16 Year Old Robot

Short Stories

It lies there on top of your bedside table, motionless. Why won’t it make a sound? Just a slight vibration; a gentle indication that someone out there is thinking of you. Not a chance. It lies there; and you lie there. You’re lying on your bed and your phone is lying on top of your bedside table. Two forgotten objects in a world seemingly devoid of meaning or compassion. You should probably get up. You should probably switch on the lights, sit down at your desk and chug along with coursework.

You can hear your fathers voice ringing inside you like an unwanted alarm clock. “Those GCSEs won’t pass themselves Tom! Now get in your room and do some work”. And you want to scream back. You want to make it known to him that there is more to life than the first three letters of the alphabet; printed in black ink, sealed inside a white envelope and delivered to your door sometime before September. You want to speak to someone, but you’re all alone. There’s nobody in there with you. Nobody cares. Not even your phone.

“Hey Siri”

“Hello Tom”

“Call Allison”

“Calling Allison”

No answer… “Please leave a message”.

You breathe out a deep sigh but your phone doesn’t care. After all, it’s only a robot. And you are a robot. You are a robot lying on your bed in a dark room with nobody to talk to. Nobody cares. Now pick up your pen and find the square root of 64. Find the meaning of ‘X’. Calculate the circumference of Jupiter using a piece of tracing paper and your thumb. There there… good little robot. And you want to protest. You want to pick up that fucking exam paper and throw it as far away as the eye can see. Maybe you can make it into a tiny paper airplane to carry you across the world to see beautiful places and wonderful people and then maybe you will have to stop worrying about it all and bathe in eternal happiness, but no.

You are a robot and not a human being. A cog in a machine. An irrelevant little soul within some great bureaucratic nightmare. Your nightmare. The one from which you wish you could escape but are programmed to accept. You get out of bed and turn on the lights. You want to scream. You want to break something. You want to grow a pair of wings and fly away. You sit down at your desk and pick up the pen. Good robot.


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