A tie in the vacuum

The house looked pretty normal, with family pictures on the wall and ugly furniture. A lot like his house, actually. He walked towards the staircase that led to the upper part of the house, when he saw what was making the buzzing and thumping noises – a small robot vacuum. The tiny circular machine, protected by thin coat of rubber on its edges, much like a car, was banging against the stairwell. Idris could see a striped blue tie sticking out, stuck in the rotors.

“Oh you have one of those robot vacuums? That’s so cool Ms Javashi! We got one today too. She said this way we don’t have to vacuum ourselves anymore, which is super cool, since vacuuming is so lame.” He bent down to pick it up. “But there’s something stuck here, auntie. Let me turn it off and see if I can pull it out for you.”

As he was about to pick it up, he was knocked out of the way. The old woman had come rushing from the room. “Don’t touch it!” she shouted. “Stand back!” She pushed him back towards the other room. She was sobbing anew, but not with sadness. These were violent tears, scared and angry. “Don’t turn it off! It has never turned off! If you turn it off they will never come back.”