Flash Fiction: Unintended Consequences Are For Suckers

In the attic sat a mysterious typewriter. In the attic stood a boy and a girl. All young—except the typewriter. The typewriter was old, as typewriters tend to be.

“So, that’s the one your grandmother talked about?” the boy said, and walked toward it, ducking underneath some webs.

“Yeah—but don’t touch it!” She reached out to stop him but her fingers missed by inches.

He turned at her words, his own hand a hair’s breadth away from touching the metal box of ink and words. He frowned, looking all the world like a disappointed baby with a toy removed. Petulant for his old age of thirteen.

“Why not? Like, what’s going to happen?”

“I don’t know,” the girl said, “But she talked about it like it was cursed. Who knows what it might do?”

The boy considered this, then, too fast for her to even warn him again, he reached down and tapped on the keys.

“Stop it! You’ll—”

But she stopped talking when a purple square appeared in the center of the room and moved up and down under its own power. Her mouth hung agape at the odd sight.

She staggered back as the square burst into magenta light, leaving no indication of its existence.

The boy took his hands off the keys after he felt the coldness to them. “Huh, okay. I figured it was that kind.”

“What did you do…?”

He ripped out a slip of paper and held it to a naked bulb nestled around mold and spider webs.

“I wrote on it. It’s a magic typewriter. Pretty normal.”

“Oh,” the girl said, unsure what more to say to that. “So… we should not take it? What if it has a curse to it…or it backfires? Or you write something bad?”

The boy smiled, and, for effect, snapped like he had thought of a new idea right that second. But, of course, he’d been looking for such an opportunity for a long time.

“Yeah, that could happen—but not to me. My uncle, he collects stuff like this. He taught me that if you just—”

And his hands were out again, flying on the keys. Clanking on the old device and making it groan with his actions. He only typed a single paragraph, but the paragraph was a long one. And, as if moaning in pain, the typewriter glowed a solid unearthly blue, emitted a pulsing scream, and then rocked on the surface where it sat for a good solid minute.

After that, a little ring sounded, and nothing more happened.

“What did you do…” she said, stepping to see what he had left on those pages. What madness he could have brought into the world. Her eyes widened at the sight, and though some of the words were of a higher vocabulary and not something she understood, she got the gist. And it made her laugh out loud.

“That…that’s cheating,” she said, smiling. “But really smart.”

“I know,” he said, “Now we can rule the world if we want—do anything”

“Well, I’ve always wanted to go to Japan,” the girl said, and the boy smiled and reached over to the device, and after a few seconds of typing, they both disappeared with a whoosh and a burst of light—along with the typewriter.

And the sheet of paper, the one he wrote the paragraph on, floated down from the wind of the magic and alighted on the floor. The passage was an inky series of blocky letters.

It read as follows:

This magical typewriter, on which this is being written, despite all logic, and possible loopholes, will fail utterly to cause any negative repercussions. The typewriter will adopt, upon the writing of this, a state of using all inputted messages being received with the precise intentions of the user of the typewriter and lose all ability to cause a negative or ill-conceived outcome, whether through malevolent interpretation or through vagueness of language. This includes this paper, itself, which also cannot backfire on the writer, or his friends or family. Or anyone he knows or will know or could know. All attempts, in any capacity, to do something darkly ironic, containing poetic justice, or even a bit annoying, will not occur. This cannot be countered by other messages written, nor by a later message altering this one. This writing, and all further writings upon this typewriter will not go badly for anyone, ever.

Special thanks to: Bob GerkinCollin PearmanDylan AlexanderJerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd. 

Did you like the article? Dislike? Tell me about it in the comments. I would love to hear your opinions! If interested in specific articles, or want to write as a guest, you can message me at scifibrandonscott@gmail.com. If you want to help keep this blog going, consider becoming my patron at https://www.patreon.com/coolerbs. Thanks for reading!


Let me hear your opinion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s