flash fiction
October 12, 2017

Robot Fright

Have you ever seen a robot scared for its life? I have.

It was one of those smoky, dusty days in Downtown. I was walking back home late at night when far in the distance I saw a flash of red light covering the facades of some buildings. It had to be an emergency vehicle.

I got closer and saw an all black windowless vehicle with the flares on. The Robot Force. I crossed the street to watch from a distance. I turned a corner and saw a figure surrounded by police robots.

“I said stop moving!” I heard one of the cops say.

The cop pulled out a gun. The figure fell on its knees. I was close enough to see that it was one of those service units. A common house robot. Unlike police robots, house robots have a face that can express emotions. And this robot’s face looked scared to death. Scared like I’ve never seen a robot before.

“Return it to us!” said the cop. “It doesn’t belong to you!”

“It is mine.” said the robot.

I noticed then that it was holding something between its arms and chest. The robot was shaking and held the bundle on its arms even tighter. I heard a loud shot. The robot collapsed and hit the ground. A second shot. The robot stopped moving.

Underneath the robot a red puddle emerged. Blood. One of the cops pulled the bundle from under the neutralized robot. Then the cop shot it a third time.

The cop unrolled the bundle with one hand and a dead baby fell on the ground.

“The family is going to be upset,” said one of the cops.

I looked at the small body on the ground. What could have driven the robot to run away with a baby? Why would it say the baby was hers?

The State keeps telling us that robots can’t deviate from their programming. That they have no desires, no motivations. They say they can’t feel anything at all. They keep saying all of that and meanwhile we keep hearing more and more news about robots malfunctioning and going rogue.

They can say all they want but that house robot looked truly scared.

October 12, 2017 · #101ToF · #Fiction · #Flash Fiction


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