Here I am, facing the nadir of my existence, and I have the need to go to work. A specialist recommended I do so. I don’t think that the psychiatrist had any inkling of who I am, or how volatile I had become, but I take the advice. Learning to live again, and going back to work is the first step.
“The cat,” says a familiar voice. What cat? In the darkness, you are flying. You feel motion, yet you are sitting at a table, opposite a dirty, unshaven guy pointing a burning cigarette at you. I know this person. When an angry Bruce Harvey says, “Where’s my cat, fucker?” you conclude it’s a dream. The has-been movie star is interrogating you in a grimy, run-down room surrounded by four cracked, windowless walls, but the only question running through your head is… Why this actor? Harvey karate chops you across the back of your neck. It’s not the pain that wakes you, it’s the warm light bleeding in through your eyelids. The nightmare fades, fizzling away, back into your brain’s nether regions, dying alongside discarded aspirations and forgotten memories. Drool runs down the side of your mouth, but you are unable to move. Your face feels numb, due to your cheek pressed against the cold glass. The tinnitus in your ears stops, replaced by the hum of the ute’s engine, and the friction between tyre, road and air, enters your awareness. You open your eyes, just wide enough to squint, focusing on the golden countryside sweeping past outside. For a moment; reality is a blur. You attempt to shift your head and are relieved it moves with little pain. Your arm is cramped, and your neck feels broken, but you know this is temporary. The breaking dawn illuminates the narrow, unmarked road, winding around a chain of hills. A clump of trees obscures the misty valley beyond, sending intermittent shafts of copper light to warm your face. Once the trees go by, you marvel at the spectacle, at the amber clouds cruising along the horizon, at the auburn fields, smothered with whispers of mist, rolling up and down between chestnut-coloured forests.
Martin felt the van pick up the pace as it hurtled down Salamander Highway, devoid of traffic or life. She looked over at Rick, who grappled with the steering wheel as if he were attempting to rip it off. His battle with the self-drive function could have been avoided had he been successful in disabling it. Rico managed to purge the van’s smartie and kill the geotracker, but not the self-drive. Only via the emergency override could he steer the vehicle, otherwise it will retrace the last waypoint entered into its memory by the now-defunct smartie.
Her russet eyes stood out, through dark mascara, heavy makeup and curly hair. There were several things I disliked about the girl; her open, shameless flirtation with Sophie being one. The dress she wore, an embroidered, simple number, suggested she’d been living in a bus shelter, a vagrant of sorts. She smelled like cheap homebrew perfume. Yet, my gal, my lover of nine years, seemed infatuated with her.
With skin covered in scutes, boasting a vertebral sail and powerful jaws, this thing looks like a fat, bear-sized lizard, but Russell Hansard seems to think the wildlife around here predates the dinosaurs by fifty million years. Out of the two thousand surviving passengers on board the Cruise Ship Eudora, Mr Hansard is the only one who claims to be schooled in palaeobiology.
Too bad he isn’t here to see this monster. Somehow it managed to get into the ship and feast on an elderly couple, lodging in one of the balcony cabins.
“It’s the biggest one yet,” I gasp, having abandoned living in fear; embracing this impossible, marvellous world.
Hacking robots can be lots of fun. Celebrating April Ghouls Day at horrorscribes.com with this flash fiction entry.
His clown quartet went from performing a slo-mo at the crossing lights to lunatic postures, ridiculing the angry driver. The black Audi inched closer, but when Mr Axe showed off his plastic hatchet, the motorist reversed and made a wide turn to avoid the colourful foursome.
I once bought a novel,Robopocalypse (2011) by Daniel H. Wilson, at an airport bookstore for a fast, time-killing read and while I wasn’t totally disappointed with it, it left me once again tackling the question about this robocalypse that everyone is fearful about.
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