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The Ugliest Fan Known to Man


This is the infamous fan that Maximilian Cress brought up from the basement the night his wife claimed she could still hear phantom keys coming from the computer room. With a spinach-colored base and faux wood finish it is, by all accounts, the ugliest fan known to man.


Rubia had grown accustomed to her son’s plinkety taps upon the keyboard bleeding through the wall of the computer room into the kitchen while she cooked dinner each afternoon. It had become a song of comfort – a small, good thing that let her know she was home and not just inside some strange house.


With a too-short cord designed for tripping ankles and a bumbling busted blade that would stall in oscillation, hiccupping loudly several times before finally jerking its way round with a screech - like a neck having to ritually break itself just to pivot, or an ice tray flexed fresh out of the freezer - the fan had been bought on sale at K-Mart to aid Maximilian in expediting the drying of pink paint for his newest daughter’s nursery. It don’t need to look pretty it just needs to do the damn job, he had snapped at Rubia over the phone, a statement he would eventually regret upon actually slapping eyes on the thing.


In spite of its ridiculous appearance, it would perform its function of muffling the noise that wasn’t really there (surely Rubia knew this on some level, Max rationalized—it was nothing more than a kind of placebo effect) for several weeks, until the morning his grief-rattled wife would walk into the room greeted by a fan sprawled face-down on the floor, twitching to rotate, convulsing, its rotor ground down to a low, lifeless click.


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