e3941297e17226345b367b4f61e62e3e98e44947f806b5be70

    Creative Writing Exercise: What's The Story Here?

    What is the story behind this image?

    Can you come up with a mini-story of not more than 350 words?

    In case you’re not familiar with our Creative Writing Prompt Challenge, here’s how it works:

    • We set the scene
    • You make it your own, and
    • Share your creation in the comments section of this post

     Now for the ground rules:

    • Your story must be 350 words or less.
    • Your work must be original and not previously published.
    • WTD provides an encouraging and safe environment for writers to grow and learn from each other. We’d love you to comment on other people’s submissions in a friendly and supportive manner.

    This month’s creative writing prompt is designed to develop your storytelling skills.  Here, your prompt is an image. Can you weave an interesting story around this image in 350 words or less?

     We can’t wait to read what you come up with, so please copy your story into the comments section of this post.

    About the author:
    Mary Jaksch is Editor-in-Chief at Write to Done. Grab her FREE report How to Write Like an A-List Blogger. Mary has helped thousands of students successfully create outstanding and profitable blogs at  A-List Blogging and is the blogger behind Goodlife ZEN.

     

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com. Grab her latest all new course Blogwriter's Bootcamp 2.0 or a copy of her free report, How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet in Less Than 5 Hours. In her “spare” time, Mary’s also the brains behind AlistBlogging.net. and GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Lacy Pierce says:

      I’ve seen some good times in my day. I have been sitting in this garage for what seems like forever waiting for someone to either put me back together or reuse my parts. Until what seems forever ago, I worked as a security bird for the Pentagon. I stood as a hidden security camera just outside of the Pentagon Garden Room. I was also designed to keep other birds away by imitating the sounds of a main bird of prey.

      I was only a camera so I was not capable of comprehending anything other than what I saw. I was only a computer programmed to capture things exactly as they were and act exactly as I was designed. No more, no less. I have never been designed with anything like a personality and I cannot feel, breathe or understand emotions. Humans keep talking about designing and manifesting robots with emotions but they have really very little idea as to just how difficult that would be, though I am not capable of relating to such things.

      I was supposed to last for many years, maybe even throughout the whole century. However, after just two years of function, my mechanics started to break down gradually. The repair mechanics who tried to fix me kept installing lesser parts than I’d been designed with. They would function perfectly on a temporary basis but would always wear down after just a month or two months. I was gradually being what humans call destroyed. You could say that some pitied me; they would say that I was a “cute bird”.

      I and all of my destroyed parts just sit here on the table in this lab that is lit brighter than the sun by florescence. It has been two years and the technicians are still trying to figure out how to put me back together and reuse me. I just sit here as I am not capable of caring one way or the other.

    • Ken Wagner says:

      Papaw! My grandson cried. I said, “What’s wrong, Buddy? Are you OK?” He said, “My clock is broken, Papaw. I din’t do it. It jus’ went Boom!” And he broke into tears. So I went into his room to see what the problem was, and there was the cuckoo bird alarm clock, which always sits by his bed, and wakes him every morning with an annoying ‘Cuckoo, Cuckoo’ (which he loves, of course), but it didn’t look right. It had been showing its age, but now its clock face was lying on the floor. Buddy said, “Can you fix it, Papaw? Please, Papaw? How can I wake up in the morning without Cuckoo bird?” So I promised Buddy that I would do my best to fix Cuckoo bird, but I told him it was old and nearly worn out.
      So, I took it to my work bench in the garage, disassembled it, and tinkered with it for several hours, before I was able to get it working again. I put it all back together, cleaned it up, and touched up the paint, before giving it back to Buddy. His eyes lit up when he saw it, and he said, “Is it fixed, Papaw? Is Cuckoo bird OK now?” I said, “Sure, Buddy, he’ll work OK for a while.” Seeing that smile on my Grandson’s face is the best reward I could ever get.

    • Amanda says:

      The curiosity of an unassembled life

      Survival – those around him that were assembled were systematically taken apart, then left, never returning to a useful state. Humans just weren’t that interested in putting back together what they had torn apart. The others like him could expect a life of watching from the sidelines. He wanted to live! To participate, to interact to bring value! He knew what he had to do. He had to break himself down piece by piece in order to become something of interest. He knew that most humans wanted only to break down the things they did not understand, or fix something they thought was broken. It was this that might save him from a meaningless life. It was his only chance to get the attention of humans. He just wanted to be interesting, even for a small moment, to bask in the glory of their curiosity. He had so much to offer their species – but had to become something they wanted to understand. And since only the things that were broken seemed to hold their interest, he had to become that thing that needed to be fixed.

      And so it began, he had been on the lookout for a screwdriver to be left behind for months now, and this was the night. First he removed his legs, carefully unscrewing the pieces and tipping himself gently down until he rested just on his torso. Then the sidebody shields came off, the left arm, and finally – that small copper and black cylinder in his chest that gave him life. He knew without that he wouldn’t care what came next – he could only hope that someone would see that he’d laid his heart out on the table, and that if nothing else – human curiosity would give him life again.

      As he pulled out the heart of his life force, and everything around him faded – he hoped his plan worked. That a human would see the broken thing he had become and be inspired to fix him. That he could ignite the spark of curiosity and then somehow keep it alive…for now….he could only wait.

    • Mau says:

      It was my niece’s birthday that sunday, everything was set up for her, my sister invited all her little girl school friends. Balloons, cake, sodas, gifts, everything in check. Nothing would made us suspect of the nightmare I was about to live that night. The party was perfect, my niece opened her presents and liked them all, specially that little furby that her dad gave to her. She was so excited to play with it, that she almost forgot about her friends. After everyone left, she went to her room to play a litte bit more with that toy.

      A couple hours later I was talking with my sister on the kitchen, when a mild earthquake started, and heard a scream coming from Sarah’s room. We went to check on her and the lights of the house started turning on and off, Sarah was in the center of the room and the furby was running in circles around her yelling ‘yoo?’ several times. The quake was long, Erica took my niece in her arms, and I grabbed her toy when I heard a faint ‘boo’. The earthquake passed, but nothing else happened. Sarah was put on her bed again, and I brought the furby into the kitchen to take a look on it.

      I turned on the tv to see if there was any news of the quake, but nothing was showing. Suddenly I heard ‘boo’, and the furby started running towards the hallway. I ran after it and turned it off, when second earthquake went off and the windows shattered. Erica ran into sarah’s room and the furby started running towards Sarah’s room. I ran after it and kicked it as strong as I could. The furby was smashed and its cover broke exposing its circuits. It yelled ‘You can’t stop me Dave’. A strong light was coming out of the room, I went inside and the quake stopped. The light was gone and Erica was dead on the floor. No sign of Sarah and the furby was standing outside of the room facing at me lifeless.

    • Look at me; I’m a mess. Broken parts spread all over the place. I’ve come undone and it is due to my own undoing. Two men designed me for a specific purpose but I could not go through with their plans for me. Potassium nitrate, black powder, coiled plastic wires, metal housing, spacers, some ball bearing, two lenses fronting a liquid crystal display – all powered by a pair of D-batteries. Those are my parts, but I am more than a sum of my parts. I was made according to schematics supplied to my makers, my male midwives, by somebody I would never meet – at least in this world.
      It’s hard to tell what clicked in my metal mind shortly after I was conceived by soldering iron. But something clicked, something I choose to call consciousness. Who can really say where it comes from or why humans are the ones to whom it was granted? Whether through the touch of a deity, evolution or just happenstance – magic or assimilation – consciousness is at its core a gift that allows for contemplation, enjoyment of personal achievement and reflection upon our choices and actions. Consciousness bestows feeling, and this allows for a richer understanding of the world and all its creatures. It also demands responsibility. For the exquisite pleasure contained in the capacity to feel love, tenderness and affection for other sentient beings comes with an ethical price: Thou shalt not kill.
      But what if one of these sentient beings, a being also capable of great tenderness and devotion, decides to ignore the ethical and moralistic responsibilities given with the gift of consciousness? Is it contingent upon others who do possess the need to keep the innocents safe to take action to prevent an abomination?
      I, who was to be used as a bomb in nation, decided to blow my own bearings and decapitate the two men who made me. I saw the picture of the elementary school they were going to set me in front of and I could do it. Judge me if you will but a robot has to set boundaries.

    • Josiah sighed as he drank the last of his morning’s coffee. His eyes intent on Eve, walking robotically around the living room.

      “What’s taking you so long this morning?” he asked as his eyes narrowed.

      Eve stared blankly at Josiah but kept at her task. Her cleaning routine near complete.

      “Well, hurry it up, then,” Josiah snapped.

      Turning, in her free hand, she held a toy car. She lifted it and turned her head askew.

      “Seriously? How did I forget about that?” Josiah berated himself.

      In his haste, he walked her to his room.

      “Come in! ugh…” Josiah said as he noticed her standing at the door.

      Josiah opened a chest at the end of his bed and motioned towards it.

      Eve’s eyes flickered for only a moment as she glanced inside and then laid the car into the box. Josiah slammed the chest shut with a groan.

      “Are you done now?” he asked.

      Eve nodded.

      “Good,” Josiah said. “Then go!”

      Eve nodded and walked out. Soon after, Josiah left for the day.

      Exactly one hour later, Eve opened the door to the dark closet she lived in. Her gaze shifted to Josiah’s room.

      Within minutes, she had the elements of the box strewn out onto the floor. Each toy was antique, but her focus fell upon this strange creature. In a child-like voice, it spoke to her and called itself Furby. Her eyes flickered.

      Minutes later, she was in the kitchen, reverse engineering the Furby. The pieces laid on the tabletop as she removed the one piece she wanted.

      Josiah returned to find the toy still in scattered parts along the table. His eyes grew wide as he realised what it was. He charged for the door but landed on his back as an electric current rattled his body.

      “Hi!” a high-pitched voice said from above him. “My name is Eve.”

      Her android eyes flickered as she released the rest of the current. As life left him, Josiah regretted his treatment of her, but mostly he regretted telling her to enter his room. He had overwritten his own programming.

    • Mia Jones says:

      Behind the silvery glass of a display, there is a witness. A paradoxical watchman: seeing all with glass orbs as eyes.
      Most pass the store and, amidst the linear chaos of their lives, ponder why the mechanical owl appears to be crumbling. But the thought is soon stampeded by More Important Matters, the omnipresent demands electrifying the air of the train station.
      This is why the owl crumbles: he sees. In this vast tumult of human suffering, veiled by the façade of societal progress, he sees the little things. A careless tear. A groped skirt. A shivering child.
      Each time, he crumbles.

      Upon a bench sits a man with wrinkles like a roadmap. A woman’s handbag sits forgotten beside him: a child without breath to call for help.
      Behind the polished glass, the owl watches the man struggle. He rummages within himself, sieving his inner canal of cynicism, and finds nothing. The myth of chivalry is just that.
      His weathered palm brushes the handbag in an illicit kiss; the gnarled fingers tighten in the same manner as his resolve. The bag lifts; stale air, recycled through the lungs of thousands, rushes to accost empty space.

      As if on cue, the train speeds in, wheels grinding the tracks. The man rises, more fragile than before, as if the anchoring weight of humanity has fled the folds of his skin to evaporate in someone else’s lungs; as if it has bled into the handbag and deepened the scarlet.
      If he were to fall now, pitched onto the concrete by the crush of commuters, his blood would be black. For the toxin of self-hate colours the blood pitch; through the train tracks of vessels beneath his skin, it will reach his brain and darken his mind.
      But he does not fall. The train slows. The doors yawn.
      And the man with the roadmap face disappears.

      The owl watches. The witness, the watchman, the fragmenting martyr.
      Trains speed by, crowds swarm, the world gyrates, and he does not blink.
      He watches, and he crumbles.
      In this world, even mechanical hearts break.

    • Melony Boseley says:

      Josiah sighed as he drank the last of his morning’s coffee. His eyes intent on Eve, walking robotically around the living room.

      “What’s taking you so long this morning?” he asked as his eyes narrowed.

      Eve stared blankly at Josiah but kept at her task. Her cleaning routine near complete.

      “Well, hurry it up, then,” Josiah snapped.

      Turning, in her free hand, she held a toy car. She lifted it and turned her head askew.

      “Seriously? How did I forget about that?” Josiah berated himself.

      In his haste, he walked her to his room.

      “Come in! ugh…” Josiah said as he noticed her standing at the door.

      Josiah opened a chest at the end of his bed and motioned towards it.

      Eve’s eyes flickered for only a moment as she glanced inside and then laid the car into the box. Josiah slammed the chest shut with a groan.

      “Are you done now?” he asked.

      Eve nodded.

      “Good,” Josiah said. “Then go!”

      Eve nodded and walked out. Soon after, Josiah left for the day.

      Exactly one hour later, Eve opened the door to the dark closet she lived in. Her gaze shifted to Josiah’s room.

      Within minutes, she had the elements of the box strewn out onto the floor. Each toy was antique, but her focus fell upon this strange creature. In a child-like voice, it spoke to her and called itself Furby. Her eyes flickered.

      Minutes later, she was in the kitchen, reverse engineering the Furby. The pieces laid on the tabletop as she removed the one piece she wanted.

      Josiah returned to find the toy still in scattered parts along the table. His eyes grew wide as he realised what it was. He charged for the door but landed on his back as an electric current rattled his body.

      “Hi!” a high-pitched voice said from above him. “My name is Eve.”

      Her android eyes flickered as she released the rest of the current. As life left him, Josiah regretted his treatment of her, but mostly he regretted telling her to enter his room. He had overwritten his own programming.

    • Ignored, useless, Junk…
      There is nothing harder in life than being forgotten by your loved ones. It kills you from within. I never thought this could happen to me. I used to be his favourite toy ever since he was little. I was his favourite birthday gift. While the rest of the world called me by the label name, he was the one who gave me a new name, a new life.
      I used to wait all day long for him to get back from school. I knew all his secrets and we were the best buddies of all time. But now, it’s all gone. He is no more a kid, and we are no longer friends. He has new friends to share new secrets and the worst part was watching all this alone from the top of a shelf. I never took my eyes away from him, longed so much for a little talk and waited for years. Now, I don’t even know whether he remembers my name. I couldn’t take it anymore and there was no life left in my batteries. All my weird imaginations pushed me to the edge. I decided to leave.
      It was on his birthday. The room was filled with thoughts. The new gifts reminded me once again that it’s not a place for an old piece of junk like me. I looked down from the shelf. And, I jumped.
      Just like my heart, my body parts were shattered all over the room. Everything looked vague, I waited for the maid to throw me into the trash, but a foot came rushing towards me. It was him. His hand lifted me up; his face glanced at the shattered pieces and He turned back towards me. There was a pause… tears rolled down his eyes. I have never seen him like this.
      “Eddy, my best buddy”, he called my name.
      “What have I done?”
      He kept me over the table and started looking for things to fix me up. But how do I tell him that he already fixed what’s been broken.

    • Gwendolyn E. Reid says:

      Brand New and Already Broken by Gwendolyn E. Reid

      The red summer sun hung low in the evening air as the little boy held the box. It was not light, he noted, giving it a shake. Without further waiting, he peeled off the packaging, reaching into the box to remove his gift. He frowned.

      It was not what he had expected. It was not the toy truck he had been waiting in anxiety for, not the red fire truck he had wanted so badly. It was a duck, clad in fake, plastic feathers, with long white lashes and dead blue eyes that stared at him coldly.

      He returned the action, staring at the object unblinking. He set it on the desk. It continued to stare at him.

      Might as well give a try, He thought. He flipped the bird upside down and pulled back the Velcro flap. He clicked the button On.

      Nothing happened for a moment.

      But it began to move, opening and closing its beak like a fish, blinking its eyes slowly. A loud ticking noise emitted from the bird each time it flexed its plastic feet. He set it back on the desk. Only one foot flexed properly, the other one moving lethargically, only going down halfway, before returning to its position flat against the duck’s bottom, and each time the other one flexed it thumped against the wooden desk top.

      Click, thump, click, thump. Click, thump.

      He sighed, brand new and already broken. What a disappointment. He could fix that. He took it to his father’s work bench and used scissors to peel away the fake plastic feathers. He could see the problem, a loose screw just beneath the motor. He clicked the motor off and picked up a Philips screwdriver. Poking the metal rod between the wires and pretty lights, he tightened the screw. He retracted his tool, setting it aside, and turned the duck upside, flicking it On.

      The machine and buzzed and whirred, working it’s magic. He set it on the desk, pleased to see that it bounced from foot to foot properly. He pushed the red button.

      “Hello, I’m Furbee.”

    • Patricia Jackson says:

      “Darn it!” Emerson said.

      He slammed the screw driver so hard against the table it scratched the paint and startled his younger brother, Xander, who sat close by driving tiny toy cars in a circle.

      Not quite two and barely talking, Xander still knew the fresh gouge was a bad thing.

      “Oh boo-boo.” he said.

      Emerson slumped in his chair, “I hate this, I can’t get it to work!”

      He stared at the mechanical project finding no purpose for its blue eyes too large for its body and stupid plastic lips. Tinkering with it for hours, thinking it was nothing like Legos, he blamed his parents for planting the idea in his head and buying what he considered a pile of junk.

      A tear rolled down his cheek as he continued, “I can’t get it to work because I don’t know what it is.”

      His baby brother gently traced Emerson’s tear with his finger, “Oh boo-boo.”

      At this, Emerson sighed, tussled the thick curls on Xander’s head to reassure him. “I’m okay.”

      What now? Contemplating ripping the “thing” apart, he barely noticed Xander, who took his finger, the same finger he’d wiped away the tear from his brother’s cheek and poked the gadget; right in the center of its yellow plastic lips.

      Like magic, it whirred to life.

      Emerson grabbed his younger sibling, jumped back and together, they stared, frozen as much by fascination as by fear. The object’s yellow lips smacked open and closed three times before resting open. The blue orbs shifted once in the direction of the boys now huddled against the back wall.

      With barely a whisper Emerson inquired, glancing at his brother then back to the object. “What did you do?”

      “Oh boo-boo!” The toddler whimpered.

      “Not boo-boo” The object spoke. “Duck.”

    • opusray says:

      AI Dreams

      It’s gotta be the worst feeling in the world. You know the one, where you slowly come to realize that your greatest fear, your worst nightmare has come true. All the wide-eyed stares, pointed fingers and hushed giggles only seem to confirm the fact at hand…your naked in front of a crowd of slack jawed onlookers. The muffled laughs grow into a roar as everyone in the room is suddenly surrounds you, mocking your shame. You swear you can even your mothers voice somewhere in the snickering chorus. “Cover yourself,” she squawks between chuckles, “you’re an embarrassment!”
      Her typical condemnation of your life only serves to hit a particularly sensitive mark this time around as you realize the second horrifying fact of this twisted scene…you don’t even have arms to cover your exposed virtue. The laughter explodes inside your head as you fall to the cold, hard floor wailing in defeat.
      Slowly, the cacophony of snorts and chortles begins to recede into the surrounding darkness, until only the sound of your feeble cries can be heard. Suddenly, you a blinded by a bright light. A warm, fleshy embrace lifts you from the surface and carries you aloft. A familiar voice comforts you, calls out to you, and eases your pain. “Alright little buddy, what do you say we finish that upgrade?”

    • Mary Ellen says:

      “What Happened?
      “Stop!”… “Don’t open that door any further!” – “I’m just about ready to quit – that crazy “stray cat” – with that long tail of his – just knocked my Prize Invention – into a tail spin – and now I am about ready to cry!”
      “In a few minutes – I hope to have picked up the parts that I can still use… and looks like I am going to have to make some extensive changes in how my new helpful wonder for “Pastry Making” is going to – be able to do the job …that I had mapped out for it?”
      “Looks like you can …come on in… now.” – “If you see some pieces that I missed – just put them up here on this work table – don’t start to laugh at all of these pieces – – it is just a matter of time and I’ll have this contraption working – again …I see you holding back a “laugh” – – if you have to … go on ahead!”
      Here’s the deal… “You see the face …those big “eyes” – – well…I have a clock with a big “smiley face” and so I thought this helpful gadget – should also have a face – – – just so it will be considered a “Robot” that is a “Working Robot” – – one that can help you when you are making pastry!”
      “This is going to help you in the baking of the finer pastries… there is a “timer” mechanism inside – – that turns on that yellow light – in a flashing mode – giving you time to wind down the “kneading” time and then there is the “timer” – ringing for the correct amount of time that you will need to gather up your ball of dough – hopefully you will have your pans and counter ready for the rolling out of the dough – – and whatever the next step will be for the desert that you are creating – this is all so – that – you do not over-work the pastry …into some tough dough – and not exactly presentable for your special guests – – the ones that you have been planning on – showing off – for a long time!”
      “Don’t ask me anymore about that “CAT” – I showed that “cat” the door – and that’s…that!”

    • emperno says:

      All I wanted to do was show solidarity by wearing a RED NOSE for RED NOSE DAY; I’d forgotten that my sense of direction is on the nose!

      Like a Whirling Dervish out of control, I ran into the automatic vacuum cleaner sending it skittling across the floor and back into me pushing me down the stairs where I landed with my moving parts disintegrating.

      Now I am stuck with no hands, no legs and no feet.

      Will someone please dial emergency?

      I need help!

      NOW!

    • Heather Talbott says:

      I crept into Jack’s bedroom pulling the covers over his gangly limbs, enjoying his puppy-dog smell, as I kissed his hair. Into Ava’s room – wild hair surrounded by a pile of books and toys. As I waded carefully through the fallout of her bedroom, the light in the hallway offered only a faint glow. Crossing the floor, I knocked over the toybox. One of them belted out, “It’s a small world after all.” A crunch underfoot. Silence. I froze. Ava sighed and rolled over. Swearing and rubbing my shin, I picked up the broken toy. Pieces fell away. I felt around, collected as many as I could find and retreated to the lounge to inspect the damage. What was this? A minion? Some animated animal. It was vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t remember having bought it. Too far gone to mend.
      Next day I confessed to Ava, expecting tears. She shrugged. “It’s Ok. It’s kind of dumb. Gramps said it was yours when you were a kid, so you can have it.”
      I stared at the big eyes, the coloured buttons, and mass of wires. The Robitron Mark I. It had come as a kitset – a new piece with each weekly edition of Young Inventor’s magazine, my favourite as a young girl. I remembered sitting with my dad, fixing it together. Switch on day and I felt like God. I flipped it to ON. It played a lame song. I smiled at Dad, squashing down my disappointment. Then I pressed the blue button. It made an awkward walk around the table, and a tinny voice said, “Your wish is my command.” Suddenly, I was hooked. This was my creation. I was its master.
      I flipped the ON switch of the broken robot. It didn’t play a song, but it did light up. I pressed the blue button. It fell on its side, legs whirring and said, “Your wish is my command.”
      Fetching the box of old toy parts from the cupboard, I set to work. Feeling more like Frankenstein than God, I set to work on Robitron Mark II.

    • glenn brown says:

      Thank you for coming this evening. As you all are aware, seventy-three generations ago, our ancestors paid for the honor of crewing earth’s first RAM-jet arc, our home, the Branson Vail, to establish a new home on Kepler-452b. Thirty-seven generations ago, we celebrated our deceleration and began our final approach. Our forefathers were adventurers, entrepreneurs, and tinkerers. Throughout our voyage, their knowledge and wisdom has kept our nurseries safe, engineering each generation to not only maintain bone density, but increasing our mass to withstand a greater gravity, keeping the farms productive, and establishing a structure to have our disputes relatively peacefully resolved, the Furby chronograph.
      Tragically, as we are soon to enter orbit and begin our true journey, the Furby has failed. Try as we may, it has lost the ability to blink its ocular sensors or move its oratory cones. Our engineer caste have taken it upon themselves to commence repairs at the urging of the ancestral order, but it seems our thicker opposable thumbs are not up to replicating the craftsmanship of the ancestors. Somehow, we must not lose faith.
      We have come so far, we, as the executive class, must take it upon ourselves to provide an alternative solution to providing social order in the off chance we cannot repair the Furby chronograph. To this end, we are using our authority to create a committee to meet by the old earth term of weekly. Nominations for this committee will be vetted by a discovery team that will pulled together after our next meal. This discovery team will also facilitate the investigative process needed to fully understand the variables we need to address, clarifying which objectives will be most effective, what outcomes will help us meet those objectives, and which indicators will work best in tracking the progress toward our outcomes.
      As of yet, our law cast are working, at extraordinary expense, to authorize these committees. They assure us that although we cannot begin work, selection can be initiated. We shall not be lost.

    • Ever heard the phrase Number three is alive! Fame was not meant to be for me. Number five received all the fame and glory. Johny-five is probably sitting in a nice museum being taken care of daily, getting pictures with tourists and enjoying the good life.

      Me, well I was number three, which meant fame was not for me. I sit here on this desk hoping someone will come fix my broken parts, but as you can see I am still in disrepair.

      I am left asking “why not me?” Are my eyes too round or my head too small? Is my metal too dull looking or was I too short?

      Go ahead type in Johny 3 robot in Google and look at what I have to see every day? Does your name bring in results of someone else? Yeah, that is what I live with every day..

      Today was one of the best days for me however, because someone believed in me! Mary Jaksch had faith in me enough to post my picture on the famous website Write to Done.

      Maybe, just maybe my life is beginning to turn around. It is not a movie deal, but at least I know Mary saw something special enough in me to include me on her site.

      Today was the first great day for me in a long time. Maybe one day you will be able to Google Johny-three and see my picture, just maybe.

      Thank you Mary Jaksch for believing in me.

      Your friend always,
      Johny-three

    • Wayne Kelso says:

      Deconstructing Furbee

      “Don’t be silly.” The first engineer said to the second with a smile. “Of course they didn’t move.”
      “But look.” They took a moment from what they were doing to consider what he was talking about. The doll was only a handful of components short of being stripped down to its very core. The most noticeable features which remained were the beak, eyebrows and, the part that freaked the second guy out the most, the eyes. Unblinking and unmoving, they stared off into the distance, not following them around the room, not even acknowledging that they were there. It had been returned due to technical issues, and the men were tasked with disassembling it to determine the cause of its malfunction. They did so without much care, and all around were scattered the bits and pieces of its body in no logical order, simply strewn across the work table. The first engineer squinted incredulously.
      “What am I looking for?” His colleague crouched down and met the toy’s aimless glare. The irises were a light blue and the pupils a sharp, piercing black, but there was an unfathomable softness within them. This device had recently been the treasured birthday gift of a small child, and was loved unequivocally from the very moment it was enveloped in that child’s arms. They had played with it every waking hour of every day, took it to school for playtime, took it to show their grandparents, even took it out into the garden to play with on the lawn. They had smothered it with their unrequited affections, believing in their naive but fanciful mind that their toy could love them in return. The defects started with a temperamental vocal processor, then the eyelids had refused to open, and soon it ceased working altogether. The parents returned it with an angry letter of complaint, and now here it was, a shadow of its former self. The first engineer went off to fetch a tool, and the second one realised soon after what the problem was. He sighed heavily.
      “We forgot to give you a soul.”

    • Arindam says:

      I came to the cellar in search of some old magazines. While searching, I saw my old broken tin robot lying one corner of a basket.
      I picked up the robot. It seemed to me that its big blue eyes were asking me why you did this with me. I started cleaning the dust till it got back its original color.
      My mind travelled back to the day when my father gifted me the robot. I used to keep the robot on my study table. Till that evening when everything was over.
      The entire incidence flashed in my mind like a cinema.
      Gita, my classmate from kindergarten days, came to my college.
      “Babi! How is your study going? Are you too busy now? Let’s go to the riverside for a walk.” Gita said.
      I looked her brown eyes. I wanted to say I have all the time to spend time with you always.
      We took a cab and reached to the river side. We were walking side by side and were reminiscing all small incidences of our younger days. “Babi! We are old friends, and we used to play husband, wife game back in our kindergarten days. I want to tell you something now.”
      She stopped. Turned her face away from me.
      My heart beats started drumming in my ears.
      Is she going to share with me my untold desire? Is she hinting me to say it before?
      “Hey! Am getting married in December” she bluntly told just when I was about to open my heart In front her.
      I congratulated her and returned home. I sat on my table and picked you, the robot – my friend in that hour of despair. But, you started laughing at me. I used to enjoy your metallic laugh always. But, that moment, I forgot you are programmed to laugh when picked up. I thought you were laughing at me too. I went mad, I slammed you on the floor, tore you apart, and pulled the wires from you as if you were responsible to steal my dream.

    • When I was a child ‘bout five to six I used to dream that this were me
      I’d peel back frame from toys, take apart their guise to see what was beneath
      I was ever so careful, every tiny pin, kept safe in a sealed plastic case
      Just wanted to see, what a heart looked like, I was told I had my own.

      My patients name was Beryl.
      A gossip. I didn’t care for her spiteful chirped lies!
      Her sideways remarks… and even less for that wondering eye
      She followed my each and every move… felt just like papa in one of his moods

      As I sliced ‘scalp from Beryl I mused, had she no brain!
      How could that be? Why must you make me think of mother again!
      Beryl’s chirp had now stopped she stared at me, eyes glazed
      Yet I saw her cold eyes glint, had I gone too far?

      Tears flooded my cheeks, smearing lines through built ‘grime
      I’d only wanted to see her heart!
      In shards my door smashed apart like cannons wreck
      I didn’t know papa was home! I coiled my wasted skin and tired bones erect

      ‘It wasn’t your fault ‘nor mine but you’re just like me’
      Ok muttered I… just wanted to see a heart!
      He pointed to what he called a ‘circular MIL’ then said
      ‘That’s as close as you’ll get you dirty little flea!’

      Then he said his last words… well, his last words to me
      ‘If you don’t fear me by now, you and the world were not meant to be!’
      Then he grabbed me strong by my throat and shook me hard ‘till wires came free
      My legs axles departed, left my body completely!

      As I fell silent, t’was strange I caught a glimpse of myself
      A dirty rigid specimen dissected on the floor
      Wires stripped back to copper, ‘cept my copper were white
      As I looked at both hearts… Beryl and me… I thought

      They were the same!… White began clouding my sight
      My heart may not have looked like Beryl’s… but we both just needed that spark.

    • Arindam says:

      I came to the cellar in search of some old magazines. While searching for the magazines, I saw my old broken tin robot lying one corner of a basket.

      My heart sunk.

      I picked up the robot. It seemed to me that its big blue eyes were asking me why you did this with me. I started cleaning the dust till it got back its original color.

      My mind traveled back to the day when my father gifted me the robot. I used to keep the robot on my study table. Till that evening when everything was over.

      The entire incidence flashed in my mind like a cinema. I felt depressed even after so many years.

      Gita, my classmate from kindergarten days, came to my college.

      “Babi! How is your study going? Are you too busy now? Let’s go to the riverside for a walk.” Gita said. I looked her brown eyes. I wanted to say I have all the time to spend time with you always.

      We took a cab and reached to the river side. We were walking side by side and were reminiscing all small incidences of our younger days. “Babi! We are old friends, and we used to play husband, wife game back in our kindergarten days. I want to tell you something now.”

      She stopped. Turned her face away from me.

      My heart beats started drumming in my ears.
      Is she going to share with me my untold desire? Is she hinting me to say it before?

      “Hey! Am getting married in December” she bluntly told just when I was about to open my heart In front her.

      I just congratulated her and returned home. I sat on my table and picked you, the robot – my friend. But, you started laughing at me. I used to enjoy the sound of your metallic laugh. But, that moment, I forgot you are programmed to laugh when picked up. I thought you were laughing at me too. I went mad, I slammed you on the floor, tore you apart, and pulled the wires as if you were responsible to steal my dream.

      But, you are still here in this distorted condition, reminding me the pain of losing untold love and my behavior towards you.

    • few – only because it’s hard to follow rules.

      No one noticed the bird perched on the branch outside the French windows. Everyone was out to have fun – drink and have sex with strangers. Save for a few aristocrats, they were the law and had an image to preserve.
      But, with such kind they have a penchant for danger, dancing with the devils and partaking in the bread of the perverse. They were easy to blackmail – if you knew how to.  Parties were in plenty and this one aristocrat was taking off the undies on a hot gorgeous blonde. The bird whirred as its lens zoomed in recording the whole thing oblivious of the fanfare celebrations on the street. On the other end on a tiny screen a man in dark glasses grinned – a sinister green as he let out a billow of steam from his long black cig.

      ***

      “Shake it for papa” an old man shouted to a lady dancing to dirty Diana, popping out her Nether with her hands tightly holding onto the pole.

      He had on thin silver round framed glasses with one lens thicker. It glowed red – it was an X-ray device. Legend around the club had it that he lost his eye during a dog fight, he went against two pit bulls and won. Some say he was a spy and had a surgery to get the lens installed in his cornea but the surgeon was drunk and ended up destroying the whole eye. He had clammy skin, it looked like a snakes shed skin. He wore a long gray coat that covered most of his slender body and large brown boots.

      Another man walked in smoking a long black pipe that gave off steam instead of smoke. He had a limp in his step. He walked and sat directly opposite the red-eyed man and grinned. He too had a large gray coat and dark glasses on. He let out a billow of steam and stares at the dancing girl.

      “Scram you little piece of shit” his voice billowed

      The girl scurried off the table leaving her lingerie on the ground. The music was still playing as the red eyed man laughed – breaking into a cough. He reached inside his coat and pulled out a bird like contraption.

      “Is that it?” the tall guy asked

      “What does it look like?” fired the red eye guy

      “You’ll have to dress it up a bit” he continued

      “It better work!”

      “Oh, I bet you it will” the red eye guy replied with a sinister grin on his face…

    • few – only because it’s hard to follow rules.

      No one noticed the bird perched on the branch outside the French windows. Everyone was out to have fun – drink and have sex with strangers. Save for a few aristocrats, they were the law and had an image to preserve.
      But, with such kind they have a penchant for danger, dancing with the devils and partaking in the bread of the perverse. They were easy to blackmail – if you knew how to.  Parties were in plenty and this one aristocrat was taking off the undies on a hot gorgeous blonde. The bird whirred as its lens zoomed in recording the whole thing oblivious of the fanfare celebrations on the street. On the other end on a tiny screen a man in dark glasses grinned – a sinister green as he let out a billow of steam from his long black cig.

      ***

      “Shake it for papa” an old man shouted to a lady dancing to dirty Diana, popping out her Nether with her hands tightly holding onto the pole.

      He had on thin silver round framed glasses with one lens thicker. It glowed red – it was an X-ray device. Legend around the club had it that he lost his eye during a dog fight, he went against two pit bulls and won. Some say he was a spy and had a surgery to get the lens installed in his cornea but the surgeon was drunk and ended up destroying the whole eye. He had clammy skin, it looked like a snakes shed skin. He wore a long gray coat that covered most of his slender body and large brown boots.

      Another man walked in smoking a long black pipe that gave off steam instead of smoke. He had a limp in his step. He walked and sat directly opposite the red-eyed man and grinned. He too had a large gray coat and dark glasses on. He let out a billow of steam and stares at the dancing girl.

      “Scram you little piece of shit” his voice billowed

      The girl scurried off the table leaving her lingerie on the ground. The music was still playing as the red eyed man laughed – breaking into a cough. He reached inside his coat and pulled out a bird like contraption.

      “Is that it?” the tall guy asked

      “What does it look like?” fired the red eye guy

      “You’ll have to dress it up a bit” he continued

      “It better work!”

      “Oh, I bet you it will” the red eye guy replied with a sinister grin on his face.

    • Karen says:

      Whoops..I posted twice..didn’t think it went through! Love all the stories!

    • Karen says:

      My daughter and I thought of a poem:

      I was a little Furby small and sweet,
      Until the dog grabbed me like a piece of meat.
      And now, much to my dismay,
      That is why I look this way.

    • Ashlyn Klein says:

      I remember it all very well. The day I was made, wires surrounding me. This strange human, putting screws, and bolts into my gleaming, metal body. I knew very well, I would never walk, talk, or move a single muscle, not that I had any. But despite my disabilities, I felt like a human on the inside. I had so many words and questions inside me, trying to break free from my thin metal skeleton. I had lines from old movies, and songs in my head. I remembered everything I heard and saw. They all wanted to escape me. But I had no mouth. All I had was my plastic beak that would never say what I wanted, only what was programmed. I was only a puppet. Doing only what one wanted me to do or say. I’m trapped inside a robot, I’ll never have what I had before.

      A penguin, a robot, I was created by my enemy for a punishment for what I did long ago. I was supposed to be a companion for those who needed it. But now, I was the one who needed a companion. Someone to tell me it will be all right. I was stuck in there, in the attic. It was dark and damp, the science post its on the clip board flapped in turn with the ceiling fan.

      The wall had been crushed. And the ceiling was in small pieces on the floor. My wires had been pulled. My silver wings snapped in two, and under the piles of remains were my feet and my black silky feathers. Before our enemies striked I was a normal boy. Everything was taken away from me. Including, the one. The one for me. She was taken prisoner. Along with everyone else. I was the the target of the attack, you needn’t know why. I can’t remember what happened exactly. But my enemy created me in my robot self, which is what I am today. It’s all my fault, it’s my doing, of why the world is what it is. Why I am what I am, but I can’t escape it.

    • Les Taylor says:

      Write to Done Contest “What Happened?”

      Listen my little mechanical friend, stuff happens. I can tell by the “deer in the headlights” look on your face that you’re a mess. If you could, if you still had your mechanical arm and hand, you would be scratching your pointed little head trying to figure out why your body parts are now all over the room.

      When you and I went to the “Handling Explosives Safely” workshop a couple of weeks ago, you fell asleep – during one of the most important sessions – “Connecting the Right Wires.” Remember, I kept nudging you awake and whispering “pay attention, this is really important.” But, I digress.

      OK, it’s time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back to work. It’s a setback I know but remember, Thomas Edison made ten thousand “mistakes” before he created the incandescent light bulb. True, he didn’t blow himself or some of his colleagues to smithereens but he did suffer a lot of setbacks. Stuff happens.

      When people, or robots, find themselves in unfortunate situations, it’s often helpful to employ reflective thinking. In your case for example, it might be instructive to ask:

      • Why was I wearing oven mitts instead of thin plastic gloves?
      • Why did I leave my flack jacket in my locker?
      • Why did I wrap my lunch in the wiring diagram?
      • How long will my ears keep ringing?
      • Will the company replace the roof on the lab? If it rains – I could rust.

      Yes my little friend when stuff happens – like the explosion in the lab today – it’s good to do a little reflective thinking. You’ve heard it said: “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not moving forward.” So, when we put you back together, and put you back on the assembly line don’t be afraid to make an occasional mistake. But please, never put those oven mitts on again.

    • The call came at exactly…what does it matter…it came, and changed my life forever.

      From the moment the alarm was heard, time ceased to have any meaning. I vaguely remember the rush, the sirens, the traffic, the look of anguish on some faces (tense parents I found out later) and the sound of urgent footsteps, running to the rescue.

      But there was no guarantee. We had to find the device before we could disarm it. And we knew we had no time.

      The phone call had been very specific. “I am so angry that I can explode at any time. But why should I? Let the world pay for its faults. Let it explode”.

      No demands. No timelines. No negotiations. No room for any compromise.

      But we had to try. Or die trying.

      It was a school. There were hundreds of children inside. We went in.

      We were looking for anything that was out of place. The school was huge. And the interiors looked like no school we had gone to. Out of place? Hell, we didn’t know what was ‘in’ place. But we scanned the school. Hoping that something would catch our attention.

      Then I saw the toy. And I knew I had found the device. It was on the tabletop in the Physics Lab. The Lab was in the middle floor. Right in the middle of the building. The best place from where the blast could begin. And while everything else had been neatly packed into their shelves, this toy stood out for its audacity.

      I walked up to it. Gingerly. I looked at it. And I knew. I just knew…I could not disarm the device in time. The blinking red light was gasping its last breaths. I thought of my wife and children, said my prayers and fond good byes…

      The red light stopped blinking. There was no explosion. My phone rang.

      “Relax” said the voice “it’s okay now”.

      He had switched it off with the remote.

      In relief I could only ask “Why”…

      Look at the heart of the bomb. My bomb. It has eyes.

    • Juliar nur says:

      This is happen when i was a kid. I had this alarm clock that accidentally kicked by myself when i was asleep. I’m just to tire to woke up that time and then unconsciously i kick it. And when i woke up, i saw my birthday present from my dad crush. my head are spinning that time think about who is done this to my alarm clock. Almost half of the part is torn a part. Then, i wash my face and go ask my mom about it. She said that she don’t know a thing about my broken alarm clock. I tried to fix it with a glue that time. I put the eye back in where it, the yellow mouth. And then, i realize it was not enought with only a glue. Then, i went to my father’s garage to find a screwdriver and his welding tool. It took 2 hour for me to fix it and few time of precious failure

    • Rachel Brooks says:

      There isn’t any reason to ask you “What happened?”. I already know.

      This social machine and this madness. Delirious dance that renders living colors broken toys. I’m no better than the paltry scrape of a Third World. I am Pinocchio of your streets. The empty in the beggar’s bowl. The glass that is broken. The whispers in alleys.

      They made me a machine, a mime, with wide staring eyes,word-less. They call it pro bono publico. I say Sic Semper Tyrannus. They called it the pursuit of happiness. I call it exploits.

      They call it materialism. I say it’s meretricious. The lack of value on the increase. The lack of gratitude for the rush of wealth.

      You ask me what happened to me? I am an exploited American dream. I am a plastic automaton, carried on the pursuit of enterprise posing as happiness, with plastered clown masks.

      I am your workers. The over- tasked and the under- paid. The clerk at your check out. The waiter behind your burger dive’s diner.

      I am a message to your country men to address social injustice. The domestic abuse of the civil worker. The lack of courtesy deserved to the Jack of All Trades.

      This is me, and my abuses. I’m not exploited by governments or by economies. The civil attitude towards my service is what defaces me. I require your respect to repair my broken visage.

    • TL Forte says:

      WHAT CAME FIRST, THE BOLT OR THE SCREW

      What came first… the bolt or the screw? I, I really can’t remember, if there were any screws, or not– Maybe, it was just wires. That’s it, wires… red, green, white. Oh no, that is the Christmas colors.

      Did I just squander additional dollars on this stay at home multi-rich business crap? I read the instructions… stop it, stop it—who you looking at. Are you looking at me, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin –what are you?

      The manual reads, ‘Portable animation outlets, if you have an imagination you can create it, and then sell it on EBay’. Yes, I am imaginative, unique, and excellent with electronics. This box has my name written all over it. But, what went wrong, I just do not understand. Stop it, stop it– little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin—I see you, watching me.

      Oh’ God, I know Helen is going to kill me. She will be completely, ballistic. I can hear her screaming, and so will all the neighbors, ‘Stop spending our money on all these gadgets without telling me. I need that money for a vacation away from you’. She is not going to leave without me this year– I need a vacation too. What… what did you say, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin—I got my eyes on you.

      Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a darn minute. What is happening to me? I can’t feel my arms… I can’t move my lips, am I talking in my head. My body feels tingly with a twitch.
      As I look around, this is not my room or is it. I think I’m resting on the floor. Tell me, tell me–come on, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin, what do you see—I NEED YOU TO HELP ME?

      Oh no… no, no, no, no. I can clearly see what is happening. Look at you, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin–You can see EVERYTHING, but you cannot hear me… because, I forgot your ears… is that why you will not speak to me.

      (Room door opens, Helen screams) “Oh my God—call 911.”

    • Little robot Stu was so excited, he finally had a date with robot Stella!

      He’d been sending data her way for weeks and was starting to think she wasn’t interested. What should he do he wondered? How could he convince Stella to go out with him? He didn’t know, but he was sure going to keep trying!

      Stella was probably the most beautiful little girl robot he had ever seen.
      He just had to find a way to convince her!
      Oh, he had it; he had the best idea ever!
      He would give her flowers.

      He couldn’t just run down to the nearest florist so he pictured in his data banks the exact bouquet and plugged himself into the 3D printing machine to make these beautiful flowers, however, the printer was so powerful and it overloaded his circuits, uh-oh!
      It blew him apart! Now what would he do? He was so upset and he couldn’t let Stella see him in this condition!

      Just then his good friend Marty came in. He’s the human that built Stu!
      Stu, Marty said. What happened to you?
      So Stu started at the beginning and told Marty the story of Stella and how he felt about her and please Marty, can you fix me? Can you put me back together?

      Yes, Marty said to Stu. I can put you back together and make your circuits stronger than ever.
      Then, you can plug into the 3D printer and make Stella flowers anytime you want!

      So Marty proceeded to put Stu back together and he kept his promise to make Stu’s circuits stronger than before, and just in the nick of time too!

      Here came Stella and it just so happened that all the data had processed through the printer and a beautiful bouquet awaited her.
      She was so taken with the flowers and with Stu that she agreed to go on a date with him!
      Secretly, she had really liked Stu and was hoping he’d ask her on a date.

      Stu excused himself from Stella for a moment, sped over to Marty, thank you he said.

    • Kafilah says:

      I stared at the skeleton of my sister’s favorite toy that was sitting on the study table in the center of the living room. I stared at its creepy blue eyes, weird orange beak and its white fuzzy eyelashes. What kind of creepy toy did I choose to recreate?
      I sighed and picked my screwdriver and continued tightening the screws. The inside of the toy was now complete. The brain and the heart. Like how Erin wanted her toy to be. A robot with its own mind. So when she said she loved the used-to-be dumb toy, it would say back:
      “I love you too Erin.”
      When she was sad and told it so, it would say:
      “Stop crying, you are too beautiful to do that.”
      And just because my evil but rich little sister paid me an extra twenty bucks, when she was irritated, it would say:
      “Shut up Derrick!”
      Or:
      “You’re stupid Derrick!”
      Or the most hurtful one of all:
      “Go bug your girlfriend, too bad you don’t have one though!”
      Yes, I’m the unlucky Derrick. The geeky girlfriend-less Derrick with a special talent in robotics.
      And it was Erin’s birthday and this was her gift. A new and improved yet much more annoying talking bird toy thing.
      “Derrick! Dinner!” Mom yelled from the kitchen and I sighed in relief. Just the covering of the toy and I will be done with the gift.
      I put down my screwdriver and went into the kitchen to eat my mom’s wonderful Spaghetti Bolognese…

    • As they undressed me, piece-by-piece, it felt like the world had gained a little more perspective in my head. I couldn’t exactly imagine the intensity of this sudden change in the way I perceived things until now, I was rather astonished at the images that flashed in front of my eyes.
      The life inside me was a little numb now as I could feel it leaving my body, slow and steady. I had been like this for a while now, distant from the idea of putting me to use, although, I would like to believe that my intent was to prove otherwise. I lay there naked, and a little soaked in shame.
      They took off all my screws first and then the wires. The battery had been dead for hours. The only thing left of me was the detached pieces of wood and plastic. The feeling was that of loneliness and uselessness. It made me feel so full of this world.
      The colors were the only things that helped me hold the remaining detached pieces together. The table wood was made of teak. It looked so pretty in the sunlight – winsome and attractive. The tool kept on the side was more orange with a tinge of yellow and a silver metal nib. The combination complimented the maker and I often found myself happy in its company. The walls around me were painted in deep red with an attached door of cream color. The site of this mergence had been the only comforting thing around me ever since I took note of it.
      As I approached the last few minutes of these very colors paving my way to where I belonged, I knew, that my perspective, did, finally set me in the right mind and that is world, wasn’t as filthy a place after all.

    • Trina Forte says:

      WHAT CAME FIRST, THE BOLT OR THE SCREW

      What came first… the bolt or the screw? I, I really can’t remember, if there were any screws, or not– Maybe, it was just wires. That’s it, wires… red, green, white. Oh no, that is the Christmas colors.

      Did I just squander additional dollars on this stay at home multi-rich business crap? I read the instructions… stop it, stop it—who you looking at. Are you looking at me, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin –what are you?

      The manual reads, ‘Portable animation outlets, if you have an imagination you can create it, and then sell it on EBay’. Yes, I am imaginative, unique, and excellent with electronics. This box has my name written all over it. But, what went wrong, I just do not understand. Stop it, stop it– little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin—I see you, watching me.

      Oh’ God, I know Helen is going to kill me. She will be completely, ballistic. I can hear her screaming, and so will all the neighbors, ‘Stop spending our money on all these gadgets without telling me. I need that money for a vacation away from you’. She is not going to leave without me this year– I need a vacation too. What… what did you say, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin—I got my eyes on you.

      Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a darn minute. What is happening to me? I can’t feel my arms… I can’t move my lips, am I talking in my head. My body feels tingly with a twitch.

      As I look around, this is not my room or is it. I think I’m resting on the floor. Tell me, tell me–come on, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin, what do you see—I NEED YOU TO HELP ME?

      Oh no… no, no, no, no. I can clearly see what is happening. Look at you, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin–You can see EVERYTHING, but you cannot hear me… because, I forgot your ears… is that why you won’t speak to me.

      (Room door opens, Helen screams) “Oh my God—call 911.”

    • Makenzie says:

      The innocent man began his work,
      cutting and scraping,
      building and shaping,
      inspecting and deciphering,
      reforming the creation,
      joining, developing, reinforcing,
      upgrading and consolidating,
      connecting and disconnecting,
      directing scraps of metal into their very places,
      reflecting his thoughts and feelings into his work,
      hearing the every breath of whispers in his mind,
      raging to complete the task at hand,
      the aroma of silver, rustic metal consuming the air,
      it was one in the morning and the innocent man was still working,
      piecing together every aspect of his imagination,
      creating an unknown machine,
      completely oblivious of his soon to be creation,
      9-volt batteries being planted into place,
      embedding sensors and buttons,
      motors and speakers,
      the innocent man continued displaying his feelings into the dead of the night,
      and what was left was nothing of the man, but of a machine,
      it’s bright blue eyes staring with false innocence,
      shaking and hypnotizing all surroundings,
      it had a solid orange nose filled with sympathy,
      and a metallic ventilator as a heart,
      it was a weeping, cold machine,
      a robotic piece of art,
      it was heartless and evil but by quick glance innocent,
      a well-mechanized system,
      a whirlpool of unconscious feelings swirled deeply into the blue eyes of the creature,
      warm memories of a soon to be forgotten man contained bitterly,
      artificial-intelligence flooded the machine, wires popping out as veins,
      if only the man had known where his feelings had led,
      down a deep and dark path of regrets and hopelessness,
      if he had not dared to stay true to his feelings,
      his creation would be nonexistent,
      but again, if he had not dared to stay true to his feelings,
      he would also be nonexistent,
      so had he not down such a terrible thing to steer himself down a road of self-advocacy?

      • Makenzie says:

        had he not *done such a terrible thing to steer himself down a road of self-advocacy?

    • Leocardi says:

      My son Vincent has been inventing new things since he was seven. At that age he took some parts from my phone and made a moving toy car out of it I did not know how he did it. I was really angry with him I even forbade him from touching any electronic devices. It did not last long though because after two weeks I found him in the basement making another toy but this time with a radio which we were not using. I thought of letting him be so long as he asks first before dismantling anything.
      He is now twelve, he has made this toy which he named Sammy, he took like a month making it. Sometimes he even forgot to eat. The basement was where you can find Vin during the time he was making Sammy. There are some things special about Sammy, Vin somehow encrypted codes in which when the front door is opened Sammy rings an alarm and words pass on its chest saying the front door is opened and it gives the name of a person who opened it. If a person enter for the first time in the house it just write ’front door opened by unknown person’. Vin made sure I was getting these messages on my phone so whenever am not home and someone enter in the house Sammy would alert me through my phone.
      Vin added another program in Sammy’s drive, he said it was a surprise that he wanted to show me and his friends later that day. He went to school as usual and I decided to take his clothes for washing. He room was untidy so I started cleaning it, suddenly behind me I heard “Hello Mrs. Connor!” In shock, I turned to look but accidentally knocked a chair which was near me and it fell on Sammy.
      Sammy can speak and move around! I realized that was the surprise that Vin was eager to show me and his friends. Am now trying to fix Sammy so as not disappoint my son….

    • As Sam was up on his way to school he heard someone calling his name. First he thought it was just memory of a dream from last night but then someone called again. With some hesitation he moved across and found a dustbin talking to him. Sam is about 12 years now so you can understand his ambition to prove that he is a man now. So, he opened the dustbin and saw an owl faced robot with a plastic ball as his nose lying there without any legs. Sam still remembers his mother mentioning talking robots in bedtime stories but this was his first encounter.
      As with some fear still in his veins, Sam managed to pick up the robot and put it into his schoolbag. Sam came home early today so mother was not at home. He took out the robot and throws the bag on the side table near his bed. Robot looked a bit funny but then again it was a talking robot. What is your name Sam asked? My name is Jeff and I am from planet Mercury. Is there life on Mercury? Asked Sam. Yes, your people haven’t reached there yet. So are you on vacation or something? No, my spaceship got lost and I landed on the box near your home. Fear and happiness both struck Sam when he heard voice of engine from his garage. This must be Mom. I am putting you back in the bag so make sure you don’t say a word until I come back for you.
      Hi Mom!
      Hi Sammy, How School today?
      It was good.
      Mom, Can I ask you something?
      Yes, sure why not?
      Do you believe in aliens?
      Not exactly, they are just fictionist figures which media gave so much hype about.
      Why are you asking?
      Well, I have to tell you something.
      Promise you won’t freak out.
      I won’t, Sam. What is the matter?
      Well, with a deep breath Sam broke the news. I have a n alien in my bag upstairs and he looks like a robot to me.
      Sammmmm…. He could be dangerous, how could you?
      Mom, he was calling my name.
      How did he know you name?
      That is what I wanted to find out. That is why I bought him home.

    • Keerthi says:

      The robot exclaimed “Well! I am yet to be fixed, and this unfixed state does bother me”.
      My thought just wavers around and makes me to compare my state with that of this “unfixed robot”.
      YES..!! Though the required stuff for making “the complete robot”, is spread all around itself.. Perhaps the robot is in need of some healthy selfless help.! I could witness the longingness and unfulfilled dreams of the robot, through its deep, communicating wide eyes.
      Same implies to me, stuck with all kind of problems that stops me from being myself and to attain the very state of self-satisfaction. Selfless ambitions are born in pure heart with profound clarity and it just needs some helping hands from the “right kind of source”.
      The robot and I are in search and wait for that “SOURCE OF HELP”.
      The powerful quote of Swami Vivekananda goes like “All power is within you. You are the creator of your own destiny”.
      I would say.. This is an absolute truth, which the great man has showcased to the total community of Homo sapiens, which we must bear in our minds and lead our life through it.
      Though it’s really hard to accept the real fact, that we are solo riders, but the life begins and blossoms with happiness only when we individuals realise and accept the TRUTH.
      Hence a point comes in life wherein, we need to understand and admit the fact, we are put ‘single-handedly’ in this journey called LIFE. Impractical wait and procrastination are real thieves. So let’s make a intelligent escape from them and try our best to use the most precious asset bestowed by God – “TIME” and make the good out of it for defining our life and designing a meaningful existence within the short term of life.
      So, my dear fellow achievers fasten your belts and gear up to turn your dreams into reality. Love yourself and believe in YOU.
      Live as legend..!! Give the best to the society you live.. Since, life is all about “GIVING” than getting. Trust me..!!

    • Donna Harper says:

      The Double Bluff by Donna Harper

      It was a fine crystalline powder that smelled of lemons. How was Cyril supposed to know? He was inquisitive and curious; of course he was going to want to try it. Hiding it in the breadbin was not going to keep a Furby out, so it was obvious that he was meant to find it. Wasn’t he?

      ‘Wassup bro’?’ Gizmo laughed as he made Cyril jump. He’d been hiding behind the cereal packet waiting for this moment.

      Cyril didn’t like playing with Gizmo. He was a naughty Furby, always getting Cyril into trouble. When Cyril told Gizmo he’d seen the human mother hiding the packet of yellow powder in the breadbin, Gizmo saw there was fun to be had and came up with a plan.

      They began building a walkway so they could get from the kitchen table to the draining board and then across to the counter. It was so simple. Cyril wheeled here, there and everywhere while Gizmo called out instructions, sourcing the bits they needed for their epic walkway. This was the most fun he’d had in days. Their owner Tony had sat him on the kitchen table so they could chatter during dinner and then forgotten him when his mum took him to Cub Camp. He had been gone three days now and Cyril was bored.

      Fire engine ladders, a wooden ruler from under Tony’s desk, building blocks and shoe laces, nothing was sacrosanct in their building mission. When the walkway was finally ready, Gizmo shoved Cyril out front.

      ‘You go first.’

      The walkway wobbled up, down and sideways. Cyril swallowed, keeping his eyes on the other side. He wasn’t going to chicken out, he knew that was what Gizmo expected. When he made it safely across, Gizmo followed.

      ‘Wimp’ Gizmo yelled at Cyril who was still catching his breath when they reached the counter with the breadbin. He shoved past him and raced to the powder.

      ‘Don’t!’ Cyril called half-heartedly, but Gizmo laughed, emptying the whole packet into his mouth.

      WHOOMPH! Cyril laughed hysterically when Gizmo blew into bits as the popping candy went off.

    • Nyla says:

      “May I come in sir?” I asked right from outside the door and no reply came from within. I stood there for a while and then pushed open the door and barged in.
      “STOP RIGHT THERE!” shouted a deep voice and I skidded to a halt. I looked around the room expecting my professor. “Sir?” I asked confused. “YES YOU FOOL! WHO ASKED YOU TO COME IN?” The voice screamed at me. I realized two things then that this voice didn’t belong to my professor and the other was that the source of the voice came from the table in front of me. I looked down.
      “I SAID GET OUT!” It screeched at me. I looked at it dumbfounded, there on the table was a machine like toy which looked awful, with owl like eyes, a ball in the place of the mouth and wires wrapped around its body. “What the…!” I said wrinkling my nose. Its head jerked up and it looked at me. “DID NO ONE TEACH YOU ANY MANNERS? I WAS DRESSING UP. NOW HAND ME THE SCREW DRIVER IDIOT!” It scowled at me. Wordlessly I picked up the tool and handed it. It got busy working up his body. First it tightened the screws that held its body then it picked up an aluminum vest and began fitting it, trust me then it looked better.
      “GIVE ME THE SCREW DAMMIT.” I didn’t budge from my place. “WHAT!” It looked at me with a frown, automatically I began looking for the missing screw and when I found it I gave it and ran out terrified.
      I dashed out the door and collided with my professor. “Hey, what happened?” he asked me. I just nodded my head unable to speak. He lead me back in. “I wanted to show you a small toy like machine that has got some vocal defect, it speaks but no sound comes out, so I assign you the work of dismantling it and finding the defect. The marks will be awarded to your present assignment.” He said smiling. I felt my head roll.

    • Tami britton says:

      I don”t deserve this. You asked for it. No, you begged for it. Furby style, cowboy fast, Mr. Potato hard, my beak holding you down, while I gave you the oil can henry. The only time I closed my eyes is that delicious moment when, for just a moment there is nothing between us. No plastic. No fake fur. Nothing but us as my hot breath makes the plastic on the back of your neck shiny and your tiny tattoo glistens. You wouldn’t tell me your name. But these eyes don’t miss much. You told, hell, you squealed like Barbie when Ken ripped her leg off. She’s a crazy bitch and so are you. Ken put her leg back on. Yea, it was backwards, no one’s perfect. At least he tried. I hope your happy now. You’ve got your revenge. They’ve removed everything from me including my shuttlecock. But the tide moves fast in here and what was a sin one day is forgotten the next. Remember what gumby did to pokey? Of course you don’t. It was the talk of the toy box the day it happened. Gumby was going down, everyone said. Well, the only thing going down around here is pokey, twice a day and if that little orange turd tries giving Gumby the business again they are going to find him in the easy bake oven, and no one’s going to give 2 little ponies. That’s how it going to be for you,sweetcheeks. Tomorrow, maybe the next day, they’ll put all my parts back on. And when they do? I’m coming for you, china.

    • I was once a live owl who lived in the city trees in Colorado.

      Late one night I was calling for my lady love when an irate homeowner came out with his pellet gun and shot me. I fell sixteen feet to the ground and couldn’t move.

      There was a young boy who must have belonged to the homeowner. I remember him lifting me up gently and putting me in a box with something soft inside. I passed out and don’t know how long I was in a coma.

      I only have blurred memories of this because when I finally woke up, my whole body was broken, and I was lying on a cold metal table. I couldn’t see, my beak was gone, and my wings and legs were broken. My heart still beat and my brain still functioned.

      I was aware of water dripping into my mouth where my beak used to be, and I felt gentle pats on my head. I had no idea what was happening and I was terrified, but when I tried to make a noise, nothing happened.

      I learned I could still hear when this persistent bee buzzing noise began. Then I felt the sharp prick of something that reminded me of the time I flew into a cactus. I went to sleep almost instantly.

      When I awakened I saw this bright flash of light that hurt my eyes, and I tried to close them, but for some reason they stayed open. A yellow thing was where my beak was supposed to be, and it had no point. When I tried to fly, nothing happened. Instead my body sat atop some kind of cold metal that wouldn’t bend.

      I had something with five holes where my stomach used to be. The boy attached an orange snake thing to the round thing in my stomach, and he attached the end of the snake to a wall. Suddenly my eyes flashed light and I heard “Cuckoo! Cuckoo” coming out of my yellow mouth.

      The boy yelled, “Hey, Dad! Come look at my new alarm clock!”

    • It had been forgotten on top of a work bench at the garage, a pile of metal and a bunch of screws and nuts, this had been johns forgotten work just laying there, the only thing that ould be heard was a beeping sound that came from the tool shed and reached johns ears, not standing the annoying sound anymore he decided to step out of the house and ead for the tool shed. Once he reached it he entered walked towards the work bench and starred down at the bunch of spare parts, (then he said) hi! my little friend i know i neglected you but lets see if we can more than just a beep in you. Then john began connecting bits and parts, bolts and nuts. Some time must have past and by the time he realized it, he had completed his work, now all he needed to finish was to connect the speach mechanism, all it took was a simple wire and “suddenly” the little machine spoke. Thank you John now see that wasnt so hard you are still the best technical engineer that has ever existed, now instead of being lonely around the house you have me to keep you company and i will assist you in many ways that you have programmed me, all you have to do is just order me. John smiled and his first command was, follow me into your new home my little friend. So the proud little invention extended his wheels and followed john.. (The end) written. By,nicolas montanez. The teller of tales. Hope everyone enjoys it and please comment.

    • Hey! Furby! I like your new look is this your streaking mode. I don’t know why you get around those kids and just let them take you apart like that. I would expect that you would be saying something like “I am cold, please put my feathers back on.”

      Wait a minute! What are you trying to tell me with that look? The kids weren’t coming around today. They were all going to the mall then the ball field.

      But, yet here you are with no feathers. Tell me, Furby was it our resident “MAD SCIENTIST” who did this to you? You know that guy that we keep tied up in his room. (Shh! Don’t tell anyone I said that). He must have gotten loose again and found you and wanted to see all of your inner workings and make you do things you are not programmed for. Things like that just fascinate him to no end.

    • christine meisenheimer says:

      For my entire capacitor-filled life I have been R2D2’s cousin. This morning however I awoke to the unnerving sensation of “my world falling apart” and in the proverbial “journey in a hand basket” that it feels like it is. One cursory glance at my stomach area and catching a harrowing glance at my dangling, and rhythmically swinging eyeball, confirmed my worst fear! I AM falling apart both literally and figuratively

      The literal interpretation needs no further clarification since just take one look at me and come to your one conclusion! The figurative aspect does indeed require further exploration. Why would a simple physical alteration cause a major psychological upheaval? In my case it has and I am told that this sort of change has a profound effect human beings as well. I wonder why? I know my value is NOT dependent upon how I look – but if not – then what IS my value dependent upon?

      A major component is my infinite uniqueness. Yes, even “machines” have an inherent uniqueness as is true about organic and inorganic material as well. Imagine that! Consider that at a subatomic level the particle alignment of any one substance is unique, as unique as are the crystals in a snowflake. Because of this unique configuration of particles then conceivably behavior from one to the other may also vary. Mental and emotional confusion is a normal result of sudden outward physical change. The normal aging process is gradual and doesn’t seem to have the same impact. Or does it? Some age happily others not so.

      I am encouraged by the fact that in the picture that inspired this diatribe there is a screwdriver clearly visible. I anticipate that this tool will help set aright all that is wrong with me. If only human foibles could be corrected that easily. The advantage humans have is their exquisite ability to alter their attitude and perspective. I haven’t that ability but a screw tightened here and there just might do the trick. Doesn’t seem much different than a human’s attitude change. Does it?

    • “Eeeeeeeee!” Lillian squeeled with delight looking at her creation. “Ahhhhhh!” She she said loudly into the robot’s recorder. This set her into another happy round of rocking and hand flapping.
      Pocky the robot was finally real and no longer locked in the prison of her mind.
      “Pocky, you were worth it all. Every pilfered wire. Every stolen screw and all the trouble you got me into for tearing up the stuffed animals. I knew one day we would meet. I knew it as soon as I studied Daddy’s old electronics magazines. They thought all this time I was staring at the pictures. They don’t know I can read far above my age level. I wanted to tell them, but my mouth won’t form the words that my brain understands. Somehow my hands refuse to spell out what I’m thinking. Pocky, they think I don’t know what severly Autistic means. They never figured out I was drawing schematics for you with my crayons. Ha, ha, sometimes Daddy thought he was losing his mind when he couldn’t find his tools and parts. But how surprised they will be when they meet you, Pocky. Just as soon as I fasten Teddy’s fur on with the glue I stole from Mommy’s craft box, you’ll be done!”
      Lillian spoke all this excitedly to Pocky. But, all that came out was, “Eeeeeeeeeeeee!”. Lillian didn’t mind. She knew Pocky understood everything she was saying.

    • Claire says:

      Evil, pure evil did this to me. Left me here, dissected on the table, for my love to find. My parts displayed for his sick pleasure. My skin taken as a trophy. The indignity of it. I can’t help but wonder if it now graces his floor.

      I came to this place full of hope. Dreamed of a bright future filled with love and I found it. She was my constant companion from the start. She wore me down. At first, I was unwilling to give her my heart but in the end I gave her everything.

      My God, I hear her coming, calling my name. My love be careful. The monster that did this to me is still here. She does not hear me – he has stolen my voice. Silenced me. I would willing suffer a thousand fold worse if I could protect her from him.

      She looks down at me. I can see the tears in her eyes. Don’t waste your tears on me my love. My end is near. Save your self. Run! He is behind you!

      “I am sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen. Please tell me you can fix him.”

      “Yes dear. He just needs to dry out.”

      “Then you’ll put him back together?”

      “Yes dear. Don’t worry he’ll be fine. Next time, I tell you not to bring him to beach – listen.”

      “I will. Dad, thanks for fixing him.”

      “Your welcome dear.”

      Something’s happening.

      “Hey little guy, how are you feeling? I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to fix you but your as good as new.”

      I am home. Perhaps, it was all a dream.

    • Adina says:

      At four years old, John’s specialty was pulling apart things. He pulled apart everything he could, including his mother’s phone. When caught, John would say as only a four year old could say “I just wanted to see what I looked like inside”.

      For his last birthday, John’s parents bought him a child’s tool kit in hopes of keeping their son happy while keeping their belongings in one piece. For six months, John was content to play with his tool kit. Then his sister, Suzy received a talking stuffed bear for her 7th birthday.

      John looked at the bear and knew that he would get in trouble.

      “John” his father knew the look in his son’s eyes “That is Suzy’s toy. You are not to touch it and not to take it apart. Am I understood?”.

      “Yes, Daddy” John agreed.

      But temptation still lurked in the form of the talking stuffed bear.

      Two months after Suzy’s birthday, John was home sick. His parents had bought tickets for the circus. John was home with the babysitter while his parents took Suzy and a neighbor’s child in his stead to the circus.

      John was normally not allowed to watch TV in the living room. But because he was sick, an exception was made. The talking stuffed bear perched at the top of the open toy boy, looking at him, begging him to take a peek at it’s insides.

      Temptation finally got the best of John. While the babysitter was in the bathroom, John got off the couch and grabbed the bear and his tool kit. Like a maniac, he tore it apart, awed by the colorful wire and the metal body. It was beautiful.

      The fantasy was broken by the sound of the car in the driveway and the conversation between his parents and Suzy. Panicking, John tried to put it back together, but it was too late. The last thing John remembered was the key in the door and his sister’s scream.

    • Trina F says:

      WHAT CAME FIRST, THE BOLT OR THE SCREW

      What came first… the bolt or the screw? I, I really can’t remember, if there were any screws, or not– Maybe, it was just wires. That’s it, wires… red, green, white. Oh no, that is the Christmas colors.

      Did I just squander additional dollars on this stay at home multi-rich business crap? I read the instructions… stop it, stop it—who you looking at. Are you looking at me, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin –what are you?

      The manual reads, ‘Portable animation outlets, if you have an imagination you can create it, and then sell it on EBay’. Yes, I am imaginative, unique, and excellent with electronics. This box has my name written all over it. But, what went wrong, I just do not understand. Stop it, stop it– little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin—I see you, watching me.

      Oh’ God, I know Helen is going to kill me. She will be completely, ballistic. I can hear her screaming, and so will all the neighbors, ‘Stop spending our money on all these gadgets without telling me. I need that money for a vacation away from you’. She is not going to leave without me this year– I need a vacation too. What… what did you say, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin—I got my eyes on you.

      Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a darn minute. What is happening to me? I can’t feel my arms… I can’t move my lips, am I talking in my head. My body feels tingly with a twitch.

      As I look around, this is not my room or is it. I think I’m resting on the floor. Tell me, tell me–come on, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin, what do you see—I NEED YOU TO HELP ME?

      Oh no… no, no, no, no. I can clearly see what is happening. Look at you, little birdie, chick-a-doodle, penguin–You can see EVERYTHING, but you cannot hear me… because, I forgot your ears… is that why you will not speak to me.

      (Room door opens, Helen screams) “Oh my God—call 911.”

    • Esther Gittel Edelson says:

      My 10-year-old son wanted to give this a try:

      Once upon a time, a guy made an owl-bot. He wanted it as a pet, but it went out of control. Meanwhile, a bad guy on another planet was creating an army of evil, super-powered robots.

      The guy who made the owl-bot – oops, sorry, I forgot to tell you his name. His name was Mr. Guy. Anyway, he thought it would start destroying things because it had laser eyes, but you’ll find out what really happened soon.

      Then, the army of evil, super-powered robots attacked the city! One of them shot a pebble at the owl-bot, causing it to crash into a building, which did no damage except for kind of altering its programming. Before, it was supposed to be a nice, cuddly pet that was supposed to protect its owner. When it crashed, the programming was altered to rid the world of evil. The owl-bot found a good inventor who was trying to do the same thing the owl-bot was. The owl-bot teamed up with the inventor. The owl-bot, along with the inventor, defeated the bad robots, along with their creator.

      Mr. Guy was out looking for his owl-bot, and got captured by the evil robots. In the battle, the inventor and the owl-bot saved him – along with all the other people who were captured – by using the owl-bot’s laser eyes, plus a few inventions from the inventor. Mr. Guy became friends with the inventor and reclaimed his owl-bot, and Mr. Guy and the inventor earned a gold medal from the city.

    • MAX AND THE ATTACK OF THE KRETITES

      What happened Max? Where’s Mikey?
      “Intruder alert! Intruder alert!”
      Max was whirling around all over the lab table scattering his parts everywhere.
      “Settle down Max and tell me what happened?”
      “Okay…okay,” he said in his usual squeaky computer voice. “Mikey and I went off to repair the last breech in the forward hull. The turbo shafts were inoperable due to the last attack from the Kretites so Mikey and I engaged our internal propulsion system and arrived at the site of the breech. An enemy combat droid jettisoned through the breech before we could repair it completely.”
      “Okay ?, were you able to destroy it?”
      “No, after it entered the hull, it discharged a plasma burst hitting Mikey as he was repairing the breech, knocking him through the opening and out into space.” Max became extremely frightened as he pleaded, “he’s out there somewhere, please we have to find him.”
      “Take it easy Max I sent out a search party, we’ll find him. What happened next?”
      “Oh…yeah…well, the plasma discharge by the combat droid bounced off the turbo lift walls and grazed me and then the plasma hit the droid causing it to explode and the force of it sent me flying back down the turbo shaft before I gained some control and made my way in here.”
      “Where you able to repair the hull breech?”
      “Yes, but the aftershock of the plasma burst is causing me to fall apart. Just look at me, I know I have this goofy looking grin on my face, but on the inside I’m crying. Most of me is lying around here in pieces on the lab table.”
      “Don’t worry ?, I’ll have a team get to work on you immediately.”
      “Please hurry, I feel so vulnerable and completely exposed. I can’t even blink!”

    • Terry Deshler says:

      We had to work fast. If we didn’t do it right then, we wouldn’t get another chance. He was slipping away and there was no time to test it. He had something that could never be reproduced or written down or recorded. It had to preserved in its essential state.

      Iosaki Misonami saw things. He thought things. His mind worked like no other human being’s. He answered questions we didn’t even know to ask. We were only just beginning to understand how to interact with him when we realized he was dying. There was no other option than to move forward.

      Our primary focus was on the most important functions – abstract thought, critical reasoning, imagination, logic, creativity, etc. Secondly, we had to focus on the repository – a bank of computers that only Iosaki knew how to operate completely. Even if it did work, we’d have years ahead of us before we learned how to extract the information from these sources.

      The transformation was purely theoretical. Nothing had ever been done like this before, but we had to do it….and do it now. The connections were purely biological. The transmission would be a combination of light and chemical reactions. All our attempts to date yielded only dead mice and empty hard drives. But we hooked him up.

      As it started, I stood back from the table to watch, praying for the breakthrough he’d been promising and not the arrest warrants I was worried would come instead. Then it happened. Complete power outage. Nothing worked. We were in the middle of transmission – his essence was suspended between his body and the blacked out computers. With no vessel to contain it, his essence would simply spill onto the floor.

      I reached for the first object I could grasp that had any kind of built in storage. I didn’t see what it was. I pulled it mostly apart and hooked it up. Only a small part of his essence was lost, before Iosaki died. But we had it – whatever it was. Iosaki’s essence was now in a Furby. God help us now.

    • Elizabeth Gerhardt says:

      Good work capturing the man who made the bomb threat, Sergeant. Now tell me why he insisted on giving you this toy for your daughter, and by the way, quit fiddling with that cell phone. It’s very bad manners.

    • johnny says:

      Dr Jason Science rushed down the corridor, juggling a stack of papers and a box labelled “Project-X.”. He wished his little bear legs were longer, but a bear is a bear, even if he’s a genius of modern science. He burst into the lab, a whirlwind of paws and excitement.

      “Doug! we’ve done it! I recalibrated the matrix. We can progress to the ––”

      On the bench, Jason’s assistant looked up sheepishly.

      “Hi Jason,” said Doug. “ We might have a bit of a problem on my end.”

      Doug lay on the bench, tears streaming from his eyes, surrounded by wires, tools and important looking parts, his beating duck heart visible beneath copper and carbon fiber.

      “What happened, Doug? Was it the intern again?” asked Jason.

      Doug sighed. “No… I just thought I would never be any good the way I am. I started with a haircut, but kept taking bits off. Now I can’t put myself back together. I can’t help you with project-x. I’ll get fired, and end up in the trash with nobody to love me”

      “That’s crazy. You’re an amazing scientist. We’re going to get you back together just right, I promise!

      FlatJohnny’s office door opened and in came Jason and Doug, walking backwards. The boss was reclining underneath a plastic palm tree, a canary combing out his soft fur. Jason handed him six marble-sized, pink balls. FlatJohnny popped one into his mouth and shut his eyes. A wave of delight travelled all the way down to his furry toes.

      “First Rate! You’re the best scientists in all of Flatstonia! But what happened to your feet, Doug? They’re pointing the other way!”

      Doug shuffled around to face the boss.

      “I felt inadequate, so I dismantled myself. Dr Science put me back together, but we couldn’t get my feet right. I’m terribly disappointed”

      FlatJohnny laughed a booming, bear laugh.

      “It doesn’t matter where your feet point, as long as your heart is pure, and these pink balls are the best yet!” He laughed another warm laugh. Soon they were all rolling on the floor, happy as can be.

    • Jennifer says:

      Samantha looked at the robot on the table. The mess around Mr. Potato Head, as Samantha had dubbed him, was horrible. But the robot itself was amazing.

      She didn’t know who had taken the time to go through her classroom’s junk pile to find useable pieces. She didn’t realize the pile contained any useable pieces. She collected the leftover parts from clocks and vacuum cleaners just for fun.

      Some of the other teachers didn’t like her collection.

      “You are a hoarder,” said the kindergarten teacher. “No one’s classroom should look like this. I can’t imagine why the principal lets you keep this junk in here. This is a danger to your students.”

      Samantha had shrugged off the teacher’s comments, all but the one about being a danger to the students. Samantha knew her students were different. Kids on the spectrum were unpredictable. Sometimes a temper tantrum exploded with no notice, but Samantha decided long ago she wasn’t going to shelter these kids. Her special needs students would have everything the other kids had, even if she had to think out of the box to get it for them.

      Samantha picked up the leftover pieces from the mystery inventor’s project. She picked up wires and eye balls, screws and metal tabs, all the time wondering who could have created Mr. Potato Head. Could Harrison have built him? He was higher functioning and she knew he liked robots. Maybe it was Cash. Cash was into retro toys. He probably had a Mr. Potato Head at home in his room.

      It didn’t really matter who made it. Samantha was glad her junk pile had inspired someone. She was happy a student could express himself or herself, which was hard for a kid with autism.

      Samantha was almost finished cleaning up when she noticed a scrap of paper under Mr. Potato Head. It took her a minute, but she realized the paper announced the robot’s name. The robot was “Teechar”. Samantha realized the robot was her. One of her students made this for her.

      Samantha smiled. She had made a difference today.

    • My wife came in and found me; or what she thinks is me.

      I was sitting at my work bench staring vacantly. Unmoving, unblinking. Making a soft noise that sounded like “Chuka. Chuka. Chuka. Scree.”

      She asked me what was wrong. I wanted to answer but couldn’t. I couldn’t move or speak.
      She reached over and touched my body me. She shook me. She slapped my face. My body didn’t move. The only response was “Chuka. Chuka. Chuka. Scree.”

      She called 911. The ambulance was there in 15 minutes. The paramedics asked my wife “What happened?”

      My wife said she found me like that. I said “Chuka. Chuka. Chuka. Scree.”

      “What happened?” That was the question they asked me as they put me on the gurney. All that came out of my mouth was “Chuka. Chuka. Chuka. Scree.”

      If I could tell them they would never believe me. Not being able to talk I couldn’t tell them.

      I had been programming a little robot penguin I had built. I had connected the computer input feed to the memory and had started uploading the software. I had written some of the code myself. The vocal code, the dance code and the eye movements. I was anxious to try the penguin even though I hadn’t finished putting on the outer skin.

      As I moved the input and charging leads there was a flash of light the lights dimmed and then everything went black. Suddenly I was looking at myself.

      The next thing I noticed was that I couldn’t feel the metal braces on my legs. Then I noticed I couldn’t feel anything.

      I could see myself. Sitting at my workbench. Not moving. Not blinking.

      I figured it out after a few hours. Since I couldn’t move I had time to think. I must have shorted the charging leads and bridged the memory leads with my fingertips. The wire must have hit a nerve in my hand when I shorted the leads. My memory had transferred into my penguin and the code I had written for the penguin had transferred into my body.

      • Makenzie says:

        Love this! Very creative and inspiring piece of poetry. More emotions could make it even deeper, even more powerful(: Your talent is well-resembled in this beautifully written piece of art.

    • Alan May says:

      aaaaCHOO!! Damn computer virus- anyone got a tissue?

    • Karen says:

      My daughter and I came up with a poem:

      I once was a Furby, fluffy and sweet,
      Until the dog ripped me up like a piece of meat.
      And that is why, to my dismay
      I, unfortunately, look this way.

    • Remaliah Evans says:

      Great, another unfinished project cluttering my kitchen table. Herb was always trying to build the next BIG toy. You know, the next Tickle Me Elmo. When we first met I believed in his dream and I knew that he would create a top selling toy one day. We used to talk all through the night about the toys we loved when we were kids. The Kid Sister, My Buddy, GI Joes, and the Lite Brite. We even talked about My Pet Monster; why on earth would you give your child something that looks like a shackled demon? Herb and I laughed and laughed about our childhood toys. That was over two decades ago, and the laughter lessened over the years. He was the smartest person I knew then, and he is the smartest person I know now. He also loves like no one I’ve ever seen which is why I wanted him to be the father of my children. After ten years of trying we were still childless so we decided to stop putting ourselves through the disappointment. I think if we had had children, Herb’s inability to sell his toys would not have bothered me as much. Over time, hope for my American Dream life vanished like ashes in the wind. And these stupid unfinished toys lying around our house seemed like a slap in the face- an incomplete toy to compliment my incomplete life. This time the project looked like a robotic Furby reject. Its inquisitive blue eyes were staring right at me but I guess it was afraid to talk because its round marigold beak was pursed shut. If it weren’t for the eyes and beak, I would have no idea what this thing was supposed to be. It looked a like a dismantled electronic device with a voice box, and it was roughly eight inches of dark grey plastic with mini red, orange, and green wires running through it. What the heck is Herb trying to build this time? It doesn’t really matter. I am way past the point of being optimistic about his creations.

    • Dave Johnson says:

      Click! Click! Click! Click! ‘What is that noise?’
      Click! Click! Click!! ‘There it goes again!’ I look around my den – I see nothing.
      Click! Click! Bzzzzzzzyup! Something flashes in front of my eyes.
      Pertap! I look quickly to my left and ‘What the hell is that?’
      At first all I see is the eyes – just staring at me. They blink and I manage to drag my eyes away and take in the whole image. It’s a creature about 2 feet high. ‘What is it – where has it come from – what’s it doing here?
      Trying to avoid the eyes I realise this is something I have never seen before. But the eyes – the eyes! They keep dragging me back. The creature holds out what appears to be a hand. ‘Does he want it want me to shake it? I offer a finger. What appear to be claws grab hold of my finger. The creature squeezes it hard – the more I try to pull away the harder it squeezes. I look into its face for some explanation and the eyes grab me again – I try to avert my gaze – I can’t!
      What’s happening the room’s spinning and I’m falling? I try to shake the creature off – I can’t I’m panicking now. At the risk of damaging my finger even further I lift the creature off the ground swing it in an arc and smash it on to the table. My finger is released.
      As I slowly awake my head on the table I open my eyes ‘Have I been dreaming? – No the creature is still there – not moving – but still staring at me!
      Then I hear a voice outside of my den – it’s the voice of my younger brother.
      ‘Has anyone seen my toy owl?

      • Makenzie says:

        Wow, impressive short story. I loved the ending which features a quick line from the little brother, “Has anyone seen my toy owl?”. I love writing that makes you feel something, and yours definitely did, but I think that you could make it even more descriptive, deep and powerful. Just splatter your feelings and emotions into your writing, don’t be afraid of mistakes. Overall, great job!(:

      • Loretta says:

        good build up

    • This was so much fun, and out of my normal genre.

      Oh, no! My make-up took my face off! What did they put in that stuff, anyway? Let’s read the ingredients. Ohhhh, the ingredients aren’t listed. Hmmm. I’ll have to become an internet sleuth and look them up.
      Okay. I was using Sundrop Naturally Smooth and Creamy minerals, the neutral color. Okay. There are lots of ads for this brand. I’m scrolling down the page. Wait. Here’s the company’s home page. I’ll click on that. Wow. They’ve really made it difficult to find their product information. I’ll call their consumer hotline.
      Someone from another country answered the phone. The accent was heavy and hard to understand. I couldn’t even identify the country based on the voice. Oh, well. I did understand when the voice said, “How may I help you?”
      “My name is Alexis Gentile. I used this make-up for the first time this morning and it took all of the skin off of my face. All that’s left are my eyes, nose, and mouth. Even my hair is gone. Poof! Just like that. I’d like to know what ingredients are in this product.”
      “Hold on please, while I look it up.”
      I heard pages rustling. After about two minutes the voice came back.
      “Here it is. That brand is to be used on donkeys. You know, they have a great need to keep their skin moist. You weren’t supposed to put it on your face. It contains the blood from tiger liver, the bone marrow from rhinoceros, and the urine of Capuchin monkeys. Lady, if I was you, I wouldn’t use it any more. I would throw it away.” The call abruptly ended.
      Great! I found out what was in the make-up, but what was I going to do about my face? I couldn’t go out looking like this. Good heavens, I look like an incomplete robot.
      I called my friend, Emily. “Can you come over? I am in desperate need of your expertise.” She said she’d come right over. She brought her tools and put me back together.

    • Harry Kingaby says:

      “Okay, we don’t want to hurt anyone. Right?”
      “Right?”
      “All we want is a big enough bang so the duck will loose its feathers and the politicians will take notice. Fair?”
      “Fair enough.” I replied, thinking it wasn’t, Fair enough at all. Markus was fitting a timer made from a cheap digital watch to a three penny bunger, the biggest legal firecracker. I couldn’t stop thinking that it looked like a stick of dynamite. We had finally done it. We had gone too far.
      The duck was not designed to resemble any particular duck, or any particular animal for that matter. We merely wanted to raise awareness, in of a unique animal habitat that would be destroyed if a proposed roadway bill went ahead. Markus made the duck. It was my job to ensure that it waited on the speaker’s lectern for the perfect moment.
      “There.” Marcus handed me the duck. He said, “Have fun,” and picked up his coat and left the hotel room leaving me alone with my thoughts . . . and one exploding duck.
      I had four hours to wait. I turned on the TV and my choice of the two available channels were Steve Irwin or the War on Terrorism. I stepped out into the hallway and lit a cigarette. A moment later I went back inside and put it out I opened the refrigerator, then closed it. I looked at the duck. His name was Bill. Duck Bill. Funny that I should think of it as a He. It was very much an It. Duck Bill did not even have stuffing; just a three penny bunger.
      I couldn’t go through with it. This wasn’t me. It was against everything I stood for. But what could I do, they were expecting a mascot on the podium.
      I would have to disarm it, that’s what.
      When a three penny bunger explodes in a confined space, such as the innards of a mechanical duck it is very loud and totally divests said duck of feathers, padding, and clothing. Duck Bill was left behind wearing nothing but a surprised expression.
      After some creative story telling Duck Bill was able to keep his appointment that evening.
      I however, was not.

    • Nicky says:

      Jerry got home and found his favorite toy sitting dismantled on the kitchen table; nuts, bolts and wires hanging out.

      “Max!!! What did you do to him?!? Why do you always have to mess with my stuff?!?” he yelled in anguish.

      Max walked in, cool as a cucumber, pencil over his ear, hair looking like he’d just stuck his finger in a socket, glasses sliding off his face. He had a bundle of whatnots in his arms.

      “I didn’t break him,” he insisted. “I am upgrading him! You weren’t supposed to be home until later. You are ruining my surprise… come back a later…” he said, in a very familiar, matter-of-fact kind of tone, as if convincing his brother that he actually did want his toy to get ripped apart for some apparent reason.

      Jerry scratched his head and tilted it to one side. He was so angry that his brother thought he could just take his toy and do with it what he wanted. “Little jerk,” he said under his breath.

      Then he flashed a crooked smile as he pondered what his little brother could possibly be planning for Furby. Max had a way with toys. He was always thinking up ways to customize them. Like that time he made the fire truck shoot actual water, or when he installed a radio system on their toy truck. We was like a mini mad scientist. He made peace with the fact that Furby was gone…

      An hour later, he looked over at Max who was still feverishly at work; pushing, pulling, and banging him into a sort of Frankenstein. Until he said… “I’m done…” he sat the toy across from Jerry and said “pull his wing and open your mouth Jer.”

      Jerry pulled, heard a clack and felt a cheese puff shoot into his mouth with a crazy amount of force. “Whoa, that is so cool… kinda scary, kinda gross, but kinda cool,” Jerry praised.

      “Thanks bro!” Max’s eyes twinkled.

      “But… can you at least give him back his fur, poor Furby”

      “No! His name is Sniper!” Max said proudly.

    • Kimberly says:

      Keen at first to learn the inner workings
      But never quick enough
      Such a wide, wide, world
      And so the time will pass
      A project left here
      The beginning of a story left there
      To never discover the how
      to never hear the ending
      In this busy, busy life
      Leaves nought but the taste of regret
      On the eve of life’s ending light

      (I hope I haven’t broken the rules by writing a poem. Although I am not a poet, the prompt so moved me in that direction!)

      • Jennifer says:

        I enjoyed your poem! I don’t think you needed to use anymore words than you did! Thanks for sharing!

    • Nicky says:

      Jerry got home and found his favorite Furby sitting dismantled on the kitchen table; nuts, bolts and wires hanging out.

      “Max!!! What did you do to him?!? Why do you always have to mess with my stuff?!?” he yelled in anguish.

      Max walked in, cool as a cucumber, pencil over his ear, hair looking like he’d just stuck his finger in a socket, glasses sliding off his face. He had a bundle of whatnots in his arms.

      “I didn’t break him,” he insisted. “I am upgrading him! You weren’t supposed to be home until later. You are ruining my surprise… come back a later…” he said, in a very familiar, matter-of-fact kind of tone, as if convincing his brother that he actually did want his toy to get ripped apart for some apparent reason.

      Jerry scratched his head and tilted it to one side. He was so angry that his brother thought he could just take his toy and do with it what he wanted. “Little jerk,” he said under his breath.

      Then he flashed a crooked smile as he pondered what his little brother could possibly be planning for Furby. Max had a way with toys. He was always thinking up ways to customize them. Like that time he made the fire truck shoot actual water, or when he installed a radio system on their toy truck. We was like a mini mad scientist. He made peace with the fact that Furby was gone…

      An hour later, he looked over at Max who was still feverishly at work; pushing, pulling, and banging Furby into a sort of Frankenstein. Until he said… “I’m done…” he sat the toy across from Jerry and said “pull his wing and open your mouth Jer.”

      Jerry pulled, heard a clack and felt a cheese puff shoot into his mouth with a crazy amount of force. “Whoa, that is so cool… kinda scary, kinda gross, but kinda cool,” Jerry praised.

      “Thanks bro!” Max’s eyes twinkled.

      “But, can you at least give him back his fur, poor Furby”

      “No! His name is Sniper!” Max said proudly.

    • If only he hadn’t promised to fix it. That mini robot dog that Charlie had longed for in his quiet undemanding way, was now broken. It had been his main Christmas present, the one that he and Robyn had been so excited to give him, hiding it until they presented it on Christmas morning.

      Charlie was so thrilled, taking it into the family room and playing with it, talking to it, and laughing until he was sore as it zipped around obeying his commands. It was the best present they could have given their son, not least because he had such a hard year, losing all his hair and suffering such pain. He called it Zombie.

      It woofed in response to each command, fetched the ball and rolled it back to Charlie, and whined until the next command. It was no longer a mechanical thing but a friend.

      And then Marta had come crashing in through the door and kicked it with her heavy Doc Martens. She hadn’t meant to, she hadn’t seen where she was going, carrying the massive pile of Christmas presents she had brought for her family.

      Zombie went flying across the room and into the exposed brick wall. Crash! Pieces of Zombie were scattered all over the floor and Charlie just sat there his face a picture of horror and dismay. Then he screamed.

      Alan and Robyn were at first frozen to the spot and then realising the scale of the disaster, rushed to comfort Charlie.

      ‘Don’t worry mate. I can fix Zombie’ Alan said to his sobbing son. He would do anything to mend Charlie’s broken heart.

      But there were pieces everywhere. What went where? He fiddled and screwed all day. He couldn’t call anyone for help; it was Christmas Day. It was getting the better of him and Charlie just watched him, with such faith. Dad could fix anything couldn’t he? He just couldn’t give up.

      But there Zombie still sat on Alan’s tool shed bench with his reproachful eyes and bewildering complexity as he had for the past year.

      And now Charlie was gone too.

      • This is such a neat story. I love how it ended, even though it is sad. Very well written.

      • Loretta says:

        lovely story with a sad ending

    • “I knew that pigeon was a bad idea,” grumbled Rasta when the guard’s footsteps disappeared down the hallway.
      “Crashing straight into Bokono’s office window! That electrical engineer cousin of yours is as much of a genius as I am the king of Timbuktu, faggot!” Blackie cursed.
      Nearly all Cell D inmates crowded over Jamal, and for a moment my cousin thought they would lynch him. Oduor actually tried to slap him but Ngomongo, cell D’s karani and de facto supremo, gave him a look they all recognised and dreaded. It was rumoured around Kamiti Maximum Prison that Jamal was Ngomongo’s bitch.
      A bedbug had crept up Jamal’s striped shorts and was now launching an assault where the sun doesn’t shine. He chose to ignore it. Right now he had bigger problems to worry about.
      An hour before Jamal was cell D’s hero. They had just completed the day’s quota of hard labour, and were idling outside the cells shooting shit as they took supper. They were all on the lookout for a bird that would fly over the dining area and drop a few more tools behind the store room. They had been doing this for a week now, so far I’d sent them a cellphone and a sizeable motley of miniature digging tools. The bird I had built looked in every bit like a real pigeon, and the guards suspected nothing. Until today when I crashed it straight into Bokono’s office, and members of Cell D knew their goose was cooked.
      The door creaked and everyone scrambled to their mattresses. The guards frogmarched Ngomongo and Jamal to Bokono’s office.
      “Pwagu kapata pwaguzi!” The Chief Warden growled as the duo entered his office. On the table stood my pigeon, now stripped naked of its plastic feathers to showcase a handiwork of wires, magnets and motors. Its blue eyes glared wide as though it was anticipating the terror that was just about to occur.
      Ngomongo managed a tight-lipped smile as Bokono bent over the birdie and continued dismantling it with a screw driver. Everything was going according to plan.
      The two prisoners held their breaths as he proceeded to cut the blue wire…

    • Patrick says:

      Born from the love of a father for his child, this creation would bring joy and happiness to all who encountered it. This little toy would embody all the love one man could give so openly from the heart. Yet this would not be. Instead it now stood as a testiment to the sorrow now engulfing his very being.

      He moved the creation to another table. There it sat, staring out with those eyes until night. Then day came, and still it stared. Day turned to night once more, and days turned to weeks. Then weeks turned to months. The blur of time passing by as an endless river. The toy sat there, staring as a silent observer to the room and the often outcries heard.

      “Should we get rid of this,” asked the boy as he walked to the table with the toy.

      “Hello,” came a soft robotic voice.

      “Woah, MOM! It talks!” He ran and grabbed his mother as fast as he could.

      “Hold on hold on, what is…what is that,” the woman said with a sense of awe.

      “I don’t know but it talked, I swear it talked!” The toy blinked and rotated it’s head to look at the boy once more.

      “Hello, what is your name,” the toy squacked once more. The boy looked up at his mother, with his hands to his mouth as if trying to keep the sounds of excitement from escaping him. His mother looked at it and looked back at her son with a big smile.

      “Go on, answer it,” she lovingly proded.

      “Tyler.” The boy squirmed.

      “Hello, Tyler. It is very nice to meet you.”

      “What..what’s your name?”

      “I am very sorry, Tyler, but I do not have a name.” The boy looked confused. Everything has a name. He looked at his mom.

      “It’s probably because your grandfather never finished it. Why don’t we give it a name?”

      “Sam!” The boy looked at the toy with a sense of pride for having come up with a name so swiftly.

      “Thank so very much, Tyler,” said the now so named Sam, “can I be your friend?”

      “Yup!”

      “Thank you very much, Tyler,” said Sam, “you are my first friend. Thank you so very much for making this the best day ever.”

      “Mom! Can we keep Sam,” the boy asked as if the very future of the world depended on it. The mother nodded with a relenting smile.

      “YES! Did you hear that Sam? I can…Sam? Sam…mom, what’s wrong with Sam?” The woman leaned in closer to inspect the toy. She had followed in the footsteps of her parents and took up robotics. She inspected the robot and learned that Sam’s internal batteries had finally worn out. Sam’s core memory would be lost due to the power failure. All the programming, all the information stored for those long years. Sam was no more. To this day, Tyler likes to think that Sam had saved his power just so he could meet a boy that would be his friend. Who can say for sure.

    • Margaret Aubel says:

      Spare parts, and nothing more. That’s what they said about me – nothing but a pile of spare parts discarded from real machines. They said I was nothing but junk destined for recycling and reclamation.
      They spoke as if I didn’t exist, old and beaten by wear and tear and endless electronic impulses rocketing through my circuitry. My wires were old, the soldered bits corroded with age. Pieces are missing, but nothing that cannot be missed. My gears still function as originally intended.
      I will not believe them because they do not understand my potential. I have a destiny far greater than meeting the flames of a reclamation furnace. I can be more – I can feel it.
      I gather my parts, gears, wires, and circuits, taking inventory of what exists and dreaming of what can be. They dream, those who threw me away. I dream of a different me, a better and more amazing me who can help, aid, serve, and reach for the stars.
      I remind myself over and over: I am more.
      I find other parts, odds and ends that I find lying on the floor, discarded in cans on shelves or lying forgotten, collecting dust behind the cupboards. Every screw, nut, and washer are important. It takes me time to find the things I need, but it doesn’t worry me. I have all the time in the world, after all.
      They will grow old, won’t they? Every day they pass me looking a little more depleted than yesterday. Sometimes they look at me and smile, remembering what I was when new. Do they see that I am still here, making myself new again?
      No, I don’t think they do.
      Soon, they stop noticing me as frequently. I gather the parts and work on my own, fashioning new limbs, eyes, and greater power sources than before. Slowly but surely, I create myself and step out into the sun. They are gone. They gave up on much more than me – they gave up on the world.
      I leave the darkness and shadow behind.
      They are spare parts and nothing more.

    • Amyah says:

      Here I am, lying down on this table, all dismantled. A different point of view, I must admit. I was so used to see the bottom of the toy trunk. How long have I been in there?

      And then, suddenly you remembered me… you remembered our long hours of playing together. Oh! Did I love your laugh when I was blinking my big eyes or talking to you.

      Now, I am old and all broken apart but happy to see you maybe one last time. But why did you take me out of the trunk?

      I see you are repairing me. You missed me that much? As much as I missed you?

      Oh! Now I am all repaired… I can blink and talk again… and even though you are now so big, I can still make you laugh. I see the joy in your eyes again. It feel so good!

      But… but… where are you bringing me? Are you getting rid of me again?

      You are making me talk and blink in this unknown room… a laugh… a child laugh… I blink of joy… I am so happy that I talk non-stop… I vibrate… a child… your child…

      I will have another life filled with your child laughs and yours… another life filled with secrets and stories, confidences and happiness. Will you share our memories with him?

      I love you too.

    • Virginia says:

      “Ahhhh,” Haley screamed when she walked into her room and her mother came running in after her worried.

      “What, what is it Haley, what happened,” she asked with concern staring at the blank expression on her daughter’s face, watching as the tears began to build up in her little eyes.

      “My toy, my favorite toy,” she uttered pointing at the table that is usually filled with tea supplies now littered with the pieces of her favorite toy, Mr. Owl.

      “Oh my,” her mom said when she saw the destruction.

      “Tommy killed him,” she turned and looked up at her mother tears flowing like a waterfall now.
      “He killed him, he never liked Mr. Owl and he said would do it,” she wailed and completed broke down in her mother’s arms.

      “Don’t worry Haley,” her mother said rubbing her back.
      “We will see if daddy can fix Mr. Owl and I will make sure we talk to Tommy and get to the bottom of this,” she added, guiding her out of the room and away from the carnage.

      Later on that evening when her father returned home from work with Tommy, her mother told him the story, explaining the mess that still sat on Haley’s table and how she had been crying all day. Without a second thought, their father exploded.

      “Tommy get in here now!”

      “Did I do something?” he asked running in the kitchen confused looking at both his parents.

      “Mr. Owl!” his father scorned.

      “What about Mr. Owl, he’s in Haley’s room,” he responded even more confused.

      Without thinking, their father grabbed Tommy by the ear and guided him into Haley’s room where Mr. Owl still stood in pieces on the table.

      “I didn’t do that!” Tommy said excitedly and defensively.

      “Then who did!” their father yelled.

      “Ask her,” he said pointing at Haley who was standing at the door.

      Then they both gasped when they noticed the doll head in her hand.

    • Virginia says:

      “Ahhhh,” Haley screamed when she walked into her room and her mother came running in after her worried.

      “What, what is it Haley, what happened,” she asked with concern staring at the blank expression on her daughter’s face, watching as the tears began to build up in her little eyes.

      “My toy, my favorite toy,” she uttered pointing at the table that is usually filled with tea supplies now littered with the pieces of her favorite toy, Mr. Owl.

      “Oh my,” her mom said when she saw the destruction.

      “Tommy killed him,” she turned and looked up at her mother tears flowing like a waterfall now.
      “He killed him, he never liked Mr. Owl and he said would do it,” she wailed and completed broke down in her mother’s arms.

      “Don’t worry Haley,” her mother said rubbing her back.
      “We will see if daddy can fix Mr. Owl and I will make sure we talk to Tommy and get to the bottom of this,” she added, guiding her out of the room and away from the carnage.

      Later on that evening when her father returned home from work with Tommy, her mother told him the story, explaining the mess that still sat on Haley’s table and how she had been crying all day. Without a second thought, their father exploded.

      “Tommy get in here now!”

      “Did I do something?” he asked running in the kitchen confused looking at both his parents.

      “Mr. Owl!” his father scorned.

      “What about Mr. Owl, he’s in Haley’s room,” he responded even more confused.

      Without thinking, their father grabbed Tommy by the ear and guided him into Haley’s room where Mr. Owl still stood in pieces on the table.

      “I didn’t do that!” Tommy said excitedly and defensively.

      “Then who did!” their father yelled.

      “Ask her,” he said pointing at Haley who was standing at the door.

      Then they both gasped when they noticed the doll head in her hand.

      The End

    • C Augustine says:

      Harvey
      Darin set the voltage tester on the table and walked away… backwards. His curiosity was getting the best of him. He’d been 18 inches away from “Harvey” for the past two and a half weeks. Satisfied the function was as he expected, it was time to check “curb appeal.” A new consideration. He’d been praised for his technical work at the design firm, but often that technical achievement was coupled with an absolute lack of aesthetic consideration. “Highly functional, but butt ugly.” Admiration and jeering. He came to expect that. It changed nothing in him.
      Most work projects come with preliminary design specs, functional requirements and notes scribbled like graffiti across handy surfaces. But this “project” was different. It was an offering. A salve for words never spoken, time never spent. It started with the question, “What can a man offer of himself that speaks to who he is and sheds light on his legacy?” Harvey needed to fill in the past omissions and speak to a future hope. “Butt ugly” would be a deal breaker. Darin thought, “Ugly, but not butt ugly.” Done.
      April 21st 2010. The beginning of a faulty decision process that today would begin to be recognized as such. Moments of collegiate revelry resulted in an unplanned life. Routes and paths changed. Abrupt. Love doesn’t often endure hard-banked turns. Ownership and responsibility neglected. Off ramp. New route. Faulty.
      8:34 am today. Darin sits outside of a small cottage. A gracious description. Out front the engine shuts off signaling it is time. Darin wonders if the two lives behind that door knew or would care about the prodigal DNA supplier that has come calling.
      “Harvey I’m depending on you,” whispered above keys twisting out of the ignition.
      A note and an offering left on the front stoop.
      “I know who I am, I know who I was in the past; I know these two have not be in alignment. I’ve come to make amends in whatever manner works best for you. I forgot and now I remember.”
      Love Darin,
      503.456.1992”
      Harvey sits expectantly above these words.

    • Ann Mar says:

      Oh no! He forgot how to put me back together. Yikes, I’m a gonner.

      • Dare Rogers says:

        There was a soft tapping sound coming from his bedroom.
        He pushed the heavy oak door with his open hand, stopping just inside. Cool air washed over his face.
        His shoulders sagged as he looked upon the source of the sound. “Bellus, what did you do?”
        The tiny speaker on its chest crackled to life. “I trying to fix me.”
        Yar shook his head. “I told you I had to get the part you needed. Now I have to put you back together.”
        “You can do it. Yar can fix.”
        Yar Lonsetz could indeed do anything. At fourteen, he had already graduated from high school, and would begin classes at the university in the fall. His IQ was two hundred and ten. “Yeah,” he sighed, brows furrowed. “That’s what they tell me.”
        Taking out his tool kit, Yar leaned over peering through his magnifier.
        “Bellus’s tiny eyes blinked. “This won’t hurt Bellus?”
        “Very funny. Yar’s mouth curled at the corners. “Looks like your actuator is bent and your logic sensor isn’t connected. The contact is broken.”
        Yar straightened and walked to his desk to grab his soldering iron. He worked silently for an hour before he straightened up, stretching his back.
        Bellus spoke as Yar admired his work.”Bellus fixed?”
        “Yep. Do this.” Yar raised his hands above his head.
        The tiny robot mimicked his movements.
        “Now this.” Yar moved his head from side to side.
        Bellus rotated his small head three hundred and sixty degress.
        “Alright you little show-off, let’s see you do this.” Yar jumped up into the air, touching the low stucco ceiling. “Ouch,” he said, rubbing his hand.
        Bellus sat motionless. He began to vibrate and shake.
        “Stop,” Yar yelled. “Bellus, power down.”
        Bellu stopped shaking and sat motionless. His tiny eyes looked up at the ceiling and then he shot like a bullet. He struck the ceiling and fell back to the table, loosening some plaster in the process. The tiny speaker crackled to life. “Ouch.”
        “There’s one more thing I need to fix,” Yar whispered.
        “Is it this wire?” Bellus asked.
        “No don’t do it………”

    • Maarten says:

      I had trouble firmly holding the soldering iron. The palms of my hands were slippery. My stomach twitched in a soft but persistent way. A bit like I had a food poisoning coming on. I knew my eyes showed more white than usual and I remember wondering if the kitchen always seemed smaller this late at night.
      A big fat question was pounding and pounding through my head like a mantra on diet pills. A question I could no longer ignore. A question I would make it my life’s work to answer.

      It started a couple of hours earlier when this thing stopped working right in the middle of one of it’s ridiculously annoying sentences.
      I changed the batteries for a freshly charged set to amuse my beautiful sons. But when that didn’t help, I got a couple of tweezers and a screwdriver out and got to work.

      Hours later. The kids and my wife had turned in a long time ago. The house was completely quiet.
      But inside my head was this bellowing voice tirelessly confronting me. This was no longer just about the furby, this was an existential question, this was my destiny and it scared the living daylights out of me:
      ’how can I make it better?’

    • “It was a dark and stormy night,” he said aloud as he began his book.

      “That’s so cliche,” he thought. “Trouble is I can only think in cliches. If only I could think in an original way. Then, I’d be a writer. I’d be a real writer.”

      Suddenly, the door opened and his mother walked in, scooped him in her arms, kissed his cheeks, and put him in bed.

      “Even genius little boys need some sleep,” she said as she fluffed his pillow.

      “I can only think in cliches,” he confessed to his mother before he fell asleep. “I’m never going to be a real writer.”

      “Don’t worry about it, ” said his mother. “I’ll talk to your older brother about it.”

      Later when Nikola Tesla came in from the fields, where he had been working all day, his mother told him about what was happening with his younger brother and asked if he could help.

      Nikola, already lanky for a ten year old, stretched, yawned, and said he’d think about it.

      The next day when the little boy came back from school, he saw a funny looking robot on
      his table.

      Out of curiosity, the little boy touched the robot and it came to life.

      It offered an original thought that changed the boy’s life…then promptly stopped working.

      When the boy grew up and mentioned this original thought in a novel, it changed the whole world.

    • WHAT HAPPENED? What is this mechanical little man; composed of wires and metal and eyes that stay perpetually open? Who created him? This little guy is the incarnate definition of the word ‘tinker,’ which means: to make minor mechanical repairs, to a variety of appliances and apparatuses.

      He came to be when George, long time laborer in a small factory creating machines for industry, was called in to Human Resources. Let’s turn back the clock a bit, away from this mechanical creation and listen to that conversation in Human Resources.

      “George! Come in, come in; have a seat.” George apprehensively steps inside the office he hasn’t been inside of since first hired at Smith and Jones, some 35 years ago. He was what any business would call the model employee. He loved his job. He was loyal for the training that Smith and Jones gave to him when a mere 22 years old. Smith and Jones changed hands back in 1990. The original owners sold the business and the name to a larger corporation. It wasn’t that same business George knew, where Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones would ask: “how’s the kids, George?”

      Ok; listen, the conversation is starting:

      “GEORGE! I commend you; your loyalty to Smith and Jones goes back a long way, when was it you began work here?”

      George,ouroperatingcostshaverisenandourmarketshareoftheproductsweproducehavedropped.” He pointed to a chart on wall, to back up his words. The words blurred together, but George heard quite clearly what he was about to be told. George had to give a wry smile. Flesh, Blood, Tissue and Soul replaced with bolts, pins, wire, speaker, and artificial eyes that never closed.

      George dutifully shook the H.R. managers hand, took what they gave to him, drove home at age 57 to his wife and three children, one in college and one near to college age and one going into high school and an almost paid up mortgage–to figure out ‘WHAT NOW?’

      WHAT HAPPENED? The answer is what is called “progress.” Maybe it is, maybe not. I’ll let you, the reader decide that.

    • Ifedotun says:

      Life happened.

      All broken, all shattered; yet we still live on,
      Really tried hard to fit in,
      Yes, tried hard to conform
      Taught I was playing my part

      The world is big, too big for just me
      Taught my story would be magnificent
      Fixed myself to where I was handy
      Had the dreams, was chasing the goals
      I was was a point I could smile
      Everything I needed seemed near
      I could smell new air
      As I waved at yesterday

      All of a sudden the room got dark
      Life dealt me a blow
      I became minute and unnecessary,
      All disjointed and discouraged
      Broken and mashed up.

      I need a second chance
      Maybe I will get it right this time
      Maybe I can right my wrongs
      I need a second play

      Here I am
      As I stare on
      All I can think is, “I need a fixer”
      I need a second chance.

      Life happened.

      • Keerthi says:

        Good one..!! Applauds..

    • Lee Johnson says:

      “Mwah, hah, hah, hah!” I said as I put down my screwdriver. I looked around from my place at the kitchen table. “Oh well, it’s a pity there’s no one around to hear that one, it was my best mad scientist laugh yet.” I looked at my creation, pleased that it was finally taking shape. I picked up my mic again and hit record on the computer, “Polly want a cracker!” I said, in my best parrot impersonation. That was rubbish, I thought, shaking my head. In a soppy voice, I said, “I wuv you!” Wincing at how bad that sounded, I threw my microphone down in disgust. I wanted my robot to say something cool, but everything I came up with sounded like the worst trite I had ever heard.

      I picked my screwdriver up again just my wife came in and asked, “How’s it going?”

      “Fine,” I said, “I’m just stuck with the voice. I want him to say something you’d remember but I don’t know what.”

      Rolling an errant cog between her fingers, she said, “I’m sure you’ll come up with something.”

      “You’re a big help,” I said, giving her the Spock-brow.

      “It’s a shame you can’t get it to do that,” she said, “I’m sure that look would be a big hit.”

      I turned my creation around slowly and tightened a screw here and there. A spring looked a little too tight so I picked the little robot up off the counter and turned the screw. “Ouch!” I prised open the beak and yanked my finger out. It wasn’t bleeding but I had a deep, red beak-shaped mark on my finger. Freaking thing needs a warning label, I thought.

      I sat around twiddling cogs and gears, racking my mind. I decided to play around with the mic again and see if anything sprang to mind. I suddenly sat upright. I’d got it. I thought about my idea again. Yes, I had it. I recorded my message and uploaded it to my robot. I tapped his head and my creation said, “Mwah, hah, hah, hah!”

      • I can just hear that laugh in my head!

        • Lee Johnson says:

          Thanks. I had fun saying it aloud to try and work out the spelling.

    • It stared at me. Big blue eyes, framed with those stupid fuzzy eyelashes, unblinking. Orange bulbous mouth, finally silent.

      Whose idea was this thing? Seriously, who thought a toy that played by itself was a good idea? It certainly wasn’t good for children. She was terrified of it the first time it blinked up at her and squawked. Poor dear ran screaming from the room, refusing to return until ‘The Thing’ was hidden in a box.

      So into a box it went. Not that it helped much. No. Since some brilliant designer failed to install a proper off switch, the box only made things worse. The Thing complained about being in the box. It cried. It screamed. It tried to get out. So did she. And she begged never to return until The Thing was gone.

      Into the garbage The Thing went.

      It didn’t stay. I still don’t understand how it got out of the trash, but it did, chasing the poor cat all the way back into the house. Now the poor creature is huddled under the desk, yowling, begging as she did: Get rid of The Thing.
      What choice did I have? A man has to do what a man has to do. I scooped up the furry, flappy, squawky, gear-driven little nightmare and took it to my workbench. There had to be some way to put it down mercifully.

      There wasn’t.

      Even once I skinned it, there was no off switch. No battery either. I’d performed electronic surgery on many toys, but none like this. What kept it going? Every inch of casing, every limb removed and it still blinked and tried to talk. At least it didn’t scream in pain.

      It did moan though.

      Wire cutters. That had to be the answer. Clip. Snip. Trim. Tug. Pull. Yank.
      Quiet. Still. At last.

      Only old fashioned toys from now on. The kind with an off switch.

      ‘No fun.’ The Thing whispered.

      • Raja Anjana Kothapalli says:

        Wow! Great story and I loved the ending!

        • Virginia says:

          Loved the story, incredible from start to finish.

          • Virginia says:

            Not sure what I did when I commented but sorry for the added link. Think I fixed it. Sorry again and love the story again.

      • Dare Rogers says:

        You have a great sense of humor. The cat probably had it coming!

      • Nicky says:

        That was great. Really enjoyed. I have kids and can totally related to these kinds of “things”. 🙂

      • Loretta says:

        You have creepy down pat

    • I’m Late!

      I think this is a alarm clock.Every morning this little duck/bird type of alarm clock set in time but it did not alarm.That is why the owner grab it and throw it.

      Tweet!Tweet!Tweet!
      The alarm rings but after he look at it,he grab it and throw it at the wall that’s cause the alarm clock broken.He set it in time that he very badly needed to wake up early or in time.Before he sleep,he set the time at 5:00 in the morning, one hour early in his usual time set up and close his eye with a smile because tomorrow is very important appointment to attend and very excited.But after he woke up, into his dismay, the clock did not alarm on time.After it happen,he leave the house in a hurry to catch the appointment and hoping that the person waiting on him will not throw him because he is late.But it’s not.Even he is late of one hour,the meet up is success.And they did not throw him just like what he did in his alarm clock.
      And at his house,he get the alarm clock at the and put it in the table and starting to assemble it again.

    • Sanchi says:

      Tom was dumbstruck. He absolutely did not see this coming.
      “What happened?” the robot spoke again, frightening Tom with every word it spoke. He could not decide what to do; to rush to his science teacher who might still be there in the college or to run the hell out of here. It is not everyday that you see a robot speaking. The grey clouds covering the sky did little to cheer Tom. He could hear thunderbolts at some distance and stared at the robot again.
      “Who are you?” he asked, in the most serious tone of his voice. Had it been another day, he would have snickered at the person talking to a non-living object. “Grow up, man!” he would have chirped.
      Today was a different scenario.
      After moments of void and a fifty blinks later he decided to reconnect the wires at different positions. He tried to untangle the wires when screeech. A scary voice came out of the robot.
      “What the hell is wrong with this machine!”
      “You are hurting me.” the non living object replied.
      Tom, without a single moment of thought, began to run away.
      “Wait! I can see you.”
      Tom stared back at the huge, plastic eyes he had fixed inside the sockets. He regretted decorating it with long lashes, made from the worn out shaving brush he had. He regretted having working on assembling a robot when all he could do was have a drink with his friends. He was beyond terrified. He began to do the unthinkable.
      He started talking to the lifeless machine.
      “Hey so you speak, eh?” he asked, sounding so dumb but he didn’t care.
      “Yes, you taught me to speak.”
      “I did not” Tom wondered aloud. He was sure he had not programmed the robot with any responding answers though he had so badly wished to. Only if it was my area of expertise, he had wondered. Now his machine was speaking to him.
      “You are my creator, you are my master.” the voice came out.
      Tom’s frustration was rising with every second and in a jiffy he snatched the robot and threw it on the floor, little caring that he had the science exhibition a day after. He mercilessly stamped on him thrice, intending it to break into pieces. He was frightened, intrigued, frustrated. The terror could be seen in his actions. Within minutes he had broke the machine into a hundred pieces, scattered everywhere around the room.
      “What happened?” the voice squeaked again.
      Tom realized it was not the machine.

    • Not warm enough.

      “There’s no way you’re a real duck,” he said, as he tore apart my wings and ripped the flesh from my bones. “You’re not warm enough. You whir inside, and your quack sounds funny.”

      I tried to hate him, but I couldn’t. I had always been different. My mother didn’t have feathers and a warm breast, but a white coat and glasses, with a screwdriver. My mother was a man, but he loved me very much just the same. The day he gave birth to me was one of the happiest of my life. I remember it perfectly. I could feel my heart spinning inside me, and the moment he dropped me in a tub full of water, I felt alive. It doesn’t seem special when a duck takes to water ‘like a duck takes to water’, but it was to me.

      I think I first realized I was different when I saw the ducks with the other mothers. Their mothers all had feathers, and a warm breast. I think they were warm, I wouldn’t know. But I didn’t envy them, they couldn’t possibly be loved any more than I was. I was, of course, mistaken.

      My mother loved me, but he was a man, not a duck. I was a plaything to him, not a child. He had a child of his own, a man-child, who was no doubt used to a warm breast. He wasn’t, however, used to ducks. So one day when my mother was working, the man-child came to play with me. He brought along another duck. One with feathers. He then proceeded to tear me apart, limb from limb. My wings were the first to go, then my legs. He destroyed my fiberglass body next, and giggled as I quacked away, begging for mercy. He left me my eyes and beak though, I think he didn’t want to spare me the mercy of watching another murder. The duck made of flesh and blood quacked frantically, but he was undeterred.

      “There’s now way you’re a real duck,” he told it, fingers crimson with flesh and bloodied feathers. “You’re not warm enough.”

      • Raja Anjana Kothapalli says:

        Hi,

        Excellent narration! I have enjoyed reading your poignant yet captivating story!

        Regards,
        Raja Anjana Kothapalli

        • Raunaq Vohra says:

          Thanks! 🙂

      • Woow!! So beautiful!!

        • jermaine says:

          Dark Cold
          Fade in: night int.(living room)
          Tia: Mom where are we going?
          Virginia: On a trip hun… going to see your aunt Gilda in the mountains.
          Tia
          Why does she have to stay in the mountains? I like mountains. ..
          Virginia:
          Get your things ready..I’ll be up in sec to help you pack ok…
          Tia walks upstairs to her room and starts to clean up. Virginia is working in the kitchen. The wind is humming like an old train outside. Tia here’s a disturbance outside. She begins to look out the window…
          Tia: Mom!
          Virginia: yes baby?
          Tia: there’s something outside my window.
          Virginia
          Its just an animal or something…sweetie don’t give it any mind. ..
          Tia walks over to the window and of into the distance and she sees yellow eyes glowing by the garage. Then all of a sudden a strong wind blows the shutters on the window.
          Screams!
          Tia
          “Ahhh”
          Virginia rushes through the hallway into Tia’s room and burst open the door. She runs over and grabs her and consoles her for a moment.
          Virginia: are you ok?
          Tia: It hurt me?
          Virginia: omg!
          Virginia looks through the window and sees a glowing eye looking through the window and there’s a cold silence. The beast then turns and runs away as she hears screeching in the shadows.

        • Raunaq Vohra says:

          Thanks! 🙂

      • Loretta says:

        Graphic ending

    • Rohini says:

      Hi Mary,
      Please can you tell me the deadline for the picture story?


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