A Rare Connection

Author: Katlina Sommerberg

The library doors opened, after scanning Erica’s face and bags. She came every Thursday, chocolate crescent in hand, and curled into her favorite armchair. Erica usually created digital art, but she dabbled in the ancient craft of pencil and paper today, despite the abysmal demand for traditional drawings.

After all, automation and universal basic income wrecked economics. Climate change wrecked the environment. And the fallout wrecked the human population.

The only surviving settlement, descended from the Oceanix City design, contained ten machines for every human.

In the library, more robots organized the shelves than humans visited in a week. One flew over Erica’s head as she followed it with her eyes, doodling a replica in her journal.

She had ten pages of cartoon drones by the time Joana appeared, her luminous neon green hoodie casting shifting geometric designs across the walls. Erica twirled her brown hair around the pencil, fidgeting as she looked out the window.

Last Thursday, Erica saw the woman’s screen as she labored over a poem and crawled through Twitter flash fiction hashtags; she became one of JoanaTheWanderer’s three hundred followers. Then she practiced initiating a conversation with her mirror, as she trusted AI‌ coaches more than the old school advice blogs – even if those blogs, too, were probably written by machines.

She tripped over her feet as she walked over to Joana’s table, smiling awkwardly. “You’re Joana, right? I read your micropoem about… honestly, I read all of them.” She could’ve smacked her head; the AI‌ said that was too much, too fast.

“I’m sorry, most of them are trash. I‌ can’t stand to reread anything I‌ tweet.” The oversized hoodie obscured her eyes, but her voice was friendly.

“I don’t think they are.”

“Thank you. Your journal… can I‌ see those?”

Erica passed her the journal, and a long moment passed as Joana slowly flipped through the pages. A giggle came from the hoodie, and Erica died inside, until the other woman spoke again.

“Say, let’s get a coffee. Your whimsical sketches and my trash poems aren’t too different.”

1 Comment

  1. Jae

    A fetching slice of life, done gentle, as it needed to be.

Submit a Comment

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

Random Story :

  • Fast Forward

    Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer We failed at time …

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 ssmith@365tomorrows.com