The Robots And The Writer

8 Jul

The Robots just suddenly arrived.

They landed on Earth in droves, tall…about 8 or 9 feet in height, dirty metallic bodies, 3 wheeled tank like contraptions on their legs for movement, 3 tentacle-like arms with 6 tentacle-like appendages and on each one, claw like hands and fingers.

They came and they conquered. They conquered in a mere 72 hours.

The entire world in only 72 hours.

After they conquered and killed all the leaders of the world, they kind of left everyone else alone.

Sort of.

The robots made everyone stay inside their dwellings whether it be a fancy million dollar home, an apartment complex, or  a hobo’s cardboard box. It had been about two weeks of the house arrest.

Twice  food rations were left on the doorstep. Apparently the Robots thought our diet consisted of nothing but Spaghetti-o’s. TV was cut down to one channel that just played the same five movies over and over; A Christmas Story, Groundhog Day, Porky’s 3, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Casino. No one could make heads or tails of the selections or whether their was a theme or message to them. Some thought it might be a some secret symbol of the robots intent. Radio was down to one frequency, 104.1 FM. This station only played Frank Sinatra, but luckily it was his whole catalog and not just five select songs like the TV.

The internet, shut down.

After pretty much everyone in the world could quote Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure from start to finish, an announcement came over the TV and Radio:

“Greetings, people of Planet 279. You will be hearing this broadcast in your native language since you choose to complicate your race with such nonsense as separate languages. Tomorrow will begin your sorting. I will assume, you 279ings do not know what a sorting is, so I will explain. Each one of you will be individually interviewed on your worth to this planet and to us, your new masters. If your skills are deemed worthy, you will live to serve us. If your skills are deemed inadequate, you will be killed on the spot. We have already eradicated Rappers, Weather Men, Fruit Snack Packers, Walmart Customer Service Employees, Mark Zuckerburg, and Network TV Executives.   One of our kind will be knocking on your door sometime between 8 am and 5 pm to begin your evaluation. That reminds me, we need to add all cable installers to the inadequate list. Do not try to run. Do not try to resist. Do not try to fight. Do try to cooperate. Do try to answer the questions truthfully. And if you are deemed unworthy, do try to die quickly and without crying. That is all.”

And then Casino started playing on the TV again.

I was a novelist. I don’t know what Robots would want a novelist for…especially based on their taste of movies, but I couldn’t give up hope. There had to be a place for someone with my skill set for them. I didn’t have to write novels, I could write about anything…be a reporter, keep records, or something. My youngest daughter, who was 6, pulled on my pants.

“Daddy, I’m scared!” she said with big teary eyes.

“Oh,” I said as I brushed her long blonde bangs out of her eyes and kissed her on the forehead. “Don’t be. Daddy will be okay.”

“But Daddy,” she responded, tears running down her cheeks. “Who will pack the Fruit Snacks now?”

I gave her a hug and said, “I don’t know, honey. I don’t know.”

—–

Eight AM came quickly the next day, and you could see the robots lining up along the suburban street. The had enough robots for one to stand outside each and every door, and at precisely 8, a unison single knock hit the aluminum doors, followed by a metallic warning;

“You have 30 seconds to answer your doors. 30, 29, 28, 27, 26….”

I opened the door. The faceless machine looked at me, and it pushed me aside as it bent it’s large frame down to fit through the opening. Once inside it said,

“Are you Planet 279 inhabitant also known as Frank Baum?”

“I am, and it’s called Earth, not Planet 279,” I responded weakly.

“What you know of as ‘Earth’ is no more. You are now an inhabitant of Planet 279. If you are deemed worthy of service you will be given a new name. Your new name will be 279.0943783749894590834590349.”

“Wow, I don’t know if I could remember all of that,” I said a little worried.

The robot responded, “It will be branded to your forehead. No worries.”

“Oh, great.”

The robot pulled out a clipboard. “Please answer these questions, briefly and completely or you will be eradicated. Please answer the questions truthfully or you will be eradicated. I will be monitoring your heart rate and your brain wave patterns. You will be recorded. Let us begin. For the official record, what is your Planet 279 name?”

“My Earth name or the bar code you just gave me?” I asked.

“You have not earned your worthiness, therefor you currently do not have your official citizenship of our planet. Your ‘Earth’ name please.”

“My name is Frank Baum.”

The Robot checked something off on it’s clipboard. “This is just for show by the way, it seems to make you Planet 279-ers feel more at ease. What is your current occupation?”

“I’m a novelist. I write books.”

The Robot put down the clipboard and raised what looked like a big scary laser gun.

“What is that for?!” I screamed.

“Eradication,” the robot replied.

“Why?! For being a novelist?! What the hell? Do you Robots not read? Or think that the people who will survive this won’t want to read?”

“You will be eradicated because all of the books have all ready been written,” the robot replied coldly.

“What?!” I laughed. “How can that be?!”

“Our writers have written all the books there ever will be, every subject has been written about. There is not a story that hasn’t been written that we already don’t have a book for.” The Robot raised it’s gun to my head.

“Wait!” I yelled. “How can you be so sure? What if I come up with a story that hasn’t been written yet. Then you have to keep me to write it for you.”

The Robot said and did nothing for a moment. “I will download all the books into my database. If you think you can come up with a story that I don’t have a book for, then you may live.”

The Robot raised one of it’s arms and shook for 30 seconds and then said, “Ready.”

“Ok,” I thought a moment. I had to come up with something incredibly wild and out there. “Do you have a book about an octopus with 6 dog’s heads that falls in love with a squirrel after terrorizing the citizens of Alabama?”

The Robot holds up a Kindle and says, ‘Yes.” On the Kindle is story entitled, ‘Bang The Squirrel Slowly.’

“I’ll be damned!” I said as the Robot raised his gun again. “Wait! Do you have a story about an octopus with 7 dog’s heads that falls in love with a squirrel after terrorizing the citizens of Japan?”

The Robot once again holds up the Kindle and displays: ‘Bang The Squirrel Slowly II: A 7 dog headed octopus falls for the orginal squirrels Japanese half sister.’

The robot raises it’s gun again. “It is futile. All books have been written except for 5. You will be eradicated.”

“Wait? What?” I stammer. “All but five? Originally you said all books have been written. Now your saying five haven’t. What five?”

The Robot lowers it’s gun. “The sacred five. They have been turned into movies. We show only the scared five on television.”

A dumb look has to cross my face. “Are you saying Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is one of the sacred five?”

“Yes.”

“And there is no novel form of the movie?”

“Yes, only a screenplay. ”

I scratched my head, “Well then I’m your man to do that!”

The Robot raises his gun and fires. The laser hits me square in the chest knocking me back. I fall as I feel the burning of my heart and lungs inside my chest. I see the Robot standing over me. It bends over to my face. I can barely see it’s head as my eyes darken with death. I hear the robot say,

“We have already spared Steven King for that.”

~Fin~

—–

Editor’s Note:

I awoke from a horrible dream drenched in sweat and drool the other night. Of the dream I don’t remember, I only remember the echoing of these words as I arose from REM state, “We have already spared Steven King for that.”

Thus was the inspiration for that stupid story.

🙂

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38 Responses to “The Robots And The Writer”

  1. pieterk515 July 8, 2013 at 9:20 AM #

    One day, not sure when, maybe just before the robots arrive, I will write like this. For now I will stick with being a Manager. They might spare me… (“NO they won’t!” Who said that?)

    • Christopher De Voss July 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM #

      I think the robots were secretly stupid and spared no one.

      • pieterk515 July 8, 2013 at 9:37 AM #

        Oh, so they were modelled after Paris Hilton, Kanye West and the creator of Take it all?

      • Christopher De Voss July 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM #

        A combination of… Yes!

      • pieterk515 July 8, 2013 at 9:40 AM #

        I am not afraid anymore. I’ll disguise myself as a handbag or little miniature dog. Taylor Swift should be very concerned.

      • Christopher De Voss July 8, 2013 at 9:49 AM #

        Hahaha!

  2. tarnishedsophia July 8, 2013 at 9:42 AM #

    Cool story, bro.

    Though I’m more interested as to why you woke up drenched in sweat…and drool. Do you, by any chance, have 5 large open mouthed dogs that share your bed?

  3. Crazy_Lady July 8, 2013 at 11:27 AM #

    What happened to your daughter?

    • Christopher De Voss July 8, 2013 at 11:30 AM #

      I don’t know what happened to the little girl. I would assume the robots made all the kids slaves like they do in all stories of that nature or maybe lawn care workers.

  4. Carrie Rubin July 8, 2013 at 1:16 PM #

    Oh, great, just when I start writing novels, I find out I’m going to be eradicated. Lovely.

  5. night owl July 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM #

    I laughed but also wondered – from an outsider’s point of view, how many of us have any use at all other than consumers of goods?

    • Christopher De Voss July 8, 2013 at 1:38 PM #

      Very deep! Now I’m curled on the floor in a fetal position contemplating this….

      • night owl July 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM #

        I do try my best to contribute to society’s malaise!

      • Christopher De Voss July 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM #

        😉

  6. silkpurseproductions July 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM #

    Great story! Sorry about the nightmare part but it certainly provided a lot of entertainment for the rest of us. It can’t be all bad if they already eradicated Rappers, Weather Men, Fruit Snack Packers, Walmart Customer Service Employees, Mark Zuckerburg, Network TV Executives and the Cable guys. Silver lining in my books.

  7. ksbeth July 8, 2013 at 5:33 PM #

    Interesting premise and funny too )

  8. momof6boys July 8, 2013 at 9:09 PM #

    Any robot that considers A Christmas Story sacred can’t be all THAT bad… 😉

  9. David Stewart July 9, 2013 at 9:04 AM #

    That was brilliant, Chris, although I’m pissed they have already written all my stories. I cracked up at “Bang the Squirrel Slowly”. 🙂

    • Christopher De Voss July 9, 2013 at 9:08 AM #

      The Robots are big David Stewart fans, so they wrote yours first. Take it as a compliment as they lazer you.

      • David Stewart July 9, 2013 at 9:57 AM #

        I’ll go out with a smile on my face. The sad implication of them writing my stories is that now I’m plagiarizing my own work. I think.

      • Christopher De Voss July 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM #

        Haha!

  10. Maddie Cochere July 11, 2013 at 9:05 PM #

    Hahaha! I loved this! Thank you for another classic bedtime story that I can read to my hubby tonight. Fantastic closing line. 🙂

  11. Ripley Connor July 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM #

    I’m part terminator and I think I’ve met these particular robots! They are pretty stupid, I have to admit. We terminators are much smarter.

    • Christopher De Voss July 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM #

      Except when it comes to people named John Connor…

      • Ripley Connor July 15, 2013 at 7:31 PM #

        The humans beat us machines fair and square. Yes John Connor is a smart man and he’s actually my honorary uncle. My Grandpa was one of the Connor bodyguards. We all love each other now. Uncle John Connor even babysits us once in a while!

      • Christopher De Voss July 15, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

        Your family tree must curve in on itself!

      • Ripley Connor July 16, 2013 at 12:28 AM #

        Yes it’s a little twisted. Plus I’m part alien and part human. An Ellen Ripley clone is my grandmother. We have fun family reunions!

      • Christopher De Voss July 16, 2013 at 12:33 AM #

        Sounds like it. Who’s in charge of bringing the cupcakes?

      • Ripley Connor July 16, 2013 at 1:01 AM #

        HA! Aunty Kate Connor loves to bake.

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