Hello darling blog readers and especially visitors from Jeremy Bates Halloween Blog Hop. Here is a short spooky story I wrote a long time ago. If you like it, leave a comment please. And don't forget to check out the other bloggers who are also participating. Just click on the logo!
A long time ago there lived an enlightened man called Buddha, who preached (amongst other things) the avoidance of accumulating material goods. His philosophy survives to this day and is known as Buddhism. This story, however, is concerned with an opposing doctrine, whose figurehead, Steve, once shared my apartment. Surely you’ve heard of Stevism? It has an authentic ring to it, doesn’t it? Stevism—the cult of domestic appliances.
Some time ago I put an ad in the paper for a flat mate, and Steve replied. He seemed very nice. He didn’t smoke. He had no pets. And he moved in within the week: he and his gadgets. I used to think the garlic press was a mechanical luxury. That is, until Steve moved in. The kitchen now had an electric can opener, electric knife, blender, liquidiser, microwave oven, cappuccino maker and small goods slicer. The only true luxury now was bench space. It wasn’t long before the house was crawling with double adaptors and extension cords, a veritable circulatory system for the sustenance of Steve’s electric organs.
In his room at night, he used an air revitaliser. I don’t know why he didn’t simply leave the window open and have saved himself four hundred dollars. And in the mornings his electronic alarm sounded through my wall. It was like a large van backing up over my head. I’d lie, wide awake, imagining and hoping it was a moving van—taking Steve away.
The hissing of the cappuccino maker would come next, accompanied by the vroom of the small goods slicer. Cappuccino and thin sliced salami on microwaved croissants—again. Couldn’t he have had just a plain coffee once in a while? Steve’s electric toothbrush vibrating the entire house signalled breakfast over, meanwhile my tea bags soaked silently in their pot.
Then there was his smugness! ‘Why don’t you use the toaster?’ he’d ask me as if I were some kind of electricity shy Neanderthal. I’d shrug, and display what (imaginatively) might pass for a smile.
Apart from revitalised air, cappuccino, and thin sliced salami, Steve loved game shows which he watched on his large format colour television set. Every night I’d come home and find him in front of it, remote control by his side and feet up on his thermal massage pillow. He’d stay like that for hours.
I suppose what I hated most was the constant noise. From the time he moved in, in some part of the house, something would be beeping, humming, clicking, or vibrating.
Looking back I sometimes think it may have been easier to have simply asked Steve to leave. But all I needed for my enterprise was readily at hand. The electric knife worked beautifully. The microwave oven worked a treat too, and the liquidiser—they say human beings are 92% water. I used the shrill sounding small goods slicer on his you-know-what: and believe me, never had an appliance been more aptly named.
He isn’t really gone. Steve’s still here, but in the basement now. Liquidised, microwaved, and apportioned in a great number of various sized and shaped jars. Each has a little oil on top, and a sprig of mint, to keep him fresh. Same as the toothpaste he liked to use, on his electric toothbrush.
This story is from my novella and short story collection, All Windows Open. If you pledge $20 - cheap! (or $30 outside of Australia) to my Pozible Project you will receive good karma, eternal thankfulness and an excellent book to read!