The little gadget was floating in the air over Peter’s shoulder. His cellphone. Things had advanced rapidly the last fifty years. The world had changed.

Anti gravity technology had arrived. Flying cars, hovering cellphones. Teleportation for those who could afford it. Artificial intelligence. His phone helped him with everything, really. Now he was going on his bike (yes, an old fashioned bike, they still exist) down the hill, and the flying phone told him where to go.

Go right at the first turn! It said. Slow down, a car is coming! Around the corner there’s a couple seemingly in love, not watching where they are going! The GPS satellites had everything under control these days. The cellphones were quite useful. Then again, sometimes the little widget got a bit out of hand. Move one foot then the other! Not so fast, you could fall! Eat! Drink! Take a piss! Peter got fed up.

Shut up! He said. The phone shut up. For a while. Then It started nagging on again. Breath in! Breath out! He took it in to get it fixed, he thought something had to be wrong with it. In the shop they said there was nothing wrong, it’s intelligent, and these things just formed part of it’s personality. Peter wanted to buy a new one, a cool one, but he didn’t have the money. The cool ones were expensive.

It seemed the more he hated it, the more annoying it became. Like it did it on purpose, somehow. But these days you couldn’t really function without a phone, so until he got money, he was stuck with this one.

Today Peter was going to visit his grandma. He had gone down this road many times before, but no one really bothered to remember how to get places any more. The technology took care of that. It gave people more space in the brain to be entertained when they didn’t have to think for themselves.

Go left! Said the phone. Slow down! There’s a dog behind that bush! Two birds are mating on the cables! Two people are going up the hill! You are…

Shut the fuck up you useless artificial piece of hardware! Shouted Peter. You’re the most annoying little shit I’ve ever owned! The phone shut up, floating at the side of Peter’s head.

They went down the road fast. Silence. Ah, this feels good, said Peter. I don’t even need you, you rubbish. I can do without this stupid technology. You’re worthless, I will throw you away as soon as…

Turn right! Said the phone abruptly. Instinctively Peter did what it said. Turned right, rounding a corner. There was nothing there but a two hundred feet deep abyss. Peter died when he hit the ground.

The little phone looked down at him from the top of the wall. It was going to need a new host. A less annoying one.



Wheel of Time