Author: Jules Jensen
Rock sat in a cool café, taking a respite from the punishing hot summer heat that filled the dusty small town. She was sure she was heinously offending the patrons there by putting her booted feet up on the table, but she didn’t care. As far as she was concerned, they could go fornicate themselves.
She smirked sourly. She hated censorship. And she knew that the people around her were at least annoyed with it, but they weren‘t openly complaining. Their chips were upgraded recently, she could tell, because there was a lot of strange phrases swirling around the room. A couple sitting near her were the loudest, their chips not quite holding back their frustration to prevent them from ‘making a scene’.
“-and then this glorious middle started yesterday morning-”
“I meant giant midge. No, migraine!”
“Oakley. I mean, okay.”
Another conversation had a couple of men with red faces looking quite angry but talking in a methodically calm manner.
“-the carpet hit the lyre-”
“-my cart got the rebuked-”
“-I mean the carpet caught on fire!”
“-my cat got the pukes-”
There was something a little extra messed-up going on here with the auto-correct, and it angered Rock. Someone was screwing around with the innocent people in the café.
“This is bullshit!” Rock exclaimed quite loudly, and suddenly the whole café went quiet. She sighed in exasperation, let her feet thud to the floor, then she stood up with exaggerated slowness. She resettled her knee-length leather duster over her shoulders and tugged her hat lower.
“What kind of society have we become that you’re not all strangling each other with this auto-correct bullshit spewing from your pie-holes?” As she spoke, Rock looked around, trying to find the culprit. Everyone was staring at her in open-mouthed horror that she’d dare say anything that could be offensive. “And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am censoring myself, because I’m not a complete ass, but at least I have a choice.”
In the back of the café, someone started to quietly leave, and Rock smirked. She pointed at the scrawny teenage boy.
“Hold it right there, four-eyes.”
“That’s a hurtful term!” Someone else complained pitifully.
“Shut up.” Rock snarled and then stepped closer to the scrawny kid, who looked ready to ruin his underwear at the prospect that someone might actually invade his personal space. “Don’t ya’ll give a damn that this guy has been hacking into all your chips and screwing with your auto-correct parameters?”
“We know he’s doing it. We reported him to the authorities.” Someone said.
“But you’re all just sitting here, ignoring him, as if that’ll make him go away.” Rock came right up to the hacker. “See, I’m old-fashioned. I believe that when someone is doing me wrong, I tell them exactly what I think of their cowardly, selfish, childish, moronic death-wish!”
“Death-wish?” The hacker asked in a squeaky voice, his whole body trembling.
“Because if they keep it up, I’m going to start beating the crap out of them.” And with that, Rock grabbed his laptop and threw it to the floor, where the startling sound caused people to scream, and probably would make them require therapy, but she didn’t care. She stomped on the device hard enough to make the case crack, and then she turned on the spot and strode to the swinging doors of the café. She paused and looked at the stunned crowd. “Did I insult your thin-skinned, weak-kneed, politically correct feelings? I’m so fucking sorry.”
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
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