Flash Fiction #162

Robbie Robot

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

DANGER, WILL ROBINSON

I hid out in my barbershop on the mezzanine, but I didn’t hear any screams, so I sneaked out.  “Is it gone?”, I asked the fellow beside me at the rail.  “Is it really The Day The Earth Stood Still, I heard that there was a hundred-foot robot stalking the mall, shooting laser beams, and it zapped some poor woman.”

“You don’t get out much, do you, Mr. Conspiracy Theory?  It’s just the security drone. Have you never seen it, too dumb to even sidestep the fountain?  That’s gonna take a lot of paper towels.  I hope the warrantee’s valid.”

AmphiRobot

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Flash Fiction #157

Amazon

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

CURSES, AMAZONED AGAIN

Poor forlorn shopping mall, not long ago, it was visited and loved by many. It was chock-a-block, cheek-by-jowl with teeming throngs of shoppers.  If you felt someone else’s hand in your pocket, it wasn’t a pickpocket.  It was just the guy beside you trying to reach his wallet.

Sadly, times and technologies change. Now, people buy things they can’t feel, hold, try, or try on, online, and little toy helicopters deliver them to your door.  I miss the milling crowds, almost as much as the forlorn mall merchants do.  At least I can get a parking space near the door.

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Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

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As a personal pat on my own back, today’s 100-word Flash Fiction is my number 900 published blog-post.  I know of a couple of bloggers who have been at this for over 10 years.  At least one of them has surpassed the 2000 mark.  Plod, plod, plod, I am better than the May-flies who flutter in and die after a few posts, or the uncommitted, who post “I know I haven’t published anything in over a year…”

Friday Fictioneers

SkyNet Is Postponed

Terminator

Despite the hard labors of a lot of capable people, who work their neurons to the bone(head), A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), the SkyNet that so many people already fear, will still be some time coming.  There are a few little kinks and quirks to be ironed out.

AmphiRobot

The above photo is a screen capture from a mall security camera. What might look like a splashed-down North Korean nuclear nose-cone in a mall fountain, is actually a semi-autonomous security robot.  It’s a kind of flightless drone, with wheels, rather than wings; really, just an overgrown Roomba with a few upgrades, mindlessly ricocheting off all obstacles, human and otherwise, while constantly, wirelessly sending CCTV images back to a monitor in a security office.

One lady Apple worker from Cupertino, wanted to dance with one in San Francisco. The mere presence of these things makes people feel safe and happy.  This one just didn’t receive enough upgrades though.  Someone forgot to download the ‘@Walking On Water’ app.  It’s a good thing that it didn’t manage to bumble out the mall’s front doors.  It probably would have been run down by a self-driving car that swerved to avoid a plastic shopping bag, swirling in the wind.

They’re built by a company with the sinister name of Knightscope, evoking the thought of ‘night vision devices’. “We can see you, and know what you’re doing, even in the dark.” Our not-so-little belly flopper is Model K7.  It/they still have a long way to go, before they’re the equal of another Knight Industries self-aware vehicle, with a K-model number – the Knight Industries Two Thousand, K.I.T.T. car of TV’s Knight Rider.

😆

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRAINRANTS!

Birthday Cake

I sent BrainRants a birthday present!

From comments on previous years’ posts, I knew that BrainRants’ birthday was some time late in January. Using stalker senses honed by sticking my nose into Cordelia’s Mom’s business, I found a link to the employment consultant who was aiding him in obtaining suitable civilian employment.

She’s a lovely lady. Wanting to surprise Rants, I sent her a package, along with a note, asking if she could discreetly forward it to Mrs. BrainRants.  No black helicopters came winging north over the border, only an email saying, “Can do, and did!”

Rants’ new bride doesn’t know me from Santa Claus.  Inside the shipping envelope I included another note, asking if she could hand him the final package on the fateful day.  She obviously knows of his blogging, and coterie of blog-friends.

Perhaps the arrival of strange bundles, delivered in odd ways, isn’t all that unusual. All I know is that the FBI didn’t ask the RCMP to stop around and ask some pointed questions.

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During my ongoing housecleaning, I realised that I possessed two commemorative medallions, one bronze, the other aluminum, honoring astronauts, and the Apollo 11 and 12, 1960s Moon Missions. Knowing of Rants’ interest in science, NASA and the moon, I wondered if he might have any interest in them.

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I included a shield-shaped Canada shoulder patch which I picked up the day I went to photograph the tank and Spitfire.  I doubt that he has uniforms anymore.  The army made him turn all his stuff in.  He would only wear one for a special occasion, and the Maple Leaf patch would not be allowed because it is non-regulation.

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No cost was spared when I packaged his coins in the Costco box I received my membership-renewal Christmas gift card in.

While not ‘strange’, my plan was unexpected and unannounced. Mrs. Rants was apparently willing to go along with it.  She sneaked out an email to confirm that she had received his gift, and presented it to him.  I received another, from him, thanking me for my little piece of thoughtfulness.

This sending of physical packages and actual printed letters seems almost outdated in today’s electronic society. I couldn’t use a drone, because the DC area is a no-fly zone.  Somebody, perhaps Rants himself, would have shot it down.

If you haven’t already, drop in to his site, wish him a Happy Belated Birthday, and really make him feel old. I had hoped that another gift might be the ability to announce that he has secured gainful and productive employment.  We waited – but none of us as hard as him, and now everyone’s wish has been granted.  He scored a job – cube-drone trainee, working under Dilbert.  Still got the training wheels on. Good Luck, Rants, and thanx.  😎

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The presents, as they sit proudly in Rants’ house, at an undisclosed location in the Eastern USA.   😆