Author: Suzanne Borchers

The rain pelted his metallic covering while his smooth rollers skidded on the sidewalk. How far to the warehouse now? Too far to go before the cracked seams allowed moisture into his circuits. Cyrus3 pushed up his speed, careening wildly, his vision clouded from the condensation inside his lens compartment. Cyrus3 collided into a small, black, furry creature and both tumbled into the puddled street.
The creature hissed and scratched Cyrus3’s side until it pushed itself out from under the bot. It bolted toward a nearby doorway.

Cyrus3 rolled away from the creature but couldn’t get back onto his rollers. He rocked frantically in the rain, more and more water seeping through his skin. What could he do?

Was it fair that he, who had left the safety of his fellow bots to find fortune, would short-out and die in this dismal rain, alone and jobless? Where was justice? Where was the reward for initiative?

Probably this was the consequence of stupidity. Cyrus3 wished he could kick himself.

His vision cleared enough to see. Nearby the creature rubbed against a door. That creature was out of the rain! Maybe he, too, could find a dry place to wait for the rain to stop. The warehouse was absolutely too far away for safety. Besides, what awaited him there except a dry spot by other obsolete Cyrus3s endlessly waiting for employment in a world of Cyrus5s?

All right, he needed to take care of himself and that meant getting dry. And that meant being with that mean-spirited creature again. Cyrus3 wished he could sigh. He rolled on his side toward the door.

He stopped next to the creature screeching and scratching at the metal door. Cyrus3 wished he could cover his ears. But it was dry there and he stayed.

A spray of liquid splattered from the creature! Cyrus3 wished he could hold his nose. That creature was totally without exception the most evil contraption ever conceived!

The door opened and a human stood back to allow the despicable creature entrance.

Cyrus3 wished he could speak human. He needed help! And he smelled awful. The human must only see a metal bit of trash that reeked. If Cyrus3 could get the human to notice that his rollers were in the air, maybe the human would set Cyrus3 upright again. Cyrus3 rolled his body back and forth.

“Hey, buddy,” the human said. “You’ve got a problem.”

Cyrus3 felt himself lifted up and settled upon his rollers again.

“Wait a minute.” The human left, closing the door behind him.

Cyrus3 waited. He was out of the rain. He was on his rollers again. Cyrus3 wished he could jump for joy.

But would the human return? No. Well, Cyrus3 would wait until the rain stopped and then return to the warehouse. Even the sarcastic clicks from his fellow bots would be better than Outside. He had been defective to leave the warehouse.

The door opened. The human came out and cleaned off Cyus3’s covering.

“I could use an interface Cyrus to control my electronics. What do you think?”

What did he think? Yes! Cyrus3 wished he could shout but only rocked forward.

The human stepped back and Cyrus3 rolled into the house, careful to miss the human’s feet.

The creature eyed him from a perch high on the wall. Its ears were pinned back and it showed him white pointed teeth. It hissed and spit.

Cyrus3 clicked back at it. Cyrus3 wished he could laugh.