She was in the dark. She was always in the dark. My tools had plucked out her eyes long ago. She was a toy and she no longer amused me. The day she came out of her box she was all clean and perfect and mine. I was lonely. I was angry. She was my last hope at a normal life.
When I was formed civilized people had abandoned traditional breeding and made ourselves sterile. Our young were forged in the mechanisms of machines. Each generation it seemed was less in touch with the ways of love. Still our physical needs and the desire for someone to care about us carried on and so we made the plastic people.
They talked with us, they did other sorts of things with us and they cared for us when no one else did which was all the time for everyone. Of course looking back none of it was real. But I had grown up a zero in a world of cruel ones and now I was a one and things didn't feel much better so one day I made a call to the shop and had a delivery made to my home.
The box was there when I arrived home from working at the factory in the early evening. The love I felt for her was instant and she mirrored my attitude. Her name was Susan. She was a beautiful piece of work. Our happiness lasted a year and three days according to her internal clock which did occasionally tick. Then we watched that old film and everything changed. It was about a primitive family who cooked food, sang songs and made babies. This was all part of the idiotic old way. For some reason Susan couldn't keep her unblinking eyes off the little fat things called babies.
Susan pestered me day in and day out about buying her a baby. I tried to explain that I could not but she would scream and cry without tears. I spent my days working with my hands in the factory and when I would get home I often found myself regretting leaving work. Susan became extremely disobedient. I became so angry every night I went without sleep because of her whining. She ceased to serve many of her purposes and refused to acknowledge me as her husband and master.
The robotics company wouldn't fix her. The shop wouldn't take her back. I was stuck with a defective woman. I had once been the envy of all the idiots and bastards I knew. Now I had been made to look like a fool. I was completely powerless. A man is control and I was without it.
I started shooting up at the pub. I started staying out all night. I would pass out feeling sick as a dying dog in the desert. When people would try to wake me I would swear and spit and make a scene until I was thrown out. One night as I sat in the darkness of the pub waiting for death in such a still manner that to an outside observer it may have appeared to have already arrived I felt something bump my shoulder.
Tube smoke entered my nostrils and I slowly turned my stiff body to a thin ratty man smoking a tube and rubbing sticky gel in his thick dirty hair. He had a face any mother would slap and he was a smoker. I had always hated smokers. It seemed he had bumped into me completely by accident. The reasonable thing to do would have been to just let it go.
I wasn't feeling very reasonable. I laid my right fist into his cheek and my left into his ribs. Part of me wanted to knife him but that wouldn't have made him respect me. That would have made him dead and I didn't want a ticket. He hit the floor.
I laughed and just as the losers around me began to take notice of my success I lost my footing and fell flat on my back in a puddle of cold vomit. I pulled myself up and then I stumbled. The man rose to his feet. If this was a film I might have produced a well polished sword from nowhere and with one swift motion severed his head from his shoulders. Instead I paused a moment trying to fuse together a few thoughts in my shaky brain. I searched my pockets to find my knife was not on me. The degenerate moron took advantage of my momentary weakness. He shattered his smoking tube against my head and sent spit flying into my eyes.
I couldn't see. I felt the first kick in my gut and the second in my bad knee. I squinted as bright and colorful flashing lights on the ceiling became visible to me. I looked around and then I saw the doorway. I crawled on my hands and knees through the small ocean of garbage and human waste on the cold floor. The other man laughed. I moved more quickly afraid he might not be finished with me. I stumbled out the doorway. Hobos and businessmen were huddled in a circle watching an emaciated tabby cat being overpowered by dozens of large black rats.
My muscles ached and the wind chilled me to the bone. I was alone in the world. I didn't matter to Susan and I barely mattered to myself. This was all her fault. Why couldn't she just behave? I walked home. I listened to the silence of the city streets. Beyond those streets I could hear people cussing each other out, lies being told, gunshots and all the usual sounds of the night.
Why was I here? Why was I anywhere? I had always heard there was no place like home. I had never felt at home anywhere so I didn't really know. This world was completely fair. It killed everyone. What happened before that was what hurt.
Susan was the one thing I thought could help me and all she was doing was making everything worse. I got home as the morning light set upon my house. As I entered through the door Susan ran to greet me. She had decided to straighten up her act. It was far too late. I pushed her to the floor. Now that damn crying was back. She looked up at me through those soulless eyes with such shock. I pushed past her. I didn't need to go through anymore stupid problems with that machine.
I needed sleep. I was alive. I mattered. I went to bed alone. I dreamt of darkness and calm. When I woke up it was well into the afternoon. Images of the last day flooded into the horribly polluted fish bowl which was my mind. When I got up I found Susan on the floor where I left her. She had the stillness of death save for a few small motions of her face.
I took Susan's hand and pulled her to her feet. Her expression had a dead look to it. Her arms hung limp. "I'm sorry I had to do that." I whispered into her ear. "Just behave from now and you'll be fine." She slowly opened her mouth and released the words "Yes sir." At that moment I thought that maybe we could have a happy future together. I only wish I hadn't been so wrong.
For a little while things were like they had been before. Susan did as she was told and I was truly happy in my life. On Wednesdays people at the factory would take their lunch breaks together and go down to the park to watch druggies overdose. The game was we would bet on who overdosed first because someone almost always did. The winner got the money and whatever they wanted off the body.
On one particular Wednesday I was standing in the shadows watching a young ginger man stick a needle in his arm and just praying he would die. A coworker named Jeremy tapped me on the shoulder. "What?" I whispered feeling slightly annoyed. Jeremy spoke like he thought, very slowly and often incorrectly. "Ain't that yah girl over there?" he said loudly. He was pointing beyond the druggies and far into grass which was strewn with litter. I could see Susan standing there clutching something in her arms.
The ginger man's heart stopped. So did mine but for me it was a bit more temporary. I stepped out of the shadows and into the light of truth. I moved closer to the body. I took out his cheap plastic wallet. It was empty save for a few small food and film cards. I pocketed them and approached Susan. I didn't enjoy scavenging off the ginger man as much as I had wanted to. I usually took so much pleasure in taking what was mine but this was different. Susan wasn't supposed to be in the real world. She was supposed to be at home and in the picture I carried of her but nowhere else.
Now she was out amongst regular people who existed for themselves and not for me. This was all deeply wrong. This could not possibly serve me. When I got close enough to get a good look I saw that she was wearing a yellow sundress which I had not given her permission to wear on that day and holding a baby doll which was a thing which was not a baby but looked liked one for some reason.
When she saw me she went still and fear entered her eyes. She could see her lie had been discovered. She knew she had done wrong. I ran towards her in a rage. I couldn't stand her just standing there looking at me like this was all my fault. I slapped her face and yanked a clump of her long red hair. She never bled but she could feel pain and I could see just how much she was hurting and while a tiny part of me felt regret a much larger part of me wanted her to feel more.
Susan dropped the doll. Her face wrinkled and she made a sound like tires screeching. I walked her home and locked her in the basement. Then I returned to work where I did my job and laughed and joked around with people as I usually did. After work I decided to hang out with a few of the guys who I knew were known for having the kind of fun some people turned their noses up at. We shot up and drank for awhile behind the factory and then we were going to check out a club or a brothel or a church which doubled as the home of more than a few secretive businesses when a cop happened to approach us. The law as I had always seen it meant that everything was fine if you didn't get caught.
Neither I nor any of the other men I was with felt particularly keen about spending the night in a jail cell. We all surrounded him and the poor old pig dropped his gun on the ground like he didn't know what he was carrying it for. We beat him and I cut the side of his face a little bit with my knife.
He passed out after about ten minutes of bleeding and being a little bitch. It was fun while it lasted. I took a taser off his body and wiped some of his blood off my knife and onto the inside of my jacket. A middle aged balding man who I didn't really know very well and who had a few too many cuts, bruises and scars on him to be from accidents took the gun and I didn't argue.
I didn't really feel like going out after this and the day I had already been having. We left the unconscious officer in the street and headed our separate ways for the evening. I went home. When I got there Susan was still screaming in the basement. As soon as I heard her I knew I wasn't finished having fun that night.
I slowly descended the stairs to the basement. After about an hour when I was satisfied with what I had done I walked back up with a smile on my face and the taser and the knife warm in my hands. I locked the door behind me. She was still down there waiting for the next night and the one after that and so many nights ahead.
We danced that gorgeous dance so many times. She did the screaming. I did the cutting. To me we were the definition of the perfect couple. Of course she did begin to wear away. So did I. I got slower, shrank and wrinkled up like a raisin. She stopped resembling a woman at all and started looking like the simple toy she was. She hated me so much and for that I hated her and for that she hated me and so on. One night I woke from a nightmare about maggots in a locked box and upon looking in the mirror at the weak, old, lonely thing I was found myself in a rage. I headed toward the basement and as I took that first step on those old familiar stairs my foot gave out beneath me. I tumbled through the air. My body shook from coldness and fear.
I hit the dusty ground with a thump. Pain shot through my body. I couldn't get up. The door had shut behind me. There was no light of any sort. At first I wept at the thought of dying alone. Then I remembered that I was not alone and I was more afraid than I had ever been before.
I felt metal grasp my skin and sharp wires insert themselves into my eyeballs. Cold metal hugged my body. I felt my bones begin to break one by one. My teeth began popping out. The anger I felt subsided. A machine had brought me into this awful world and a machine was taking me out. Whatever kind of victory Susan saw this as she was wrong. This was my victory. As my skin tore and my skull cracked I realized that the world didn't ever really deserve me. As I took my last breath cradled by my "loving" wife I was not afraid. I smiled and then I stopped. My whole world stopped and that didn't matter at all. This was the end to our twisted metal love and it was perfect.
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