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Helen's Meltdown at the L.A. Mall
I Wasn't Leaving Without A Fabulous Dress
Cyborgs with Tasers trotted by - chrome heads pivoting quickly from left to right, eye slits glowing, and metal feet clanking against the mall’s stone tiles. I hadn’t shopped in Downtown Los Angeles since Florida sank. My girlfriends even questioned my sanity and refused to tag along.
I didn't care whether a million drones flew overhead. I didn't care whether they were bursting at the seams with rubber bullets and pepper spray. I wasn’t leaving downtown without a fabulous dress. I suspected Jerry was going to propose tonight at dinner. Because a robot delivered a handwritten note from him yesterday. It said, “Helen, I hope you say yes.” His note was tucked inside my bra.
Right away the display windows at Marigold’s Boudoir caught my attention. The models were strutting back and forth in chic and elegant garbs. The apparel certainly outclassed the dribble in cyberspace by light years.
To browse or shop inside the store, one had to sign the boutique's Non-Liability Agreement. An ordinary signature wasn't adequate. A Global Digital Signature was required. Plus there was an addendum to the waiver. It warned shoppers of immediate punishment by death if caught stealing. I chuckled. It was a joke of course. A sick one to say the least.
I placed my right palm inside the hand mold beneath the monitor. Although I felt foolish surrendering my right to sue. What if I was injured? Soon a message confirming receipt of the signed agreement appeared. Next a two digit code popped on the screen. I was directed to the middle revolving door. Where I punched in my code. Once I stepped into the wing it locked and I was showered with lavender scented mist.
I Was Boiling
I was giggling, laughing, and deliriously happy within a nanosecond. A scorching desire to view, hold, and sniff every item in the shop blanketed me. I simply couldn’t wait to exit the wing.
Just as my leaf edged inside the store’s lobby, a young lady squeezed into the opposite leaf. The sunglasses tumbled off her face on to the floor. The wings of the revolving door swung backwards, locked, and the air conditioning shut off. An alarm sounded. The lighting within the intruder's leaf flashed. I was boiling. I couldn't go shopping.There were two vacant revolving doors available. Why did she bring her carcass inside of mines?
The woman pounded on the glass panel and kicked it. I glared at her. The deep set eyes, nose, fat cheeks, and brassy lips were evenly spaced on the face. But the glint in her eyes was another matter. It reminded me of the bloated face of a drunk when sober. It was a dead give away she was a human. What gall! And what was she doing with an implanted Global chip? Humans weren't authorized to have them.
"Here you bastards!" The female removed a blue sequin cocktail dress from her trench coat. Didn't the addendum warn if shoppers were caught stealing. . .Well she certainly deserved it. She had no business masquerading as a humanoid. Let alone possession of a Global chip.
Her leaf went dark. I heard hissing noises coming from it. And I smelled a faint medicinal odor. The chemical made her cough and choke. I glanced out at the mall to blot out the sounds.
A double wall of cyborgs blocked the entrance to Marigold's Boudoir. Hundreds of mini drones hovered like humming birds too. A crowd was gathering. My image was streaming on all the screens.
I Was Overheating
“The humanoid is burning!” I heard someone yell. I looked down at my white blouse and observed smoke coming through it. I was overheating. The stress was causing it. More smoke began spewing from my nostrils. If the air conditioning wasn’t immediately turned on, I would no longer exist as Helen.
“Help me!” I cried out. Then I realized they weren't. Because I'd signed the Non-Liability Agreement. Marigold’s would probably sell my parts to a salvage company. Though my circuitry was cutting off and on. My mind whacked away at the lianas wrapped around this crisis. The answer came to me. It was so simple. I screamed, “I’ll buy the dress!”
The hissing noise stopped. Fresh cool air poured into all the compartments. I was functioning at 100% capacity in no time. The human was in a fetal position when the lighting was restored, breathing normally and clutching the stolen dress. She mouthed, “Thank you.”
I could only stare at her. She was a human and her kind attempted to annihilate us. When the corporations flooded the marketplace with my ancestors. Who were manufactured to take over human jobs. It wasn’t their fault. I guess humans and humanoids were bound together. Whether we liked it or not.
The cyborgs trotted back to patrolling the mall. The drones left in search of smashers and grabbers. The crowd dispersed. Another situation replaced my image on the screens. The wings of the revolving door moved forward. My chamber unlocked. When I stepped into the shop's lobby, a smiling hostess scanned my right palm.
Would You Ever Sign a Non-Liability Agreement?
© 2015 Irma Cowthern