#30 I Hate HIM

by J.M. Cochrane

The fridge is depressed, the microwave is lonely, and the toaster is jealous of the kettle. Nina rued the day that she installed HIM—the Homewares Intelligence Mechanism that gave her house a wavering sentience. “Your life will become so much easier,” promised the sales assistant.

It was true, at first. The moment she’d plugged HIM in, her oven had politely piped up, “My element’s on the way out, dearie. Could you buy me a new one when you’ve the time?” She was told when to replace batteries, when to buy milk, and was woken each morning by her clock’s cheery rendition of “Walking On Sunshine.”

Then one day her washing machine paused mid-cycle. “Oi, Nina!” it slurred around the panties and soap. “Why don’tcha hop in? I’ll take ya for a spin!”

Disgusted, Nina pulled the plug and went to make a soothing cup of tea. “Surprise, surprise!” drawled her toaster.

“Sorry?” Nina asked wearily.

“Oh, nothing,” it snarked. “I mean, of course you’re using the kettle. You always do.” The immobile appliance seemed almost to quiver on the counter. “But what about me?”

Toasters that needed consoling. Washers that could be sued for sexual harassment. Nina could only stand the cacophonous complaints of her home for so long before she ripped HIM from the wall, leaving the wires to hang like severed veins. She triumphantly dropped the hardware into the bin with a solid thunk.

She turned to leave, and—

“Careful, mate,” the bin chided. “That hurt.”


C. Sonberg Larson said...

Very cool. You rolled out a solid story in so few words and managed to make inanimate objects characters that creep out the reader. Groovy!

Deb said...

Fantastic! I can't stand my wired smoke alarms, so HIM would definitely be too much. Well done!

Unknown said...

Love this! Fantastic little story!

MyInkyFingers said...

Tea, anyone? Nice!

Jonathan Riley said...

“Why don’tcha hop in? I’ll take ya for a spin!” This line made me laugh hard. Great little story.

J.M. Cochrane said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, everyone! I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the new home security systems being marketed. Such an invasion of privacy and you've put it into words in a flash!