Friday, 26 October 2012

Flash Fiction: Home Sweet Home


He watched in disgust as the man walked amongst the red lights in search for a green. Once he found one, he produced the small piece of aluminium that he had stowed away in his pocket, put it in the slot in the door, and walked inside. The small, plain building morphed into the house that was encrypted on the aluminium. Home. Tomorrow the man would remove the piece of metal and probably put it in another slot. The next day he would change slots again, and the day after that, and the day after that.

They all did.

Charles despised the way technology had progressed. It had once amazed him, thus his career choice as an electrical technician. But now it merely gave him a source of aggravation. Technology had crossed the line; its amelioration had cost him his job – his entire career – and now his home.

He walked up to a door with a green light and inserted his own aluminium piece into the slot. When he opened the door he was met with his hallway, just the way he had left it that morning. He went outside; his door was blue and the hedges trimmed from the several hours he’d put in during the weekend to tidy them up. But there was one thing that he knew wouldn’t be right. He stepped inside, strolled over to his bedroom window. It had once embraced the most beautiful sight, but not anymore. The busy main roads were a demotion from the sea waves that would crash into the rocks on the edge of the beach he used to live by.

No, he did not like technology of today. Thanks to technology, there was no such thing as living someplace anymore. People would leave a house and someone else would claim it. That’s why Charles was where he was now.

He wasn’t having any of it; he stood up. If they wanted to keep up to date with technology, that’s fine. But he didn’t. He wanted things the way they used to be. He went downstairs to the basement, grabbed the tool kit. He left the house, watched it change to the simple plain white house with a green light that it was before, and walked purposefully to the beach.

Charles peeked through the window at the couple watching TV in his house. “There are two flaws in this new technology,” he whispered darkly as he traced the piece of metal sticking out of the slot with a finger. “One: you cannot lock the houses from the outside. Two...” He pulled the aluminium piece out and watched as everything disappeared inside the house with a flash of red and then green. “...that can happen.”

It didn’t take too much work to fit a lock into the door and weld a piece of sheet metal over his aluminium piece in the slot. He admired the view from his window and smiled.

Home sweet home.

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