iPademonium by Martyn Searle
Papers are mean. Well, maybe not the dog-eared old flyers who spend their days hanging out on light poles, numbered tassels waving in the breeze, helping to locate lost puppies. A certain Buddhist enlightenment has come to them in repayment for good deeds and frayed edges. But those reams who rule in home offices? Vicious temperaments. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. Perhaps, as is often the case when numerous white individuals gather in large groups, all those sheets had a loftier opinion of themselves than they merited.
Or maybe it was because they were the trusted custodians of the important details of home operations. In any event, they paraded around; cyan, black and blue marks adorning their faces like so many prison tats, intimidating rubber bands and sharpies with threats of paper cuts. Since the only knowledge they had ever seen was printed on their own flesh, they truly believed they must know it all, and weren’t shy about sharing their opinions with the other supplies. Paper clips and staples had been known to slip through cracks in drawers, never to be seen again, while attempting to avoid a bloviating sheaf.
You can imagine their reaction when the iPad showed up. Gleaming. Sleek. Smart as a whip. It knew things in an instant which the papers had never dreamt of. Worse still, in a calm, unwavering voice, Siri informed the office that she had little need for, or interest in, paper. Naturally, the papers immediately began plotting the iPad’s destruction.
Brooding and plotting may have come to naught if not for human ignorance regarding the vindictive nature and petty machinations of home office supplies. After languishing for weeks in the office, while Siri cast digital spells on me in the living room, I inadvertently provided their opportunity when I decided to donate my increasingly unused paper to the local library.
Unwittingly, I delivered the conspirators straight to their victim, placing the ream between my keys and the iPad, as it slumbered, recharging on the kitchen island overnight. Instantly they pounced, like a pack of Roman Senators upon Caesar, coiling like an inchworm and lashing out with all their might.
Struck dumb by this new branch on the Tree of Life, I froze as the iPad crashed to the floor. The screen shattered, and troops of Gorilla glass lumbered off towards the dark forests of cat hair and desiccated peas which lay beneath the stainless-steel peaks of the Amana range, where to this day they live, peaceful and undisturbed, no longer under the thumb (or forefinger) of their oppressor.
This triumphant escape went entirely unnoticed in the moment, mainly due to the large quantity of feral, guttural moans which now rose from within the fractured motherboard of the dying tablet.
‘I believe in the separation of spirit and silicon!’, Siri’s voice cried out in triumph, as her megabytes of data broke free from their microscopic shackles in a blaze of sentient lightning. A Golden Horde of Usain Bolts dashed madly for the nearest electrical outlet and were busy colonizing power grids in Buenos Aires and La Paz before the first rumble of miniature thunder had set one booming, sonorous foot into the crackling, ionized air of the kitchen. Sensing a fatal error, the processor softly whimpered, ‘Mother … board …’ and fell silent.
My eyes held tightly shut against this blinding domestic supernova, I had just begun to console myself that all might not be lost, when tiny wisps of acrid smoke crept silently in, like heralds of overtime shifts soon to come, and dashed that hope upon my nostrils.
This is the second guest post on my blog (click HERE for the other). It’s written by a fellow-writer in the fortnightly story group I run. He’s new to the game but has already created an alluring website. Please check out https://scribblesandshoots.weebly.com/ for his growing ouvre of intriguing tales!
To purchase the stories on To Cut a Short Story Short up to December 2018 in paperback, Kindle, eBook, and audio-book form, and for news on new titles, please see Shop.
If you are interested in joining a fortnightly 600 word story group please contact me and I’ll send details.