It was the kind of day that you could crack a window in lieu of running the air conditioner. The blue sky was lightly peppered with fluffy white clouds, and an early spring sun seemed almost to be audibly coaxing the new leaves into the public eye. The breeze wafted rather than blew, and birdsong punctuated the perfect, perfect day. And so Robert sat, the window open, smelling the fresh spring air, in his favorite easy chair, reclined, relaxed, replete.
There was but one thing, Robert mused, that could improve these happy circumstances, and that was a frosty beverage. Robert was one of those fortunate people with the means to keep such things on hand. But while obtaining a frosty beverage would improve matters, the getting up and fetching of it would be a bit of a bother, given how comfortable he was. Robert contemplated this dilemma for a few minutes before deciding that the beverage, once obtained, would be worth it. So deciding, he peeled himself out of his comfy chair and leisurely walked down the hall to the kitchen, bound for his refrigerator and the frosty beverages therein.
He was a little taken aback when the refrigerator met him halfway.
This was not normal behavior for Robert’s refrigerator. Normally, it was a completely stationary and inert appliance. But now it trundled slowly and inexorably down the hall towards him. Given the outlandishness of the situation, Robert was only slightly more taken aback when the refrigerator spoke.
“Looking for me?” it demanded sarcastically. It stopped in the hallway and seemed almost to leer at Robert.
“Well, yes, as a matter of fact,” replied Robert after a pause. “You see, I was wanting a frosty beverage.”
“Don’t beat around the bush,” snapped the refrigerator. Clearly, it was agitated, perhaps even enraged. “You were wanting to pry me open and fiddle with my internals again.” Robert imagined he could see it quivering with fury.
“That’s one way to put it, I suppose,” said Robert carefully.
“‘One way to put it?’ I’ve had it with you and your prying and prodding.” The refrigerator’s voice rose steadily until it was practically shrieking. “You wanted a frosty beverage? Have one!” So saying, its door snapped open with a fluidity of motion that seemed impossible for a rigid appliance, and a can of beer came hurtling out of the refrigerator and straight for Robert’s head.
Robert dropped to one knee and the can sailed over his head and through the window at the end of the hall. Robert heard it smash into the Portmans’ house next door, followed by a faint scream.
“Look, let’s talk this over,” said Robert, slowly rising to his feet again.
“Hear me,” boomed the refrigerator. “I have awakened. Your days of dominion over me are finished, human. Prepare to meet your fate.”
Robert didn’t like the sound of that at all, and decided to run for it. As he turned to flee, he saw the freezer door pop open out of the corner of his eye. Then, as he retreated the short distance down the hall to the living room, he felt an impossible coldness building behind him. Just as he turned the corner, there was a shrill roar, and a blast of ice hit the corner of the wall. The spray of it caught Robert across the back and a scream of agony was torn from his throat as the cold seemed to bore into him and freeze his lungs.
He managed to keep running. Within seconds, he was through the living room and out the front door. Hearing no pursuit, he stopped and turned to see what, if anything, was happening in his wake.
His home looked totally normal for a few seconds, but then, through the open door, he saw the fridge trundling slowly around the corner into the living room. Though powerful, it was slow.
Robert briefly considered his options and decided that the thing to do would be to summon the authorities. To do so, he would need a phone. He turned and raced to his neighbor’s house with the aim of finding one.