Internet Dating – The Speakeasy

Dryad by Tigerzi

Internet Dating

I’ve come to love the silence. I built my house, most of it with my own hands, in this Oregonian forest. I chopped down 37 trees and used most of it to build the floors and siding. One last tree remained to remove. Every time I tried to cut it down, something went wrong. I took my time dealing with it. I had other, more pressing issues.

I missed something in my new home. I missed the sound of a lover’s glance, the sound of her touching my cheek. I needed more than silence, I needed a woman’s touch.

Trent’s Inn, 10 miles down Forest Road, provided no respite. At least Robert Winterbird was an amusing conversationalist. One day he said, “Why don’t you try online dating? It’s actually working out for some folks.”

“Isn’t that for losers?”

“Used to be, but not any more.”

We drank a little more. As I was leaving, he said, “…And if you see Ha’Upenita. Run!”

Though I avoided modern cities, I couldn’t live without internet. So I decided to try Robert’s suggestion. I registered at a few dating sites. After a number of awkward encounters, I finally found someone interesting. She was pleasingly, unabashedly, entirely normal, to my great relief. We chatted for hours each day. She wasn’t ready for webcams, but that’s alright. It didn’t matter just then.

I know you should be honest when dating online, but I wasn’t ready to explain I lived alone in the middle of nowhere. So online, I became a technical writer, working remotely in a small town twenty miles away. Describing my day to Vivian required a certain amount of…translation. For instance, I bought a new axe, to chop down the last tree (three chainsaws having failed to do the job). On the first swing, the axehead flew off. I put the axehead back and hammered some nails in to make a tighter fit. While hammering the second nail, the whole handle broke. Chatting with Vivi, this story became:

Bought a new shredder today. The cutters immediately broke. I tried to replace them, and while doing that, the frame collapsed. So frustrating!

Vivian’s reply was this:

I heard that! I had a bad day too. This guy in the neighboring cube in trying to cut me off at the knees. Can you believe it?

As much as I enjoyed chatting with Vivi, I still craved a physical human presence. While chuckling over some beers at Trent’s, Robert said, “Have you seen Ha’Upenita yet?”

“What is that?”

“A spirit. She has to stay within a couple miles of her tree. If her tree dies, she dies. So she’ll defend it with powerful magic.”

“A Dryad?”

“Same thing. You still cutting down trees?”

“Nah.” A small lie.

I called in a contractor to remove that last tree. He showed up with a backhoe, but when he tried to start the tractor, it ran out of gas. That night, I wrote:

Called a guy to handle my documents. His industrial-sized shredder ran out of fuel. Unbelievable!

Vivi wrote back:

That sucks. That guy trying to cut my job? I proved to management his words were empty. Ha!

There was something odd about our conversations; not sure what, though. I didn’t want to bother Vivi about it. I had realized I was falling for her, and I wanted to meet her so much, but she kept refusing to meet. I went outside to think. Looking up at that last tree, I noticed something I’d missed. A satellite dish!

A tree needs internet?

It all became clear…

I knocked on the tree for a while before an invisible door opened. Vivi and I looked at each other at last.

“Cutting you off at the knees?” I accused.

“Shredding documents?” Vivi rebutted.

“You lied.”

“You too!”

I muttered, “Ha’Upenita?”

“Yep. Tree killer?”

I nodded. “But not anymore.”

Smile. “Thanks.”

I looked into her leaf-green eyes. “Why?”

“Maybe I’m a spirit, but I’m still female. It’s hard to get a date close to my tree, and then there’s this little flaw.”

She held out her hand. It had a distinctive wood grain. I held it. Her flesh was soft and supple despite it’s appearance. I looked at her face, more beautiful than I could imagine, and knew I still loved her anyway. Our different natures meant nothing to me. Who would let a little thing like that get in the way of good love?

Wood you?
______________________________
Author’s notes:
I can hear the groaning now. I do apologize for the pun, but I just can’t resist them. Don’t hit me, I’m joining PA tomorrow. “Hi, my name is Eric, and I love puns.”

Dryad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryad
Chinook is a native-American tribe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinookan_peoples
VIVIAN: English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish. From the Latin name Vivianus which was derived from Latin vivus “alive” http://www.behindthename.com/names/letter/v/2

Each week, The Speakeasy offers a writing challenge for up to 750 words of flash fiction. This week, the story must START with: “I’ve come to love the silence.”
The media prompt is below. Look here for more stories written for the prompt: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/the-speakeasy-at-yeah-write-179-is-open/

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About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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35 Responses to Internet Dating – The Speakeasy

  1. Porscha says:

    I really liked. This read like very good fiction but also written in a very poetic style. The words had such a rhythm that played nicely with the themes presented. I loved your definition of Vivi at the end; it was simply breathtaking to read. Thank You so much for sharing.

    Like

  2. Lyn says:

    Well, he was certainly barking up the wrong tree, now wasn’t he. Find a good tree sprite and you’ve got a friend for life. Find a bad one and you have a fiend for life. As always, Eric, you have delivered.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. List of X says:

    Careful, you might catch splinters. 🙂

    Like

  4. Eric, I love this! One of my all time favorites from everything of yours I’ve read – and that’s saying something since they are ALL good!

    An interesting side note to the name you gave your Dryad – Viviane is one of the many different names for the Lady of the Lake. Myth has it that she learns her magic from Merlin, who becomes enamored of her. She refuses to give him her love until he has taught her all his secrets, after which she uses her power to trap him either IN THE TRUNK OF A TREE or beneath a stone or in a cave, depending on which author and which Lady of the Lake story you read.

    So obviously this Dryad has your number. Be careful in forests 😉

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Aw shucks, thank you, Empress! You’re making me blush, and I really appreciate that. 😉

      I love the Arthurian tales. And now it’s interesting to hear the coincidence that Viviane is a name from the tales and trapped Merlin in a tree. Hmmm! I picked that name deliberately, but didn’t realize the further history of it. That is so cool! Thanks much for that added info. I like it.

      I will keep a lookout for strange women in the forest, though. Since they have internet now, they may know I’ve written about them a few times. 😉

      Like

  5. Eric, I love this! One of my all time favorites from everything of yours I’ve read – and that’s saying something since they are ALL good!

    An interesting side note to the name you gave your Dryad – Viviane is one of the many different names for the Lady of the Lake. Myth has it that she learns her magic from Merlin, who becomes enamored of her. She refuses to give him her love until he has taught her all his secrets, after which she uses her power to trap him either IN THE TRUNK OF A TREE or beneath a stone or in a cave, depending on which author and which Lady of the Lake story you read.

    So obviously this Dryad you’ve created has your number. Be careful in forests 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. J. Raven says:

    Well you obviously “logged” some time crafting that story and it shows! All puns aside, this had a casual flow to it that was nice. Your stuff always reads well but this was even better. I could read this for 70,000 words or so. Get on that 😉

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Cool. I did want it to be light and easy. My story from last week was kinda heavy, so I wanted to change it up. I’m glad this one read the way I wanted it to. It did want to be longer. I spent more time cutting it back to 750 than I did writing it in raw form (first version went to 870 words. Yikes!) Thanks so much for the encouraging words. It’s good to hear that. 🙂

      Like

  7. YeshuM says:

    Aaaah! Finally a hapy ending. I’ve been so morbid this week, it’s so good to finally read something lighthearted, haha! And don’t apologise for the pun, you nailed it, haha!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Good! I’m happy to provide a break and lighten the mood. It’s what I like to do most. Glad you enjoyed the pun too. It was just…so there, I had to include it. Thanks so much for the visit! 🙂

      Like

  8. Jennifer G. Knoblock says:

    Oh, I’m so relieved for the happy ending, too. After the friend’s warning, and with all those chainsaws/axes/shredders, I was a little worried! Which of course means I was drawn in by the story and wanted it to work out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Hmmm, it’s been a rough week for several people. Just apply a balm of laughter at least twice a day. You’ll be right as rain. So glad to hear you were drawn in. I must be doing something right. 😉 Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  9. Silverleaf says:

    This was so much fun! I love the two perspectives on the same events and the fact that he thought something strange was going on with their conversations made me laugh. The voice throughout was wonderfully lighthearted. And then there was the pun. Thanks for sharing all the etymology – you know how much I love your choice of names!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Yay! I love hearing that. Laughter is what I’m hoping to share. If you’re having fun then the story works the way I wanted it to. Glad you enjoyed the pun too. I’ll keep that etymology coming too. Thanks so much for the visit and the comments. 🙂

      Like

  10. Indira says:

    It’s a lovely story.

    Like

  11. DragonSpark says:

    Very creative! Don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. Congrats!

    Like

  12. Suzanne says:

    I’m still chuckling as I type this. What a creative, fun, well-written story! I love that the dryad has internet! And I love that they had a happy ending. 🙂

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hey, just because a girl lives in a tree, doesn’t mean she can’t have internet. 😉 Perhaps the Old Gods are more up to date than we expect? I was ready to make a happy ending with this one. Glad you enjoyed that, and thanks so much. It’s always good to hear from you. 🙂

      Like

  13. zeudytigre says:

    Great take on the prompts, I enjoyed reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Blake says:

    Well, like Elvis, the lady in question clearly doesn’t have a wooden heart, so I think that’s fine 🙂

    Like

  15. inNateJames says:

    Loving someone’s nature even though it doesn’t match your own flies in the face of the questionnaires on those dating sites. So glad Vivi and the narrator could see beyond their differences. Yay to love!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Yay to love! Absolutely. Someone who is “too much” like yourself can be far worse than a mismatch. This couple knows what they really want from a relationship, and that’s why they know how to break “the rules.” Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  16. Meg says:

    LOLOLOLOL. I love puns. You will never hear me groan over a good pun. I will laugh and laugh. Such a fun write, Eric. Loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

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