English II Honors
Magical Realism Short Story
It was a cloudy morning, when the robot washed up on the beach. No one really cared to notice it, going about their daily lives as if they had not even glanced at it. As the robot lay in the sun, it stayed deep in shutdown, until two days later it finally powered on. The robot looked around, confused, not knowing where it was. It dragged itself to the edge of the city, gasping for breath, looking for a source of a power to keep going. The robot did not recognise the city, nor could it remember its own model number. The robot’s only goal was to find power and shelter, and a city that appeared to have no robots would not be a big help. The robot found a broken pipe, spewing water across the alleyway it had crawled into. After taking many sips, it felt the energy to read its surroundings. Seeing a figure at the end of the beach, the robot called for assistance. “Excuse me sir. I lack the resources to function properly. Would you grant me assistance?” The figure turned to the robot’s voice, and revealed itself to be a human child, replying to the robot, “Unknown figure spotted. Beginning investigation.” The robot grew regretful, knowing that a human would likely grant him no help if he was to continue to function. Humans only cared about their own functioning, not that of robots. The small human finished it’s approach, looked at the robot, and spoke. “Unit #M8998 identified. You do not have clearance to enter Metropolis. You must follow me to the exit zone.” The robot now had a name, and knew his location. Metropolis was a northern city, built on the ruins of the robot infested Old New York. It was designed as a workplace for humans, free from the responsibility of maintaining order, and free of the errors robots made. The now named M8998 followed the curious little human, whose metallic chattering and stiff walk made the poor robot uncomfortable as he followed the child. He quickly changed his mind, as the child produced fresh produce, a delicacy for among robots. He quickly gobbled it down, grateful, and did not question why a human held food for a robot in a city of those who could not consume such foods.
After an hour of following the little child down alleyways and through human traffic that never stopped, they finally reached the exit of the city. M8998 admired his surroundings, for the tall, metallic structures amazed him in their scale and cold commanding demeanor. He was stunned by what the humans had accomplished in just ten years of building Metropolis. His memory of the world around him was beginning to return, and he was starting to recall the events that had led to his awakening to Metropolis. He remembered a boat, a storm, a fire, and then, nothing. M8998 realized he had been in a boat accident. Such was typical of robotic craft, to break and loose its crew.
The checkpoint out of the city was very uninviting. It was was dull and grey, much like the rest of the city, with a single row of about twenty tolls. At each toll was a person, standing stiff and straight, unblinking, giving off a sense of authority for all robots leaving the city. M8998 saw several other robots in line in some of the tolls, and wondered how they had ended up in a city full of humans. The small child turned to M8998 and spoke, “Unit has been escorted. You are now free to leave Metropolis. Failure to comply will be reported to the authorities.” The child then left the robot there, and as M8998 stood, he watched it walk back into the city, wondering how such a small human seemed to hold such authority.
M8998 walked to the toll, facing the officer who stood inside of it. The officer asked, “What is your unit number?” He told the officer, who then read off what what the system said about the robot. “Unit M8998. Sex; Male. Date of manufacturing; 8/9/98. What is your given name unit?” M8998 did not know what his given name was. He seemed to have…