CicadaFiske, The Reader

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1/17/2019 8:50 AM

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I might write something. No promises.


Happy Deathday!

Dearly Departed,
Welcome to the Afterlife! We here at PostMortem have created a pamphlet to help you acquaint yourself to your new surroundings! Feel free to explore the deceased world around you!

Recent Posts

The Scrapyard on 1/13/2019 10:07:57 PM

It wasn't the end of the world. No, it wasn't the end of humanity either. No, the robots hadn't killed them all like they once thought they would. They had turned out to be more interested in self-preservation. It didn't really matter, in the end. Perhaps it had been the climate change so many had refused to see, or maybe it was the joint erupting of so many volcanoes around the planet. None of it mattered. Not anymore. The fact simply was that Earth was no longer safe for humans to inhabit.


The richest 1% had, of course, boarded hyperspace ships on the first given opportunity. They had been launched to Mars, or one of Jupiter’s many moons, or any other of the numerous human colonies littered across the galaxy. The ones who were left then took part in a mad frenzy trying to grab a seat or, when failing that, stow away. And that left the ravaged planet a pocketful of lonely humans, animals, plants and robots, left behind to fend for themselves.


One of these last humans on Earth was struggling across a reddish-brown wasteland with a mass of metal and sparking wires strapped to his back. He was obviously starving; likely dying of dehydration as well. All the oceans had long since dried out, and any animals or plants that may have been edible would be just as emaciated as he was. It was honestly a surprise that he hadn't keeled over from sheer exhaustion yet.


He was nearing an old factory—if he could tell that it was a factory. Age, neglect, howling winds and acid rains had long since eaten away at its rusted exterior. It was nearly buried under a mountain of corroded metal, faded plastic, and pieces upon pieces of scrapped machinery. He staggered to a door, grabbed hold of the valve, and leaned into it with all of his might. The door let out a feeble squeak, and agonizingly inched open with an ear-piercing screech.


All movement ceased.


Inside the darkened building, there were lights. Dim yellows, blinking reds, and soft blues and greens, all sweeping towards the doorway. There was a cacophony of clicks and whirrs as weapon systems were pointed towards him. The man could feel visual sensors, flickering, swiveling. Scanning him. Analyzing him. He started inwardly panicking.


Then, a small pip sounded from somewhere in the darkness.


Weapon systems retracted back into their chassis, yet he could still feel the sensors on him. Still watching. Waiting. Threatening.


Then, something resembling an enormous metallic human head loomed out of the darkness. No, no, it was very far from a human. Its glowing blue eyes were cold and occasionally flickered. Its neck seemed halfway rusted. The only thing that suggested any humanity was something vaguely pink, floating about in a vat of murky green liquid positioned where a human brain might—




The man thought he might be sick had his stomach not been empty for weeks.


The head came closer, and he saw that it was supported by nothing but red wires and tubes pumping some glowing blue liquid. It moved left and right and left again, slowly coming towards him, its jaws unhinging like some great deformed python. Then, a thin rod extended from where a tongue might be, and a white light shone down on the man.


Shakily, he put down the still-sparking pile of scraps on the ground with a huge CLANG. The sound reverberated around the room. Several small robots made frantic, high-pitched beeps in response and a few of them were even tipped over. The head was still watching him.


He swallowed, opened his mouth, and spoke as best he could with a mouth drier than the wasteland outside. “Fix him,” he said with a hoarse whisper, then added “please,” as an afterthought.


There was no response at all.


He began to panic harder. What if none of them had auditory sensors? Did any of them understand English? Oh god, had that been the brain of some poor human in some other continent? He was about to die, he was going to die right then and—


The head let out a low humming noise, and retracted back into the darkness.


Several other robots stirred in the darkness, and eventually, a small rounded one timidly rolled closer to pile of scraps on its maintenance rail. It then sprouted several extensions, and started working. The man stumbled backwards, and sat down with his back to the wall in relief.


Slowly, slowly, the pile of scraps began to look less like scraps and more like a barrel on wheels. Gradually, other robots came in and started helping. Bringing lubricant, tossing away stray gears, sweeping away bits of wire…one larger one ended up carrying in a full fuel tank.


Finally, a robot was stood in standby mode, its lights powered down. The little maintenance robot retracted its extensions and looked to the human, letting out several little beeps, evidently very pleased with itself.


There was no response.


A quick scan from the ancient medical robot showed no pulse.


For a moment, the robots stood still, as if not knowing quite what to do. Then, there was a whirr. The newly repaired robot straightened up. Then, it beeped some form of “thank you”, gently gathered up the body, and went back out into the wastelands.

Saying hi on 12/7/2018 12:24:14 AM

I'm really interested in fantasy, but not much experience. I've written some short stories, but never really had the courage to post anything online.

Saying hi on 12/7/2018 12:17:50 AM

Hi. I don't have much to say for myself.