Gumming up the works

My Week 45 prompt over at More Odds Than Ends came from Leigh Kimmel. I couldn’t figure out a way to work it into Cursebreaker, so I came up with this. The prompt was: It was supposed to be a simple hard drive swap, in and out. When the tech opened the robot’s casing, what he saw inside made him yell for the big boss to come and take a look. And in our usual trade, my prompt went to Leigh.


“Hey, Lemmy. Didja hear what happened to Billy over the weekend shift?”

“No, what? The robots take over and he slept all weekend?”

“Ha! No, I think this might be worse.”

“Whaddaya mean worse? Did he hafta clean up after them?”

“Well, lemme tellya the story…” Steve shifted his weight and settled into his chair in the break room.

“So, it seems that one of the first things on Billy’s list for the weekend was to swap out the hard drive on Crane 47. It’s been glitchy and not completing a number of things. Nuthin’ big, just annoying. So, there he is, doing what’s supposed to be a simple hard drive swap, in and out. But when he opened the casing on 47, he screams for the shift supervisor. Who happened to be Alfie this weekend…”

“Oh, gawd,” Lemmy interrupted. “Alfie thinks those robots are alive and thinking,”

“I know, right? So, anyway, Billy yells, and Alfie comes runnin’. They both stare into the casing…” Steve got a funny look on his face. Sort of halfway between alarmed and awed.

“What? Why you lookin’ so funny, Steve?” Lemmy had never seen that expression on Steve’s face before and they’d known each other since they were kids. He was worried now. First Billy and Alfie on the weekend shift, and now Steve looking like he’d seen Bigfoot.

“Well…s’pose I tell ya that Alfie may not have been wrong? ‘Bout the robots, I mean…I mean not totally right, but not wrong either…” Steve had a really strange expression on his face now. Lemmy took a long sip of his coffee and tried to slow his heart rate.

“And? C’mon, Steve. What the hell happened? You’re makin’ me nervous.”

“Well…’member that funny meme thing that went around the Facebooks a while back? ‘Bout how autocorrect was a small elf trying really hard, but he was drunk?” Steve stared into his coffee cup.

“Yeah…what? Wait…NO. No freakin’ way! Billy found an elf in the casing??” Lemmy was almost shouting.

“Shhh. Yeah, he did. Fortunately, Alfie was able to pull it out and hide it before Billy did anything stupid,” Steve glanced up at Lemmy.

“Damn…I thought them elves was all gone,” Lemmy breathed.

“Yeah, me too,” Steve got up to refill his coffee.

“Is it okay?” Lemmy looked worried.

“Dunno. I’m gonna go check on him right now. Wanna come with?”

“Oh, hell, yeah.”


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