Category Archives: Short stories

Deliver Me from Darkness

Where was that bloody delivery drone?

He’d been waiting for three hours, from the moment he’d woken up.

How many times would he have to stay at home on the promise that his new eyes would be arriving that day?

Okay, so he’d not chosen guaranteed next day delivery but at the time he’d ordered them his eyes still had a good four weeks left in them. And, yes he’d been a bit casual about making sure he was there to sign for them, but the more critical it was getting the less the company seemed to want to help.

They insisted a drone had been at his door every day, but he’d been there most days. It was a load of rubbish. They just didn’t care.

And now they couldn’t guarantee delivery. A knock-on effect of the Christmas rush, apparently.

The light faded a little. His eyes were on their last legs, so to speak.

If he didn’t get his new ones soon his vision would cease and no matter how many replacements they delivered he wouldn’t be able to see to install them. Continue reading

ReConned

The parcel arrived early on a Sunday morning while they were having breakfast.

As soon as he could he took it down to his workshop.

An ex-military robot, reconditioned to monitor his family’s health for danger signs.

It was from a second-hand bidding site and the only difference from the more expensive ones, that he could see, was that it was from a private seller rather than an established shop. Why pay over the odds?

He unpacked it carefully.

The badly translated instructions were difficult to understand, but painstakingly he worked through each step. Hoping he was getting it right.

Enter this string of characters.

Enter this code.

Press this button.

Upload the family photos for recognition and recall.

The final piece of data it wanted was the factory code on the inside of the box so it could configure itself to the specifics he’d purchased – a preventative health-care system.

Preventative, that’s what made it worth the money.

He tapped in the factory code and took it outside.

It hovered for a while and then shot up high into the air. It was designed to roam freely, making its own decisions on where it should go and what it should do. Continue reading

Segmented

The posters make the same promises that led me here.

An evening of enlightenment!

A gateway to the future you deserve!

I’ve spent the last six months working on getting through that door. No wonder the anticipation in my stomach increases with every inch that the queue moves forward.

If I get in I’ll qualify for interviews with top paying companies that don’t advertise to my “type”.

For the whole of my life the marketeers have shoved me in a box, one of their segments, only letting me see what they think I want to see. They decide what I can and can’t buy. What I can and can’t be. How do they know who I am?

I’m sick of it.

It’s the self-fulfilling prophecy of modern marketing – market to those you believe are interested and the interest comes from those you market to.

Genius!

Will I get in? I hope so. Otherwise it’s a lifetime of one crap job after another.

I feel vulnerable, in stark contrast to the confidence that hangs over the queue like a protective umbrella. But, I’ve come this far and I’m going to see it through.

Continue reading