Throttling

I admit that I haven’t kept up with the Nanowrimo word count. I think I’m probably about 15,000 words behind. Anyway, shoganai. What I did do, however, was write a little story about my recent run in with my cell phone carrier. I figured I could post some vindictive, whiny post about the poor state of smartphone data plans but instead I wrote this story. Hope you enjoy and if you have any comments leave them below. Or let me know some other way, up to you. Please and thank you.

Throttling

“We’re sorry sir, but you’ve gone over your data limit for the period.”
“No, I’m certain I still have over half my monthly allowance left.” The man at the door frowned. He flipped through a few pages on his tablet before turning it back to the resident.

“Here’s your usage for the last three days,” the man said. “As you can see you’ve gone over for the period.” The resident grasped the tablet in his thin fingers. He looked at the man and his two guards. The burly gentleman on the left cracked the knuckles on both meaty fists. The inherent threat wasn’t lost on the resident.

“No one told me there was anything other than a monthly cap,” the resident said. The man, who’d introduced himself as an official representative of the company, sucked a bit of air through his teeth and shook his head.
“Your last plan had similar restrictions,”
“I never had this problem on my last plan,” the resident said. The stout gentleman on the right narrowed his cold, dead eyes. The resident took a step back. The company man glided into the space, his foot pressed against the door. The two guards loomed closer.

“Isn’t there something you can do?” The resident asked taking another nervous step backwards. The company man moved completely inside now, his face darkened by the shadows of the entranceway.

“I’m afraid you’ll be throttled until your three day amount falls beneath the minimum.” The resident started backing away, the men from the company following him inside, until he pressed against the far wall of the hallway. The burly gentleman moved inside, past the resident’s kitchenette with dishes piled high in the sink. He checked the closet, the bathroom, under the bed, before signaling with a nod that the place was empty. The company man held out a hand leading in the direction of the bedroom.

“If you’ll go ahead and lie down we can begin.” The resident clung to the wall, afraid to move. The stout gentleman reached out and grasped the resident by the arm. A sharp whimper escaped the resident’s lips as the gentleman squeezed. The company man clucked his tongue quietly and the gentleman relaxed his grip slightly.

“I’ve been a good customer for years,” the resident said. “I made a mistake, it won’t happen again.”

“I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do for you,” the company man said. “This is our policy. And not just our policy, every provider nationwide has a similar provision.” The stout gentleman pulled the resident towards the bedroom by one frail arm. The burly gentleman had already straightened out the unkempt sheets and gone ahead and lit some incense. The company man placed a small leather satchel on a nightstand near the bed while the resident was made comfortable.

“How long will it take until the throttling ends?” the resident asked as the stout gentleman pressed him down into the pillows. The burly gentleman moved to block the doorway.

“Well,” the company man said, “as long as you haven’t used more data than the first day of the problem period already today, you should be fine by tomorrow.”

“I was only .01 over, is this really necessary?” The resident’s voice sounded strained. His breath came in quicker gasps as the reality of his situation began to creep in. The stout gentleman pressed down on his chest slightly harder.

“I’m afraid it’s our policy,” the company man said. He withdrew a long syringe from the leather satchel. The medicine inside was the dull yellow of spilled iodine. The company man fit a fresh needle and checked for blockage. He turned to face the resident.

“You’ll be fine in a few days at most,” the company man said as he brought the needle close to the resident’s arm.

“I want to make a complaint about this policy,” The resident said as he tried to slide away from the syringe. The stout gentleman pressed down again, holding him in place.

“You can try calling our service number if you’d like,” the company man said. The tip of the spike slipped into the resident’s vein easily. The company man pumped the inhibitor into the resident’s bloodstream with practiced ease.

Within moments the resident’s world began to slow down, sounds becoming thick and dull. The men from the company took what seemed like hours to pack up and leave. The last thing the resident heard before his apartment sealed him into the darkness was the company man’s parting words.
“Thank you for your business.”