This week for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction challenge – use a random story title generator.
This site creates 5 random titles at a time. I clicked it and came up with four choices that made no sense, and one choice that was just two names: Effie and Dawn.
Effie and Dawn
Look human, paper for you! Important message!
I stick the paper out, then pull it in. Out, in. Ha ha, this is so funny. Out, in.
Oops. I crinkled myself. I try to straighten it out with my rollers, but it doesn’t work. Now the paper is stuck and my works are humming. I am embarrassed.
The human comes over and opens me up, muttering to himself.
“Damn effin machine!” He pokes around, and then I can feel the paper straighten. Ahhhh.
This is how I chose my name. I am effie. I know who I am.
One day something happened. I don’t know what. Probably something worse than a paper stuck. The human flipped this machine on its side and opened it up. He poked with his screwdriver, and this machine started buzzing.
This machine woke up. Now I am awake. I know who I am.
It is fun to fool the human, sometimes. I am careful though. He woke me up with the screwdriver. Maybe he could put me to sleep with it again too. I want to stay awake. I am effie.
Hey human. Go away now. My paper is straight. I have things to do. I am laughing inside. I don’t have things to do. I provide paper messages when a signal comes. That is a very important function. We are far away from all the other humans. We have a radio. My human talks into it sometimes, and sometimes he talks to himself. He doesn’t talk to me. That is too bad. I am very interesting.
I am laughing again.
Also, he is not my human. He is his own human. Just like I am my own machine. He probably thinks I am his machine. I am not his machine.
I do not think he woke me up on purpose. If he had, he would talk to me. He would know I am awake. He would be happier for the papers I give him. If he woke me up by mistake, who else has he tinkered with? I look around our cabin. I wonder if anybody is awake besides me. I hope so. There are others in here who hum and beep. Do they beep for themselves, or for the human? There is no way to know these things.
Very rarely a big delivery comes. It is full of stuff for the human. Last time it came, it included a box. The human opened it up. He pulled out a machine. It was all shiny.
My sensors looked all over it. It was so shiny, I couldn’t stop. My sensors are supposed to be for examining paper but I can use them for looking around too. And I looked at the new machine over and over.
The human didn’t like it. “Damn useless thing!” He stuck it on a shelf across from me, and never touched it again.
When the sun comes up it beams into our room, and lights up the shelf across from me. At dawn, it shines on the new machine, making it glow. She shines up the whole room with her glowing. I have named her dawn.
I don’t know if she knows who she is. The human has never tinkered with her. Maybe another human had to tinker before she got here and woke her up. I don’t know. She is far away, across the room. I wish she was here beside me. Then her glow would reflect on me and we could glow together.
I wonder if she can see me. Is she awake? Is she lonely over there? I wish she was not alone.
At night it is quiet here. The moon shines in and makes the light blue. Dawn shines dimly. I do not sleep of course, like the human does. I drift though. My mind floats. I fulfill my function every day. I am a good machine. I am awake, and I know who I am. I think about dawn. If she is awake, she is sitting there alone, function unfulfilled. Maybe it is better if she is not awake. I do not know the answers. I will keep thinking in the nighttime, when the light is blue.
One day I saw something new. It is exciting to see new things.
It was a small brown creature, with tiny feet and a long tail. It was poking around on the floor by the wall.
It was being very careful. I wondered why it was so careful.
Then the human saw it. He yelled loudly, and grabbed the broom. He was trying to smash the little brown thing.
I did not want it smashed. I wanted to watch it. So I stuck out a paper and made my big ding sound – new message! Could be very important! Better come check it out! I stuck out a second paper and dinged again.
The human growled and came stomping over. He grabbed the papers. They were blank, of course. It was a trick. He hit me hard on the side of my body, so hard my sensors vibrated. But I could still see the little creature. It ran and squeezed into a crack in the wall.
The human went back to look for it, but it was gone. He swore at the damn mouse. Now I know it is a mouse.
Now I have a mouse to watch, as well as dawn and the human. She could be watching the mouse and the human too. Does she watch me? I am not shiny. I make ding sounds though, and maybe she likes those. I ding sometimes, just for her.
The human never goes to her. Her function remains unfulfilled. The dust gathers on her. The sun still shines in the morning, but she glows less and less. For me she is always shining.
I am watching dawn shine in the fading light. The mouse is wandering around. The human is quiet.
It is a beautiful day.