Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bite-Sized Story Special: “Alarm”

I’ve started playing around with the short-short story form just to see what happens. Here is today’s effort. I hope you enjoy it!


Leviathan Customer Review: Slow Wake Liquid Sunlight Alarm

by Binarystar673

I’m extremely displeased with this product, and I’m sending it back. I need to keep my body clock strictly regulated. I don’t like to throw my name around, but without revealing too much, let’s just say that six years ago, I sold a very popular start-up to a very large tech firm, and now I’m a target for the CIA. They send spy cam drones to my compound at irregular intervals, so I need to have my wits about me at all times. This clock claims to wake you up slowly, but it didn’t wake me up at all. It just sat there eking out some feeble little “beams” and as a result, I overslept by forty-five minutes and my whole morning was shot. My Clover espresso was cold and my neuromodulation chip misfired, so as I write this I have tremors. My Gluv Box doesn’t get here until tomorrow, so my hands are ruined until then unless I can re-configure my chip, and I don’t have time today because I have a text session with my remote therapist, and I have to reorganize my bitters cabinet because Buoz Box sent me the wrong shipment again. In short, this product in no way lived up to its promise to “gently awaken you to the world with natural pineal-gland stimulus.” One and half tentacles only because I liked the brushed metal.

Leviathan Customer Review: Professor Irena’s Apt Sleeper Smart Alarm

by Binarystar673

Another slickly-marketed device that fails to fulfill its promise. Putting “Professor” in its name does nothing to disguise its pathetically weak so-called challenges. Its website says that it “smoothly brings you to peak lucidity by asking you to solve a series of increasingly difficult mathematical equations until you are fully alert, mentally sharp, and prepared to meet the challenges of the day.” I don’t know what kind of moronic first-grade teacher wrote its “mathematical equations,” but its laughably simplistic multivarious calculus is beyond a joke. Worse than that, if you happen to have less than 20/20 eyesight (mine is almost perfect, but not quite,) you might accidently hit the wrong answer selection, and therefore have to endure this product’s exponentially shrill and discordant screeching. Thanks to this train wreck of a product, once again my entire day has been set off course. I have to schedule a remote emergency session with my audiologist because I’m pretty sure I sustained not-inconsequential damage to my cochlea, and instead of enjoying my weekly biome-balancing juicing session, I spent the morning picking glass out of my foot when I accidently stepped on the broken shards of this disaster after I slammed it onto my marble floor. I will not take responsibility for its cheap and shoddy design, so I am returning the pieces to the company, complete with the literal blood of my suffering. Fortunately for them, I don’t like to mention this, but six years ago, I sold a very popular start-up to a very large tech firm, so I could throw my name around if I wanted to, but all I’m asking for is a refund and a sincere apology. One tentacle.

Leviathan Customer Review: Wake-and-Bacon Fryer Alarm

by Binarystar673

Where do I even begin? I followed the instructions exactly, but nonetheless, I awoke choking on the stench of smoke and flawed product design. Tragically, the organic grain-fed thick-sliced bacon I ordered from Virchew Farms Collective had been shriveled to a black husk of its former glory, and I have contracted what I’m almost certain is Black Lung. When an alarm clock is sworn to “rouse you into full consciousness with the irresistible aroma of perfectly-cooked bacon at the ready,” I expect it to do exactly that, not to transform my artisan slabs into charred clods. I’ve had to fumigate the master suite and send all of my clothes out for specialty dry-cleaning. Thanks to endemic national incompetence, I’m now going on my fourth day without adequate REM cycling, and I can already feel the deleterious effects on my neurobiology. My biofeedback data is showing a distinct down-curve in arterial flow to my cerebral cortex, and this afternoon I had a terrible time remembering where I put my augmented reality goggles for my virtual spinning session. One tentacle, and I am demanding both a refund for the clock, plus financial damages sustained by the loss of my bacon.

Leviathan Customer Review: Loving Voices Wake-Up Call App

by Binarystar673

I try to restrain my umbrage in my reviews, but I find myself shaking with rage, unable to hold back. Simply put, this company is chockful of criminally incompetent frauds. This alarm “service” purports to pipe the mimicked voices of your loved ones into multiple speakers throughout your domicile, so you awake surrounded by the dulcet tones of your friends, family and beloved. They promise that you can program both the verbal content as well as finely calibrate the percentage and audio levels of each voice. I spent the two hours leading up to my bedtime aggressively fine-tuning and maximizing their online tools for an optimal waking experience. Since I don’t remember the sounds of my parent’s voices, and I have chosen a life of solitude, I selected the voice of Ariel Dean, my favorite character from the obscure and short-lived science fiction drama, “Sage Ship.” Imagine, then, my abject horror when instead of Ariel’s voice, I was roused by the soft timbre of Mariel Jean, that traitorous viper who left me six years ago to the day. Mind you, I am completely over her, but the cognitive dissonance between expectation and reality was a shock to my already over-wrought system. Mariel, dear Mariel, and her wake up kisses. Mariel and her sweet morning song. I can’t fathom how supposed professionals allowed such a colossal cock-up. Zero tentacles. I shall be returning this product post-haste for a full refund, and will have my lawyer contact the company immediately to negotiate a settlement for emotional damages.

But right now, I find myself fatigued in the extreme, so I’m going back to bed. I won’t be setting an alarm. 

--Kristen McHenry

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