Spring 2017

2019

2018

2017

Auckland Shorts

By Jack Remiel Cottrell

Franck V. on Unsplash
© Franck V. on Unsplash

Microfiction 

 

3D printing only became ubiquitous once the machines could print using any materials – plastics, plants, stem cells, dreams. 

 

 

Bushfires started earlier each year. Soon every month saw fire restrictions, as we tried to make sure there was something left to burn. 

 

 

That robots would take our jobs was a given. That office fridges left notes even more passive-aggressive than ours? That was the surprise. 

 

 

Empathy generators worked on most people, but not everyone. We voted the outliers into power anyway. Probably because we felt sorry for them. 

 

 

I wasn't sure which was worse - trackers beaming advertisements into our REM sleep, or when copyright notices arrived for the contents of our dreams. 

 

 

 

An object lesson in why you should always read the terms and conditions before clicking accept. 

 

He’s sweating. That’s nothing new - they always sweat. He looks up, fear naked on his face, so I smile beatifically. 

 

“Take your time. I understand, it’s a dense document.” 

 

His eyes flick down at the papers. 

 

“R-Really?” 

 

“Absolutely. As much as you need.” 

 

His breath eases as he returns to reading. 

 

“You don’t mind if I step out?"  

 

He flinches when I speak. 

 

"Devil makes work for idle hands and all that.” 

 

“That’s, um, fine," he says. 

 

“Appreciated.” 

 

The door clicks shut behind me. It’s a perfect system - condemned souls spend hellish eternity poring over the contract, looking for loopholes. 

 

 

 

 

If you can’t be useful, at least be decorative 

 

“Does this spark joy?” 

“Nope.” 

“Why on earth do you have so much junk if none of it makes you happy?” 

“I just don’t think it’s fair to make a shirt responsible for my clinical depression.” 

“You said you’d do this properly!” 

“You should’ve asked if I’m capable of joy!” 

“Come on. If the flat caught fire, what would you save?” 

“You’re assuming I’d try to save myself.” 

“I give up. You win.” 

“Actually… There’s one thing I’d save.” 

“Yeah?” 

“Yeah. I’d save you.” 

“That’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever said.” 

“It’s a low bar to clear. Right, next shirt?” 

 

About Jack Remiel Cottrell

Jack Remiel Cottrell is a cryptid lurking in the hills of east Auckland who emerges only for rugby games. He is part of the 2019/20 MCW class.