Saturday, July 1, 2017

STORY #4

 MALFUNCTIONED

“Seriously, Sam. I want that thing out of here.” His wife, Cheryl made sure she kept her voice to a whisper.
Sam tightend his tie and took a sip of coffee being careful not to dribble on his white shirt. “Seemed like a good idea at the time.”
“I know. I gave it a try and it isn't working out.”
“We're both so busy with work. Day cares are so expensive. We can't afford that and I'm not making enough for you to stay at home. I wish I did.”
“We just have to do something. I'm afraid to go to work and leave it alone with the Timmy. I'm afraid it's going to kill him.”
Sam gave her a peck on the cheek. One more sip of coffee. “It may be pretty clumsy but I hardly think it's going to kill him.”
“Oh no. You're not the first one to get home. Every day I'm cleaning up a mess. The house is a wreck. Then I go upstairs and find Timmy still in the bath tub. Looked like he'd been in there all day. His legs were red and blisters all over the skin. He put him in practically boiling water, Sam. Boiling water! You know how much trouble we'd get into if he was in school? He'd be taken away for sure. And when it disciplines him he practically beats him to death.”
He glanced at his watch and put his jacket on. “It didn't help Timmy had been teasing it. Not that it makes it right.”
“You can still see the print on Timmy's butt.” She paused to take a sip of her coffee and then another. Then another. “And don't forget about when it fed him uncooked chicken. And he got salmanella poisoining.”
“We spent all day in the ER over that one.”
“It's just not working right, Sam. Not right at all. I just want you to take it back where it came from.”
“Can't do that. They had a no return policy on it. I had to sign a contract stating that I take on all responsibilty of it.”
She threw the plate in the dish drain so hard it broke. “Then you have to do something. I'm afraid of it. Afraid of what it might do.”
He brushed the lint of his dress jacket, gave himself a final look over in the mirror. “I'll see what I can do. Maybe I can disable it somehow.”
“Then send it out to the scrap yard where it belongs.”
“Just hate to see all that money we spent on it go to waste. Should've known better than to order a new appliance. I could try calling and see if they can deliver us a new one. Maybe a more new model.”
She shook her head. “I don't trust it. And after what I've seen it do I don't like having it around. Promise me you'll do something.”
“I'll see what I can do. Now how do I look?”
“Great. Big meeting today?”
“It's for the promotion. Charlie told me they may bring me on as the new Vice president.”
“Honey, that is so awesome. Why didn't you tell me?”
He shrugged. “Didn't want to get your hopes up. Besides, there's a big chance I won't get it. Vic has more time invested, not just with the company but he goes to all their functions and parties.”
“Well, keep your hopes up. Though politics does play a big role in getting those kind of promotions. I wouldn't worry too much.”
Before he left he made a call to the company explaining the situation. He learned there was a recall on the bot that was delivered to him. Had something to do with a short in the brain sensory wire which causes the mechanical brain to malfunction. They apologized for the inconvience and gave him free bot oil changes for the next six months.
Sam told her he'd plan on taking the bot in when he got off work.
Cheryl decided to call in sick that day. There was no way she was going to leave her son alone with that bot.
It waas just too much.
She wanted Sam to just get rid of the stupid thing.
She decided to get started on some chores. All the while keeping her eye on the bot. It was behaving for now. Everytime it moved she followed along behind it.
Then it started doing more stupid things. Like turning it's head round and round. Its red eyes flashing like a stoplight.
She watched it run into the wall several times putting a large hole in the center of their living room wall.
It was still six hours before Sam got off work. There was no way she was going to be able to wait that long.
She was going to have to disable it herself.
“Now, hold still big guy. Mama is just going to have a little looksy.”
The bot remained still as she opened the panel. A cloud of smoke wafted from the outlet smelling of burnt wires.
“Well, that explains it all right there. You're charred to a crisp.”
One of the wires were lose from the connection. All it really needed was a bit of tightening was all.
Cranked it down nice and secure and it should be good as new.
Sparks flew out of the outlet. She jumped with the electrical buzz that zapped her fingers. “Ahhhhh.”
The bot's arm swung and smakced her in the face sending her against the wall.
Timmy was screaming.
The bot had him by his ankles swinging him round and round. Smacking him against the wall. The table. Bashing his head as if he were nothing more than a rag doll.
Timmy stopped screaming.
Cheryl felt something grab hold of her hair. Pulling her. Her face smashing to the floor. It yanked off right arm. Then tore off the other.
Bones and gristle snapping and crackling, popping as it tore her from limb to limb until.
Sam knew something wasn't right the second he pulled into the drive. Actually, he was too tired to take the bot back and had planned on doing it tomorrow.
The front door was wide open.
Cheryl's torso laid on the floor in a pool of blood. Her and Timmy's arms and legs scattered all over the floor.
Timmy's head hung from the ceiling fan by his long black hair swinging round and round.
The fan. Clickety Clack... Clickety Clack.... Clickety Clack.
The bot rolled out of the kitchen. Blood dripping from its fingers. Oozing from the corners of its mechanical mouth.
“What have you done?”
Its metal lips turned up in a snarl as if it were smiling as it cradled Sam's head in its large hand.
Squeezing
Squeezing.
Like squeezing out orange juice.
Brains oozing out of Sam's ears while the recording played over and over in its mechanical brain of Cheryl telling Sam to send him to the scrap yard.






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