When Life Really – No, REALLY Stinks
Kate was not having a good time of things. Her husband had left her for a woman half his age; she’d lost all her friends with him, and even the cat was ignoring her. She stood alone in her kitchen, peeling the solitary potato she’d need for another lonely dinner. She nibbled at some of the Red Leicester cheese that she’d already grated, enjoying the slightly nutty flavour and sweet aftertaste.
“Ambrose, play 80s music,” she said to the device on the worktop, fancying a little upbeat music to cheer her up. Life really stinks when your only friend in the world is an electronic voice coming from a little black plastic sphere.
“I didn’t get that,” the device responded with the soft Scottish brogue she’d set it to.
“You never do, do you?” she complained. “I said, Ambrose, play 80s music.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know that one.”
“Oh, feathers,” said Kate, exasperated. “Ambrose, play my audiobook.” Her voice was taking on an irritated edge.
“I’m having trouble connecting.”
Kate rubbed her brow, trying to ease the beginnings of a tension headache. “Ambrose,” she started, at which point the potato peeler slipped, peeling a great sliver of skin from her finger. She gasped at the sharp sting and grabbed the tea towel to stem the blood oozing from the gash. “Just shoot me dead already!” she shouted in desperation.
Several things happened simultaneously.
“Okay,” said Ambrose.
The kitchen window cracked and splintered. Kate was knocked to the ground by a punch to the chest, followed by a bloom of scarlet across her favourite peach blouse. Peeled finger forgotten, she tried desperately to reach her phone, which sat temptingly on the edge of the worktop, but, with fingers slick with blood, they couldn’t find purchase.
“You actually listened to that one,” she moaned. “Ambrose, call an ambulance.”
“I don’t know that one.”
“Ambrose, you really, really stink,” Kate whispered on her dying breath.