by Sergio Suarez - Fiction Vortex September 2014

Computer Girl

By Jon Arthur Kitson

The first thing Mr. Bradley did when he took over as manager eight months before was turn the desks in the bullpen so they faced away from his office. Now, looking out his window, Sheila understood why.

Every few minutes, one of the Center’s two dozen women would stand, stretch away the strain of hours of running calculations, and fully display her rear-end. There appeared to be a hierarchy. The most shapely bottoms inhabited the closest rows. By the last row, the look was more pumpkin than apple.

Apparently, Sheila wasn’t the first to notice.

Suzanne, desk front and center of the first row, stood, arms reaching for the ceiling. She peeked a sly, painted smile over her shoulder. When she saw only Sheila looking, she quickly sat down.

Sheila grinned until she noticed her own desk next to Suzanne’s.

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Best of 2013 – The Traditional Taste

The thing that’s so enjoyable about The Traditional Taste, by Jon Arthur Kitson, is that it feels powerful and yet slightly whimsical all at the same time. That’s a pretty surprising combo, but then again, so is a story about a robot that learns to be a professional coffee taster. It’s okay if you need to go back and read that sentence again.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

The Traditional Taste

By Jon Arthur Kitson

The robot didn’t slurp. Koa found that obscene.

No one else in the room seemed to care.

“It’s not mixing air with the coffee,” Koa said. “It won’t get an accurate flavor profile.”

“It doesn’t need air,” a technician — ’Brad’ according to his name tag — answered.

Koa’s eyes rolled. He folded his arms across his chest, squeezed the brass spittoon between his legs and stared down the tasting table at the robot. It sat in his father’s spot.

It’s blank eyes were lit red. Liquid drained into its chest cavity.

No spitting. Obscene.

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