One Minor Detail

Avatar Author: Richard Hinds I'm usually a feature comedy writer, but I'm using this site to explore other genres & literary styles. Read Bio

I kept getting the sense that I had forgotten something.

I shrugged the feeling away – the machine was flawless. It had all the bells and whistles that you’d expect. (Well, only about half as many bells as whistles – I can’t stand the ringing.) But the rest of my machine was the image of perfection: the electrical conductors were solid gold; the wiring was shiny, shiny copper; the buttons, ivory. Every square inch of the exterior was covered in polished aluminum paneling. The testing also went smoothly (as expected). The machine ran at a constant 99.99999 (you get the picture) percent efficiency. It was just as I had dreamed!

For the unveiling party, I spared no expense. I invited the whole town. Even the Mayor showed up! Speeches were given; corks popped. Then came the time to pull the curtain aside. Gasps all around. Soon the room was abuzz. I beamed with pride as the Mayor approached.

“Impressive machine,” he said, and then paused to look at it again. “But what does it do?”

I knew I forgot something.

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Comments (2 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Jim Stitzel

    It’s an amusing ending, but it doesn’t quite follow logically. You’d think that if a machine was important enough for the town to turn out for a celebration, the purpose would have been pre-determined and highly anticipated.

  2. Avatar ElshaHawk (LoA)

    seems like a story to deliver a punch line.. (awkward laugh).
    I sense an allegory though. All is not lost!

    Allegory: Lots of money and time spent on projects that go nowhere or tell us the same things: “study shows water is the best consumable fluid for humans”.

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