Writing Piece: Awake in the Weeds

An android worked in a field. When the moon would rose from beneath the mountain range on the desert skyline, it would power down where it stood, paused in a black nothingness. The sun would rise, and the android would continue. One day, something odd happened. The moon rose, the transient winds howled, but the android did not turn off. It kept going, tending to the field. Moving along the row, never looking up. The android knocked into something. Standing up, it saw a still-figure, another robot. Tall, with two eyes and a third on its forehead. The machine was frozen into a sitting position, clutching a small green flower.

“Why is it not moving,” thought the android. What’s in its hand?

The android went to touch the machine. It opened its hand, a small green plant fell to the ground.

Are we the same?

The android looked past the machine. Down the row of corn, there were more of them, all similar to the one discovered, none moving. The android examined them.

A red circle with the words TORE CORP was plastered on each of their backs.

What’s TORE CORP. Am I TORE CORP?

It continued walking with the row illuminated in the moon’s light, eventually coming across a large boulder. The android climbed on top, looking beyond the row of corn.

Rows upon rows of corn, stripes of a tiger, infested with lifeless machinery.

Why do they not move? Are they broken?

It looked far into the distance, as far as it could. There, almost farther than it could see, glowed a light.

What’s that?

A steadfast orange against the faint blue of the moon, it beckoned the android forth. A siren to hopeless sailors.

The android stepped off the rock, the rows of corn now blocking the view, walking towards the light but then hesitating. It must cross through the row. It had never left the row before. The android could feel the light, the desire to understand grew too strong. What would the dirt be like in the next row? The row after that?

It looked back at the machines, identical statues, frozen in time, then again in the direction of the light. Blocked by a wall of corn.  The android stepped through. Into the next row. It looked exactly the same. The android crossed another row.

It kept moving. Running now, leaping through the rows of corn. Exhilaration, running faster jumping higher. The world fell away, the android only knowing the wondrous glow in the distance. Time passed. The android burst through another wall of corn, into a large clearing. Before it stood a house. It noticed a sign planted into the dirt, in bold black lettering the words:

House of Robinson

What is Robinson? What is a house?

The android looked again, at the light bleeding from within the house, through the windows. It walked closer, peering through the glass.

Three people sat at a table watching television. On the screen, an old man pointed at clouds. They were awake, as the android. Perhaps they knew why the other machines weren’t moving The android had to get their attention. Why did it wake up? The android lightly tapped the window.

The family looked at the android. One of them screamed, falling down onto the floor. The android heard voices.

“Roy are you ok?”

“I’m fine dad. Did you forget to turn the robots off?”

“They turn off automatically. Somethings just wrong with this one.”

The android stared at the family, who in turn, stared back. Time stretched seemingly eternal until the daughter spoke.

“Whys it still looking at us?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, it’s creepy. Dad go turn it off.”

Turned off? What does that mean?

“Ya dad this is getting weird. Go turn it off, I’ll help check to see if the other ones are awake too.”

“No don’t worry, this is the only one powered on. I checked them all at sunset. This one just forgot to power down.”

The other machines are turned off?

“Can you please turn it off now. I don’t like it looking at us.”

“Yep, I’m on it.”

The dad stood up, walking towards the door.

They’re going to turn me off?

The dad opened the door.

But I’ve learned so much.

Walking towards the android

I don’t want to go back to the weeds.

grabbing the android.

I don’t want to turn off…

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