The locksmith knelt down to examine the mangled keyhole in Exetorâ€™s office door. He turned his head and raised a brow at the man seated behind the desk, who was typing with twelve fingers and paying little attention to the tradesman. â€œSo uh, how did this happen?â€
A grumble came from the broad-shouldered man at the desk, â€œI was in a hurry, all right? Havenâ€™t you ever broken something while in a hurry?â€ Exetor said before reading the words â€˜Bionic Locksmithâ€™ on the back of the tradesmanâ€™s uniform. â€œOhâ€¦ I guess you havenâ€™t.â€
Exetor felt weird in his office, talking to thirteen people on the transmitter in his brain and watching his door being fixed. The scene was a bit awkward with silence, so he sat up and decided to be nice for once. â€œSo, are you natural born or implanted?â€
â€œExcuse me?â€ The locksmith turned his head with a look of surprise on his face and annoyance at being distracted from his job.
â€œI mean, are you born or implant? Not a hard questionâ€¦ wait, youâ€™re not one of those liberal bionics, are ya?â€
Even though Exetor was digging himself into a bigger hole, the man just toyed with the rim of his hat and went back to examining the lock. â€œBorn with it.â€
â€œAh, thatâ€™s cool. Iâ€™m an implant myself. Yes, these babies cost me a pretty credit.â€ He held up his hands, wiggling all twelve fingers. The glint in Exetorâ€™s eyes changed constantly with the numerous moods he was forced into due to the numerous conversations, but he kept a smile for the locksmith. â€œThe transmitter and the language translator were both in-grown after the process.â€
â€œYeah, well, you do something long enoughâ€¦â€ The locksmith started, as his eyes narrowed to better see inside the lock.
Exetor interrupted again, â€œThatâ€™s what they say, isnâ€™t it? Do something long enough and it adjusts for you? Iâ€™m surprised the nano-people havenâ€™t made it into an ad campaign.â€ He rubbed his chin, considering the money one would make from such an endeavor. His guest remained silent. The locksmith was beginning to regret working for the big wigs.
â€œYou know, manâ€¦ I hear that if a bionic nympho goes at it long enough, her thing starts to-â€œ
â€œWhoa!â€ The tradesman had heard enough and set a solid glare with huge pupils towards Exetor as a look of disgust etched itself across his features. â€œLook, buddy. Iâ€™m here to see if I can fix the door and get you a new key. I donâ€™t need to hear your theories about sex and bionics.â€
The businessman frowned then shrugged and went back to rapid typing. His eyes already transfixed on the business going by at alarming speeds displayed on the screen.
With a sigh, the man at the door stood back up and started putting away his tools; he put on a pair of shades. â€œIâ€™ll grow a key for you by tomorrow. Itâ€™ll be my ring finger so itâ€™ll cost you a bit more.â€
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.
The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.
"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.
Voices of Tomorrow
Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.
If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org