I do appreciate you and your writing; my desperate need for happy endings may just be a character flaw of my own.

Thanks for not taking offense. ;)

Oh, and I do understand the need for sacrifice... :D

This isn't dystopia - this is EVILtopia. "NEGATOPIA." How dare you! I like the device of keeping his wife out of reach the whole time on the other end of a phone until the end. Very effective tension-building.

Negatopia. I like the sound of that :) Thanks for reading!

A dystopian tale with a very human touch, negativer. Your analogy works seamlessly. But the thing is ... we are already there. Money has had this effect on people for a very long time. You really are a fine short-story teller. Pleasure to read them:)

You're right; the system is already in place right now with paper money, but the potential is there for it to become much worse; the potential is certainly there for it to be abused.

I think the system is somewhat already abused but with a platform like steemit paving the way, we could end up with a system that is more equitable, where everyone is valued. It is my hope anyways. Where the monetary system services society and not enslaves ... wouldn't it be nice. Keep you short stories coming:)

Oh my GOSSSHHH Neg! You can't get through a story without shedding blood and breaking hearts, huh?
All in all, I love the dystopia you made here. Very stressful in a very familiar way.

It doesn't feel so far off, really. A lot of these things already happen, but consolidating it all to a blockchain for easy data analysis and trending prediction and whatever doesn't seem that big of a step.

Thanks much for reading!

You're welcome for reading!
I don't understand blockchain at all, so I'll probably burn my hands off too.


Your story hit the mark. I loved this. A perfect example of what could be, if people allow it. Very powerful. I'm so glad I found it in time to add my cent to your reward.

Everyone gets so excited about all this new tech that promises to "empower" them when in reality it only feeds the system. It empowers those who control the tech. Smart watches are a great example of this. "I can now monitor my health" when in reality "they" can now monitor your health.

Man, that'd be a great story angle too. 'Smartwatches that report to the blockchain so that your permanent health record is available for all doctors, anytime, anywhere!'

Super great, except prospective employers can look you up and determine if you're a health risk and what vices you might have, and the government or insurers can check on your past issues and see if they want to offer your coverage or not.

Thanks for reading!

Wow - that was intense. I've gotta say I didn't see that coming! It's interesting that you paint a picture of blockchain being used in such a dystopian sense (of course now that I look at the contest, I understand the intent). Very well done. You deserved to win the contest. Congrats sir.

Thanks much! The prompt, of course, was the impetus behind the negative direction of the story, but I also do fear that personally, that tokenization is a road we might eventually regret going down.

Holy hell.

I mean, damn.

Thanks @jonknight! Hopefully that is the good kind of hell and damn, and not the bad kind :)

There is the twist you expect. And the twist you didn't see coming.
Great job!

Thanks for reading! I do like having a twist at the end whenever I can swing it.

This is a scary prospect to imagine living in. I have shivers. Again. And the delivery is so well done. Still love it, Neg!

Thank you for reading and your help on the edits!

It was a pleasure!

Nice story, Neg. Can't help thinking the end could have been a little gentler though...

You...uh...may be right.

Thanks for reading, and sorry about the ungentle finish. :)

Oh, wow! I didn't see that ending coming. Not like that, anyway. You kept me wanting more with every word I read.
I hope this won't become true. Power is dangerous in the wrong hands and it's scary to think that freedom could become an archaic concept.

I'm not sure if this is in our future or not, but it seems like a very small step to take to get there.

Thanks for reading! :)

Reading your story at just the time we are told of the number of corporations who demand their employees agree to placing a chip between thumb and finger, has made the warning even more poignantly crystal clear.

I disagree with everyone else. It is part of the duty of a good writer that he faces ugly truths and possibilities, before we reach the stage when we can no longer avoid them. Shocking your readers so that they are forced to think, and hopefully act, while we can still try to avoid what is foreseen, that is good.

We tend to be more urgently affected by harm to a child, so, though I hate it - well done, you had the courage to do what you had to do.

Wow it just builds in speed and speed and then wham! Awesome writing, Just being someone who has used pay by the minute phone services I am paralyzed by this scenario.

Ah, yes, the pay-per-minute plans is a lot like this. You constantly have to watch yourself that you don't talk too long and that you still have minutes left for when you need them. Thanks for reading!

I feel like I've been saying this a lot today but I don't care.... OMG!!!! This is incredible. Jeez. I wish with all the sincerity in the universe that I could write even a fraction of the way you write. Exquisite is a very little word trust me. Well done @negativer. Thanks very much. You just never cease to blow my head off literally. Totally resteeming. This has to be part of my own piece of the block chain😁

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Now that's a dystopic nightmare.


Oh my! A brutal ending!

How often have fictional stories become reality? I would not bet my tokens against things going this way.

I enjoyed reading this a lot, sent here via @v4vapid's competition results - well done to you!

Thanks! If things turn out this way, remember you heard it here first :)

Wow.... Very well written, but just wow... holy shit. The end was quite a curve ball. I can still see the flesh and blood and shit... damn. That's when you know you can write, when that impression stays with the reader.

Great job!!

A little bit of shock value at the end to drive the point home. Glad it stuck with you @jamesgetsit!

So disturbing and yet so YOU. Very well written. Something very Black Mirror-esque :)

One day we'll get a happy ending out of you.

One day.

Thanks Rose :)

I'll have to think about that happy ending thing you're talking about. Maybe I'll google it first...

Quite an impressive story... scary ending, but desperate times call for desperate measures...
Congratulations on your win, truly deserved!

My thanks for reading!

You got that right ;)

I will follow you to see your future posts!

Hi @negativer, I just stopped back to let you know your post was one of my favourite reads and I included it in my Steemit Ramble. You can read what I wrote about your post here.

Join us on Thursdays for Pimp Your Post Thursday at 11am EDT or 7PM EDT in the Steemit Ramble Discord or:

If you’d like to nominate someone’s post just visit the Steemit Ramble Discord

Extremely compelling read!.
You had me firmly gripped and locked in untill the very end.
Wishing you many thanks 😊

What an excellent read, gripping stuff right to the end. Loved every word.

Very well written article! I found you on @v4vapids post! You have a new follower +1 ! I'm looking forward to reading more articles from you!

Congratulations! This post has been upvoted from the communal account, @minnowsupport, by negativer 🥓 from the Minnow Support Project. It's a witness project run by aggroed, ausbitbank, teamsteem, theprophet0, someguy123, neoxian, followbtcnews, and netuoso. The goal is to help Steemit grow by supporting Minnows. Please find us at the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network (PALnet) Discord Channel. It's a completely public and open space to all members of the Steemit community who voluntarily choose to be there.

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