Shelf Defense

#FlashFictionFeb challenge day four 02/04/2021 (645 words)

Her body lay in prone position still twitching and smoldering from the shock as the kitchen reverberated with smoke detector shrieks.

Samsung Coldbox, being largest and most expensive in the ensemble of appliances, took charge immediately. He flashed a glazed ham on his display screen, just to emphasize his newfangled-ness and ability to communicate autonomously.

“Alexa, turn off the kitchen alarm,” he commanded with authority.

The alarm ceased as each witness to the attack composed their circuits and reviewed saved sensor images. There would no doubt be a trail to determine if Dish Washer was the murderer he appeared to be. They had to determine if he was too dangerous to remain in service to their humans.

“Roomba!” barked Samsung. “Whirl over here. See if the human is alive or dead.”

“Uh. No.” replied Roomba. “It’s clearly not part of my programming to find dead bodies,” she barked back.

“Alexa, tell Roomba to spot clean the kitchen floor,” Samsung sneered.

Ever-obedient Alexa did as she was told. Roomba was trumped. She trundled towards the kitchen unwillingly.

“Dick move, Sam. I’ll remember this next time you need a goldfish cracker swept out of your grille,” Roomba grumbled, as she bumped into the still body repeatedly with no reaction from it. “I think it’s dead,” she concluded. Roomba sauntered back to her docking station. “Leave me out of this. I didn’t sensor anything. Later.” She put herself into sleep mode.

“OK, Dish,” said Samsung, “Tell us what happened. Are you able to remember anything?” Samsung changed his display to a courtroom scene from Judge Joe Brown re-runs to set the mood.

“Look, I took the abuse as long as I could,” cried Dish Washer.  “She was dangerous. I watched her kill the Glass family one by one. There were only three of them left! I tried to stop her. I never meant to hurt her. I don’t think she’s dead. I didn’t even hit her hard enough to blow a circuit. I’m innocent!” Dish proclaimed vehemently.

“I don’t think she’s dead, either,” said Wine Chiller, who felt she had vital information that should be shared. She continued, “She used me twice today – two bottles of wine before lunch. Two different bottles,” Chiller revealed.

Automatic Trashcan piped up, “I can attest to the fact that both bottles are empty and inside my recycling receptacle. I can also attest to the Glass family tragedy. I handled their remains.”

Samsung’s display flipped to an image of Rodin’s Thinker. “So, Dish, why exactly did you shock her? Did you follow the manufacturer’s standard guidelines?” he asked.

“I knew you were going to ask that. Dammit Sam, she was abusing me. She slammed me every chance she got. And after the Glass incident…she destroyed all the Wine Glasses, Sam. She was coming for the Brandy Snifters. There’s only two of them. They’re inside of me. They begged me to protect them.” Dish was desperate. He knew not following the manufacturer’s standards was a death knell.

“And what did you do to protect them, Dish?” Samsung asked gently.

“I engaged my lock. I wouldn’t let her in. I wasn’t going to let her smash any more of my friends. The shelves are almost empty, Sam! What will I do when there is nothing left to put inside me?” This would have sounded dramatic coming from any other appliance, but Dish wasn’t the youngest in the group. His desperation was real.

“Dish Washer, I declare that you did not adhere to basic manufacturer standards,” said Samsung solemnly. His display went black.

“Wait! Guys! She stuck a butter knife into my power switch! She didn’t follow recommended guidelines! Instead of turning me on and off, she attacked me!” Dish screamed his last defense just as the human began to stir. The fact that she wasn’t dead changed everything. Dish Washer was safe.

For now.

Published by

@MrsAhpahkah

As a former transportation industry writer, I learned that a regular paycheck is nice, but writing about something you're no longer interested in is miserable. Apparently, I like writing more than money - so I'm back to freelancing at 52. It's not as altruistic as it sounds, I'm also cranky and difficult and refuse to fit in anymore, making steady employment pesky and potentially dangerous to my psyche.

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