Bot and the Beast

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.


  1. SimonJM

    I caught a faint whiff of a future Sylvester and Tweety–pie in this .. but in what direction?

  2. Jae

    Oh, that’s good. The addition of the pet/resident furperson spun that nicely off the usual path. Like this a lot.

  3. Hari Navarro

    Very nicely done Suzanne. Refreshing to see an interaction between man and machine without it being negative. Cant say the same for bot and beast though, seems those guys will never get along. 🙂

    • Suzanne Borchers

      Thank you for the kind words. You’re probably right about the bot and beast, but maybe?

Submit a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Random Story :

  • Sowing Season

    Author: Colin Lubner The year is 2296, and she’s doing …

The Past

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

"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."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member


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