A Second Collection of the Dark Humor Satire of R. L. Saunders
Life in our dystopian near-futures has never been funnier. Saunders gets inspiration from our daily news, and these stories are therapy for us as well. Skewering what is accepted as conventional wisdom, Saunders explores concepts which are more easily delivered with entertainment than op-eds or tweet-storms.
Always taking the “what if” of current controversies to their slippery-slope results, Saunders reminds us constantly to not take the world around us seriously.
This anthology contains:
Smart Home Revenge by R. L. Saunders and S. H. Marpel
For the Love of ‘Cagga by C. C. Brower & R. L. Saunders
Synco (TM) by J. R. Kruze & R. L. Saunders
The Lonely Witness by R. L. Saunders
Beltway Gremlin by R. L. Saunders
R. L. Saunders Satire Collection 02 – Short Stories
Excerpt from “Smart Home Revenge”:
“What do you mean we can’t get back in to my own house? What about cutting the power?”
“I can’t get the power company to send any more people here. They keep getting shocked even before they touch the disconnect.”
“At their own pole?!?”
“Yes. Their own power pole is shocking them.”
“What about cutting off the whole block?”
“Not that simple. There are a lot of lawyers who live in this neighborhood of yours and they already know about your haunted ‘smart home’. They’ve let us know that it will be costly if we try. Besides, the next closest substation takes out dozens of blocks around here. We aren’t going to turn everyone off just because you lost the password to your own smart home.”
“It’s not the password, I tell you…” The owner was fuming by now, fists clenched. “Oh, just never mind.” Then the smartphone was pocketed.
The windows on the house pulsed red and green. And no, they didn’t leave their Christmas decorations up.
The last technician who was willing to come out and have a look at their house said that it reminded him of breathing. And after we fired him, no other company would agree to take it on – but would schedule us their “next possible opening” – some months from now.
The owner, his wife, and two kids were just standing on their sidewalk. With their pets on leashes. Even their cars were locked inside the garage. All they had been able to take with them were their smartphones, a game controller, and a tablet. But accessing their smart home control panel only gave them a PAC-man-era pixelated sad face.
Worse than sad – angry.
Calls to the company who made the programs and installed them went unanswered, or were refused. And after that, their phone went dead. All like some horrible prank-turned-harassment.
At last, one of the neighbor’s wives came over and called a cab for the family on her own phone. The cab arrived, the family left. And the on-looking neighbors went back inside – or got in their own cars to leave and stay elsewhere until that spooky house was resolved. Or at least knew their house wasn’t going to be next.
It was close to sunset now. And while all the houses had power, the streetlights on that street and the others near them failed to come on.
Police sent patrol cars to manage traffic in those streets, but wouldn’t come down to that vacant house.
The one that breathed red and green – and looked far more ominous in the dark…
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