By Richard Dyderski

Sally stared at the screen wondering where to go. Her new computer was about to take her to places unknown as she entered the world of the Internet. Barely a day old, her new toy was going to open a door to her life and let people in that she wouldn't have dreamed about. A safe way to meet people, she convinced herself, as she connected to the outside world for her first time. What an exciting experience! The noise coming from her computer gave out an eerie wining sound of different musical tones that only another computer could love. Then silence. She watched as her web browser unfolded before her. The experience of navigating her way through this magical world would take time, and time is something she had plenty of.

Properly educated and pampered in the finest schools, Sally was a quick learner. She excelled in all her classes and carried a 3.96 GPA at the end of her college days. Her high IQ of 162 intimidated a lot of suitors, and seclusion followed her wherever she went. A loner by nature, she drew few friends and tended to shut out others that tried to enter her life. Flowing, brown hair and sparkling eyes gave way to a beautiful woman in her early thirties. The curves of her body showed a figure that had been firm in her younger days, but started to settle as time went on. Pleasurable to the eyes and definitely acceptable to many, she started to wonder if that is all she had to attract a man. Surely she had smarts enough to find one that would love her for her mind as well as her body. If only she could relive her college days. Mark would have been the one for her. He followed her everywhere, but to the altar, and that had left her empty. Shy and introverted, she knew it was time to leave her shell and get out into the world.

Arnos Corp gave Sally the job of selecting the new computers for their accounting department since their old 286's were definitely outdated and needed replacing long ago. Her new responsibility thrilled her beyond compare. Now Sally had to catch up on her research and evaluate what her company needed. Angie, a coworker who just finished college, helped Sally go through all the new terms and what was new in the computer world. So much had changed, but with Angie's help, Sally got the job done. Her interest in computers picked up. Soon she became proficient in all the software that her company had to offer. Angie told Sally of the Internet and how the online world had become an exciting experience for her. She had even met a guy through a friendly chat session, and now they were dating. This drew a spark in Sally's eyes! Angie assured her that it was a safe way to meet people since all the communications are in an open forum. She could easily weed out the undesirables that didn't interest her. That was all Sally needed to hear. Angie gave her a few pointers on online etiquette and how to start cruising the Internet. On her way home that evening, she bought the latest and greatest home computer her money could buy. That night would be her first step into a new, exciting world, and that brought a smile to her face. Surely, this was the way to meet a man as intelligent as herself, if not at least a way to ease herself into communicating with the opposite sex again.

Her machine hummed as the icons flashed before her eyes, filling up the screen, offering services and information. The cursor moved toward an icon and clicked, opening a new page of information. "This is cool!" she thought to herself. The next few hours went by so fast as Sally stared at the screen, affixed to the information overload being thrown at her. But she loved it all! Stories being told, government info, sex, bleeding hearts, anything you wanted to know, and even expressing yourself, was free game to anyone on the Internet. Confidence and courage quickly took over as she comfortably became aware of her surroundings. Was she ready to invade a chat room and observe what Angie had told her about? Her browser had a chat room icon, but her nerves held her back. "I can do it!" she told herself. Thoughts of loneliness surrounded her. "Sally, you’re a big girl now, what can it hurt?" Slowly the cursor moved toward the icon, and the click of the mouse could be heard as Sally's heart pounded in the background. And there it was! People communicating with written words, no faces to them, but thoughts being expressed with feelings. Her eyes watched as she interpreted the conversation before her. "To shallow," she thought. Her mind needed more thought, more intellect to a conversation. She remembered that Angie had mentioned the chat room where she met her boyfriend in. All the brainers were there. College educated people with open minds as Angie called them. "Sigma, that's it!" raced through her head as she clicked and started typing it into the keyboard. As she hit the enter key, an exciting feeling overwhelmed her. Was there a chance that she would find it interesting? Would she meet someone? Would she even attempt to 'talk' if someone interested her? The computer clicked and clicked as it changed screens. As a whole new series of words developed before her, she quickly started reading as if trying to catch up to something. They were speaking of things that interested her. "I like this one," she thought. She watched as people talked and almost got enough nerve to type something in. When the conversation shifted toward something she felt comfortable with, her fingers typed in a quick introduction and a few choice words. That's all it took. People were typing in responses, and Sally was answering back. The floodgates lifted, and Sally's confort zones opened up to the point were her smarts impressed many of the guys that were in the chat room. One in particular was exchanging interesting conversation with her that soon it seemed as if they were in their own little world. He introduced himself as D USER, explaining the simple letters as a way of keeping his identity anomonous. She felt so comfortable with him that soon they agreed to a private chat the next day. As Sally shut down her computer, she became over taken by what had transpired. Was it real? "Sure was!" she thought to herself. "Looking forward to tomorrow!"

The next day at work seemed to last forever. Sally's mind drifted back to the night before, and her thoughts fantasized about the man who entered her new life via computer. Angie cautioned her to take it slow, to learn more of the man behind the keyboard before arranging any type of meeting. Sally heeded those words as she went home that evening. After a light meal, she positioned herself behind her desk, and turned her computer on. Her excitement grew as it did the first night, only now she had somewhere to go. It wasn't exactly a date, but if he were as interested in her as the previous night, maybe it would lead to something? She clicked on the icon. The machine churned and hummed as if opening doors, then silence fell upon the room. Sally's nerves caused her hand to jitter as she typed in a message for her new friend. Words filled the screen as D USER responded. The rest of the evening went by quickly as the two of them exchanged information about one another. They suggestively included emotions as the keys pounded away, leaving Sally feeling at ease in front of the screen. He questioned her about her schooling, her intellect, her personal tastes and dislikes. He wanted to learn all he could from her. He needed to be with someone like her to help him grow. He wanted her for her mind. Sally was thrilled that the evening went so well, that she almost agreed to meet him that night. Caution enveloped her. "Angie said to take it slow, and I'm a slow girl anyway," she thought to herself. She declined his offer. They agreed to meet in the chat room again the next night and pick up where they left off. The whole week went by with Sally rushing home, eating quickly, and jumping right on to her computer. Every night, he was there. Every night he tried to convince her that they should meet. Her feelings soon overwhelmed her cautiousness, and she finally agreed to meet him. But it would be on her terms. Was she nuts? Thoughts of loneliness danced through her head. "This feels right," she told herself. If he didn't meet her liking, she could always brush him off politely. It could also lead to something beyond her wildest dreams, a friend, a lover, someone to share her happiness and sorrows. Sally needed to take that chance. Mom always told her rushing into things wasn't the right way to go, but as she reflected on her past, Sally knew she wanted a change in her life. Her rushing into this may prove to be what she needed. They agreed to meet at her favorite diner, a stone's throw away from her apartment on the East Side of town.

Sally sat there staring at the door, waiting for the man of her dreams. It was 8:00 p.m., and the dinner crowd started thinning out. "A nice, quiet evening," repeated in her head as she nervously looked about. The flower on her table was to be a sign for him to notice her. Brown, flowing hair draped her shoulders as her shimmering eyes glistened in the candlelight. Stunning was the word most suited for her appearance. The door slowly opened, and a tall, handsome man entered the diner. Slowly he turned and noticed the flower. Their eyes made contact as they smiled at each other. She was in awe at what she saw. Tall, dark, and dressed to kill, he approached her and introduced himself as Dee. The dinner went smoothly as they talked about each other, as if they had known each other for eternity. How comfortable she felt around him. He spoke of how he had grown to love computers from their early days, and how it became a tool of choice for his work. He was a learner, a gatherer of information, a man that needed to know all. Dee was impressed at how intelligent she was and told her how he admired her. He wanted to learn all he could from her.

After dinner, they walked back to her apartment. Sally felt comfortable enough to invite him in. Maybe a little romance was in store, and it had been a long time for her. Nervous and edgy, she sat next to him on the couch. "This is not the time to be slow," she convinced herself. He wanted her, and she knew it! Slowly they caressed as their tongues danced in and out of each other's mouths. He kept on repeating that he wanted her for her brains, and that excited her. His tongue forced its way so hard into her mouth that she drew back in surprise. His grip strengthened as he continued his advance. Her eyes met his, but there was something different about them. Shallow and empty, they showed no emotions. His body temperature seemed to soar as she tried to wiggle away. His appearance turned alien, and a metamorphosis took place. She laid there, to horrified to utter a word.

"I want your mind. I love your mind," he spoke. Sally could do nothing. He again forced his tongue deep into her mouth, probing, and then crushing through her upper palate toward her brain. Sally lost consciousness as the sound of slurping filled the room, like the sound of a milkshake being sucked through a straw, trying to get the last satisfying taste. Then all was silent again. Slowly he retrieved his jacket, looked back at the lifeless body before him, and walked out of the room.

The street noises surrounded him as he made his way past the diner, reflecting on the evening. His computer again proved to be a useful tool. What better ways to meet people of higher intellect and provide his needs for survival on this grim planet? A safe way to meet people, he reminded himself. No average mind would do for him, as he licked his lips, and savored the taste of what he craved most. The smarter, the better, for he was a user.

Copyright 1998 by Richard Dyderski

Bio, E-mail, and URL:

"Thanks for reading the story. It's only my second one that I ever wrote since I got this bug to write. A short story called " The Jaunt " intrigued me so much, that it influenced me to write. Nothing like a short story with a twist to catch your imagination. Anyway, I'm a 39 year old, tool and die maker with a lot of time to kill at work ( I have a laptop ). I'm a high energy person that enjoys the outdoors, gets into the web, loves to play hockey, and I have an alternative rock band in which I play bass, guitar, and write songs for. My URL is http://www2.dmci.net/users/redyderski.
I'm glad you enjoyed the story.


Richard can be e-mailed at: redyderski@dmci.net

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