ADSactly Short Story - A Painted Serpent

2년 전

A Painted Serpent

All your life, you have been a motivated young woman. It was not your doting mother or your devoted father that motivated you. It was not even your siblings with whom you have shared almost all your waking hours that motivated you. Your motivation came from that overriding emotion that has the ability to petrify you sometimes or quicken your spirit at other times. Whenever you had to decide between two courses of action, that emotion was always at the back of your mind prodding you to take the safer route, and you took that route almost all the time. Or did you? It was an overriding fear. Not fear of failing or fear of criticism, but an overwhelming fear that your parents who have loved you so much and given up so much for you, may one day perceive you as a failure or criticise you as such.

You picked up your cell phone, absent-mindedly ran your forefinger over the fingerprint sensor, and the screen lit up. You half-expected that the image would not be there. But there it was seemingly staring back at you. The image and the message that came with it was the sum of all your fears. You blinked as tears blinded you. How could you not have seen this coming? A picture of your unclad self? You stared at it and wondered where it came from. You didn't recall taking such a picture of yourself. You tried to determine when the picture was taken. Surely, the image was real because you were intimately acquainted with your own breast, your belly, your body. The smile on your face was genuine, you were happy.


Image Source: Joint Base San Antonio

You tried to think back to the time you owned that t-shirt that laid by your side but your mind was blank. Whoever sent the picture must have known that the room in which that picture was taken was too much information to be allowed to show in the picture so that was covered with a huge emoji, leaving just your naked body with that smile on your face. But you had an earpiece in your ear, a white earpiece. Maybe you were face-timing with someone when the person screenshotted your image and waited until this moment. Your hopes rose. If that image was obtained from a video conversation you had with someone, that meant a fewer number of suspects. Who did you allow to see your naked body over the Internet? you thought. That was a concise list indeed, but you could not even remember ever showing your body to any person over the Internet. Why was your mind playing this trick on you? You are not accustomed to forgetting the things you should remember.

"Relax. Relax," you told yourself.

There have only been two guys with whom you have been in love, all your adult life. Love! It could make you do crazy things. You read the message that came with the picture again:

You have been a naughty little girl, haven't you??
I have some assignments that I want you to do.
If you fail to do any of them, I shall forward this picture to your father.
After that, I will start posting them on your facebook wall and tagging all your friends and family so they can see what little whore you have been.
Or, perhaps I should add you to a Facebook Group for little whores like yourself and make you really popular? I can barely decide. You have a date. See you at 9 am tomorrow.

You thought about it: the Facebook profile that sent you that message was familiar to you, too familiar. It had the name of your present boyfriend. You knew instantly that it was not him. He would be shocked to learn that a human being can be that cruel. But why did the blackmailer use his name? You thought about it and decided to call him. He answered after the first ring.

"Hey baby, what's up?" he answered, being his usual cheerful self.

"I'm alright. Good morning," you lied. How would you begin to tell him that you have messed up yet again? You kept quiet.

"Baby, are you there?"

"Yes, I am here."

"Okay, you weren't saying anything and I am just driving out of the house. Can I call you back later?" he said.

Typical him! He always preferred texts to phone calls. You could not keep this load on yourself any longer. You had to share it with him as a matter of urgency.

"Do you have a second Facebook account?" you blurted out.

"Yes, you know I have another Facebook account, but I abandoned it years ago. What's up?" he asked.

"What's the name on that old Facebook account? Someone sent me something from an account bearing your name."

"Please screenshot it and send to me. That way I can check if I know who it is, but it definitely isn't me. Alright?"

"Okay, I will. Bye," and the line went dead.

That's odd, he thought as he swerved the car into the dual carriage way. He knew that something must have had you worked up.

After the call, you felt better that you had someone with whom you could share the burden, someone who would not judge you, but the problem did not go away. Your father had just returned home from the hospital due to health issues resulting from a rise in his blood pressure. You knew that he did not need this picture to add to his worries. You were frustrated. You did a screenshot of the sender's name and sent to your boyfriend, then you decided to send him the message and the picture that came with it before you had time to change your mind. You did not know how the news would make him feel, but you have to trust his equanimity.

You needed to vent your frustration somehow. You picked your phone again and typed:

"What do you have to gain by doing this?."

Almost immediately, the response came, "What do I have to lose?."

"What assignment were you talking about?."

"Nine AM tomorrow. Don't rush me, b!tch!"

You stared at the response in disbelief. You were then sure that your boyfriend could not have anything to do with this person because you had never heard him swear or call anyone names. You had noticed him almost cringe away when someone else used the words in his presence. You wondered who could be tormenting you, but your mind came up blank.

Your phone beeped again, another message, but this time it was Ugo.

"Could you come over tomorrow night? We need to decide what to do about this?."

"Okay. I will. Are you angry?."

"Of course not. This is not your fault," he replied.

You breathed a sigh of relief: he was with you on this. For a minute, it seemed that the problem had gone away until you remembered the irreparable damage the picture could do to your father's weak heart. You wondered how that lowlife knew to use exposure to your father as leverage. It must be someone that knew you very well that was behind those antics, but who?

You could not sleep that night because all you could think of was what would happen if those images were sent to your father. You thought of stealing his phone and deactivating his Facebook account, but the man kept his phone close, besides you did not have the heart to go through with it.

It took forever for 9 AM to arrive. You did not expect him to keep to time, but he did.

"First assignment: Go to your page and write 'I will not be a whore anymore because it is costing me my happiness'."

"Second assignment: Buy bitcoin and let me know when you do so. I will send you an address to which to send it."

You did not know what to do, but you knew that you were not going to send the blackmailer any money and that meant that you were not going to capitulate to any of his demands.

You called Ugo and informed him of the development. He did not seem worried about it.

"Do you want to pay him off?" he asked.

"No."

"Good. Then just ignore him completely. You can deactivate your facebook account if possible, but ensure that you never respond to him ever again," he said.

"But he will send the picture to my dad and he claims to have a video," you lamented.

"So, do you want to pay him off?"

"No"

"So ignore. But you have to tell your father," he said, as calmly as before.

"Oh, no. I could never!" you said

"Did you take a nude picture?"

"No!"

"Did you make a nude video?"

"No"

"So what exactly are you afraid of? The only weapon the lowlife has is that he feels he is in control of the narrative. But you can take the narrative and write it how you will. If you tell your father that some lowlife has doctored images of you and is threatening to send them to him, I believe you can convince him not to open such an image. You can leave Facebook for good and we can take down any site he publishes pictures of you. But I am confident that he has only that one picture."

You thought about it and realized that you did not have to worry after all. Talking to your father was not as easy as he made it sound but it turned out better than you thought when he handed you his phone and asked you to delete facebook from it.

That was when you realized that the dark cloud that hung over you those days were mere gases and the threat that made your life hell was just a ghost story, a painted serpent. You reported the fake account that the blackmailer used to contact you and facebook blocked it. You set your account such that people who were not friends could no contact you. You had no doubts that the lowlife had not given up, but you knew that you had taken away his biggest gun.

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Well read you again in this beginning of 2019, @churchboy. Congratulations! As it has been so far in what you have published, this story has a very well-developed realism. I like the use you make of the narrative voice through the second person (the "you"), which gives the story a more personalized and psychological character, as if it were all an inner monologue, with dialogue inclusions. I also liked the attitude that is imposed on both her boyfriend and her father, and, of course, on herself to overcome the problem. The image that gives the story its title (a painted serpent) is very accurate.
The theme is very topical, and has been generating much concern in families and young people. Social networks can be used, as has already been demonstrated, as a means of manipulation. It is necessary that citizens, especially young people, have guidance in this regard.
Thank you for your post, and @adsactly for spreading it. Greetings.

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Thank you so very much. You have all my respect for your in depth literary appreciation and how you bring out the essence of my humble writing.

Happy New Year!

Greetings, @churchboy, good to have one of your stories again. The subject of social networks is complex, the activity in them must be developed with great prudence and taking care of privacy so that manipulators do not appear to violate the tranquility. I liked very much this story that may well be instructive and may serve to guide young people about the consequences that may exist if the use of social networks gets out of control. I liked the fact that the girl spoke frankly with her father to take off the weight that overwhelmed her. Clearly, communication and trust are the key between parents and children to avoid getting into trouble. A very real and well written story. Thank you for sharing it @churchboy and @adsactly for spreading it.

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Thank you @aurodivys. I am always humbled that you find time to read my stories. You are right about your observations. Most young people never think of the consequences of their actions or inactions on social media. And when they are confronted with the results of their carefree attitude like in this story, they usually don't know how to react. I think that blackmail is one of the worst crimes against your fellow man that anyone could commit, hence the term "lowlife". However, when one is confronted with it, the difficult but only effective way to handle it is to come clean and come out in front of whatever deeds the blackmailer is holding over you if it would not cause irreparable damage to your life and that of your loved ones.

Thank you for being here. Happy New Year!

Hello, dear friend. I missed your stories. This one stands out for its type of narrator, for its current history and for that ending, although simple, rich in possibilities. I like the way you develop the actions that you never think this could be the end. I also like the attitude of the groom, who perhaps we could believe is going to turn his back or question it. These days, it's so easy to fall prey not only to the blackmail of acquaintances and strangers but also to the provocation or fashion of showing our body in the nets, without realizing to what extent this could be harmful to us. Beware of these hidden enemies! Thank you for such an excellent story, @churchboy and @adsactly for sharing.

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@nancybriti I have missed seeing you here. I had been very busy with life but I am so happy to be back here.

Yes! There are bad people everywhere and that includes the Internet and we have to be careful.

Thank you and Happy New Year.

Applause and applause @churchboy. This story encourages young people not to lose "control" of their lives for possible blackmail in social networks. Second point that I love: family communication. Maybe a father or a mother slaps a daughter for a problem like this ... it's possible! But we must encourage young people to have confidence and communication with their parents because it is the best way to avoid falling into virtual prostitution networks.
As for your narrative you always trap me with one or several sentences. In this suspicious tale, the sentence, "You blinked as tears blinded you," is a very true statement. The tears blind!
I also liked "What do I have to lose?" Many actions, good or bad, in real life are driven by this attitude: What do I have to lose?
@churchboy you have an enveloping narrative. I liked reading you.
Very successful @adsactly in this publication, since it has authenticity, social concern, current trend and good writing.

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Thanks a lot. I am so appreciative of your kind words. And you're of course right that young people need to be careful about what they post on the Internet.

Happy New Year.

Hi, @churchboy. Good story; I personally like bettersweeet endings like this one.

I want to point out what I consider three virtues in this narrative: the straightforward point of view, the familiarity of the plot, and the progressive tension.

The narrator speaks to "you", menaing us, so we definitely listen, we put ourselves in the place of the character and live hrough the ongoing events. Plus the plot is realistic; it makes it believable, so we are more prone to consider ourselves in a situation like this. Finally, the way you list the events step by step, makes us trust that the narrator is going to reveal the truth of the story, and we certainly want to know how it ends.

Well penned. Thanks ☻

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Thank you so very much. I hadn't written in a while. This one was inspired by something I saw on Facebook. I am glad you could read it.

You're appreciated. Happy New Year.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending, but networks should be used with great caution because we do not know who is on the other side of the computer. There are very bad people capable of destroying anyone's life.
Your story caught me the truth is very good.

Very interesting post.


Actual and factual stories with the basics of social media that then bring the characters to become actors and players of social media we really see in everyday life.
Then we can reflect on our activities which also cannot be separated from social media. There is excitement and threats that are both sources of problems. There is pleasure to be found in following developments through social media. but behind that there is a threat of estrangement in the relationships between family members.
And we hope that in steemit we can find many families without leaving our own family.
thanks for @churchboy
Thank you @adsactly
Thank you Steemit
warm greetings from Indonesia

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Well written @rokhani. Thank you. May we find new families and not lose the old ones.