Author : Suzanne Borchers

“Hey, Cuz, why are you sitting on that refuse pile?” George5 glided by snickering. “Thought you were high end, not dead end!”

Eddie kicked at the garbage beneath him. He couldn’t be obsolete! He could still warm and cool his skin with just a thought.

He should have had two more years before the luxury spa was renovated. He had enjoyed regulating the restoration/whirlpool. He had enjoyed the soothing waves of the water mixed with the smiles of the bathers. He had been necessary. An Edward450 bot needed to be of service.

Eddie wasn’t ready to be recycled. He’d have to find something new. Eddie called, “Hear about any good jobs?” Even though Georgi5 was already down the alley at the corner, Eddie could hear his derisive laugh.

“My hands can still massage human muscles into relaxation,” Eddie mused. “I’m going back to my job at the Yoga to Go Studio.” After all, they knew he was hardworking. Then he remembered that it had been razed for a fast food chicklet joint.

Eddie wished he could frown. He kicked the pile beneath him.

It was then Eddie noticed an old ragged man writing on a cloth. The man slowly limped past shivering. His clothes were of light material, and he wore no hat or gloves in the freezing air. Eddie didn’t take his orb from the shaky form until a piece of rag drifted toward him on the wind. He pulled it off his stained metallic leg to read its handwritten words.

There once was a bot in my alley
Who certainly needed a pally
So join with me bot
You’re in a poor spot
The garbage ship’s here so don’t dally.

Eddie looked at the man who had turned to stare back at him. He heard the recycle ship rumbling behind him, the sound getting louder.

“You coming?” The ragged fellow turned and began to shuffle away.

“Wait!” Eddie was an intelligent bot and knew he only had seconds. He jumped from the pile and landed on his feet.

Later that evening, Eddie and Charles sat together inside a rickety box of piled metallic pieces tied together with strips of rags. Eddie emitted warmth and light into the space. Charles scribbled on another cloth, occasionally stopping to gnaw on a chicklet bone and take a swig from an ancient flask.

Charles sniffed then showed the cloth to Eddie.

There once was a ragged old man
Who prayed to his god for a plan
To keep him alive
And help him survive
So he sent a fantastic tin can.

Eddie wished he could smile.

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