Author : Claudia Silva
“How do you want your eggs today, dear?”
He entered the kitchen with a big smile, happy to start the day. “I’m in the mood for some scrambled eggs, a little bit of tomato, onion. Maybe some mushrooms,” he replied.
“I’m sorry,” she said with a broad smile, “I’m afraid we are all out of those.”
He sat back, thoughtful. Not that he was expecting a different answer, but deep down he still had a lingering hope he could try something different for a change. “Scrambled are fine,” he reluctantly replied.
His wife, complete with the blue dress, white apron and the perfect hair, made her smile bigger – if that was possible – and went to the fridge where she produced an unmarked carton with four capital letters printed on it: EGGS.
While she began working hard on her cooking, he said, “I was thinking maybe we could go crazy today!”
“Yes, dear,” she agreed just like she always agreed.
“I was thinking,” he rubbed his chin with one hand as he thought of something completely out of the ordinary, “I was thinking you could go out with me today. Could be fun.”
His wife’s neck twitched a little before saying, “How do you want your eggs today, dear?”
The last of his hope quickly vanished. Whatever he had said hadn’t been wise.
“I’m sorry,” he sighed, “Scrambled, please.”
“Yes, dear,” the smile was back on her perfect face.
The pan began to sizzle as the egg mix touched its hot surface. Suddenly he realized he needed to try something different if he wanted to make her happy.
“You know,” he began anew.
“I was reading a book today,” he continued.
“About this guy who has adventures on different planets,” he explained, “It’s like a series. You know? There are many books about his adventures and-“
“Sounds fascinating, dear.”
He stopped to take in her automated replies. “So, I was thinking that maybe you’d like to read it.”
The twitch on the neck returned. “How do you like your eggs, dear?”
“No, no,” he quickly muttered, this time standing up to take her arms with both hands. The woman turned from the eggs to face him, her face frozen in that same eerie smile. “Just, just make the eggs, it’s fine.”
It was too late; the damage was already done. The question came once more, “How do you want your eggs, dear?”
For a moment he just stared at her. After weeks of searching he had found someone new to talk to and he had thrown it all away. He always did in the end; he broke them. In front of him, the woman kept staring at him until she finally asked the same question again, “How do you want your eggs, dear?”
Utterly disappointed, he answered, “Scrambled, please.”
“How do you want your eggs, dear?”
He now raised his tone, “I said, scrambled!”
“How do you want your-“
“Aw, just forget it.”
He let her go. She was lost. Malfunctioned. Quietly, he began to walk to the front door. Glancing back, he could see she had not moved an inch. She was still there, staring at the same spot waiting for an answer to her question.
The man opened the door and stepped out. He stared at the wasteland in front of him, at the red sky and rusting cars around him. He was still alone. Everybody else was gone. He would still look for a robot in another house, a pretty looking one; although it always ended the same. Robots were not built to think, to make decisions. They just… obeyed. Would he ever find the exception? No matter how long he searched the truth was he was the only survivor on planet Earth and soon robots would be the only thing left standing.
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.
"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."
We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.
Voices of Tomorrow
Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.
If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact email@example.com