I remember you most in
frayed gray trenchcoats
and the way you always
said mysteries don’t end
with their solutions.
There were questions
when you took off
unnamed under a fedora
that shaded your eyes
from the reality
that you were
never coming back.
And I took every
single clue there was
to try and map out
you left all over my memory
and an attempt at
looking for notes
because I refused
to believe that
there were mysteries
that weren’t made
to be figured out.
Because the only
things I allowed
to be unsolvable
And maybe I was
to face the truth
of how improbable
the evidence left was
because I tried to
prove to myself
that it was impossible
that I couldn’t
defy the logic
that came with
It was difficult to accept
that you were right
when you said
don’t always end
with their solutions.
Because I couldn’t
find you anywhere-
my eyes could
to see you
I would like to believe I’m a well-made cake.
But the truth is, I’m still in the making.
Sometimes I realize the flour isn’t sifted yet.
Or that I don’t really know what baking soda is for.
The oven is outdated by now.
And unfortunately, I don’t know how to turn on the gas.
I constantly burn my fingers on too-short matches.
I keep trying to knead out my rough patches.
Without realizing that there is such thing as too much.
I have never been very good at baking.
I keep telling myself I will be a three-tiered piece.
But my layers keep crumbling into themselves.
And I think I may have used salt instead of sugar.
I rely too much on frosting to cover up mistakes.
There are places where the mixture failed.
And I am not a masterpiece ready for a celebration.
The cake did not rise up like it had planned to.
You would think following a recipe would be easy.
But instructions are not always concise.
Life is not always that predictable.
And sometimes you really are just clumsy.
But I am more than measuring cups.
I am not just well-branded ingredients wasted.
I am an effort of three hours and flour patches.
I am a honey-stained apron on a Saturday morning.
I am what children try to make for their mothers as thank you.
I am what the awkward guy tried to make on Valentine’s day.
I am what the lonely watch professionals succeed at on motionless days.
I am the holder of wishes as the world makes revolutions.
I am more than just a failed attempt at doing something step-by-step.
So why do you keep saying I’m a lie?
The vines outside my house
slowly start to take over
and trap me inside
but I’ve long given up
on the idea that
the outside meant
any kind of freedom for me.
And I watch as the vines grow
and the way they can’t
stand on their own
and think to myself
that they’re lucky
that when people get
their fruit it can at least
be used for celebrations
and they help people
want to be more free-
which is more than what
you can say for me.
It had started with a tiny ticking noise in my head, and from there I don’t know how it spread. All I know is that it was driving me crazy. It kept repeating itself, like the sound of a clock. So I ran through my house smashing every last timepiece I could find. I hate it. I kept hearing it and it was reminding me that I was too late.
I was too late.
I didn’t come on time.
I should have.
Tick. Tock. Tick;. Tock.
They found out the clock virus was a plague that had started because of a hack in human psyche. Initially harmless, they say, it did have the capacity, however, to drive others to madness depending on their psychological profiles. That was when the dangers started of the ticktock virus started to settle in.
To this day, they have no cure.
And one day, it will bring me to a screeching halt as my mind snaps.
Then they will all be too late.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
I picked up the medal and dusted off some of the sand from it. It had an old faded eagle on it, but the text at the bottom had been scratched off and was barely readable. I flipped it around in my fingers and closed my eyes to wait until I could feel the past washing over me. There was a wreckage. And there were several gunshots. I could hear children screaming, and felt the blood splatter all over my face. This was the worst part of this ability – for now I was really in the moment. I could smell the gunpowder, and taste the blood drying on my lip. This medal had fallen off in a struggle to get past defenses, to try and get back home to a family.
“For glory and honor.”
The bronze eagle was proud as it beamed up at the sky, falling from the tattered uniform of a man who had lost his head for what they claimed was the greater good.
I stood there on the peak of the cliff and overlooked the town. I remember way back when they promised we would be the aid of the human race. But no one knows what’s happened since then – why they started becoming so afraid of us.
But then, they did say I might have been a defective model of the original artificial human blueprints.
They didn’t expect models to develop emotional capabilities. Empathy. They couldn’t understand that I could make art. They wanted to deactivate me, and that started causing a riff.
Now I’m just sitting here on a park bench I love watching the town from.
I don’t know when all this started to happen. I don’t know when I started becoming more human.
There have been movements. We’ve wanted to be accepted for the longest time – but humans have always considered us inferior. Eventually we became angry. We wanted to be considered equals – after all, we had the capacity to emulate sentience. The only difference was that we were logical – but there were also logical people in the world. The trouble was that we were /also/ artificial, along with being logical.
We, however, didn’t see why that mattered.
She didn’t notice she was bleeding until someone pointed out quite calmly that her arm was gone. This was when she turned her head and stared at the stump on her arm, and nodded to agree with him.
“Why yes, it appears I am bleeding. I’m armless now.”
I couldn’t really comprehend what was going on, and looked between the two of them. They were strangers to me, but I couldn’t help being concerned enough. I asked if they had any plans of taking her to the hospital.
She just stared at me that it was refreshing that for once, she got to experience having blood gushing out of her.
The two laughed, and they walked away while she left a slowly disappearing blood trail behind her, and I noticed their sillhouettes fading off into the distance, and the girl put up her new arm around the guy’s shoulder.
It had all began with a murder. It sounds innocuous enough, or as innocuous as a murder could possibly be. However, it was from that chain events that slowly began the extermination of essential life forms for the survival of the human race. This was when many officials began to worry about the future, and had started the development of a back up plan. So they took the murderer and from there used him as a base for developing a new systematized human replacement. This was after his execution, of course.
There were many more like me here. We had eyes that lit up with ones and zeroes, and that was the language we all understood. It wasn’t that we weren’t human, though many tried to tell us that. We were in fact, made as close to flesh and blood as we could be. It was the only way the rest of them would survive, through the creation of us. We were the artificial human systems. We tried our best to fit in, but understanding all these illogical things of humanity was difficult.
But we tried.
They walked around in their gray ties and squared shoulders, trying to ignore the repetitive ticking of the clock.
They all knew they were going to die one day. The only difference would be that no one would particularly notice. It was alright though, they knew nothing was immortal.
The only thing that would last forever would be this monotonous cycle.
He tasted the mint on her tongue, and immediately knew that she had been lying to him. He knew her taste far too well by now.
You put the weight of your world on my shoulders, and took my hand so we could run through the world and show them how happy you were now.
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