Under the Apple
by Jerry Guarino
Sorry, my grandma
doesnt have a wireless signal; she has dial
up. These are two of the saddest words
in the English language, along with no signal.
No wait said Jeff, looking at his
laptop. There are three networks showing.
Must be the houses around us. Jeff tapped
the pad. Well, two of the signals are
locked, but heres one that isnt. Its
Ann knew Jeff might go a little crazy without an
Internet connection. Oh, try that,
Jeff tried to connect. There, it works!
Wait, it dropped. Jeffs facial
expression mirrored the rise and fall of the
Newlyweds Jeff and Ann had come to visit her
grandmother, who couldnt attend their
wedding in San Francisco. Im so glad
you could visit. Im making you a special
Ann held Jeffs hand. Were happy
to be here Nana.
Jeff went through the house looking for a place
where the computer would connect. He started at
the basement, then the bedrooms, kitchen; he even
tried from the bathrooms. No luck. The signal
would catch for a minute and then drop.
Ann found him in the pantry. Any luck dear?
Irritated now, he was sweating from the search.
It has to be in one of these houses. Im
Ann looked at her watch. OK, but were
having dinner in thirty minutes.
Jeff went out the back door. The hot Minnesota
summer was oppressive, martins grabbing
mosquitoes out of the air and the wind wheel
spinning slowly colors of red, blue and green.
The backyard of the house was in the middle of
three other houses. One of these must be
the apple node. Jeff held his notebook at
eye level and walked around.
Where is this router? Jeff said to himself.
Tired and frustrated, he sat down on the lawn
chair under an apple tree and closed his eyes.
Ping. Suddenly, he was online! Lets
see. Jeff checked a couple websites. Steady.
He checked his email. Ah, working. Ann,
he called out. Its working. No
response. Ann, I found the spot. Jeff
looked into the kitchen. The light was on and he
could hear someone getting out plates and
utensils. Guess its time for dinner.
He took his computer into the kitchen.
Ann? Grandma? Where are you guys?
Two women turned around and screamed. Get
out. Jeff didnt recognize them.
Lisa, call 911.
Jeff turned and left the house quickly. I
must have gone into the wrong house. But
when he got back to the yard, the other houses
were gone. He checked his computer. The
connection dropped again. He went back to the
chair where he started. Jeff heard a police car
siren in the distance, getting closer. Cmon,
The two women were waiving the police car into
their driveway, pointing to Jeff.
OK, lets go. Theres the node.
Jeff clicked on the network and he was online
again. The siren from the police car shook the
tree above him. As the police rushed toward him,
something dropped into his lap. It was an apple.
He held it out to the police as they handcuffed
Jeff, wake up. Its time for dinner.