1073 words long
The electric kettle is drunk again.
Notes from the author:
The first line came from the Twitter account @MagicRealismBot, or possibly a slight misreading or adaptation of one of the Magic Realism Bot’s tweets. It might have been some other electrical appliance that was drunk, and I changed it to be about an electric kettle. But an electric kettle means tea, and the process of making tea is, for me, inextricably bound up with all things writing. That means joy and hope and dreams and self-incriminations and shame and high expectations and perfectionism and avoidance. So I’m afraid things got all introspective and maudlin. The first title I came up with and discarded was “Portrait of the Author on a Bad Week,” just to give you an idea what you’re in for.
I briefly considered submitting it to a literary journal, but then I came to my senses.
...I have it out with the electric kettle. Fine, I say, so it didn’t want to make my morning tea anymore, great, maybe it would rather close the loop with every hair dryer and soldering iron that crosses its circuits, that’s its choice, OK. I never expected fidelity. But I’m not cleaning up after its drunken excesses anymore. Hear me? I’m not going to put up with more property damage.
By now I’ve worked myself up into a fine froth. I have no cool left to lose. I say things I shouldn’t. I call the electric kettle a worthless appliance, a failure, a lazy slob. It could have done so much more, been more.
Been more how? it wants to know. It’s an electric kettle! It boils water!
And it couldn’t even manage that, could it? It had one job, but no, it just had to go drowning its circuits in everclear. So what good is it? Seriously, what actual use is it to me if it destroys my stuff and won’t even boil the goddamn water?
By the time I run down we’re both crying. It’s hard to tell when an appliance is crying, but I know the electric kettle well enough to recognize the signs....
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for September 8, 2017. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1073 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.
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