This is the 83rd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
The Snail Bet, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 14th February 2013
Word count: 1000
“What would you like to be today?” the familiar refrain to clashing music awoke Lucas.
“Off!” he screamed, and the alarm cut off. He stretched his long gaunt body, modelled after an old basketball legend from the nineteen nineties.
“Sit rep,” he commanded and the plain wall of the apartment became a computer screen.
“Currency low, suit rental expired, flat rental due tomorrow,” the computer warned. Lucas looked at his currency levels they were indeed low, but enough to see him through.
“Computer bring me a list of budget suits, and jobs that pay wages today,” he instructed the machine.
It came back with jobs, so Lucas looked through the list.
“Computer how many people have applied for the plumbing job on row sixteen?”
“Twenty seven, eight of which are better qualified by experience.”
“And the carpentry job on twenty one?”
“Eleven, none with more experience or as high a rating in carpentry as yourself,” the computer responded.
“Apply,” Lucas instructed. “Now suits.”
The job list was replaced with photographs of people and creatures in a variety of clothing.
“Filter out creatures, they’re not my style, and the cost can’t be more than ninety percent of my remaining currency, ” Lucas instructed. The list grew shorter. ” I’ll take number seven.”
The curved chamber behind him rotated open.
“Please enter the booth,” the computer instructed. Lucas got in clutched tight to the guard rail. He’d done this many times, but he was still wary of it. Then a gas releases, and his body was forced to relax.