Air Conditioning Anarchy

The wave of spiders tumbled over each other as they sped toward me. My entire body was frozen. I remember opening my mouth to scream. Nothing came out except for that hideous knocking noise. 

It burst from my lungs like a radio speaker, vibrating my rib cage. Knock. Knock. Knock. Something inside me wanted out. The darkness was suffocating. I blinked and the sea of spiders morphed into a tall figure. My hands gripped the couch, but I couldn’t move as it descended on me.

Fingers made of thousands of crawling spiders reached toward me. My eyes watered. It grabbed my face in one hand, but it was fleshy and moved against my skin as the spiders crawled over each other.

I don’t remember what happened next. When morning came, I was on the floor of the living room. At first, I thought I had dreamt the whole thing. Thought that maybe I needed to abandon the idea of monsters, or booking another air conditioning service near Brisbane. Maybe it was sleep paralysis.

The air conditioning unit was no longer making any abnormal noises. In fact, it was heating the room up as it was scheduled to do.

That calmed my brain. However, don’t think that I only wrote to you with a story and no hard proof. I was a sceptical person at heart, before all of this happened. It was a point of pride. Maybe that was why I clung on so stubbornly to the idea that I needed to try every heating service around Brisbane. I was terrified of the idea that I was losing my mind.

I wish that it had been so simple as a dream but, as I’m sure you’ve gathered, I wouldn’t be writing to you if it was. When I looked in the mirror that day, I knew that I hadn’t imagined it. Across my face was a large red handprint.

I don’t know what happened that night; not fully. This is the last time I ever want to think about it. I moved out the following day and haven’t looked back since. I thought maybe writing to you would help me find peace but… I am starting to feel watched.

I have to go.


Annabeth Piltoove

Fixing Aircons Freely

The winter winds put up a good fight. They made no effort to hide their infiltration into Adeline’s room, howling eerily as they crept under the space between the door and the floor. The broken aircon only sat and watched the onslaught. 

Adeline risked the cold air, jumping out of her blankets. She rushed over and found one of the many socks she had strewn across the floor during the week. With a smirk that should have been too wicked to have been the result of such a simple act, she stuffed the crack with socks and shirts. Who knew only a minute of needing to sit down and research would make her so eager to personify the wind into a malicious force?

It made the task of booking heating repairs near Canberra a little more fun, at least. Anything that made the task feel a bit more hopeful was appreciated. She tread back to the nest of blankets she had made on her bed. Every step felt icy cold under the scrutiny of the freezing floorboards. Next time, she was going to make sure to service the unit regularly. Gods, she would even pick up a weekly dusting routine to prevent blockages like her sister Valerie did.

She wasn’t sure why her mood was souring so quickly. Given her propensity for getting into uncomfortable situations, she thought that she would be able to endure a task as small as this. The morning of training she had endured in the winter cold had properly made the situation even worse. 

After an hour of being bruised, the last problem she had wanted to find waiting for her was busted air conditioning. Canberra was so far from the sunny beaches of her hometown. There, she had faced heatwaves and sticky mornings, but it was nothing that a dip in the ocean couldn’t fix. Here, it didn’t seem to matter how many blankets she donned. It was a hopeless cause.

Incredible Air Conditioning

We’ve been given a fairly generous grant to create an air conditioning unit that’s both efficient and indestructible, so that’s our current mission. Create invincible air con, or die trying, or maybe not die, just not get any more money or recognition for our achievements. It was made pretty clear that ethics would only stand in the way and we have no need of them, which is probably why this particular set of scientists was chosen. I’ll freely admit it: I’ll do anything in the name of progress, up to and including programming a prosthetic limb to repeatedly slap the owner’s face and verbally abuse them until they say they’re a chicken. I STILL say that was valuable data, and the company had no right to fire me.

So. I suppose our aim is for people doing air conditioning repairs in Melbourne to…not do that job any more, I suppose? Oh, well, we wouldn’t want to put anyone out of a job. I expect that, once we create the air conditioning unit of the future using any means necessary- probably dark science, if I had to guess- then the industry will go through some changes, and maybe all the air conditioning repair people will instead transition to air conditioning cleaning people. I mean, it’s not like science is any closer to creating objects that can clean themselves! That would be silly!

Speaking of which, I grow very tired of Velma, who claims to be a cooling rod specialist but has the competence of a half-eaten bag of peanuts. There’s a small chance that I might have to kill her. But there’s also a small chance that I won’t! It’s a tense workplace, with all of us relatively mad people working in close proximity and scheming schemes. Still, there are worse things in life. Crocodiles, stealth ducks, and perhaps the thought that Melbourne air conditioning won’t become the best in the world, and totally invulnerable. But it definitely will, so…