The priest gestured for his following to be seated. He took out a cooking pot and placed it on a nearby column; a small one painted black from top to bottom. He squatted down and fiddled around with the column.
The audience was looking at him, baffled. The priest kept lifting the pot up and down, looking down at the column when the former happened. It was all there, the red rings of the burner operating as usual. He placed the pot back on the column and addressed a confused mass.
“Seems that Sir is out of range,” He said. “Let’s try the prayers again. Reach out and pull Sir back in.”
The prayers were like any other in the Order of Serviced Consumers. Starting with “O’ great Sir”, then something about domestic goods and being blessed to use them, and ending it with “Have a nice day”. The church prayed, their sound amplified throughout the architecture of large spaces.
The pot remained silent. No boiling and certainly no mobile phones were going to pop out at this rate. Out of range was definitely the problem.
“Manager McGuffin,” a girl called out. “Maybe Sir prefers landline.”
McGuffin walked forward and leaned out, searching. Then succeeding after trying to squint through forests of six-foot one, “What do you mean, lady?”
“Well, you remember back to the Founding,” the girl said. “When everyone was hooked on smartphones.”
The early days of Serviced Consumers mostly consisted of crowdsourcing through social networking and flyers on café bulletin boards. Some of the founders used smartphones to ease the tedious booting up business they were annoyed with. Easy and portable, they worked for the Founders.
Problem was their early followers. Some of them had a fondness for playing with computers.
Manager McGuffin smiled, “Most landlines are immune to the dark arts. Good mind, lady.”
He then walked from the nearby pews to an ambry. He looked through the self with the Etch-a-Sketchs, beta max tapes and a Dreamcast until he found a landline. It was just a standard one from the late 20th century with the phone cord, receiver, and square buttons.
He took it out and plugged it into the column, opening a small hatch for the phone cord. The prayers happened again while McGuffin dialed some numbers. Moments later, his face became pale.
“Employees of Sir,” He asked. “Any idea where the nearest phone company is?”
For Flash Fiction Project: Prompt 40.