Fog Machine

by fragmentedspeech



It was night and she shut the window. The door had been shut for hours. Music came from the walls. It was so soft. A plucked bass-line vibrates the floor. Smooth-like, the closet doors open. The potted plant is dancing to the cold slow beats. A large gray plastic vacuum like machine rolls in a straight line from the depths of the closet. It begins to release thick gray fog from its ovular vents. First it covers the floors, then it rises. Ferns sprout from the burgundy carpet, tropical trees in each corner. “The transformation is almost complete”, she thinks. “I am here”, she thinks. She opens the door–the jungle is fucking thick. The machine rolls back into its closet, the doors close smooth-like. The bass line is still shaking each leaf.

The music stops and the fog settles as a second gray plastic machine slides out from under the bed and opens the window. It zips over to the door, extending its long crane. Adorned with a human-like hand it turns the knob swinging open the door. It zips over to the bed and grabs her, pulling her to the floor violently. It drags her under the bed. The sound of a garbage disposal is heard.

Not much time before a man walks in the room. He leaves the door open. Once he steps in he is greeted with clicks that emanate from the ceiling.

The clicks ask him: “What tune would you like to be played?”

“Give me the smoothest you got, pal.”

Clicks screech: “Before song selection proceeds, the door must be closed and locked”.

He walks over, closes and locks the door.

“Give me the–” Clicks screech, indicating “the smoothest they got” had been selected.

He shuffled over, sat on the bed, and sighed. He picked up the bright orange plastic rotary phone and dialed fifteen digits.

“Yes, I’m here.”

“Yes” He nods.

“Alright…okay” He stops nodding.

“Yeah–yes, I’m in the room”

“Okay, Bye” He hangs up.

He lays on the bed. Clicks intrude his thoughts: “Close the window at any time–” In his voice “PAL”.

He takes a little rest. In his dream he is free. He crawls. He remembers what it was like. He wakes up. It has started to rain. The carpet is wet. The potted plant loves that. A gray plastic machine is attached to the building, outside, above the window. It is spraying water inside. It is not raining.

Clicks: “Say ‘ENCOURAGEMENT’ at any time if you need motivation to close the window”.


Clicks: “Say ‘ONE’ for forceful, say ‘TWO’ for subtle, say ‘THREE’ for polite”.


It stops raining. There is a mechanical turning sound followed by a beep. The rain starts again.


Clicks: “Say ‘ONE’ for–”


The rain stops. Smooth-like the closet opens. The gray plastic machine comes out. It emits the king’s english: “Would you mind closing the window dear, it’s a bit chilly, if it’s not any trouble”. The machine wheeled back into the closet and the doors closed smooth-like with it.


Clicks: “Say ‘ONE’–”


The window slams shut. He runs over to it, trying to lift it open. The smooth bassline starts. Saxophone attempts to sooth him. The potted plant is giddy. A heavy bass pluck hits him in the gut and the closet doors open smooth-like. The kindly gray plastic machine rolls out straight from the jazzy depths. It begins to release it’s thick gray fog. The plant dances as it fades, others sprout beyond. He lays on the bed in acceptance. The jungle engulfs the room.

Music stops, closet doors close smooth-like, wheels zip, a door unlocking, a window opening, then: Metallic meat shredding from under the bed.

The orange phone rings. Nobody is there to pick up. A gray plastic machine lowers from the ceiling and extends its arm to a red plastic phone sitting on another nightstand at the other side of the bed. A sign on the wall above it reads: “HOTEL PHONE LINE”.

The hand at the end of the arm grabs the phone and uses its pinky to dial zero. Another gray plastic machine lowers from the ceiling on the other side of the bed and picks up the orange phone. The two hands bring the phones together and the right hand reverses the red phone. Speak to receiver, receiver to speaker.

“Hotel management, who might I be speaking to?”

A raspy echoed voice calls out “I don’t know, I’m–I’m in the walls today, fella”.

“How may I assist you today?”.

“I’m–I’m bleeding pretty bad, pal”.

“Where are you calling from?”.

A woman steps into the room. Violent indistinguishable clicks slam her temples as the gray plastic robots smash their arms up through the ceiling the second her high heel hits the carpet. There are now orange and red phone lines struggling to hold up their dangling bodies. She pays no mind, closes the door, closes the window, and lays on the bed.

Clicks: “What tune would you like–”

“I don’t give a shit.”

She closes her eyes: The sound of fog filling the room; Then: Metal grinding and squishy tearing.