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TIMES HE REALIZES HE IS A ROBOT BUT IS THEN PROGRAMMED TO FORGET by Chance Dibben | flash fiction | #thesideshow

Chance Dibben

As a boy, he loves to skateboard. Attempting to do an ollie with a few older kids, he is tripped and knocks his head off. Lying sideways on the pavement, he sees the other kids run away in terror. “Where are you going? Guys, guys?!” he yells, his head rolling away from the body.
His creator/father teaches him to shave his lifelike skin. He draws the razor too tight against the neck, cutting open wires. “Dad?” he asks. “What’s going on?”
“Puberty,” his father answers.
He learns in family life class that boys sometimes have wet dreams. “What if what comes out is black, like oil?” he asks the teacher.
During a game of baseball, he hits a homer. Spurred by the pride beaming off his father in the stands, he runs the bases with mechanical speed. The parents of the other team accuse the father of doping his boy. A brawl ensues. He jumps in the swarm of bodies and carries his father to safety.
He wonders, all his life, why dogs are afraid of him.
He wakes up with his father twisting a screwdriver in his chest.
He wonders why all his friends get to visit doctors and dentists and he doesn’t.
Making love for the first time, his penis separates and remains inside his partner. He is hit with a barrage of insults from his teenage lover. “What the fuck are you?!” she asks. “What kind of a freak are you?” He comes home in tears and asks his dad.
“Why did you create me?” he asks his father every time he becomes aware he is a robot. “Because I loved you even before I made you,” the father always says.
He always intakes this information, holding a pause in his head.
“Can you make me forget?”
“Forget what?”
“Forget that I am a robot?
“Is that what you really want?” The father asks.
“Yes,” his son always says. “Yes.”

About the Author:

Chance Dibben is a writer and performer living in Lawrence, KS. His writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Split Lip, Yes Poetry, Unbroken, Horsethief, Squawkback, as well as others.