Bumpy Rides

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Phil went all technology, but there is something wrong with his voice-activated... --- ???

The alarm clock doesn't work in Phil's house anymore, in fact Phil tossed it in the trash the day he went "all technology."

So now Mobit, (Mow-Bit), wakes Phil on workday mornings, starts his coffee-brewer, adjusts the water temperature on the water heater to the proper shower setting, then tunes in the morning news when he enters the kitchen. Everything else Mobit does is by voice commands or voice inquires.

After bathroom duties were attended to and a shower was taken, Phil dressed for work.


"Mobit, does this peach colored shirt clash with my blue slacks?" Phil asked as he held both up in the air so Mobit's one digitally enhanced electronic eye could scan them.

Mobit replied, "It does not clash, but a better choice would be your baby-blue shirt."

Phil looked discouraged and replied, "I tossed that shirt out, it had a bad coffee stain on one sleeve."

"Yes, I know," Mobit replied, "but I ordered you a new one. I am pleased to say that it arrived yesterday and the housekeeper hung it in your clothing closet."

Phil looked in the closet and said, "Oh yeah, Mobit, I see it now. Nice choice in fabric."


Suddenly the lights went off in the building, but in seconds they were back on.

Phil laughed and said, I love Breaker-switches, they take the hassle out of overloads and they do it without a computer.

Then he tossed a frozen waffle in the confection oven and instructed Mobit to toast it to a light brown.


As Phil poured syrup on the waffle he noticed that the TV wasn't on.

"Mobit, turn on TV, local news."

Mobit replied, "I'm sorry, your cable line has no input. It may be a bad connection. Shall I contact the cable company to remedy the problem?"

"Yes Mobit, excellent idea. There is a big game tonight on the Sports Channel, and I don't want to miss it."

At that point Phil forked the last of the waffle and put it in his mouth. And then he placed the dish in the sink and told Mobit to run kitchen-sink's hot water for four seconds, on spray. After that he grabbed his key-fob, his coffee mug, and headed out the door.


Phil works the night-shift, so it was dark outside when he left the house. And he was busy thinking about a pyramid of subjects so he didn't notice that the streetlights were out and that there was no traffic on the city streets. But when he got onto the expressway he couldn't help but notice that it was empty.

"Mobit, why is the expressway empty?" Phil uttered as if he didn't expect an answer.

Mobit did not reply.

Phil ignored that fact and gave a command, "Mobit, turn radio on to an all-news station.

Mobit did reply this time, it said, "I’m sorry, there is no news being broadcast over the public airways. Actually, there are no broadcasts of any kind."

Phil pressed a tiny red button on his Apple Watch, and then turned a dial that was mounted on the outer edge.

At the next exit Phil got off the expressway and drove the ten blocks to his employer's building. And as Phil maneuvered his vehicle along the boulevard he constantly looked for signs of life; there was none.

There were no streetlights and no stop-signals visible, anywhere; it was pitch-black all around. Even the building where Phil worked was dark and the security people were nowhere to be seen. Phil had never seen it like that.

Phil stopped the car and took some time to think, and then he asked, "Mobit, why is the man in front of my car wearing tennis trunks?"

Mobit replied, "Mopit does not know why he is wearing trunks. Perhaps he is about to play tennis."

"Oh really," Phil replied, and how is it you can see a man that is not there?!?

The power is off and every electronic device in this city is not working! So tell me Mobit, how is it that you are still operational?"

Mobit made no sound whatsoever.

Phil then stated, "And it is obvious that you cannot see through Mobit's dash-camera because there is no man in front of my car and never was.

Who are you?!?"


With that said, the voice's sound and tone changed. It stated, "We are very sorry for the deception but it was necessary so that we had time to lock onto the sound of your heartbeat. Now that we have done so, you cannot escape us.

Resistance will only cause death, so we order you to drive to one of the city's Induction Points; you will be brought into, The Fold, upon arrival."

Phil questioned, "And where are these Induction Points?"

The voice stated, “The nearest Induction Point to your present position is at the City's Sports stadium, go there. We will allow you thirty of you earth minutes to reach the stadium, otherwise we will dispatch a drone to incinerate you."

Phil thought for a moment, and then asked, "And how are you going to incinerate me when you have no idea what I look like?"

The voice from the Mobile Mobit device replied, "We will simply follow your heartbeat and once we are in the area, then we will visually locate your body and incinerate it. It is as simple as that."

Phil asked, "You say I have thirty minutes?"

"You now have twenty-six minutes, I suggest you hurry," the voice said with a slight hint of laughter being held beneath the surface.

With no traffic to worry about, Phil pressed the gas peddle to the floor and was gone in an instant.



Twenty-six minutes passed and an odd-looking drone suddenly appeared over Nevada's "Great Sand Dunes."

It can only be assumed that the massive mound of sand that was located in the center of the dunes was a disguised spacecraft. And even for a spacecraft as massive as this one must have been, it was well hidden in plain sight.


The drone wasted no time in following Phil's heartbeat, and once it opened a hole in the roof of the building Phil was in, it began searching for his body.

Phil could see the glimmer of the drone's light as it scanned the interior of the building. He could hear the whirling sounds coming from the drone's motors. Then the beam of light struck!

It was all over in an instant and the drone departed into the night; leaving a darkened and not so sweet-smelling building behind.


"Well, I guess from a distance they can't tell a dead body from one that's alive," Phil said as he crawled out from under a corpse's gurney.

Phil had to get out of the City's Coroner's building, the smell of the incinerated corpse that was on the gurney above him, was too much for him to stand.


As Phil reached the parking lot he pulled an old-school Walkie-Talkie from his pocket and pressed the Talk-button.

"Hello Woodcutter, this is Red Rider. Did you get a Fix on the Wolf's den?"

As Phil released the Talk-button he heard, "Roger that Red Rider. Wolf-baby went straight to Mama!

Our Reception Party just left their Silos and should be there very soon; so, you’d better take cover, it is going to be a bumpy ride!"



D. Thurmond / JEF



Submitted: September 12, 2019

© Copyright 2022 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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A fantastic story. A brilliantly timed twist.

Thu, September 12th, 2019 8:07pm



Fri, September 13th, 2019 9:28am

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