At night, Robot’s eyes glowed the same blue as his siblings’ while he was asleep in the plant. His random access memory did not disassemble itself in the same orderly fashion though. It unspooled chaotically, taking the freshest moments of the day and ripping them to shreds like flimsy sheets of paper, letting the pieces fall haphazardly to the floor and into a pile, where it would reassemble into shapes similar to the original, but wholly different. Like botched origami; a swan, but too phallic.
In short, Robot dreamed.
Days came back to him in no particular order: the plant, the cats, the frigid morning air at work before the humans arrived, something he only felt the prickling of when he was asleep.
One night, Robot dreamed of being chased by lightning.
The concrete monoliths of downtown kept him penned in as he ran. He was surrounded by his brothers and sisters lining either side of the street, their eyes dark, their heads down. He was not the only one running. Surrounded by his frozen brothers and sisters, Robot ran with hundreds, if not thousands, of humans.
Robot was the only robot among the running. The sky was turned-off-TV gray and the lightning was a tangled mess of intertwined blue and white. The thunder wasn’t deafening, but quiet, just loud enough of a POP for you to hear it get the guy runnin’ behind you—POP—or the girl next to you—POP.
It didn’t matter how fast you ran; the dark clouds took who they wanted. But everyone still ran.
Robot had a heart. Blood pumped through his wires. He felt the pads of his feet stinging on the concrete. He felt electricity going through him, but opposite of the life-giving paths it usually took. In a way that made him feel like he was cracking and breaking.
Should I be wearing shoes?
In the middle of the street, whimpering and refusing to move, was a mangy mutt similar to one of the dogs that composed a wild pack that lived around the plant. Robot stopped for a moment—aware that the rising hair on his neck was probably the lightning pulling him up—and he picked up the brown sack of shit that was a dog. Even though the dog was far lighter than his maximum carrying capacity, running with it felt like an impossible task. But he ran. He ran and he didn’t stop running.