Beyond Silence

She'd only given in because she was lonely

Wednesday has come around again and I’m happy to present this week’s flash fiction.

Raizel touched the screen’s frame. The metal casing was cold, and she burned with excitement. Not that she dared with the dust dulled screen. What if this image vanished?

Images were her companions, nearly as far back as Raizel recalled. Nearly. When she closed her eyes, there was a memory, dustier than the monitor. A woman leaned over her and kissed her forehead.

But that was forever ago.

Images had become her life. Instructors walking her through lessons, reminding her to eat, how to conduct repairs. Ghost that walked beside her and that had scattered the light of with ease.

The time had long passed when she’d tried conversing with them. Their program patterns had grown obvious as she’d aged. They’d been people, once. Before the plague had left her alone.

They couldn’t answer why she’d lived when the entire colony had perished, decimated as a contagion was pushed repeatedly through air cyclers.

She’d lived. They’d died. No one knew why.

Raizel’d quit asking. Quit thinking once she’d known the comms couldn’t reach others. She was alone. Trapped by her programmed nanny’s routines.

Until the gate chimed.

They danced at her door, beauty, fluid, and unpredictable. Their movements were free and Raizel was entranced. They’d called, begging without words for entry. Raizel opened the door. She’d only given in because she was lonely.

Air brushed over her face, chased by sound. The first darted toward her, accompanied by the familiar sound of gears. She looked up to an eyeless face.

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Be sure to check out the other Wednesday Words authors’ take on the prompt.

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