Are you ready for more amazing short stories? This month’s theme is Technology Gone Awry, and it’s a good’n! If you’re wondering where technology might take us in the near future, then these stories are definitely for you. How about a brand new piece of tech to help you work harder and longer, or you might prefer to lose yourself in the virtual world; either way, you’re in for a treat with these stories.
GameMaster – Jessica Wren
The lines between reality and gaming becomes blurred when the executive of GameMaster, Inc. becomes involved in a legal scandal.
The target stood on the corner of 38th and Main Street. At two in the morning, he was only one of the thousands of people who loitered in the street. He was wearing a knockoff designer suit and stared ahead as he drew on his cigar. Ethan hid behind a nearby parked car as he trained his assault rifle on his victim, whose only offense was being out at the wrong time.
“This idiot thinks he’s Al Capone,” he chuckled to himself. “That crap is going to get him shot out here anyways.” With that, Ethan felt a little less guilty for what he was about to do.
“Don’t move,” he mumbled as he aimed his rifle. A passing car was slowing down, clearly approaching the target. Possibly for a drug deal, or to offer a ride, or simply ask for directions. The only thing that mattered was that the target stayed put for the few seconds of time Ethan needed to complete the mission. The target took one more drag on his cigar before taking notice of the approaching vehicle. I am Shotgun Sutton, he thought. Ethan concentrated on his aim and placed his finger on the trigger, knowing if he acted even a second too late, he would miss his chance……..
The Clockmaker’s Tale – Ian Williams
George is a workaholic who is obsessed with making clocks. When a salesman approaches him with a device that could make him work harder and faster, he is intrigued. Although he is given a free trial period, he soon learns that the costs for increased output is unbearably high.
The brass bell above the shop entrance rang out to announce the new arrival. George heard it from his workshop in the backroom, hidden from view behind a blue curtain hanging in the doorframe. The two distinct sides of his small business were separated by this thin material alone. At the front, he sold his wears to the general-public, whereas at the rear, he designed, made and perfected.
For a short while George ignored the new customer. He wanted to give them time to look upon his vast stock of old-fashioned clocks hanging from the walls first. Instead, he focused on his latest design, made from his favourite soft-wood and hand-carved to match an exact design.
He blew away the wooden debris from the clock casing and marvelled at his work. It was flawless, making him particularly proud of himself this time. Every movement he’d made with the chisel–matching the steady hand of a brain surgeon–had added something unexpected to the design. It was even better than he’d hoped.
The outside was nearly finished. Next, he would move onto the internal workings of brass and steel, to bring his latest creation to life. With no interruptions he would have stayed put, surrounded by wood shavings and the calming smell of drying lacquer, until he was done. Only, a potential customer had entered his world and it wasn’t polite to leave them for too long……..
From the Mayhem, Madness and Mirth team