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musikalles

A memory of a short story

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Paperroses' poem reminded me of something. I wanna introduce and summarize it for you.

I was in my high school's writing club as a freshman. The whole thing fell apart after that year, as my teacher got a new job somewhere else. While it lasted, it was wildly fun. I was a different person at this time. After years of wallflower behavior I was finally opening my mouth some and telling people how I felt and thought. It's strange to think of yourself changing in gradation but that's what happened; I was a different person than any other "me" I've been in my life.

I was always trying to write something bold and honest and most of all impressive, giving too much of my overly dramacized past away in code and awaiting someone's analysis.

This all came flooding back when I read the headerline of the recently posted entry, "It was raining". My final short story I shared with the club, that was its title. I say short, but at 14 pages, it was the longest thing of any kind that I had ever written to date. And it was weird. No one really knew I could think weird. And as it came to me I had no clue at all where some of the themes came from or why I was going with it.

It was about an android, for one thing. In the future. Alone, yet highly supervised. Her name was AMI, acronym for something or other. She lived in a research facility where she had two activities: staring out the cell window at the desert landscape, and being fawned over by her team of stuffed shirt scientists. Only one, her original creator, treated her like a person. The rest showed pride, curiosity, and skepticism toward her. She had a big mission that no one knew could be such a heavy burden. She was meant to be the advanced yet still "human" navigator of a supercomputer (from an alien planet) and unlock the secrets of medical mysteries... the cure for cancer, the common virus, and so on.

On this particular night, she overheard some of the scientists discussing the roadblocks her project had hit and that they'd have hoped for more results from her by now. After all, she plugged in to the interstellar database multiple times a day and needed no food or sleep to function. She was probably defective or too emotional. But then her creator (name forgotten) hushed up his employees speaking about how that added emotion would actually spur her on more than a sterile AI would, because AMI feels responsibility and sympathy and wants to help the sick. She wants to be useful and fill a purpose.

Just then, it began to thunder in the distance. The labsite had been in a historic/apocalyptic drought, and the general saying was that if any signs of rain appeared, while too good to be true and actually last, it was a good omen: a sign that some other miracle would show up soon.

AMI saw the lightning and decided to plug herself in to the database one more time and surprise the kind doctor by discovering something. He would be mad she tried to go it alone but it would be worth it in the end if she could just do something.

Writing this second half was so mentally draining for me I cried all over my draft. A transformation scene where she accessed the system with manual override, got in too deep, and hit a kind of enlightenment where her physical body shut down piece by stinging piece and all energies translocated to the metaphysical world of the interstellar internet. She became aware of unbridled freedom, no restrictions to speak of, a power hers alone that she never knew she had. But without the physical limitation to balance her, her own mind and emotions began to suffocate her. Doubts dragged her down. You'll never be able to do it, you're useless, you're waste, you are weak. A defective tool. You will never earn or know love. She was fading fast, sinking, losing herself. And with this loss of control she was unable to escape.

Suddenly a hand reached into the abyss and pulled her out. Coming to, she recognized her cell. She was lying on the floor, still unable to move her limbs, but her senses all worked. She was not lying on the floor after all, but was propped up a something... the kind doctor's lap. He'd come in to spontaneously check on her after his conversation with his team, to give her encouragement and see if she wanted to talk about anything other than work. He found her there, unresponsive, and saved her from her prison from the outside. She was ashamed and wanted to apologize, but looking up into his face, she saw tears in his eyes and he hugged her close for a very long time. Pulling away, he told her that she was like a daughter to him, the family he never had. He told her that this event marked it, no matter what the stakes, he would take her from this place, and get her a life to live in a happy home away from this cell that made her want to kill herself. They listened for a few moments to the sound of rain, real rain, against the window. AMI pondered the nature of miracles. And the kind doctor laughed at the rain, adding: "I love you."

It was raining.
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Comments

  1. azukare's Avatar
    azukare -
    beautiful.
  2. musikalles's Avatar
    musikalles -
    Thank you. :D

    It's amazing how much detail that little sentence reminded me of!