I, phone

by BRK

 Will’s new fringe-brand phone has some strange features, including a joke setting to exaggerate a bit when you ask it about you.

Added: Jun 2022 2,465 words 4,509 views 4.5 stars (8 votes) This story was commissioned via Patreon Vignette Party.

I

It had been another long week at the call center. Seriously, customers seem to be getting stupider and angrier all the time, which is a bad combination. So when my coworker-buddies Evan and Manny suggested a bit of month-end food and boozing at the local C.J. Rockwilde’s franchise in town I said “Hell, yeah.” (Scoff all you want, but the food at this one is good, the waiters are mostly hot, and on Fridays they tend to pour the drinks with a heavy hand, if you know what I mean.)

We had a round booth in the back, on the fringe of a moodily-lit restaurant expanse full of bubbly families and unwinding work refugees like us. We were quick with our orders—big burgers and even bigger beers, and an extra-large basket of their signature seasoned waffle fries to share. Once our menus were handed back to the cute Indian waiter, we heaved a slow, collective exhale at finally being shed of a week of stress, monotony, and abuse. I almost regretted the modern business casual work standard, just because between us with my coffee-colored henley, Even’s raspberry polo, and Manny’s open striped long-sleeve over a black tee, none of us could perform the symbolic ritual of loosening our ties at the end of a long day like our forefathers had before us.

“Oh, hey, I forgot to show you guys,” I said, reaching into my pocket and pulling out my new phone. I’d just had it delivered the night before, and I was pretty proud of it. Already I felt this reassuring bond with the thing, like it was a comfort having it near me, and I’d barely done anything with it beyond play with the settings and text my mom.

Manny took it from me. “This an iPhone or Android?” he asked skeptically, turning it over with a frown. It was true, the dimensions weren’t quite right for an iPhone, and the camera on the back corner had a weird double-hexagonal lens. He passed the phone to Evan on my other side, who seemed equally dubious.

I leaned back against the hard booth upholstery, a notch more relaxed now just knowing beer was coming. “Neither,” I said. “It’s a ‘Tad’.”

They both looked at me, Evan boyishly amused like I was acting like I’d already had a couple, Manny silently incredulous. “That’s what it calls itself. You know, instead of Siri or whatever.”

“Yeah,” Manny tried again, “but what OS is it? I mean, do you get apps from the App Store, or…?”

I shrugged. “What apps do I need? I set up my contacts and my email, I’m done.”

Manny looked at me like I was an idiot. Evan was reading the small incised text on the back, still smiling. “Dude, this thing says it was ‘made in Penfrodia’. That’s not even a place.” He glanced up at me, his pale blue eyes glinting with mirth.

“Oh, let me show you this cool thing it does,” I said, grabbing the phone back from Evan and thumbing the screen on. Our beers came just then, and we all took deep, grateful pulls from the tall frothy glasses of amber goodness, me one-handed. “Look,” I said, setting down my beer. “There’s a ‘comical’ setting for ‘Tad’ where you can make it give slightly exaggerated answers when you ask it about yourself.”

Manny gaped at me. “Why?” he asked.

“Like what?” Evan urged.

I took another long sip of beer, and the boys followed suit. Replacing my glass, I set the phone down in front of me on the dark, wood-grain table. “Tad,” I said, addressing the phone, “exactly how tall am I?”

The others leaned forward a little. A friendly baritone voice responded from the phone, familiar now despite my having only heard it a few times so far. The timber and resonance seemed a bit stronger than the dinky speakers on a phone should have been able to manager, and there was a very, very slight accent that I couldn’t quite identify but that had already settled comfortably into my insides somehow. “Hi Will,” it said—it was programmed to greet me first if we hadn’t talked in a while. “You are exactly 6 feet, 1 and a half inches tall.”

I smiled, glancing between Evan and Manny to get their reactions at this bald-faced lie… though the odd thing was I was strongly tempted to believe Tad, despite the wacky A.I. having clearly added a couple inches to my height. I felt a vague tendril of warmth curl through my innards, and I shifted in my seat uncertainly. Evan and Manny were reacting with faint confusion: Evan’s caramel-blond brows were up, while Manny’s darker brows were furrowed.

“That’s… accurate,” Manny said cautiously. “Right?” He looked at me, then at Evan.

“Yeah, same as me,” Evan assured Manny. He looked back at me, lips quirking. “Where’s the crazy exaggeration? I thought it would tell you you were a giant or something.”

I felt the briefest moment of puzzlement at tall, skinny Evan saying we were the same height. Evan was taller than I was… wasn’t he? Maybe not. I shifted again, half-consciously, and all at once my uncertainty settled and instantly melted away. “C’mon,” I said with a smile. “Six one and a half? I’m six one even for sure.”

They blinked at me. “Wow,” Manny drawled. “Comical.”

“Okay, here’s one,” I said with a grin, glancing at Manny. He had been dragging me to the gym to work out with him for a good six weeks now, but so far my slightly softened late-20s bod stubbornly refused to bear any kind of resemblance to Manny’s impressively ripped middleweight boxer physique, which he seemed to maintain with infuriating ease. I addressed the phone again. “Tad,” I said, “how much muscle have I gained working out with Manny this month?”

“Will,” the calm, pleasant voice answered, “you have gained ten pounds of muscle.”

I turned my grin back to Manny, sure he’d be amusingly derisive at this—though again I felt a powerful inclination to completely swallow Tad’s ridiculous assertion as if it were the absolute truth. Because it wasn’t really that ridiculous. Was it? I’d worked hard at those gym sessions, twice a week after work plus Saturdays, and Manny had been pushing me like a taskmaster. I rolled my shoulders, looking down instinctively to where my henley draped gently over the thin but substantive pecs I hadn’t really had a month or two ago.

Manny was doing the same. “That sounds about right, actually,” Manny said judiciously. “I was kind of surprised how quickly you tightened up and started layering on muscle.” Our eyes met, and I was surprised to catch a glimpse of interest there. He wasn’t just impressed by my recently acquired beef, he was into it. Manny normally dated girls, though. Or—maybe he was bi? My dick twitched in a response to Manny’s subtextually serious gaze.

We both turned to Evan, who was also checking me out—unsurprising in his case, as he was even more unambiguously gay than I was. I wasn’t the first time I’d caught him looking in recent weeks, either. He tossed me a smirk and a wink. “All I know is, it looks good on you,” he said. He grabbed his beer glass and lifted it toward us. “To Will getting buff!”

We dutifully raised our own beers and clinked. “Hear, hear!” I said, and we each reduced the ale content of our glasses by half.

“Okay, let me try,” Evan said when we’d set our drinks down again, wiping a bit of foam from his mouth. “Maybe you’re not doing it right.” Evan was a bit of a lightweight and was already showing the first subtle signs of intoxication, which for him meant a collapsing of inhibitions reminiscent of a falling house of cards. (Unlike me and Manny—Manny mostly gets stoic when he’s drunk, while I tend to get physically sensitive and kinda horny.)

Evan snatched the phone off the table and held it in front of him. “Tad,” he said, leaning on the name as if it were the dumbest moniker for a phone A.I. ever, “I want you to…” He thought a second. “…tell me about Will’s abs.”

“Hey, stop that,” I said. I reached for the phone, not wanting to hear about my nonexistent abs, but Evan held it out of reach.

“Will has nicely defined six-pack abs,” the phone announced from where Evan was holding it out away from me, toward the aisle.

I scoffed at this. My abs weren’t nicely defined at all, and they certainly weren’t a six-pack. I mean, I had been doing a lot of sit-ups, even outside the workouts with Manny—“Give it back!” I said, trying to reach past Evan.

Evan ignored my efforts to get the phone back. “No, Tad,” he insisted to the phone, “tell me about Will’s abs.”

I noticed the waiter, Amir, approaching with our food through the throng and stopped trying to wrestle my way past Evan. “Give it back,” I repeated sotto voce.

At the same time, Tad responded, “Will has firm, cut eight-pack abs.”

“Does he now?” Amir said with a smile as he started thunking down the heavy plates. I blushed a little.

Evan wasn’t paying attention to either of us. He brought the phone in front of his face again. “Tad,” he demanded, as if the phone were being deliberately obtuse, “I need you to tell me, comically, about Will’s abs!”

“Will,” Tad responded, as warm and serene as ever, “has chiseled, ten-pack abs.”

“I’d pay to see that,” the waiter remarked amiably, settling down the last of our burger platters and the shared order of fries. Evan dropped the phone on the table with a sigh.

Somewhat to my surprise it was Manny who obligingly lifted up my henley, exposing my admittedly delicious zero-fat ten-pack. The waiter whistled appreciatively. Evan, already over his pique, reached over and rubbed his hand over them. “They’re like cobblestones,” he confirmed to Amir, his tone suggestive. I tried to bat his hand away, but he brought it right back, like ten-packs are made to be felt up (a sentiment I had heard a few times before, as it happens, and at least once in those exact words).

“Very nice,” Amir said, eyes lingering on my exposed torso. “Um, shall I bring you guys another round?”

“Absolutely,” I said, not intending the pun. I pushed Evan’s hand away again and retrieved the scruff of my shirt from Manny, letting it drop over the abs-spectacle. Amir promised he’d be back soon with our drinks, even as the enticing odor of our burgers and the glistening fries diverted us from all thoughts of Tads and abs. We leaned forward and tucked in greedily, enjoying the food and beer like it was manna from the gods, and bitched as friends do about coworkers and bosses and compared notes on the dumbest calls we’d gotten that week.

I think there was a third round of beers that night. For sure we were more than a bit sloppy as we tumbled out of the C.J. Rockwilde’s and stumbled across the parking lot to where we were meeting the rideshare Manny had ordered. “Okay, give me your Tad phone,” Manny said. Without waiting for a response he deftly retrieved it from my front pocket.

My own reaction was delayed by a few seconds of admiration for his having retained that kind of eye-hand coordination. “Hey, give it!” I slurred, very belatedly.

Manny pressed a hand against my new pecs to hold me back. “Tad,” he said to the phone, his tone overcompensatingly deliberate, “tell us about… Will’s dick.”

“Hey!” I objected, making another ineffective reach for the phone. Evan was right next to me on the other side with his arm around my shoulder, giggling drunkenly in my ear, and the weight of his arm and the proximity of his lips to my overexcited flesh were both chubbing me up big-time.

“Will has an uncut ten-inch cock of above-average thickness,” Tad responded, just as though that were a perfectly ordinary thing for a phone to say.

“Score,” Evan said.

Fuck, I was turned on and mostly hard already, and having these two guys and Tad talking about by extra-large junk was going to be a problem. “Guys… just…” I faltered, not sure where I was going with my complaint. What was I objecting to, exactly?

Manny looked at Evan, then put his own arm around my waist and started the three of us walking toward the car again. “Tad,” Manny said, holding up the phone in his other hand, “you gotta tell us there’s enough for both of us. Tell us there’s enough Will dick for me and Evan both.” If I had been sober I would have goggled at this, but I was blitzed and crazy horny. There was a faint edge of pleading in Manny’s voice, too—and the state I was in, I was kind of on the same page. Yeah, Tad, I thought. Tell us there’s enough for both of ‘em.

“Will,” came the sound of Tad’s voice from the phone, “has two thick, suck-hungry twelve-inch dicks.”

“Yes!” Evan cheered. “I knew it!”

We were at the car. Manny and Evan bundled me into the back seat between them, and without warning Evan started messily making out with me while Manny carefully told the driver we were all going to my place instead of separate destinations. We pulled out into the busy late-Friday traffic, Manny taking charge of my mouth from Evan while Evan slid his hand under my shirt to feel up my abs again, and all I could do was marvel at how incredibly okay I was that my one secret, the fact that I was in possession of twin juicy cocks, had finally been blown—no pun intended. I thought for a second about needing to get my phone back from Manny, but soon I was drowning in pleasure and all thoughts of my phone slipped away. They could keep it and ask Tad all the dumb questions about me they wanted.

 

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