Flash-fiction

Why?

Everything hurt. His finger the hammer hit when he got distracted with a sudden noise. His foot on which the damn hammer fell from his trembling hand. His head the elephant smashed with his rubber trunk in a paroxysm of unexpected rage. But most hurting of all was the burning question, “Why? Why did he allow all this to happen?”

He knew now, only now when it was too late, what an insane idea it was to play Frankenstein and bring them to life. He thought it would be amusing to see how his favorite toy, his dwarf of a robot, would interact with a pigmy-sized elephant. “A puppet playing with a puppet. How brilliant!” He couldn’t help grinning at his own wittiness while working on the hinge structure of the animal. And it could be amusing if he hadn’t overstepped the line.

Who could know that the old magic, those few strange words from an ancient book he read out loud partly for curiosity but mostly for a joke would have a real power and transform artificial things into live creatures?

He froze up on the floor gazing at two of them, the clock-work elephant who became mad and destroyed the whole workshop throwing instruments and the finest equipment at the walls and his robot, his best work he was so proud of that now was jumping up and down on the broken glass and whose bulb eyes glittered with malicious joy.

When the shock of first seconds was gone he realized in what danger he was and hurried to crawl into the cage for experimental animals. He locked himself in and clenched the key in his fist. They got quiet, those two, came up close and stared at him first and then at each other.

“They can destroy me along with the cage,” he thought and shriveled up in the corner yet knowing it made no sense, no corner could hide him now. He had a strong wish to pee. Shrunk into a spasmodic knot of fear, he screwed up his eyes and waited, for a blow, for a shriek, for anything. He waited for three infinite seconds but only heard crackling of broken glass moving away. In disbelief, he opened his eyes. The door stayed half-open after two steel beings were gone.

The abrupt relief made him wet his pants. “What a shame,” he thought but didn’t feel it. Two heartless, ungrateful creations of his left him alone. He opened the lock and crawled out of the cage. He had no strength to get up and stayed sitting on the floor. He was smashed.

It was painful enough to see them, these metallic toys, overpower him, but oh, how it hurt now when they left. He breathed in heavy loneliness of the old workshop where he spent all his life. He had no one but these two who had neglected him with such ease and disdain. He had no one at all as he never believed in the power of heart which now betrayed him and ached.

All his life he avoided people, those strange, talkative, fussing about creatures with their feelings and passions and ridiculous ideas of love he never took seriously. He stayed away knowing that they would only disturb him with their sorrows, their worries, their human mess that distracts from work. He hid himself here, surrounded with metal, the perfectly cold, predictable, obedient material. Why on Earth did he bring to life his flawless mechanical creatures when he knew that life means pain and betrayal? There was no one to blame, he did it himself. But why?

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8 thoughts on “Why?”

    1. Thank you! I felt the view had to be depressing; partly because metallic enviroment depresses me, and partly because I think love for technology and love for humans in many ways are mutually exclusive.

  1. I read this as an allegory for parenthood. Spending all their youth tinkering, caring, fine-tuning, only to be left alone. As you can see, your writing got me thinking and you definitely achieved the melancholy you were going for.

    1. Wow, parenthood, really? Very interesting; it is quite a personal way to read this as I was far away from implying or even thinking about it. Thank you for your comment.

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