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The Rivals by Michael Harris Adrian Belfast, a young and aspiring author, chances upon the works of one Lucas Slaughter, a person... [5,415 words]
Aletha by Randall Barfield . [330 words]
The Loan by Jack Linton Jimmy Camp is about as down and out as he can get until he takes out a loan from Beze's Emporium. [6,026 words]
Burning Sulfur by Michael J Musto Man Kills and old friend. Story is about his actions he takes as the police arrive. The words in... [454 words]
Yonder Ridge by Ramon Collins The Indian Territory (Oklahoma) of the western U. S. in the late 1880s harbored survivors, both Wh... [553 words]
Will It Ever Stop Raining? by Neil Southern Nothing to do with the UK floods [119 words]
Whispers On The Wind. Hopes Quest by Jessi Whispers on the wind, tell stories of many. Heroes, villains, kings, peasants... [577 words]
Waiting For Thetake-Off by Pankaj M Prasad Neale Steade An experience of waiting to take off. [674 words]
Torture On The Tortuous Rode by James L Palagar A young boy encounters trouble after walking home from a trip to the hospital; a p... [4,679 words]
The Way Things Are by Corey Moon a story I wrote recently about how my life is at the moment, and how it was in the past. It ... [452 words]
The Wasp by Antoine Louis A Young Man's struggle against a Diverse Inhabitant of The Insect Population [1,424 words]
The Sun Dried Monogramed Towel by Natalie Pierpont Short story about two people, their relationship, and the beach. [136 words]
The Silk Pajama by Amit Shankar Saha - [1,866 words]
The Sadist's Pain by Matthew Kelly My very first effort. A little vignette into the life of an upper class sex worker. Set in To... [758 words]
The Portal Of Venting by Kelly Tagaban A fun loving story of a day in the life of a wanna be super mom and grand old granny. How... [1,840 words]
The Connexion Of Khayaddi Cura by Nicholas Robb A story about a guy that finally gets to meet his siblings. [1,783 words]
The Caregiver by Erasmus Lion A middle-aged man wakes up in a hospital room under peculiar circumstances to face his own death ... [2,402 words]
The 13th Victim by Heather Burke Sadie May is on the run but from what is the question. When she meets Slade a dark stranger wit... [1,974 words]
Take Care by Matt Lenox Taking care of a dog is not so easy? [2,134 words]
Soliloque by Abhijit Sarma Barua A raalisation of an well established man that it is no use to exhibit luxurious celebration, in view ... [2,702 words]
Soldier & The Insurgent by Kabbash Kidnapped soldier confronts his Abductor [1,147 words]
Singing The Thirteen Year Old Blues....B.B King Ain;T Got Nothing On Me by Kelly Tagaban My youngest daughters journey from grad... [1,129 words]
Sacred Slaugher by Kobra An experiment consisting of poetry elements and a short story. I like the way it turned out. [343 words]
Roll Tide Roll by C L T Clement Le Tallec Steve's teacher offend's his passion for Bama Crimson Tide [255 words]
Return To The Wild by Matt Lenox Civilization takes a few steps back back for one, while it goes forward for the other. [1,037 words]
Remembering Amma by Vaishali Shroff She's fun. She's loving. No one can make pickles better. She's Amma. [617 words]
Reasons To Be Beautiful by Reed Alexander "Most men live a life of quiet desparation". Most of us live in our own personal soap o... [6,094 words]
Rainbow -Between The Storm And The Sunshine by Jessi Big fat raindrops dripped off my nose. Ew. Well he got what he want... [660 words]
No Child Left Behind by Matt Lenox Lack of attention can be a dangerous aspect in certain situations! [3,747 words]
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Near Miss by Sally Chase Well this is just a piece, of a short story actually. Don't know, how I feel about it, since it's not... [382 words]
Nathan's Last Call by Jake A Potter The title is still a work in progress but i have the main idea figured out i just need some ... [895 words]
Just A Ride by Natalie Pierpont A young girl tries to find herself through rediscovering her childhood. [781 words]
Judged For The Past Am I Cherokee.....I Sure Think So by Kelly Tagaban Delimas we sometimes face as a devided race. Being of Iri... [1,497 words]
If Silence Was Ever Lucky� by Pandian Chelliah - [762 words]
How She Stirs Not At All by Gregory Novak - [319 words]
Home, For A Funeral by Christopher E Nolen - [2,272 words]
Herman Telesco by Bryn Lovitt this is the story of a very very lonely man. [526 words]
Going Home by Giroux a young boy being forced into what his parents think will be a great future decides to take a trip a... [2,240 words]
God Force Reverses Time by Michael Potter A short fable about the end of war. [842 words]
Genie No More by Vaishali Shroff It's not the ice age. But definitely the end before you begin. [612 words]
For Louise by Kay Arnold For, and about, a wonderful loved woman [1,165 words]
Fireworks By The Water by Bk Kinsel - [116 words]
Confessions Of A Sad Mind by KumarR A love story. [1,361 words]
Charlie's Monkeys by Sara E Johnson Charlie buys 200 monkeys for five cents a piece...must read! [500 words]
Brief Encounter Of Love by J E T Riley True love and regret [751 words]
Angel Dolls by Chelsea Schneider - [454 words]
Alexi's Fine Exquisite Meals by Matt Lenox A restauraunt review that no chef wants [707 words]
Again It Begins by Michael Potter Abstract doodle about the end [130 words]
A Childs Story by Harvey Cheatham About a child that was abandoned by his mother [1,474 words]
The White Asteroid by Michael Potter Space miners make a curious find. [222 words]
Wwii: A Soldier's Experience by Wanderer Bass This is a piece of writing I un-earthed from the depths of my room that I wrote aw... [556 words]
Worlds Apart by Gregory Novak A series of piggybacking streams of consciousness, effectively stages of one man's reflection on t... [1,595 words]
Who Will Feed The Cattle? by Fiedler A young man with problems with his town sheriff is wrongfully accused of a crime. [2,333 words]
Unseeing Eyes by Golda Velez Short futuristic 'what-if' about opening the eyes of a young hotshot. [1,714 words]
The Summer by Bk Kinsel A part of a short story that I am writing. [173 words]
The Oddest Couple On Earth by Konstantinos Tzikas Strange, short piece about a dysfunctional couple. [1,440 words]
The National Anthem by Deis Innovant The twelve-year olds of a Primary school are forced to sing their national anthem over and ... [901 words]
The Monsterboys by Jimmy Mason This is a story not to be read by those who are easy to offend. A gritty story of a group of fr... [5,298 words]
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The Little Ketchup Incident by Brandon D Christopher This is an excerpt from my just-published first novel, 'Dirty Little Altar Boy.' Av... [1,922 words]
The Crash!!! by Brady Kalt This is a story about when I crashed. [142 words]
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Strong Enough For A Man by Eric Bridges Can life get worse when you smell armpits all day? It may when you have a pothead room... [1,066 words]
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Something Wrong With Jonny by Mark Evan Dark, twisted tale about a boy with OCD and his bullies. [2,939 words]
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Rochester Love Story by Hoffmeier A walk into the past [1,289 words]
Reverend Mattew by Bryan King Revised and edited. [1,229 words]
Reflections On A Sunrise by Gregory Novak A very old fable I stumbled across that I had written some years ago. I still reading ... [1,037 words]
Pop by Lukas The world goes pop. New Orleans, two possible affairs and a flight across continents brings everything to ... [888 words]
People Aren�T Built For These Lonely Times
Narcissistic Fairy Folk by Jimmy Mason A tale of the darker nature of fairy folk [1,824 words]
Magnolia by Liilia Morrison A young woman finds out what a magnolia smells like [1,208 words]
Lucky Day by Kay Arnold Revenge- The only excuse for inventing a cell phone with a camera [1,225 words]
Kaveri - A Short Story by Suryaprabha Easwar Dedicated to The Girl Child of India [1,682 words]
Judgment Day In Eden Hills by Jimmy Mason Hell on earth, starting in a small town. [3,733 words]
It's About Time by Liilia Morrison Ups and downs in the world of quantum physics [1,475 words]
Iron Beak by Thomas Lee A crazy duck attacks a person and is sent to prison. Poor Emerald. Inspired by actual events. [2,442 words]
In Search Of The Missing Website by Rainier Wong Felecia was working on her client's website when it suddenly vanished. Joe and... [910 words]
I Think You'd Like Her by Gregory Novak A soliloquy of sorts, we find a young man reflecting on a love now lost. [1,440 words]
I Had Another Dream Last Night by Neil Southern Continuing a quest for reality [147 words]
Hells' Populous by Wanderer Bass This is chapter one of a comic idea that got turned into a story. It's about types of troops de... [439 words]
Guitar Man by Brian J Hankins A wonderful short story about Willie and his flattop guitar. [485 words]
From A Macaroni Of Doubt by Sean Joathan This is an excerpt from a novel. [3,455 words]
Frank's Sports Shop by Scott Edward Clark Walker A man named Frank is just trying to run a small sport's shop in a world overrun by music. [1,479 words]
Ephraim by Randall Barfield - [443 words]
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Djinn by Jay Phillips This story is, at least in my opinion, one of the best stories I have ever written. It is a new take on a... [1,427 words]
Curiosty by Kristopher K Starliper Alex regrets his curiosity. [209 words]
Chain Reaction by Aamanrah - [1,473 words]
Bloody Bones by Jay Phillips This story is a new take on many of the old legends which have been passed down to me through the ... [2,257 words]
And The Winner Is by Liilia Morrison A summer camp sports competition has a surprise ending [1,132 words]
A Trip To Grandmothers House by Brian J Hankins A cute story for the whole family. [1,017 words]
A Soldiers Recount by Corey Moon This is a made up story that is based off a battle in WWII. [1,829 words]
A Resubmission Of 'an Audience With The King' by Ann Gordon This is a piece of last years work which seems to been deleted of... [662 words]
20 Dollars To Fear by Jimmy Mason This story hold a special place in my heart. A story of a strange night in a bar [1,437 words]

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People Aren�T Built For These Lonely Times
A young couple is drifting in space, drifting apart
[1,354 words]
Science Fiction
Kay Arnold
[July 2007]
For Louise (Short Stories) For, and about, a wonderful loved woman [1,165 words] [Biography]
Lucky Day (Short Stories) Revenge- The only excuse for inventing a cell phone with a camera [1,225 words] [Humor]
People Aren�T Built For These Lonely Times
Kay Arnold

�You are NOT. Building. Another. Robot. �

Hiro kept his mouth tight shut.

�Damn, Hiro, can�t you just pick one at the e-market like normal people do? This space-van is small enough without you cramming it with extra crap.�

Nanako was seriously pissed. In the year they�ve been living together, Hiro�s pile of metal and computer junk has grown so big it seems to be leaving her no room for air.

They moved in together after Hiro lost his job at 731Robotics for cutbacks and Nanako scored a freelance job as a traveling mechanic for a group of small spaceship stations. The van they received was small, but they got by since she sometimes had to spend over a week on her station route.

But now it�s been awhile since she went for over a day�s work, and Hiro�s dream of building the most realistic android to date � the dream she used to be so excited and hopeful about � turned into no more than a collection of waste and a silent man sitting constantly in front of his computer. Hanging in the constant thick darkness, the small vehicle was closing in on her. She felt grateful that tomorrow she�ll be leaving for two weeks, covering for a friend.

�Nana�, he said later that night, �It�s going to happen. I can feel it�. �You know my bot will be nothing like the moronic plastic trash they sell on Emart. It�s going to be better than the real thing�. Hiro�s voice always deepened when he talked about his inventions. �I just need more time.�

Nanako couldn�t stand to hear those words again. �You know, it�s one thing to come back from a week of work to find my home�s been taken over by scraps� her voice was raising, �but how do you explain the fact that your home page is money-casino.com when it used to be the Science Daily?� He looked away. �Hiro, you�re too young to fade out like this. Someone needs to kick your ass back to reality, and unfortunately for me, I got the job. And speaking of, get one before I get back!�

These were the most frantic two weeks in Hiro�s life. He never stopped trying to realize his dream, but Nanako�s threat woke him up abruptly. He had no place else to go, and he really did love her and loved being with her. He worked liked a maniac and he knew that was it. The cerebral chip he�s been developing all along went inside, and it was a boy.

He named it Ichiban. As a prototype and ancestor, Ichiban was built as a truly fine specimen of his kind. Much like how ancient tribes fashioned their gods beyond the best they found in themselves, Hiro�s creation was the reflection he always wished to see in the mirror; everything he wanted to have in himself. Ichiban�s face was chiseled but youthful, his skin was soft and warm, and his body had the lean fierce look of a kung fu fighter with catlike limberness.

The look in his eyes was a far cry from the hollow glance of the stock bots they made so far. They looked straight at you in a penetrating gaze that had a twinkle with them, which in anything other than a robot might get interpreted as a sense of humor. Hiro embedded him with state of the art artificial intelligence software he was perfecting for the last years. With a database packed with info covering several centuries of literature, cinema, and tv all scanned and processed, Ichiban was sporting speech patterns and behavioral functions that would help him adapt and assimilate in every situation.

Built to be a chameleon, Hiro saw how the fruit of his ingenuity could be packed and marketed as a worker, a soldier, a companion�whatever people look for in other people to find only disappointment. His type could fill in jobs like Nanako�s, where people got sent on their own for long trips, or to keep company for those who stay behind. People aren�t built for these lonely times.

He decided to surprise her. When Nanako came home she was introduced to an old friend of Hiro she never heard about. He was full of life, witty, and attentive. Hiro hardly said a word to her all night and seemed anxious than ever. She couldn�t bare another day with this silence. He was strung out, and looked as if he aged by a whole year. Tired from the flight back, Ichiban made her a perfect Rumtini cocktail and offered to give her back rub. She fell in love that night.

�I don�t love you anymore. I slept with Ichiban. I�m sorry.� These were the words Hiro woke up into. He couldn�t believe what he was hearing. �Are you crazy Nana? That�s not even human! I made him myself !� She didn�t look as surprised as he thought she would. Ichiban did surpass any man she ever been with. �His a robot, Nanako, that�s just a machine!� Nanako couldn�t care less. �If you could turn yourself into what you built Hiro, I wouldn�t be standing here now.�

�This is insane. I can shut him down when I want to. I�m going to do it right now!� and in a fit of jealousy he headed to his laptop to hack Ichiban and crash him down. But a second look at his best work and beautiful brainchild made him hesitate, and Ichiban, who recognized the danger, took hold of the computer.

Nanako and Ichiban took off in a pod, leaving him with a van full of scraps and no back ups of the most amazing work he would ever do. He spent the next months staring out into the murky universe, chasing them down from one station to the next. For the first time since he went out to space the infinity of the pitch blackness agreed with him.

When he saw the contact light he thought he was dreaming. He haven�t talked to anyone in weeks. It was Nanako. �Hiro, I�m desperate� he could see how red her eyes were even through the video message. �It�s Ichiban. He�s broken and I can�t live without him�. �I know I�m the only person in the world you�d want to help, but I need him. Please help me Hiro!�. Her voice was crushed. She was hooked on the perfect man, and her withdrawal was agonizing. �I would do anything you want, anything you�d ask!�.

�I could get her back now�, Hiro was thinking to himself, �or get back at her�. His mind was fuzzy. Did he really used to be in love with this woman? Her face, even while she cried, was beautiful and sweet. She was his first love. He remembered the soft feel of her body, her lips, her skin, and his own body turned hot. He really missed her and her energy. She�s so desperate she�d do anything now. He could ask her for anything he wanted, and she would never refuse. He could be her master, as if she were his...robot.

�I�ll help you on my conditions. And give me back my laptop�.

When they met at the near station his mind was racing. The first thing he did is create a copy of Ichiban�s cerebral chip. He was about to break down all his demands when he looked into her eyes and saw all those hours she spent and will spend flying along, working her life away with nothing but ugly machines and the huge vacant of the world to keep her company.

They parted ways. Nanako and Ichiban, fully restored, kept sipping their Rumtinis between jobs. Hiro settled down on a planet he bought with his patent money. He lives their with his beta version. He named her Niban, but sometimes he calls her Nana. Those two look so much alike. He never tried it out with a real woman ever again. People aren�t built for these lonely times.


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© 2007 Kay Arnold
July 2007

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