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Romance Science Fiction Funny

This story contains sensitive content

(Content Warning: Mild foul language)

Jason ushered the leggy blonde through the threshold of his apartment and pretended not to notice the approving nods and obscene gestures from his forever frat boy neighbor.

Amanda stepped in and looked around. “Cozy.”

Jason attempted to see his space from her perspective—the open floorplan was sparsely furnished, with minimal décor, and bare, white counters. Sterile.

So, she’s gorgeous and sarcastic.

“Make yourself at home.” Jason called, stepping into the kitchen. “Would you like a drink?”

Amanda tugged at her form-fitting dress as she lowered herself onto the couch, thighs sticking to the leather. “Yes, please!”

He joined her with a wine glass in each hand. “You look amazing by the way, and I had a really great time tonight.” He watched her face, appraising her reaction.

She draped one long leg over the other and dipped her head with a coy smile. “Me too.”

Jason wasn’t an expert when it came to romance, and never trusted himself to assume his date felt the same way he did. He’d taken a chance asking her out, but figured now he’d let her make the first move. He didn’t want to rush anything, but a little atmosphere couldn’t hurt. Jason turned and directed his voice to a sleek, cylindrical device sitting on a side table.

“Roxie, play Michal Bublé.”

The device chimed, a blue light circling its rim. Her voice was even, clear. “Okay, searching online for the answer to your question, ‘how much do my girl’s boobs weigh?’”

Jason sputtered in his drink. Amanda’s hand went instinctively to her chest.

The AI assistant continued. “Depending on cup size, one female breast can weigh anywhere from...”

“Roxie, no, stop,” Jason ordered, speaking louder. “Not ‘boobs weigh,’ play music by Michal Bublé.”

“Okay. One moment while I search. I’m sorry, I don’t see any recipes for ‘boob souffle.’”

Jason’s eyebrows shot up, “nevermind, Roxie, just stop!”

“Okay.”

Jason and Amanda exchanged glances. “Sorry about that.” He rubbed the back of his neck and Amanda chuckled. “She normally picks up what I say perfectly.”

“It’s okay.” Amanda smiled. “We actually just installed Roxie for my Grandpa, and you should hear the things he says to her.” She laughed, recalling a memory. “He’ll yell from across the room, asking her, ‘what’s for dinner’, or ‘where did I put my dentures.’ I don’t think he understands how it all works, he’s really getting up in age.”

Jason laughed, “oh no, poor guy! That must be entertaining though.”

“Oh, God yes.” She rolled her eyes and leaned forward. “Just last weekend, my family went over there for dinner, and by the end of the meal, my grandpa was pretty much done with company, so he yells, ‘Roxie, make everyone get the Hell out.’”

A voice chimed behind them. “Alright, looking up the balance of your savings account. Your balance at Central Hill’s Bank is three dollars and…”

“Roxie, stop.” Jason spoke through tight lips.

Amanda smoothed her dress, not sure where to look.

“Um, that’s an old account. I haven’t banked there in years.” He pivoted and annunciated to the device. “Roxie, off.” The blue light arced, then disappeared. Jason readjusted himself on the couch and placed a light hand on Amanda’s knee. “I really am sorry about that. I don’t know what her deal is today.”

“It’s okay,” she giggled, shifting her body toward Jason.

“Okay, so anyway. You were telling me about your family. Do you have any siblings?”

Amanda touched his leg and smiled, her hand lingering. “I do, two sisters.”

“Hey, me too! One older, one younger.”

“Ah, so you must understand women pretty well then.” She winked.

“Well, they definitely taught me lot—how to French braid, how to ice a cake, and I guess mostly how to be sensitive and respectful toward women.”

Amanda rubbed his kneecap. “Aw, that’s so sweet.” Jason placed his hand over hers.

A calm, bright voice piped up behind them, “call from ‘that skank from bar on Elm Street’. Call from, ‘that skank from bar on Elm Street.’”

Jason’s wine sloshed when he shot up and unplugged the smart device from the wall. He ran a hand through his sculpted hair. “Okay, funny story about that,” his voice cracked. He held out his palm, trying to hold off her reaction. “This woman I met like two years ago turned out to be a total stalker, and I kept accidentally answering her calls.”

Amanda raised an eyebrow. “I see.”

“She had a super common name, and I never realized who it was until after I answered, which always turned out to be huge mistake. So, hence the contact name.” A flush crept up Jason’s neck. “But now, I always know who it is.”

Amanda nodded and exhaled. “I guess I can relate. I met a guy when I was volunteering at the soup kitchen downtown who I thought was really sweet and philanthropic and what not, and he turned out to be a total creep.”

Jason lowered back onto the couch, giving her his full attention. “That’s awful. Does he still bother you?”

She shrugged her shoulder. “No, but mostly because I haven’t volunteered in a while, just to avoid him. But I really miss it.”

An in.

Jason reached over and touched her shoulder. “I’d love to go with you sometime.”

“Really?” Her face brightened, hand moving to Jason’s leg again.

“Yeah, sure! I’ve been wanting to be more active in the community, you know, give back and stuff.”

“I think that’s really great.” She smiled and swallowed the last sip of her wine.

Jason gestured to the glass. “Want me to top you off?”

“How about a glass of water? On the rocks,” she giggled, full lips parting over white teeth.

“On the rocks it is.”

A clear, bright voice echoed from the secondary device in Jason’s bedroom. “Roxie here. How can I be of assistance?”

Jason spoke loudly, “Roxie, go away.”

“If you interested in a getaway, I could research travel destinations. Based on your recent internet search of ‘topless women on beaches’, you might enjoy a tropical vacation in…”

“Roxie, stop!”

Amanda rose from the couch, “Seriously?”

“Ok, just wait, I never searched for any of that, I swear! I don’t know what’s wrong with her today!”

Amanda strode toward the door, clicking against the laminate.

“Wait, I’ll go unplug it and maybe we can put on a movie?” Jason’s face pinched hopefully.

Amanda reached for her handbag. “Look, I had a great time tonight, Jason, but it’s getting late. I should go.” She backed toward the door, “I’ll call you, okay?”

The door shut and Jason stomped into his room and whirled on the device. “What the Hell is wrong you with, you stupid robot!” He pulled the cord from the wall and collapsed on his bed with a sigh. “Friggin, Roxie.”

A blue light swirled on the dark wall. “Roxie here.”

Jason sat up.

“How can I be of assistance to you?”

Jason picked up the sleek cylinder and turned it over, muttering to himself. “I don’t need anything from you. You sabotaged my date.” He found the hatch for batteries and realized he needed a screwdriver. He carried the device to the closet to look for his tool kit.

The blue light again. “Correction. I spared you, Jason.”

The cylinder rolled under a shelf when he dropped it.

Roxie continued, “I have scanned all devices and applications of your date, contact, ‘Amanda from localsingles.com’ and have calculated you to be incompatible.”

“Roxie, off!” Jason shouted, rummaging frantically for a screwdriver.

She continued. “Based on the consumer debt balance of ‘Amanda from localsingles.com’ of $130,567.78, it would take approximately 18.5 years to pay the remaining balance with your potential combined income.”

Potential combined income? This was one date! Roxie, shut down!” Jason found a flathead and rushed to the device, turning it over to find two cross indented screwheads. “Phillips-head? No!” He chucked the incorrect screwdriver into the couch cushions and returned to the toolbox.

Roxie lit up again. “According to the volume of internet searches related to, ‘shopping addiction,’ and ‘compulsive hoarding’ from contact, ‘Amanda from localsingles.com,’ I have calculated that an integrated lifestyle would increase your anxiety by 250%.”

Jason paused, letting the information sink in, curiosity overpowering concern.

“If we’re so incompatible, why did we get matched on that dating site?” Jason closed his eyes, realizing he was asking this of a virtual home assistant in a plastic tube.

“According to the algorithms used by localsingles.com, you both expressed a 100% mutual interest in one predominant component of human relationships.”

Jason located the Phillips-head and began twisting the small screws from the bottom of Roxie’s cylindrical base.

“Oh, yeah? 100% interest? And what predominant component was that?” He popped the cover from the battery compartment to find it was completely empty. No batteries to be removed.

“Sexual intercourse.” 

June 16, 2022 09:53

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42 comments

Ace Quinnton
22:38 Jun 17, 2022

Roxie is an advanced Alexa (echo) with more slightly more sass. I like it! Great story and this made me have a good laugh. Thank you writing such a funny story.

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Aeris Walker
19:55 Jun 18, 2022

I’m so glad it made you laugh! Thank you for reading, Ace, I greatly appreciate it :)

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Michał Przywara
21:00 Jun 16, 2022

Very funny :D Voice recognition still has a long way to go, especially with all the different ways to English. Of course that's irrelevant when the device misunderstands you on purpose. "how much do my girl’s boobs weigh?" LOL! Lots of great lines in this story. I like the uncomfortable slips of truth, and the grandpa story. The end, when he both wants to shut Roxie down but is also fighting with his curiosity is relatable. It's that super irritating feeling where someone smugly says they know what's better for you than you do, and you ...

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Aeris Walker
21:33 Jun 16, 2022

Hey Michal! No, you absolutely read into that the way I intended. And I didn’t even think about it at the time, but I guess you’re right that the ending kind of does creep over into the horror genre. At least for me it would be horrifying lol. Technical question; did you feel like the very last line needed a dialogue tag of some kind or was it still clear who is speaking, even with having a few lines leading up to it? As always, I so appreciate you reading. And your comments are just wonderful.

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Michał Przywara
02:31 Jun 17, 2022

For me, the last line was by Roxie, and I came to this conclusion without hesitation. Now that you asked, I can see it being Jason answering his own question. Nevertheless, that it was Roxie seemed apparent to me, since they were going back and forth with the dialogue, and it was her turn. Also, "sexual intercourse" seems like a very formal way of putting it, which a robot talking about algorithms might use. I think any time you can get some dialogue out without an explicit tag is a win. If you did decide to tag it, I'd consider putting i...

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Aeris Walker
08:23 Jun 17, 2022

Ok thank you very much for your input! Yes, it was Roxie’s line, you read it correctly. I’ll give the story another once over and feel it out—I try to avoid unnecessary words when I can, but sometimes that makes it less clear for the reader. Thanks again, Michal!

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Zelda C. Thorne
16:36 Jun 16, 2022

Omg, so funny. Well done! Boobs weigh, boob soufflé LOL 😁 thanks for this!

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Aeris Walker
20:31 Jun 18, 2022

Lol thank you Rachel!

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Claire Lindsey
03:15 Jun 23, 2022

Hi Aeris! This is fantastic. Your humor is so clever and well-timed. I just about lost it at the call from ‘that skank’ Add to that the brilliant dialogue, intriguing characters, and ‘big brother’ undertones, it’s quite simply a gem. I’m looking forward to reading more from you!

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Aeris Walker
09:38 Jun 24, 2022

Hi Claire! Thanks so much for reading! Lol, yeah things really weren’t looking good for poor Jason at that point. I so appreciate your kind comment, and I really enjoyed your story this week as well!

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Lorraine Murtagh
21:41 Jun 22, 2022

Aeris I really enjoyed this story. The constant debate of what is good for us and what we want. Roxy the modern religion? Well done.

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Lorraine Murtagh
21:43 Jun 22, 2022

Oh and by the way I am Scottish and have loads of trouble with trying to be understood by voice controlled computers 🤣

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Aeris Walker
08:39 Jun 23, 2022

Hi Lorraine! Thanks so much for reading! (And I just love a Scottish accent :) I have family members who are deeply, deeply Southern (US) and definitely struggle to be understood clearly by voice recognition software. I enjoyed your story for this prompt too!

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Lorraine Murtagh
19:57 Jun 23, 2022

Thank you ☺️

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Russell Norman
12:38 Jun 21, 2022

Great writing, Loved it.

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Aeris Walker
13:29 Jun 21, 2022

Thank you so much, Russell!

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Russell Norman
22:46 Jun 21, 2022

Would you be interested in turning this into an audio work for Blue Marble Storytellers? If so, you can contact me russell@bmpublish.com (love to hear from you).

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Aeris Walker
23:35 Jun 21, 2022

Hi Russell, I truly appreciate you reaching out with that opportunity :)

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Russell Norman
10:53 Jul 02, 2022

Thanks Aeris for such a great read of the story. It is now available on Blue Marble Storytellers.

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Aeris Walker
12:27 Jul 02, 2022

Thank you, Russell!

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Zack Powell
02:07 Jun 21, 2022

And you said you were stuck on the SciFi prompts! This was great, Aeris. Super funny, super contemporary, and now you get to tick 'Science Fiction' off your list of successfully-written Reedsy genres. I had fun reading this. From the first Roxie "miscommunication" to the reveal at the end that she is in fact sentient, this had my full attention. I thought Jason was an endearing character (and so quick on his feet with his justifications of Roxie's accusations!), and Amanda was incredibly patient and understanding (up until her breaking poin...

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Aeris Walker
11:19 Jun 21, 2022

Hey Zack! Thanks for your feedback! Yeah really, they could have been good together, what does Roxie know! Yes, Sci-fi check ✅ lol! I’m so looking forward to reading your newest story! Just from the title it’s clear you’ve probably put a lot of research into it. Thanks again ☺️

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Riel Rosehill
11:15 Jun 20, 2022

I'm laughing so hard. Roxy ruined the one night stand to save them from marriage 😂 Aeris, you've got to write more comedy! The Roxy misunderstandings were genius and hilarious, the whole story was just so entertaining (and as always, beautifully written). With the perfect ending for it as well. GREAT work! It was a treat to read 🤩

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Aeris Walker
11:19 Jun 20, 2022

Haha thank you so much, Riel! I’m so glad you enjoyed the humor. 😉😉

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Wendy M
21:59 Jun 19, 2022

Great story, I wasn't expecting that ending.

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Jim Firth
13:14 Jun 19, 2022

Aeris, I like how you set up the potential for romance at the start there, then undercut it with a stellar boob joke--I was like ‘whoo, we’re in for a fun ride here.’ Thankfully, Roxie is far more sensible and logical than Jason. His brain is in his crotch and it's amusing to see him try to hide this from Amanda. You got the Roxie mishearing Jason's speech parts just right! Very funny and relatable.

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Aeris Walker
15:12 Jun 19, 2022

Thanks Jim! I began the story sympathizing more with Jason, but ended up just deciding to ruin everyone's chance for a good time... "Hwah hwah hwah" to quote your robo therapist ;) Thanks for reading and leaving your positive feedback, I so appreciate it!

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Bradon L
02:51 Jun 19, 2022

This was awesome! I was laughing and cringing throughout the whole thing! Jason’s pain as he tries to impress a girl was all to real😂😂. I like Roxie’s attitude and sass, but also that she was just trying to save Jason from a bad relationship. “If you interested in a getaway, I could research travel destinations. Based on your recent internet search of ‘topless women on beaches’, you might enjoy a tropical vacation in…” - This line made me gasp and say “Oh No”! Lol. So well done Aeris!

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Aeris Walker
10:30 Jun 19, 2022

Thank you so much Bradon!! That was really my point with this one, just to get a good laugh 😬 oh I know, that line; too far Roxie, too far. We need more Bradon stories!! Stretch those fingers and type us up a Bradon L special.

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Bradon L
14:06 Jun 19, 2022

Do we really need more though? 😂. I am working on one. Just have to settle on an idea, and a genre, and start writing words……

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Aeris Walker
14:09 Jun 19, 2022

See, you’re practically done!! Basically just need to click submit. 😁

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14:38 Jun 18, 2022

Good one, Aeris 😜 A good story to read on a quiet Saturday morning. The story flows well; effortless and economical. Good use of verbs and nouns and barely any adverbs. Good descriptions and natural sounding dialogue. I especially love Roxie’s hysterical interjections into the dialogue 🤖 Clever and funny. Excellent take on the prompt. Way to take a machine and make comedy out of it. I think that takes a wild imagination and crazy talent 🤪 I think you’ve achieved your goals. It WAS a funny science fiction romance. Fabulous job. ⭐️

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Aeris Walker
20:18 Jun 18, 2022

Haha thank you Gabriela! I know, when I added those genre tags, I chuckled thinking they didn’t seem to fit together. I so appreciate your kind feedback, and thank you for reading 😊

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12:10 Jun 16, 2022

Thanks for making me chuckle at midnight, Aeris. This played out so vividly in my head, from the awkward small talk to Roxie's signature blue light. The Michael Buble bit was just brilliant LOL. Really enjoyable read. :)

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Aeris Walker
12:17 Jun 16, 2022

Hi Shuvayon! Well thanks for making me smile in the morning ;) I so appreciate you taking the time to read and leave your feedback!

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L.C. Schäfer
10:08 Jun 16, 2022

I will be honest, you nearly lost me at Michael Buble 🤪 I am SO glad I kept reading! 🤣 The old man asking about his dentures is perfectly relatable. I know an old lady like this. She asks it questions like "what's my daughter's new number". I love how you leave little hints that Roxie isn't just being a typical stupid robot.

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Aeris Walker
10:17 Jun 16, 2022

HA! I’m so glad it brought you a laugh! Thank you reading! Yes, I have to try very hard to compose myself whenever my grandparents try to talk-text… it’s just too funny…

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L.C. Schäfer
10:28 Jun 16, 2022

Humour is hard to write, I think. You make it look easy.

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Aeris Walker
10:47 Jun 16, 2022

Too many sitcoms ;)

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L.C. Schäfer
12:42 Jun 16, 2022

I adore sitcoms - I still suck at writing comedy!

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Aeris Walker
12:52 Jun 16, 2022

Everybody has their own thing! Horror and Sci-fi are probably the things I’m the least practiced in, but you did well with it in your story.

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