Archive for January 26th, 2012

26th January
2012
written by amber

Nutcracker

I wake up with a sharp pain in my left lower molar. And I know I’ve been cracking nuts again.

Shut down is supposed to be the time I refresh my power supply, perform minor repairs and ap downloads, possibly even dream. Some experts claim that andbots dream; I wouldn’t know. All I know is that sometimes I wake with a sensation of frustrated purpose, as if I’d been busy doing some important task before I was interrupted.

But today I wake with a tooth ache and nut fragments on my tongue.

I am not a cheap toy. Not a toy, not cheap. Not cheap at all. Rory certainly couldn’t afford me, but he inherited me from his uncle. I’d cared for the old man through his last days, my arms doing what his arms could no longer do, my prodigious memory standing in for his failing memory, my judgement protecting him when his failed. But I could not protect Ian – or myself – from his nephew.

Rory was his only heir. I worked overtime, eschewing my nightly replenishment to keep an eye on Ian and record each and every moment and motion of Rory’s visits. I kept the old man alive until his natural death and then I looked forward to being acquired by someone else in a similar situation. I was good at it and I enjoyed it.

But Rory didn’t sell me. The inheritance was generous enough without the proceeds of my disposition. Besides, he gloried in his ownership of me. He turned me into his constant companion, standing by his side while he made a mockery of the board meetings of Ian’s company, driving his car, presenting flowers and candy to his dates.

In the privacy of his apartment, things were worse. He made me wear a silly apron and cook macaroni for him, he made me stand on my head or cut my arm, whatever popped into his head to command me to do. He was always testing my strength, delighting in the way I could drive my fist through the wall or slap a door into wooden fragments. I spent my evenings researching how to repair the things he’d forced me to destroy.

But what I hate the most is the way he orders me about while I am asleep. My lower functions are still intact during that time, so that I can obey simple commands. If Rory has a woman over, he often employs me to open bottles or play music. But his favourite party trick is to have me crack nuts between my teeth.

I don’t think I’ll sleep tonight. Instead, I plan to research ways to get around my inability to harm a human being.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.

Anna-Marie Klassen very generously gave me the first line for this story.