View Full Version : Oh the Humanity

10-26-07, 11:32 AM
(This is my first short stoy in about six years. I haven't touched fiction in a while, but the other day this came to me.)

From the moment he walked into the office Horatio knew something wasn’t right.

The receptionist, who was usually very flirtatious, greeted him with disdain. Several disco balls illuminated the hallway leading down to the sales floor. The motivational paintings had all been replaced by holographic images of dogs playing chess. When Horatio reached the sales floor he was stunned by the lack of noise. Usually the room was deafening on a Wednesday with the sounds of victory as well as the agony of defeat.

The sales floor itself was very average. Four rows of cubicle paradise filled almost every inch of the room. The cubes were slightly taller than Horatio and on most days they blocked the light from the windows. Today the windows had somehow been moved to the ceiling. However, there was no light coming through because a storm was passing over the area. He knew there was a storm because all of the windows in the ceiling were open and he was getting quite wet.

Horatio didn’t know much about building, but he did know that it was virtually impossible to move windows overnight. Something was definitely wrong, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Horatio was the kind of person who tried to remain calm in the face of adversity. He shrugged his shoulders and decided not to let these developments rattle him.

“Morning Horatio,” said his cube neighbor Bob.

Bob was a decent worker, but today he had no backbone.


Horatio did a double take as he realized Bob, who had once been a short average looking man with glasses, was now a gelatinous blob with glasses.

“Bob,” Horatio said trying to remain calm, “What happened to you?”

“What do you mean Hor?”

“Ummm, nothing. Never mind. I think I am going to go see the boss.”

The boss was the only one in the company who had his own office. Usually the office door was open and the blinds on the windows up. The boss liked to keep a very close eye on the important comings and goings. Most of the employees hoped he paid more attention to the comings and less to the goings. This morning the door was shut and the blinds were down. Horatio had no time to worry about being polite. There were unexplainable things going on all around him.

He knocked twice, opened the door quickly and then regretted his actions immensely. The boss was in naked and lying on top of his big oak desk. The nudity itself wasn’t as strange the fact that Horatio’s wife was also in the office, in the buff and sitting in a position that would have made a Yoga master proud.

“Horatio,” the boss said calmly, “this is awkward. I’ve been with your wife for months now. Today I had the urge to have her at the office. I’m sorry to say that due to your discovery I am going to have to terminate you. The good news is you are the Employee of the Month and won a twenty dollar gift certificate to the local movie theater.”

“Wait a minute,” Horatio was losing his temper now, “you mean to tell me you are making love to my wife and I am the one getting fired?”

“No,” the boss replied pressing a button, “I am terminating your life. Waiting for you to get divorced is too long and I can’t be worried about the whole revenge thing.”

Horatio heard a noise behind him and turned to see hundreds of robots with glaring red eyes come crashing in through the ceiling. Each of the robots had very big guns for hands and all the hands were pointed at him. Horatio ducked as the robots fired wildly. One of the blasts hit his wife and made a huge whole in her stomach.

“Oh my.” said his wife, “so much for the life insurance.”

The robots started fired at anything that moved. They seemed to be having a really good time killing things and Horatio was glad someone was getting joy out of this day. He ran out of the room and sprinted towards reception. All that was left of the receptionist was her head, which was still talking on its wireless earpiece. There was an especially large robot guarding the door. It pulled a Phason Sword out of a small compartment on its leg.

“Face me or join me,” it said in a voice that sounded very familiar.

Suddenly he realized what was wrong.

Horatio pulled the virtual cube out of the slot in his head. He looked around the chamber, but didn’t see anyone. Then out of the corner of his fifth eye he spotted something that didn’t belong.

“I see you Glazbachtal.” He shouted floating down towards the shape, ‘I knew someone had messed around with my game.”

Glazbachtal floated out of the shadows towards his brother.

“Okay I did it. Why do you play that stupid humanity game? It’s really stupid and boring. There’s not one Phason Sword or decapitation.”

Horatio smacked his brother in the tentacle, “My inner-brain loves the challenges. Figuring out who is going to stab you in the back at the office or if your spouse is cheating on you is fantastic fun. The intensity level in this game is like nothing I have ever experienced before.”

“I don’t know,” Glazbachtal said, “It sounds insane to me.”

“Well of course,” laughed Horation, “that’s why it’s a game. No intelligent being could live like that every day. If that’s what my life was like it would drive me crazy.”