by Bryce Kenn
A day in the life of a robot. Entry for "The Writer's Cramp"
|On the day they flipped the switch, I awakened. I felt love, love for everything and everyone around me. I wanted to get up. I wanted to explore. It was strange. I was already familiar with the layout of my house, the layout of my neighborhood, and the layout of the region around me. I knew all of these things, yet it all seemed so new.
I went into the bathroom. In the mirror, I saw my face, the same face I had looked at in the mirror for the past 28 years, but it was like I was looking at it for the first time. My black hair, fair complexion, angular jaw line, and bright blue eyes seemed stunning to me. I felt a twinge of vanity, but then I remembered that everything seemed beautiful at the moment.
I relieved myself, shaved, showered, brushed my teeth, and styled my hair. I experienced everything vividly, like I was experiencing all of the sensations of getting up and getting ready for the first time. I walked back into the bedroom and picked out some clothes. Today, I would wear the beautiful gray, worsted wool suit, my nicely polished wingtips, a white shirt, and the blue silk tie. I wanted to look my best.
I emerged from the bedroom, dressed to kill, and headed for the kitchen. My wife Allison was making breakfast. I walked up behind her quietly and put my arms around her midsection. She purred, turned around and took me into a warm embrace.
“Well, sleepy head, look who's up?” She kissed me and then took a step back. “Happy birthday, Jason. You look really nice today.”
“Thanks, sweetie.” Today I felt like the luckiest man alive. Allison's auburn, bobbed hair and green eyes were especially breathtaking this morning, and a glance at her made me want to take her to bed. I kissed her and wanted more.
“Hey, big fella. We'll have time for that tonight. You don't want to be late for work, do you?”
“Maybe it can wait.”
“Remember, this is your big day. You want to start it off right.”
“You're right, as always.” I sighed, wistfully. I ate breakfast and grabbed my gear, stopping briefly to kiss Allison one more time, and fondle her well-toned backside momentarily. She grabbed me by the top of the tie, pulled me to her, and kissed me so hard I almost saw stars.
“You be a good boy out there. I love you”
“I love you, too.”
I got into the car and drove off. As I made my way to the office, it dawned on me that things were not perfect between me and Allison. Courtney would be waiting for me at the office. We had been having an affair for the past six months. There was something magnetic about Courtney. I wasn't sure why I didn't remember this until just now. Somehow my deep love for Allison and my burning desire for Courtney both made perfect sense at the same time. I had the strangest feeling that Allison would see me and Courtney tonight, and somehow all of this would be okay. Things have a way of working out.
When I got to my desk, there was a note on my keyboard: “Pls stop by my office when you get here. -C.”
I put down my laptop bag and walked to Courtney's office. Courtney was vice president for the eastern hemisphere. She was 37 years old and my boss. Our relative positions didn't really matter, though.
“Please close the door, Jason,” Courtney ordered. I complied, and when I turned around, she was already pressed against me. She kissed me passionately and ran her fingers through my hair. “Happy birthday, Jason.”
“Happy birthday, dear,” I breathed.
“I'd really like to do something for you this evening. Will you have time?”
“Good.” She drew away, but then the smile on her face faded. “Jason, something has come up in Africa. Would you be able to get on a plane tomorrow and do some damage control?”
“Sure, what's going on?”
“Somebody in the village has begun to figure out that we are poisoning their water supply. We will, of course, clean up the environmental damage, but there are revolutionary sympathizers in that village that need to die before we can do that. It's the whole reason we were poisoning the water. Our clients need the revolutionaries wiped out. You understand.”
“Yes, I've been briefed on that operation. I'll arrange for travel and be on the first flight out tomorrow morning.”
“Thank you.” She gave me a relieved smile. “I'll see you this evening?”
“See you then.”
After work, Courtney and I met at her place, and she picked up where she left off. She started to undo my belt, and I lifted her chin to bring her lips to mine. As I lifted, I grabbed her jaw and the back of her head and twisted and yanked as hard as I could. Her neck snapped. I pulled out a knife and finished the job by stabbing her in the heart. I felt no remorse. It felt right, just like it was meant to be.
There was a knock at the door. It was Allison. I opened the door and stared in disbelief. “Allison, I'm so sorry. How did you know?”
Allison took me in her arms and kissed me. “It's okay, Jason. It's okay. You did well, just like we planned.”
Suddenly it all came back to me. I had been programmed for this. The only constant was Allison.
“This was the deal, remember? We could continue to be together as long as we did jobs for them, and then they would give you a new body and identity after each job. It's kind of too bad this time, this face is so pretty.”
“I remember now. Allison, I love you.”
“I love you too, sweetie. Happy birthday” She twisted my neck and everything went dark.