He scrambled through the junk heap, over mounds of things better left without further notice and description in their various stages of decay.  An occasional recognizable object, a CPU tower here, a shattered monitor there,  jutted out from the mass.  Their sharp edges, still sharp despite the weathering they had received, tried to grip his clothing, like the hands of long forgotten ancestors reaching out for attention, as he made his way passed.  He brushed these off, as needed, absentmindedly.  He was of single intent, single purpose that day, and nothing would distract him.’

No, not even the gripping image of the ghosts in the machines reaching out for him.

When he had first started his project he spent hours sifting through the wreckage, letting his mind wander to the past, and letting his hands seek comfort in those objects that called to him.  He would lovingly untangle a roller-ball mouse just to feel the sensation of the tracking ball under the palm of his hand.  He would pull free a tower to see what kind of accessories had been installed after market and marvel and how quickly the new technologies had become obsolete, broken, trashed.  He even tried to find some of the old machinery he had thrown away, long ago, in his youth.  But, those items had long since been buried as the years added layer after layer of tossed out gizmos and gadgets to the pile.

But, that had been at the beginning of the journey when the project had seemed so daunting he had reveled in the opportunities to procrastinate.  He had still been trying to piece together the project in his mind too, and exploring the junkyard had afforded him ample chances to define and refine what he wanted to build, what he needed to build.  For, it was a need, let’s make no mistake there.

His journey, though, had started long ago and as it had progressed the amount of time he spent idling wandering through the cast offs of the ever advancing society had diminished and then disappeared.  His sense of purpose grew stronger as his project neared completion.  With only one final piece missing, there was nothing that would pull him away from his search.

Days had passed since he had realized how close he was to success and had gone back into the pile to find the final item needed.  He had spent the hours in the half-light of day, the sun’s rays only ever partially passing through the endless layer of filth in the atmosphere, picking his way from one end of the massive junkyard to the other, and back again.  The nights he had spent huddled up in his coat and blanket, trying to stay warm, and fitfully snatching at sleep between the nightmares that haunted his dreams and the nightmare sounds that echoed across the leavings in the dump.  Some of those sounds were just piles of trash settling further into each other.  Some of those sounds were from other living things going about their own nightly struggles for survival.  The nightmares, well, they had been with him since the war.

The war, the final one to be fought by humans on Earth, was what had started this whole process to begin with.  It had left him alone and had created the need.  The need had sent him into the junkyard, searching, digging deep to find the needed parts to set things as right as they could be.

A motherboard here.  Some wiring there.  A couple lightbulbs.  A whole lot of plastic that he melted enough so he could shape it to house the complex pieces he was linking together inside.  A battery to give it power, and a custom built recharging system so that once the battery was fired up it would never run out of that power.  His creation had taken shape, one piece at a time.  He had taken the scraps left by humanity and used them, re-purposed them, remade them into a new machine… one that could talk with him, answer questions, and ask questions, and keep him company until the years of his life had been spent.  Because, as he had learned long ago, being a survivor is a great thing, but it is only worth doing if you have someone, or something, to share it with.  Loneliness trumps all other feelings and instincts.

So, he had taken the leftover computer parts, machinery pieces, and automobile bits he could remake for his own purposes and he had built a friend.  All he needed, the last piece of the puzzle, was the priming switch… the one he could attach to the battery to fire it off and give his new companion a life of its own.

It had to be a switch, you see, for once he was gone he wouldn’t leave his new friend to the same fate he had been left to.  He would give it the option to power itself off if and when it was ready…

His eyes caught sight of something that might be the end of his quest and he scurried over the heaps and the piles, the refuse, the decay, the leavings of a forgotten people, to see if it would suit his needs.


Thank you, Rara, for prompting me again with another of your:


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

To remake is to make anew or in a different form.

Suggested Prompts:

  • Share a picture of something/someone remade
  • Re-cast an old movie
  • Re-tell a fairy tale, or classic short story, in a new way
  • Tell us how you’d remake a book you’ve read– take out a character, add one, change the ending
  • Share a project that remakes something into something else
  • Write a poem/story about something/someone remade
  • Have you ever re-made yourself? Share why and how.
  • … or make up your own prompt related to the theme!

the hypocrisy of me

This will be another adventure in exploring the hypocrisy that is me.

In my “I don’t want this sign anymore” post I ranted for a bit about the possibility that the convenience and helpful nature of modern technology might be contributing to a downward spiral in our ability to do things for ourselves.  As my little blog kingdom is still relatively new that has been the only major time where I’ve hinted at my distaste/dislike/distrust of a lot of the “modern marvels” that technology is giving us.  For those who know me personally they are more familiar with my rantings and ramblings on the subject.

Progress is good.  Inventiveness is good.  Striving to find better, more efficient, smarter ways to do things is good.  But, doing these things at the detriment to our own ability to reason and function?  Yeah, that’s less good. 

But, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate technology, I don’t distrust all new gizmos and gadgets that come out, and I certainly appreciate a lot of the miracles that technology has provided to improve our quality of life.

And, occasionally technology creates something that doesn’t improve our quality of life (per se) but is still awesome.  (I tried to think of a better word to use there, but “Awesome” seemed to fit the best.  So there you go.  Judge me if ou want.)  Last night I found myself uttering the words “technology is so cool,” and immediately realising what I had said felt I need to share with all of you this example of my hypocrisy.

I had a story I wanted to share with my cousin, who lives in Norway, and I live in California…  and I didn’t want to share the story via email, or twitter, or in a blog post.  That pretty much left a phone call as the only feasible mode of communication, but with the international charges on cell phones and my lack of a “home” phone, those choices were a bit limited too.  Enter Skype.

My wife and I have used Skype before to chat with her sister while she was walkabout down under.  And I use Skype occasionally to share game watching experiences with my brother who lives in Arizona.  So, using it isn’t something new to me.  But, when I got off the video call yesterday it still hit me how awesome technology can be.

I got to have a face to face conversation with someone 9 hours ahead of me and on a completely different continent.  How is that possible?  How did that technology come about?  How, yeah I’m going to say it again, awesome is that? Praise computers, the internet, and Skype!

So, yeah, I guess I’m only critical of technology when it suits my purposes.  I’m okay with that.