The Grave Little Toster
By: Chester Gifford
Janet was preparing her morning breakfast as she always did. It was a dark morning. She dreaded work. The lab was a cold and dismal place and her research into nanotech was getting nowhere. She couldn’t fathom the 12 hour shift she was about to have to pull.
She turned on the stove and cracked three eggs into it. She then grabbed some bread out of the cupboard. She threw it into the toaster and pushed down the lever. She then continued about her breakfast routine and sat down at the table. Then, realizing she forgot the toast, she got back up.
She approached the toaster and placed her fingers only slightly into the opening. The toaster then shot up from the counter, Janet marveled at the springs which were launching it upward rather than recoiling in horror. She was still in a morning daze. The opening at the top of the toaster was now surrounding her fingers as razor sharp claws clamped down on her hand. Blood shot out from the opening and she could hear it sizzle on the cooking elements, along with her fingers now hopelessly trapped inside.
She screamed in horror as the toaster, seemed to look at he with its cocked blinking lights on the front. The lights which were previously LEDs Janet could now see housed fiber optic lenses.
“AHHHH! GET OFF ME GET OFF ME AHHHH!” She screamed.
She hobbled over to the silverware drawer and grabbed a butter knife. She jammed it into the jaw like opening on the toaster. She attempted to pry. As she did, as if it knew what she was doing, the toaster’s jaws clamped shut. And janet was free. It lept back a couple of feet as did Janet. She then realized the horror of what it was doing.
She looked down at her hand. She was missing her middle ring and pinky fingers. A jagged slant went from the second knuckle of her middle finger to the base of her pinky finger which was entirely consumed. She oggled it in horror, feeling nearly no pain, but a rush instead. She noticed a silver fluid surrounding the cut. It was like the toaster had saliva. It looked like mercury.
She recognized it. She knew it well. They were nanites. She had been working on prototypes at Boston Dynamic but so far had been unable to get them to replicate or work together. Clearly they had found a way. They must have hitched a ride home on her body somewhere and multiplied. Suddenly she lost focus of her hand, her instincts were kicking in, the toaster was hopping around on its springs and positioning to leap directly at her face. She caught it in mid air. It was fiery hot. She threw it across the room. It began leaping back at her as she grabbed a chair from her table. She was now glad that she had opted for the metal and glass dining set as opposed to the oak set the salesman tried to talk her into.
She came down on the toaster and it was dented. Now its hopping was off kelter but it was still attemping to come at her. Another blow. Another. Another. She continued to beat the kitchenware until it was little more than twitching motors and wiring.
Now she felt the pain. Her hand throbbed and stung. Her fingers hurt despite their being gone. She searched for her cell phone. She dialed 911. She put the cell phone to her face and then realized the stupidity of what she’d done. She threw it across the room as it exploded, with a notable boom. Had she waited a second longer she would have surely been killed. Now her can opener sprang to life, the blade which was supposed to be only a quarter inch long was now 6 inches long and probing in and out. Two telescoping fiber cameras shot from its bowels and a propeller began rising from the top of it.
Janet ran, as fast as she could. She dodged her flat screen which was tearing itself from her wall, and her printer which was spitting acid from its cartridges. She dove out the front door and kicked it shut behind her. She began looking around her suburban neighborhood as she noticed several unpiloted and highly modified cars were closing in on her at impossible speed.
She closed her eyes.
By: Chester Gifford