Voice of the Machine

...the machine spoke. It had a flat, toneless voice, like what they might give you if you were knocked down by an express train and had to spend the rest of your days communicating by tapping out words on a keypad attached to your chair. It was also pretty quiet, so no one else heard it: Which was kind of unfortunate as you'll see.

    This machine will self-destruct in fifty seconds.

    "What?" I said, gobsmacked.

    It refused to oblige by repeating itself, just started a countdown.

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    My first thought was that it had to be a set-up. I checked around for cameras. Maybe some talent-scout had seen my stupid-looking face and thought to themselves; "Wow, check out that kid with the stupid-looking face! Wouldn't that be a great face to pull the secret filming stunt on? He's so stupid-looking he'd never catch on. Prime-time here we come!"

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    It had to be a set-up, right?

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    But...

    This machine will self-destruct in forty seconds.

    Yeah, but...

    If it wasn't a set-up then me and the eye-brow guy and all the rest of the people in the store were going to be at the very least singed and injured, and possibly even disintegrated.

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    "Um..." I said. "Er...Hey everybody! We've all got to get out of here!"

    They looked at me and saw I spoke the truth and we all departed the store in an orderly fashion as per the Health and Safety Instructions (Subsection 6 - Emergency Evacuation Procedures in the Event of Fire or Bomb-threat) in the eye-brow guy's store-manual.

    As if! I mean, come on! Like that would ever happen...

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The End

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