By Casey Douglass
as part of #fridayflash
Krillon yelled as the scanner drone floated past their table, the late afternoon sunlight dazzling from the humming metal sentinel. It thrummed and twisted towards him but soon turned away to take in another diner. He flexed his foot and scowled at Maxis. ‘What the hell did you do that for?’
Maxis grimaced as he held up a palm. ‘You were dangerously relaxed Krill! I had to do something, you know how twitchy those things are!’
Krillon felt his foot throbbing now, a prickly heat spreading through his toes. ‘Thanks I guess.’
‘You guess? I just bloody saved you from being carted off!’
‘I wasn’t that relaxed!’
‘You were almost asleep!’ Maxis huffed and sucked down the last of his replenishment shake.
Krillon turned away. He didn’t want to lose his temper with Maxis. He knew Maxis was right but he was insufferable when you admitted it to his face.
‘So what’s the secret?’ Maxis smirked.
‘Why are you Mr Comatose all of a sudden? You always used to be fidgeting like a crack addict in withdrawal!’
‘You seem pretty chilled yourself Maxis.’
‘Nah I’ve got lots of inner turmoil, still waters run deep and all that. Enough to keep them off me anyway.’
Another drone buzzed past the café, a larger crowd control unit with high-grade weaponry. It was a large orb like thing and painted a dark grey, a white line around its equator, just below its collection of cameras. A hush fell on the other diners as many pairs of eyes watched its course until it was around the corner.
‘I don’t know why they are worrying,’ Krillon hissed. ‘Nothing’s ever gone down here!’
‘There it is again!’ Maxis whispered leaning in closer. ‘What’s happened? You used to crap yourself when those big bastards went past!’
‘Maybe,’ Krillon leaned towards Maxis until their noses almost touched. ‘Maybe I just don’t care any more!’
‘Maybe I don’t care. It’s all bullshit and I’ve decided to just let go, go with the flow!’
‘That’s terrorist talk!’
‘I’m not a terrorist.’
‘It is to the Overlord Command Dispenser! You’ll be dead in hours if you keep this up!
‘I don’t care! It’s better than a life of fear and anxiety over bullshit that doesn’t matter!’
‘They got to you didn’t they!’
‘That freedom group, Always Chill Together or something.’
‘What if they did?’
‘Christ I can’t talk to you any more!’
Maxis leaned back in his chair, his face ashen. Krillon watched his eyes, gazing all around the face of the person who used to be his friend. He knew that Maxis felt that he was now looking at a stranger. He watched Maxis shake his head and stand. He watched him turn away and begin walking. He watched him. Maxis didn’t turn around when the alert sounded. Not even when the first shot was fired.
A bit of sci-fi for my #fridayflash this week as my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has been the worst it’s been for years. The astute amongst you might recognise those initials in the Overlord Command Dispenser line. Anyone with any interest in anxiety treatment may also recognise Always Chill Together abbreviates to ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, the process I am trying to apply to my life so that I can at least do some of the things I value, rather than being under the thumb of the Overlord Command Dispenser 24/7. Thanks for reading.