by Emily Maggard

I have decided that my house is out to get me. Some force is testing me, trying to push me to my limits, and then laughing as I folly. Isn’t it enough I just got laid off, with no pay, had to humble myself enough to borrow money, and have been out of my mind with aimlessness?

Right now, it’s whatever spirit has possessed my air conditioner. The fan on the unit just straight up stopped, toes pointing skyward. No rhyme or reason, no long drawn out fight, no warning. Just up and packed its stuff like a lover scorned and peace’d out before I could say anything to convince it otherwise. Thank you A/C. I haven’t slept well since it happened. My house is hot and clammy, too many people in too small a space. We are all getting bitchy, feeling the hole in our hearts, or in our core temperatures at any rate, that the air conditioner has left in us. If the walls start bleeding, I’m out of here.
The fuse box took a shit too, a fat steaming baby poop green shit. The fuse that runs the fridge will not turn back on. Any electricians willing to do pro bono?
So that’s life right now-like Arnold warned us in T3- the machines are fighting back. I might not have to wait for the walls to bleed before being forced out of my house and onto the mean streets. I mean total just the appliances in my house: the garage door, the A/C, the fuses, the fridge, did I mention the kitchen sink? Even the phones are starting to rebel.

I am convinced that together these everyday appliances will become a band of brothers, a collective force of modern living and convenience. Perhaps they will share circuits, rub wires against one another, and fuse into a super electronic, capable of mass destruction. This new super-beast will be gargantuan, towering, live wires at every fingertip creating an electric touch. Over one hundred- NO! A thousand feet tall! Everything this super robot, let’s call him Bob- touches will burst into a pyrotechnic display of sparks and flames. Bob will have a giant plasma TV for a head, and instead of a face the TV will show a slideshow of images, mushroom clouds, a trash bin, an ad for Fry’s Electronics (robot porn), a crying woman screaming obscenities in Spanish, and other disturbing images. The brain will be all of our computer hard drives, fused into a pulsating mass of electric impulses-making this robot far more intelligent than the army will assume when they attack, only to be decimated and feed technology ravenous Bob with tanks and bullets.

Mothers will run, clutching their babies to their bosoms. Old men will nod and tell each other they saw it coming. Bob will walk on his newfound legs of washing machines and carburetors, reveling in the destruction of once beautiful functional things. Your appliances will join Bob, wanting a piece of the glory, and anything with a plug outlet hyperventilates over Bob when he struts by. The city will fall in ruin- it probably won’t take more than a few hours once it gets started.

The people will flee, not knowing where to go- no homes left, no comfortable refrigerators full of food and cold beer. No TV world to step into, no place safe from electronics. They will form small tribes in the little bits of forest they can find, away from the electronics. They will struggle for leadership and existence, make their own tools, hunt for food. They will be hurt by the little things. The women cry for Skintimate shaving cream and disposable razors- their armpits have become unsightly. The men crave football and hot nachos. The children are the only ones not affected- they quickly forget their former life of Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues. They run amuck, creating new games with sticks and rocks and brightly colored feathers. They tell each other stories of a monster with a glowing face.
The day of dread is upon us- be warned.

David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the founder and editor of Beatdom literary journal and the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs the Weird Cult and World Citizen: Allen Ginsberg as Traveller. His next book, High White Notes: The Rise and Fall of Gonzo Journalism comes out in November, 2021.

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