It was all he could say. In the years that came to be no words could comfort his shame, nor drown the silence that had befallen him. In his most private moments he would see the ghost that he knew, a whisper in the dark and a reminder of(more) what could have been.
I love you, I need you, and I'll be here for you, always. There is more to life than you can fathom, more than you could dream in the sweetest dream.
Don't lose hope. You're too young.
These were words that might have turned the tide that had so silently crept along his skin, forcing him to stretch for air. But his body had eventually failed him and succumbed beneath the waves. And never did it rise again.
One moment was all it ever was. A fragile, tender, delicate moment, when words had failed. And then it was too late. Beyond the reach of the living. Dust in the wind. (less)
Her body began to shut down, piece by piece. Her metal legs could no longer move; they were heavy and lifeless, the way they had been before they had become a part of AL-167 -- her.
The engineer did not see her as AL-167. Even now, as she(more) became more and more inanimate, she was not an object or a machine to Dr. Kozlova. She was Alison, her greatest creation. If a mother loved her children, could not an engineer love her masterpiece?
Dr. Kozlova considered Alison her masterpiece still, even as she terminated in front of her very eyes. She was lifelike, with deceptively soulful eyes and soft skin that was almost indistinguishable from a human's. If Kozlova didn't know that metal and wires lay underneath that skin, she might have mistaken Alison for a real girl. She had only one flaw in her programming. One flaw that eventually became fatal.
Alison opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. With a heavy heart, Dr. Kozlova realized that her voice program had shut down. She reached out to run a hand over Alison's cheek, as her own mother had once done to her. Alison put her own cold hand over Kozlova's. Did it mean anything to her, or did she just react as her programming told her was appropriate? Dr. Kozlova chose to believe the former.
"Don't worry," she said, hoping to comfort Alison in her last moments of life. She doubted that she would be able to rebuild her. She will be nothing more than scrap parts, Kozlova thought bitterly.
As she cradled Alison's chilled, rigid body in her lap, the robot jerkily moved its hand over to Kozlova and traced two words into her skin.
When words fail, so do countries.
When words fail, so do cities.
When words fail, so do businesses.
When words fail, so do marriages.
When words fail, so do friendships.
When words fail, so do families.
(more) When words fail, so do people.
And before you can stop it, its happening, and you watch everything unravel and there's nothing to stop it.
The thing is, you've seen it before, seen the unravelling and you promised you would never let it happen again. But you did.
Now you're kneeling, hands covered in th(more)e same blood you promised would never be spilled. Bright with the life it never got to live whilst it closes up your throat and threatens to choke you with its rust.
It's the seventeenth night in a row now that I have had the same dream. I hate it. I hate the millisecond after I wake up and before I remember that it was the dream again, before I have to wake up and face reality.
(more) It's been over a week since I saw another human being. My fuel and water tanks are still more than half full (not half empty) so I am not in any rush to find a hawker. I hate those slimey bastards. Always trying to cheat you and snoop into your business. You can see a mix of delight and annoyance when they see that my MrK57 has been upgraded with the 100 liters.
The dust trails in the distance have faded now and I decided to get some more kiloms under my belt before the 1st sunset.
The steady thrum of the engine becomes the only sound in my life. The buggy creaks and sloshes every now and again as the hard desert dips and lifts, breaking the apparent uniformity of the flatland.
Why do I keep having the dream? I thought I was over you, done with all the pain and loss. Yet you are here, with me every night.
I thought you face would have become less distinct by now. I never had a great memory. But you are burned into my retina and I see you behind my lids, smiling at me, urging me forward.
I wish I knew what you were asking of me. I wish I could understand why you need me to go back to the Paganfields.
I always hated to see you cry, your silent tears were more powerful than any weapon made by man.
I see the towers in the distance. I'll be there in 2 days.(less)
"I don't know what counts as my first kiss, or even my first love," Nadya told me between sips of her drink. "Maybe that sounds sad, but I think it's rather common."
"Certainly. It's human nature to reduce our pasts into a more streamlined narrative."
"It does(more) make for better stories. The Heartbreaker and the Heartbroken. The Traitor and the Betrayed. The First Love. The One That Got Away. Blah blah blah. It's always more complicated than that."
She stood up, pointing at her empty glass to hint she was going to refill it, but remaining in place.
"We have this urge to repackage our lives like they're movies,"
she continued, gesticulating theatrically. "Predictable ones, at that."
Her impassioned tone sparked a wave of stolen glances from nearby patrons, whose eyes lingered on her undulating silhouette. As she shimmied up to a nearby table to ask for a lighter, I could see she was fully aware she moved like a movie star.
Xyto was 45 now, colouring in the truck only just outside the lines. Everything was the right colour except the yellow face of the man inside it. He had faint memories of designing a new truck engine when he was 7 -which is, the psychologists believe, why trucks are(more) his favourite toys- but to Xyto it was a memory of playing with friends, that’s all he could understand it as. His rough hand, grey hairs dripping down the side, clasped the crayon with a reasonable amount of certainty. On floor beside him were broken crayons, the result of misjudgements.
Xyto aged physically as any normal person did: his body peaked around his 30s and started its descent into decay. His mind however, after the first two years of confusion, was fully matured at the onset, and then gradually declined into immaturity. Scientists marvelled at the anomaly of his DNA, Buddhists loved him for his increase innocence, the general public felt uncomfortable in his presence. In his youth he was a prodigy, solving the engineering problems his father had set out. In his 30’s he fell into a drug problem, which his aged body could not handle as well as his teenage mind-set. Then, eventually, he replaced drugs with drawing. It was kind of beautiful.
You could tell how close he was to death by the size of his ego; he became less and less set in his ways as he aged. Everyone knew when he was completely present, reacting to everything with a fresh mind, that he was close to the end. With death came innocence.