Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2019/08/03 (Week 117)

I made her from junk. From scraps of metal sheets, old chains, nuts and bolts, clasps, hooks, wire. Whatever I could find. She was never meant to be beautiful, a work of art, a marvelous design.

I meant her to show the world what we, as a people, a species, have become. How mechanical. Fake. Artificial. Shallow. With no hearts. No souls. No minds. And no freedom. With nothing left to us, or of us. Except the machines we had created.

Machines like our economies, our societies, our nations, our companies and corporations. For which we were simply human resources. Not humans. Not living, thinking, feeling, priceless life forms, with hearts, and souls, created by some miracle.

Human resources. Parts to the machines. Where you shut up, and you did what the machines told you to do, lived how they told you to live. As a tiny part of a large machine. No longer human. No longer worth anything. Easily replaced, if you broke, or wore out, or a stronger, better made part came along.

Not even like our bodies, our flesh and blood and bones. As humans, as life forms, we were colonies. Macro organisms. Made from billions of separate, individual, cells. Living together, for the benefit of each other. To help each other, support each other, provide for each other. How our nerves told us of danger, fire, sharp objects, things that would hurt us, or kill us.

How our blood moved nutrients throughout all our parts, organs, fingers, toes, heads, and collected waste products, to be expelled from our bodies.

How our digestive systems processed raw material, and pulled from it the things our colonies needed.

Everything worked together.

Sometimes, we got sick. Sometimes, one system, or another system, broke down, and stopped working properly, or even stopped working at all.

That’s when we were our most human. When one of us helped another. When one who could find food would find food for one who could not. When one who could see would try so hard to explain colors, and shapes, and clouds, and waves, and hills, to one who was blind.

But, you see. We failed. We failed ourselves. We invented things. Machines. Societies. Money. Politics. Power. Nations. Companies. And in the process, we turned ourselves into replaceable parts. If one part needs to see, and that part’s eyes stop working, our machines discard the blind one, replacing that human being, that life form, that gift from the universe, with another person who can see.

And then the machines, the companies, never look back. If the part that was defective dies, they don’t even notice. The don’t care. They don’t shed a tear.

I made her because of what we have become. I made her for the people like the man who told me, “You can’t afford to care.” For the many who told me, “Get your act together, and be what they need you to be, or they’ll replace you.” I made her to show them, and to remind them, of what we have become.

For all our greatness. All our achievements. All our glories. We have lost the only thing that mattered. We’ve lost our humanity. And become like her. A collection of parts, made to look human. That can be replaced at any time. And no one will notice. And no one will care.

And having made her, I wonder, and I always will, why did I bother. Why did I expend the effort. Why did I put so much time, so much work, so much of me, into creating her. When I knew. I knew. All along. No one would see her for what she is. When I knew, all along, she would be seen as a work of art. A beautifully crafted piece of sculpture. And nothing more.

For I knew, all along, too many hearts, and too many souls, were gone.

And too many empty, soulless, cold, unfeeling machines, those human resources, were all that was left of us.

670 Words
@mysoulstears


It’s week 117 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.

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#ThursThreads Week 337 : There’s Just One

“The sheriff will live,” the doctor told his wife. “There’s just one thing. He won’t ever walk.” They’d found him where he’d been guarding Jimmy. Every bone in his right leg was broken. Compound fractures. His knee joint was missing, completely pulverized.

The officers at the safe house who were guarding Jimmy hadn’t been as lucky. Things like exiting buildings from the 3rd floor, backwards, through a window, never ended well. Neither did falling off roofs, putting your face through a car windshield. I really wished I hadn’t had to use such force.

They’d been protecting Jimmy. Keeping him safe. They’d fired their guns and shot holes into walls, cars, street lights, and anything else around. They didn’t find Jimmy. He was gone.

When they did find his remains, they noted how he was where they’d found Michelle’s body. His face had run into something. Hit it so hard, it kind of pushed into his head. He’d been shot, right where no man ever wants to get shot. More than once, too.

They found a note held to his chest with a railroad spike. “One less problem in the world.”

Pastor Greg sat on the first pew in his church, stared at the symbolic cross placed above the pulpit, and cried. He’d tried to keep his brother safe. Prayed his brother would learn. Asked God to take Jimmy in, and keep him safe.

I still had a couple of details to take care of.

244 Words
@mysoulstears


Only 3 parts left in this Armor 17 story. It’s Week 337 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 33

I watched the monitors, I saw the fence, mile after mile of it. I saw a wolf, an eagle, a dog, a cat. It was true. Animals watched the fence. I saw the old trucks on one monitor, and a couple of the guard repairing a piece the fence. I’d seen those trucks countless times.

55 words
@LurchMunster


This is Part 33 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week.

The entire story, from Part 33 to Part 1, is located here.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 32

“The fence?” Taran waved dismissively, “Follow me, and I’ll show you.”

He led me back through the underground hallway, then through the greenhouse, to the streets outside, to an old church. Inside were several large monitors with live video feeds on them. “The animals monitor the fence, and call us when the Wraiths show up.”


This is Part 32 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week.

The entire story, from Part 32 to Part 1, is located here.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 31

CatTaran laughed. I stared at him.

That’s when a cat with blue eyes walked in. It studied me for a while, then looked at Taran, and shook its head.

“He doesn’t know.”

“What don’t I know?”

The cat yowled. Taran sighed, “That we keep the Hordes safe from the Wraiths.”

“The fence does that!”

55 words
@LurchMunster


This is Part 31 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week.

The entire story, from Part 31 to Part 1, is located here.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 30

Squirrel CloseupA squirrel ran down the side of the tree and walked to Taran. “Yes, little one. This is Flint. Alice’s son.”

“You’re the animal man.” The man whose animals kept us trapped inside our fences. Protected from him. I swung my fist at him but he’d already moved, as if he’d known what I’d do.

55 words
@LurchMunster


This is Part 30 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week.

The entire story, from Part 30 to Part 1, is located here.

#55WordChallenge : The Fence – Part 29

Taran laughed. “You’re one of Jessica’s descendants. The Horde kidnapped you when you were an infant.”

“What?”

“It broke Alice’s heart.”

He took me to his garden, to a tree with a broken heart drawn on it.

“She drew that. Years ago. I promised her I’d find you.” He closed his eyes. “And I have.”

55 Words
@LurchMunster


This is Part 29 of the serial story I’m working on for Lisa McCourt Hollar‘s #55WordChallenge flash fiction challenge. Please, go read all the other entries in the challenge this week.

The entire story, from Part 29 to Part 1, is located here.