This flash-fiction was written in response to a prompt inspired by a Raymond Carver story. The goal was to write a science fiction story using the first line. It was previously published under a different title in the Carlow Writer’s Co-Operative Anthology What Champagne Was Like.
Attack of the Machines
Robert was running a vacuum cleaner when the telephone rang. He turned it off and picked up the handset. There was no voice, just a high pitched noise that burst his eardrum. He screamed in pain. Blood poured from his ear and he fell to the ground in agony.
Behind him the vacuum turned itself back on and leapt into the air like a mechanical cobra. He turned when he heard the noise.
The vacuum attacked. It wound its pipe around his neck, choking him to the point of asphyxiation. He could not move.
Hearing the commotion his wife came out of their bedroom. She stumbled into the room and glared at him.
‘What are you playing at?’
She plugged out the vacuum cleaner.