THE SHINE JOURNAL

Flash Literature, Poetry, Art and Photography!

(Editor's Note: There are no typos in this work.)

 

AUTOMATED REPLIES

by

R J Barker

 

 

 

T15.20.D05/13/2035>>From:PolCent<<//Filepath/>>HomU1282>>HomCent>>PthCent>>>>Recrds>>IDU1282>>PolCent-CustRelHub>>M28/DskHub4//ADV2822. (hndlr)

>>To:CitizenNo842282/NY/l<<<

---Priority?1---  >Overide-Status?Total.<-COMM?RunDrlck/RunCmlock/<

 

Dear CitizenNo842282/NY/1


We regret to inform you that your husband/wife/partner/other has been found dead/murdered.

 

You are to be held under the Statistics Act 2028, subsection B.  Please make yourself available to our officers.

 

Officers will be with you in 18m21s.  You do not need to pack as clothes and toiletries will be provided for you in ConPross.

 

Please acknowledge.

 

>>End<<

 

 

T15.21.D05/13/2035>>From:PolCent<<//Filepath/>>HomU1282>>HomCent>>PthCent>>>>Recrds>>IDU1282>>PolCent-CustRelHub>>M28/DskHub4//ADV2822. (hndlr)

>>To:Dispatch<<

>>Acquire units.

>>Unitins//RunEmoSuppress//AcquirecasefileJD1285/FileHubED28/1/2

>>DispatchUnits.

 

>>End<<

 

 

 

T15.24.D05/13/2035>>From:PolCent<<//Filepath/>>HomU1282>>HomCent>>PthCent>>>>Recrds>>IDU1282>>PolCent-CustRelHub>>M28/DskHub4//ADV2822. (hndlr)

>>To:CitizenNo842282/NY/l<<<

---Priority?1---  >Overide-Status?Total.<

 

Dear CitizenNo842282/NY/l

 

This is our confirmation of your acknowledgemnet.  Your case No.is - JD1285/FileHubED28/1/2.

 

Thank you for your request for details.  Unofrtunately, we cannot supply details prior to a court case.

 

Officers will be with you in 14m39s.  You do not need to pack as clothes and toiletries will be provided for you in ConPross..

 

Please acknowledge.

 

>>End<<

 

 

T15.25.D05/13/2035>>From:PolCent<<//Filepath/>>HomU1282>>HomCent>>PthCent>>>>Recrds>>IDU1282>>PolCent-CustRelHub>>M28/DskHub4//ADV2822. (hndlr)

>>To:ArrestUnits<<

 

Susp in Prop.  AckRecvd. Proceed.

CAUTION!  Corres denotes Susp Agitated.  (Take a handkerchief for this one boys.)

 

>>End<<

 

 

T15.28.D05/13/2035>>From:PolCent<<//Filepath/>>HomU1282>>HomCent>>PthCent>>>>Recrds>>IDU1282>>PolCent-CustRelHub>>M28/DskHub4//ADV2822. (hndlr)

>>To:CitizenNo842282/NY/l<<<

---Priority?1---  >Overide-Status?Total<

 

Dear CitizenNo842282/NY/1

 

Thank you for your acknowledgemnet.  Unofrtunately, we cannot supply details prior to a court case.

 

Officers will be with you in 10m08s.  You do not need to pack as clothes and toiletries will be provided for you in ConPross..

 

Please acknowledge.

 

>>End<<

 

 

T15.30.D05/13/2035>>From:PolCent<<//Filepath/>>HomU1282>>HomCent>>PthCent>>>>Recrds>>IDU1282>>PolCent-CustRelHub>>M28/DskHub4//ADV2822. (hndlr)

>>To:CitizenNo842282/NY/l<<<

---Priority?1---  >Overide-Status?Total.<

 

Dear CitizenNo842282/NY/

 

Officers will be with you in 8m08s.  You do not need to pack as clothes and toiletries will be provided for you in ConPross..

 

Please acknowledge.

 

>>End<<

 

 

 

T15.32.D05/13/2035>>From:PolCent<<//Filepath/>>HomU1282>>HomCent>>PthCent>>>>Recrds>>IDU1282>>PolCent-CustRelHub>>M28/DskHub4//ADV2822. (hndlr)

>>To:CitizenNo842282/NY/l<<<

---Priority?1---  >Overide-Status?Total.<-COMM-RunDrlck/RunCmlock/<

 

Dear CitizenNo842282/NY/

 

Officers will be with you in 6m08s.  You do not need to pack as clothes and toiletries will be provided for you in ConPross.

 

Please acknowledge.

 

>>End<<

 

 

T15.39.D05/13/2035>>From:PolCent<<//Filepath/>>HomU1282>>HomCent>>PthCent>>>>Recrds>>IDU1282>>PolCent-CustRelHub>>M28/DskHub4//ADV2822. (hndlr) 

>>>>To:ArrestUnits<<

 

Report recvd.  Logged 15.38.  05/13/2035.

Frcd Entry – Reg met.

Scn Seald – Reg Met.

Coroner Ptchthrgh – Reg Met.

TOD?15.29

MOD?Self-Terminate?Confirmed.

Case Status?Closed.

Please Await next Casefile.

 

>>End<<

 

R J BARKER shares...

RJ BARKER is often mistaken for a girl even though he isn’t one.  He thinks it’s funny.  RJ is English and slightly eccentric, his first novel ‘Dead?Dave’, is due out next year.  RJ also has really nice hair.   He says, "RJ doesn’t like writing about himself in the third person as it always seems very odd to say RJ when I mean I and then I slip out of third person into first which I’m much more comfortable with."


MOTIVATION:

"Like most people who write I’ve done a variety of odd jobs.  Often working in large callcentres.  I’m also a bit of a crime fan and ‘Automated Replies’ was an attempt to bring the two of them together. "  

RJ shares that he wanted to write something utterly cold and remorseless but that wasn’t really horrific on first glance.  Hence the repetition within it and the letter form, we’re used to this sort of thing in our everyday lives.  "I also wanted to show that although it seems mechanical and cold, there are people behind these letters, and that those people just didn’t care. That’s why there are errors there, this is a copy and paste job done by some office drone. " 

"To the citizen, " he adds, "this is a nightmare come true: someone close to them has been killed and they are the chief suspect  (the subtext being they are also the only one ‘they’ bother with).  To the person sending the letters it’s just another job - they’re carelessly using jargon and remain untouched by whatever correspondence they’re receiving back.  They’ve not even bothered doing the ‘delete as applicable’ bits.  It’s Orwell’s 1984 come to pass. I hope, it’s quite dry and dull on first read, and that as a reader you skip most of the headers for each message.  Then I hope you re-read it and realise just how terrifying a situation like this could be."

Or you might just hate it.

That’s okay too.  

Officers will be with you in 29m41s.


RJ can be contacted at
dedbutdrmng@yahoo.com  or you can read old stories and odd poetry at his myspace thing here - http://www.myspace.com/dedbutdrmng  (you might want to turn your speakers down though…)

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