Flash Fiction Friday: House of a Million Sorrows
by Shawn Milazzo
In public, we wear masks. I’m walking the dense roads of society. The world around me only becomes more populated. They removed our faces, our personalities. It is unknown to us who they are. All we know is they came to our planet, many years ago. They came from the clouds. We began to forget who we were, others never knew. They have changed us, forcing us to wear porcelain masks of faces that are not our own. I see through sightless activity, yet everything before me is clear- as clear as light passing through a flawless pane of glass.
I see the crowds of my people, in a dizzying wave of neglect. Most of my people are unaware of the jobs that have been assigned to them. That man over there, he runs a dirty hotdog stand of baga meat. That woman over there, she sells topless metal hats. A young street urchin stands at the end of the street, he is panhandling the disguised brain chips as happy pamphlets.
I’m finally at my prison, my home. The synapses in my head fire off to my circuit board, telling me it is time to mow the lawn now. I always did enjoy landscaping, but now, I enjoy it more. My neighbors silently wave to me. I tilt my head and wave back to them. I feel like this is the perfect scene, like a set on an old 1950’s black and white TV show. Nothing is wrong here. Nothing.
Oh, it’s time. I say in my mind. I have no real mouth or voice. They command me to do my set task for the day, so I comply. I leave my mower and glide into my house. I descend upstairs and enter my near vacant basement. The only thing I’m allowed to have in my basement is what they gave me. It’s my only purpose of living. It’s what I’m programmed to do.
In front of me is the machine. It is a woman suspended by hooks and cables. A mix between robotic and flesh. She is oddly familiar. Her face was never tampered with. She is beautiful. Although deceased, she stares at me. We are connected. She tells me this through her sunken eyes. I feel connected, to this disconnected machine. Her legs are propped up and spread open on stirrups. What used to be her vagina and anus is now a printing device. Her shared orifice is the exit area for the copy that they send, the intelligent text to my people.
I flip the switch on the wall to activate the woman. Her body jerks as the electrical blood current flows through her. The cogs begin to turn, her ribcage opens and closes. It breathes and spurts warm steam. Her head pulls back, her jaw detaches, and her mouth forms a circle. The fluorescent energy blasts through the ceiling. She is fully activated. And-
For a moment, we are one.
The copy prints out on an unending document. It folds like candy ribbon. I touch the paper.
What is going on?! Something’s not right! The basement light above me strobes with no audio effect.
I stax4rt t0 m4lf^nc+i0n. The t t t t 3xt sh0xw$ me ever7t#hing*
Th3!r w0r|d. Th h h he!r p30ple.
Shawn Milazzo has been writing strange hieroglyphics since he was a child. He claims it comes from automatic writing from a supernatural force. This entity has made him an upcoming author of bizarro and horror. As a Horror Writer Association member, he has written for comics My Shadow’s Footsteps, video games Skywind, flash fiction such as The Party, and his most recent House of a Million Sorrows.
Shawn can be found here- Author’s Official Website