Founded 2015 by students of “How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writer’s,”
writing course created by writer and teacher Holly Lisle.
Hello and Welcome to the Storytime Blog Hop! Be prepared to laugh, cry, scream, shiver, and have fun. You'll find lots of stories and I'm sure, many scary ones because it IS Halloween time! Are you ready? Enjoy.
An "Old-fashioned" Robot
Photo by Robin Zebrowski @ Flikr
Sorry by J.Q. Rose
“Barbie, I need more coffee.” Joanne held her cup up in the air without taking her eyes away from the news on the thin i-screen in her hand.
In a flash, Barbie, the new robot, heels clicking on the stone floor, moved to the table, took the cup, and filled it to the brim.
Joanne frowned. “Don’t fill it that full. I need to add cream and sugar and there’s no room for it with so much liquid in the cup. Dump it out in the sink, and don’t fill it to the top of the cup.” Breaking in a new robot was such a chore. Trying to cover all the tasks needed to be done as well as teaching them human feelings was overwhelming.
“Wait.” Taking the full cup from Barbie’s beautifully manicured hand, she sipped a bit of coffee off the top, dropped the cup and whooshed the coffee out of her mouth. “Ohhhh, that’s burning hot,” she spluttered. Her face twisted in pain from her scorched lips and burnt tongue. Joanne grabbed a glass of apple juice to cool off her mouth.
Looking at Barbie through watery eyes, she said, “Dammit. Here I am trying to help you out so you won’t spill the coffee on the floor all the way to the sink, but instead I burned my mouth.” Her voice pitched up higher and louder.
“That must give you a lot of pain?” Barbie frowned with the correct programmed look of concern on her face.
Joanne wiped away the tears streaming down her cheeks. “Yes, you bet your sweet ass. It gives me a lot of pain.”
Barbie asked, “Excuse me. What is a sweet ass? A nice donkey?”
“Oh never mind.” She pointed her finger at Barbie’s voluptuous chest and jabbed the air with each word. “Remember, when you hurt someone, you always say ‘sorry.’ Got that?”
“Okay. Sorry. Now I know not to fill the cup to the top. I should leave room enough for a teaspoon of cream?”
“That’ll be good.”
“Good morning, everyone.” Joanne’s husband entered the kitchen pod sharply dressed in his uniform. “How’s it going?” He settled himself in the ergonomic chair custom-fit to his tall, thin frame.
“Not so good. I can’t understand why in 2036 the Artificial Intelligence Machine is not more advanced. After over thirty years of development, you’d think they’d be able to program in more common sense.”
He flashed his sparkling blue eyes at Joanne and she had to smile. “You know it takes months to teach our robot helpers what they need to know to do their jobs around here.” He patted her hand. “Be patient.”
Joanne caught Barbie watching them when she looked across the room. The robot didn’t flinch with embarrassment when caught eavesdropping. “Make a note on teaching Barbie she is not to interfere with our personal lives,” she said.
When Joanne glanced back at Barbie, she questioned again why the robot had the shape of a gorgeous model. Joanne’s temper flared seeing her husband googly-eyed checking out Barbie’s slender ass and long legs. The tight white blouse and navy blue shorts hugged her body in just the right places.
Was the look on his face because he was proud of his company’s development of these new and improved machines from the pioneering years when robots were made of metal ducts and put together with bolts? Sure they were now amazing human-like figures that were a thousand times smarter and more mobile, not to mention sexier. No, that look was not one of pride. More like leering at the gorgeous body. Shaking her head, she felt ashamed she was actually jealous of a machine.
“Barbie, you got some hot coffee for me?”
“Yes, sir. Right away.” The dazzling smile Barbie gave to her husband made Joanne’s stomach turn over. “Do you need room in your cup for cream and sugar,” she asked in a sweet lilting voice.
After breakfast, Joanne stood up and hugged her husband grinding her body against his. The deep, lingering kiss should be something he’d remember at work at the A.I. Network division of the Rangers. “I’ll be home early tonight.” His eyebrows rose all the way to the top of his forehead and she smiled. He pinched her on the butt before he left.
Joanne turned around to see Barbie watching her. “When you aren’t assigned a task, you can find something to do like empty the dish bin and put away the dishes and silverware.” She motioned to the cabinets. “The knives and the spatula go in that drawer.”
Pushing her dirty plate, used napkin and silver away from her space, Joanne sat back down at the table and began reading her i-screen again. She took a sip of coffee and spit it back into the cup. “Dammit, Barbie. This coffee is cold. Make another pot of coffee now.”
“Okay. Excuse me. What is a spatula?” Her pleasant expression agitated Joanne. She threw down the cup and screen on the table and marched over to the dish bin. Calling on all of her willpower, she didn’t slap that doll face with the big blue innocent eyes and pull her long blonde hair. “Here,” she said pulling the red spatula out of the bin. “This is a spatula!” She waved the kitchen tool in front of Barbie’s nose. Reaching into the bin again, she yelled, “This is a butcher knife! Okay?”
“Yes, now I know what a spatula is and what a butcher knife is.” She turned away from Joanne and pushed the button on the coffee maker.
Thoughts of murdering the robot pulsed through Joanne’s brain. Can you murder a robot? All she would have to do is pull the power pack.
Get a grip. She’s a machine. She placed her hands at her temples and massaged them deeply to help her calm down.
Joanne heard the heels clicking on the stone floor as Barbie approached. “Here’s your coffee,” she said. As Joanne turned her head to check how full the cup was filled, Barbie poured the entire pot of scalding hot coffee on top of her.
Joanne screamed in pain as the burning liquid coursed into her eyes and scalded her face and neck.
“Sorry,” Barbie said and turned on her heel to finish unloading the dish bin.
# # # #
Thank you for stopping in for the Storytime Blog Hop.
Storytime Blog Hop
October 27, 2016
Click the links below to read more stories by blog hop writers.
Elise VanCise Lady In The Woods
Barbara Lund Spooky Space
Angela Wooldridge Quiet Neighbours
Katharina Gerlach Australian Dream
Karen Lynn The Waves at Midnight
Sherri Conway Ants
Elizabeth McCleary Over James Henry Wilcox Dead Body
Canis Lupus The Picture
Peg Fisher All In the Fall, a Fractured Fairytale
Bill Bush Trapped
Benjamin Thomas Autumn Cascade
Crystal Collier Emily’s Ghost
Viola Fury 911
Juneta Key Shiny People
C. Lee McKenzie Beautiful
Erica Damon Penance'
Looking for a romantic suspense for a Halloween read?
How about one that takes place in a funeral home?
It's FREE on Halloween, October 31, on Amazon!
Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
A handsome detective, a shadow man,
and a murder victim kill Lauren’s plan for a simple life.
Back of the Book: Deadly Undertaking by J.Q. Rose
Lauren Staab knew there would be dead bodies when she returned home. After all, her family is in the funeral business, Staab and Blood Funeral Home. Still, finding an extra body on the floor of the garage between the hearse and the flower car shocked her. Lauren’s plan to return to her hometown to help care for her mother and keep the books for the funeral home suddenly turns upside down in a struggle to prove she and her family are not guilty of murdering the man. But will the real killer return for her, her dad, her brother? Her mother’s secrets, a killer, a handsome policeman, and a shadow man muddle up her intention to have a simple life.
Welcome home, Lauren!
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Halloween Storytime Blog Hop: Sorry by J.Q. Rose, Free eBook
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**hugs** Hi! I think maybe we'd better stick with robots made from metal and vent tubes! I can see a lot of women getting coffee in their faces, if we don't.
Nice story. I thought Barbie would murder the narrator in the end and then say, "Sorry." But this was very satisfying too.
Oh dear! Bad robot. Maybe we should re-think this idea of artificial intelligence if those minions are going to turn out to be so human in the end.
I was queasy with the whole A.I thing before, being in comp sci. Can't say I'm reassured one bit; good story though. There's always the hacking aspect, as last week's DDoS and the mumbletones of DYN did nothing to reassure anyone that this was isolated. Just me, and I know too much. Thanks again for sharing!
I had to chuckle. I thought the robot would kill her too. You talk about your thoughts influencing a situation, her's kind of did,lol. Thank you for playing with us too.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit
Great little story, JQ! Fun, funny, and creepy, all at the same time :D
Oh my, JQ. I didn't see where that was going. Pretty cute. I've shared.
Yikes! Better the coffee than the butcher knife though.
Ouch! I promise to be nice to my robots!
Oh, I loved it, JQ! What a great story. Love the whole idea of the husband designing a Barbie robot, and the robot fighting back. I did wonder about the butcher's knife. Nice touch!
Thank you to each one of you for taking the time to read my crazy story and to leave a comment. I'm having an eye problem this week, so please forgive me for not individually thanking you. So fun to see all the various comments. Really enjoyed being part of this blog hop, meeting new writers, and reading such well-written, creative blogs. Looking forward to December!
What a great story, JQ! I really enjoyed it!!!
Nice story, I have never been and will never be a fan of AI. I watch and read too much SciFi and this just adds to my feeling. No robots in my home ever.
*ironically I have to click 'I'm not a robot' to post this haha
Oh my. That's not a robot I want in my home. Yikes! Of course, with the way her husband was eyeing the thing, I'm not sure I'd want him in my house either. Loved the story!
Thank you Susan, Erica and Crystal. Glad you enjoyed the story.
Finally getting caught up on the rest of the hop.
Great story - definitely evoked some emotions in this reader!
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