HorrorAddicts.net Press presents…Kill Switch
As technology takes over more of our lives, what will it mean to be human, and will we fear what we’ve created? What horrors will our technological hubris bring us in the future?
Join us as we walk the line between progressive convenience and the nightmares these advancements can breed. From faulty medical nanos and AI gone berserk to ghost-attracting audio-tech and one very ambitious Mow-Bot, we bring you tech horror that will keep you up at night. Will you reach the Kill Switch in time?
A sneak peek inside…
NACHING T. KASSA
An electric van swung into the drive of 3355 Maple Street and parked outside the large, iron gate, waiting for the security scan. The legend, BIG BAB’S PEST ELIMINATORS, covered both sides, along with a cartoon mouse running from a musical note. Repairman Jack Voorhees sat behind the wheel, his partner, Buddy “Bud” Ray, in the passenger seat. Both men studied the large Victorian home standing before them.
“This is a creepy old place,” Jack said, eyeing the dark blue house accented with white gingerbread. “What’s the story on this one?”
“House belongs to Ida Meyers,” Bud replied, consulting a thin electronic tablet. “She had the pest elimination program installed on the house mainframe three weeks ago. For the last two days, she’s called the office every hour insisting we remove it.”
“What for? Are the mice back?”
“No. Central ran a remote diagnostic. The ultrasonic sound is still repelling them.”
“What’s the problem, then?”
Bud looked up from the tablet. “She thinks the sound attracts ghosts.”
Jack turned to his partner. Bud’s blue eyes bulged. His pasty skin gleamed in the purpling twilight, and contrasted with the black hair beneath his cloth cap.
“That’s impossible. Ghosts can affect technology but it can’t affect them. Everybody knows that. Remember Dr.—what’s her name, the one who discovered their existence with the centrifuge—”
“Yeah, she said our tech didn’t work on them.”
“Well, Ida Meyers says it does. She wants the program gone, and I mean yesterday. Dispatch says she’s called twenty times in the last hour.”
“Why doesn’t she get a priest? Or a rabbi? They’re the ones who handle ghosts.”
“Says here she’s already had seventeen exorcisms.”
“Seventeen? That’s nothing. I grew up in Hell’s Kitchen. There were thirty-seven exorcisms on my block alone. And, I can’t tell you how many ghosts I’ve seen. My buddies and I used to fight them.”
“You fought ghosts? How? You can’t touch them.”
Jack reached into his shirt beneath the white coveralls he wore and pulled out a rosary.
“See this? My mother brought it back from Italy. She had it blessed by the Pope himself. You touch a ghost with this and he feels it.”
“Wish I’d had one when I was little,” Bud said, removing his hat and wiping his forehead with his sleeve. “Had a ghost in my closet once. Used to scare the bejesus out of me. I hate ‘em. The only thing worse is being one.”
“Security Scan complete,” an electronic voice announced. “Proceed.”
The gate slid open with a soft hum and Jack drove up the drive. As they approached, an elderly woman opened the door and stepped out onto the porch. She wore a pink blouse, matching slacks, and tennis shoes. Her silver hair waved in the breeze.
Jack parked and the woman hurried down the steps toward them. She reminded him of a small and ancient scarecrow.
“Ida Meyers?” he asked, stepping out of the van. “Sorry, we’re late. Our last job took longer than—”
“It doesn’t matter.” The woman panted. Sunken eyes peered at him from her pale and wrinkled visage. “Do you think you can get it done before the sun goes down?”
“We’ll try, ma’am,” Jack replied. “Could you take us to the house mainframe?”
Ida nodded. She led him toward the house. Bud followed, carrying a small toolbox in his left hand.
“Are you sure you want the program removed?” Jack asked. “There might be a bug in the system. We could—”
The old woman froze. “Did you hear that?”
Jack and Bud halted behind her. Before them stood a large, mahogany staircase in the foyer’s center. The wood gleamed beneath amber lighting.
“I don’t hear anything,” Jack said.
Ida trembled. “There. Do you hear it now?”
Bud glanced at Jack. He shook his head.
“They’re worse at night,” Ida said. “This way.”
Ida led them past the staircase, through the dining room, and into the kitchen. She switched the lights on.
A small, cheery room filled with ancient appliances, white oak cabinetry, and a matching dining set met their eyes. Hand-crocheted potholders adorned the walls, each with the name of a different month stitched into it. A copper kettle whistled on the stove. Hardwood floors gleamed beneath their feet. Everything seemed normal except for the threshold and the window sill. Both were covered with pennies.
Ida paused before the house mainframe which also served as a refrigerator.
Jack frowned. “The new programs don’t always work with the older models,” he said. “You should get a new one.”
“It belonged to my mother and I’m rather attached to it. Aside from that, I can’t afford a new one.” Ida removed the kettle from the burner and turned toward the window. “It’s getting dark.”
“I’ve worked with this model,” Bud said. “Worked on it in trade school.” He opened the small toolbox. “Crap! Wrong tools. I’ll be right back.” He dashed out of the room.
Ida settled into a nearby chair while Jack studied the house computer/refrigerator.
“Are you Catholic?” Ida asked.
She pointed to his chest. He looked down, caught sight of the rosary, and slipped it back into his shirt.
“My mother is. She’s about your age.”
Ida laughed. The sound seemed hollow, almost mirthless. She shut her eyes.
“When was the last time you slept, Ms. Meyers?”
“I haven’t slept since Tuesday.”
“Like I said, they’re worse at night. I don’t sleep much.”
& EMERIAN RICH
H.E. ROULO, TIM O’NEAL, JERRY J. DAVIS, EMERIAN RICH, BILL DAVIDSON,
DANA HAMMER, NACHING T. KASSA, GARRETT ROWLAN, DAPHNE STRASERT
PHILLIP T. STEVENS, LAUREL ANNE HILL, CHANTAL BOUDREAU, GARTH VON BUCHHOLZ
Available now on Amazon!