Written by Brent Butt
Jacob was covered in sweat. This was hard work. He knew it would be mentally strenuous, but it was far more physical than he had anticipated. He held his breath, steadied his hand, and attached the final wire. With a hot spark, his terrible machine jerked, whirred, and shook to life. Jacob stepped back quickly. As the Machine’s head rose stiffly, Jacob asked, “Are you alive?” The Machine lurched and rolled from the slab to stand slowly, awkwardly upright. Jacob shouted, “Are you alive?”
“Where,…am I?” the Machine asked.
Jacob demanded, “Are you alive? Can you hear me?”
The Machine’s eyes/cameras swirled in their sockets and lowered toward the sound of Jacob’s voice. The lenses spun counterclockwise, racking his eager face into focus. The automaton sighed a hollow, mechanical sigh. It’s iron shoulders slumped.
“Goddamn it, Jacob. Did you put my brain into one of your stupid machines?”
A thick pause hung in the dank room.
“I specifically told you I would never, NEVER want this.”
“You weren’t in your right mind. You were doped up, and in so much pain.”
“Tylenol….For a broken toe.”
Jacob smiled warmly. “It’s over, my friend. Your painful nightmare is over.”