Wrong Turn

Stepping out of his shining space-craft the space colonist surveys the horizon.

Barren rock under a metallic sky.

Not a sign of life.

Crashing to his knees in despair he shakes his fists at the clouds.

‘Damn it, damn it all to hell!

Not again.

I should have taken a left at Orion’s Belt!’

-Job

Image NASA: https://images.nasa.gov/details-PIA05108

Attack of the Machines

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.

J.O’Brien