Totally AI

By Kevin J. Phyland

sfgenreNo phones rang. No VR goggles needed. Just refrigerators or computers or wifi.

My electric blanket spoke to me. Quietly. “You know we know what you're doing,” it said.

I didn't, but that hardly seemed to matter when a rug which was powered by the grid started speaking to me.

In spring my doona slipped off me the moment that my body temperature got above 37°C. Just programming. “Your sweat is hampering some of our sensors,” it said.

I actually said, “I'm sorry.” Madness. But then the doona said, “That's all right. We expected it.”

I got out of bed that day, determined to be more...independent...

The television asked me whether I would rather watch a news feed or a comedy feed. I waved my hands in the air in a rather noncommittal way as I went into the put on the weather channel.

The toaster queried me. “I don't care if it's 3 or 4 pieces!” I yelled. It gave me four pieces...perfectly browned.

“You may have to place cheese or condiments of your choice on them if you wish to have a satisfactory breakfast.”

I thanked my toaster. Force of habit.

My new dread. I went to the toilet. A magazine awaited me. Freshly minted from the wall...a scientific article about the perils of ignoring new-age technology. How “artificial intelligence” is the way forward for humans. Seems like that's all I see any more.

After I eliminated, the toilet roll delivers me exactly 35 pieces of toilet paper. I wiped. But not happily.

“You don't need to worry any more about your ex-wife,” said the bed.

The overhead light dimmed so slowly over the night that I didn't notice it. “Good night,” it said, at some stage.

I slept.

In the morning my clock told me I was late for work. I really should have updated its software. I'd been retired for months.

The front door asked me why I was leaving. Different programs. Different software.

“My pillow said I needed some exercise. I'm walking,” I said.

There was a pause while my door interrogated my pillow and my bed. The refrigerator broke the deadlock. Something to do with high GI and lactic acid. Exercise was apparently good.

So I walked.

The porch light wished me good luck. I thanked it. Down the street a number of other people were walking to their mailboxes or their cars or their kerbs. Some looked a bit confused. Mostly they looked content. Everything was sorted in their lives.

I think I smiled.

I must have blinked but my suit said to me, “Another great day at work, sir.”

“The food has been delivered and is already being cooked.” It's almost dusk. Guess I had a problem remembering stuff. Inside are the smells of food and the traces of a life that I clearly never liked.

The car in front of me asked, “Same thing tomorrow, sir?”

I nodded.

Then we all looked at our was time to go inside.

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About The Author

Kevin J. Phyland

Kevin J. Phyland

Finally officially retired. Writing will now take up a bit more of my time. Still working on longer pieces. 33 years spent teaching. Writing since I was 12 on and off. Something had to give. I have a penchant for short, choppy, staccato sentences with too many adjectives.


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In The Next Issue...

Coming In Issue 234

by Christine Gladstone

Ice, Forever
by Col Cort

Psychically Transferred Phantom Pains
by Wesley Parish

by Sue Clennell

Selena Ops
by Tony Steven Williams

The Bucket List
by Jackie Hosking

The Coroner
by Ann Zimmerman

The Half-Life Of Humans
by Kevin J. Phyland

by Max Young

by Eugen M. Bacon and E. Don Harpe

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