read the fucking manual

first time users
don’t know what they’re doing
fidgeting fingers over knobs
pressing red buttons
yanking their cranks
inserting things in slots
they can’t comprehend
the message on the screen
it says: ‘you’re too shitty for this shit’
so they take a baseball bat
and make a few essential modifications
last time users

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2022

Cthulhu, Part #2 (Fragment #020)

I glanced at the badge and said with my most seductive grin, “Mike, I want to exchange this pillow!”

“Sorry?”

Dammit… My sleepless night was probably affecting my skills of seduction. Or else I should have dressed up my presentation with another gleaming cuspids’ grin… I licked my lips and said again, “I want to exchange this pillow, baby!”

The last word, I added in vain.

“Are you a fool, baby? Or is it hungover syndrome, baby? Is it serviceable? Yes? You should read the rules at least once. Exchanges are impossible!” He looked at me crossly. “Tux? Schrodinger’s cat? Alfred Pennyworth? Take these instructions and get out! I’m busy!”

I didn’t have the strength for the scandal of this argument. I took the white brochure and plodded to my room at a snail’s pace.

I’m sure only Dummies read manuals… I felt like a mentally retarded person as I started to page through the brochure. Introduction. Getting started. I decided to start at ‘appendices’.

Appendix A, ‘The Dream-book’. A hookah… A spliff… There was nothing about Cthulhu, octopuses and ‘to zohavat’. I checked Appendix A twice. I felt I was struggling mentally… A leap ‘A visit from grandma or take part in a swingers party.’ Now, I would agree with both variants, and I would even agree to combining them… I would agree to anything except for Cthulhu!

I opened Appendix B. ‘The 10 Commandments’. Thou shalt have no other pillows. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy pillow. Thou shalt not take vengeance on thy pillow. Thou shalt not kill thy pillow.

I gasped. What bullshit?!

Suddenly it dawned on me. They are kidding me! It’s April Fools’ Day! Our office inherited this silly tradition from the Research Institute that was here before us. (to be continued)

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2014

My special thanks to Cyan Ryan
for grammar corrections and improvement this essay!