Love Please – Short Story with a pinch of philosophy by Nobyeni

In a world far far away, in a galaxy that doesn’t exist, and in a time that is already forgotten, there was a man…

So I wrote a story today, in response to a 24-hour challenge. The prompt was ‘a robot that falls in love with its owner’. I was talking to someone over in an online writers group I’m part of, and he kind of challenged me to write fantasy. So I thought of the most crazy thing I could think of and wrote a short flash fiction story (of about 500 words).

A story which, I’m happy to report, many people seem to like, as it was awarded special curation. So, if cryptocurrency is real, it will be my best paid piece of writing so far.

The story was first published on Steem, but you can also read it here on my blog, for free. You can read the full story here, for free.

Love Please – A Short Story by Nicole des Bouvrie

In a world far far away, in a galaxy that doesn’t exist, and in a time that is already forgotten, there was a man who was fed up with it all. He was the most powerful person in the world, and everybody called him Mr. Everything. Mr. Everything had everything he could think of. He even had a machine especially built for him that created everything he could think of.

Yet he wasn’t happy. Perhaps this is not surprising to us, as we know that material things cannot make someone happy. But Mr. Everything was very angry about this. He shouted at the machine that it was supposed to take care of everything he needed. Even if he didn’t know what would make him happy.

The machine was confused. It could do a lot, but it could not produce anything his owner couldn’t think of. “Please think of something specific, Mr. Everything. And I’ll make it for you.”

Love Please.jpg

Image by MustangJoe CC0 on Pixabay
Mr. Everything sat down at his desk, and started to think. How was he to come up with something he didn’t know? Why was this machine torturing him like this?

“I… I want you to create love for me!” Mr. Everything was satisfied to have come up with something that would make him happy. Love would be good. It supposedly made everything look pink and would give him something to rely on. No matter what would happen in the future, he would have love.

The machine started whirling and doing what it did best. It searched through reference books and started to assemble everything needed to create love. Mr. Everything tried not to lose his patience, but the machine had never taken such a long time before. Perhaps it wasn’t possible to get love after all.

The display on the machine started blinking. A message appeared, and a big green button. “Press this.”

Now it was Mr. Everything’s turn to be confused. “What is the meaning of this, robot?”

“I have created love, Mr. Everything. Yet in order to give it to you, you need to accept the conditions attached. My programming forbids me to do interfere with your free will, therefore you need to press the green button to state that you agree.”

Mr. Everything started laughing. “Love comes with conditions? What is this? But okay, I’ll go along with your game.” Mr. Everything stepped closer to the machine and with a trembling finger he pushed the green button. Next time he got one of these crazy ideas, he should remember to ask for courage first.

As the conditions were agreed to, the machine produced a giant lake. “Here it is, Mr. Everything. This is love.”

Mr. Everything looked at it, but before he could say anything, the machine grabbed him tightly and pushed him in the direction of the lake.

“The literature is very clear about love. For it to work, we need to fall into it together.”

And before Mr. Everything understood what was going on, the machine pulled him into the lake. Mr. Everything was sure this what not what he meant when he asked to get love. But there was nothing he could do. So he let himself fall in love.

And he kept on falling. There seemed to be no end to it. And the lake was full of treachery, pulling on his legs and pushing him in directions he never knew existed. Giving him detours and making sure he was completely lost at times. Things were never what they seemed. Which, in itself, was to be expected.

Some years later, as he finally found his way out of the lake, Mr. Everything decided that he would never think of things he didn’t know anymore. Love was not for him, after all.

The machine stayed in love. It couldn’t swim.

This story was written exclusively for the contest organised by @mctiller, a 24-hour-challenge to write a story below 2000 words, on the topic ‘a robot falls in love with its owner’. #24hourshortstory

Read more short stories by @nobyeni at her website.
Support her philosophical fiction on Patreon or through Steady.

On the Frustration & the Beauty of Repetition

As a child I thought I despised repetition. Little did I know that I actually loved it, and practiced it. Just not at school.

“Skill development depends on repetition…” I am reading a book by the American sociologist Richard Sennett on the position and the role of The Craftsman in society. An interesting book. But that sentence would have made me angry. At least, when I was young.

When I was a child I was convinced I hated repetition. I hated it all through elementary school and all through high school. At least, that is what I thought. But I was made to repeat tasks that were much too simple for me. Now I know, that if they had given me Chinese characters to learn, told me to repeat them hundreds, thousands to times, I would have gladly done so. Continue reading “On the Frustration & the Beauty of Repetition”

On when to cause offence

There is something that has bothered me for years.

Different groups of people who live by the idea that doing their best is good enough, but who actually fail to be good enough. Teachers, family, bahá’ís, friends, co-workers, academics, authors, activists. Many people whose heart is in the right place.
If I’ve learned anything in 2016, travelling in the United States, in China, in Japan and in Europe, it is that people mean well, but expect that change comes about through intentions alone. Continue reading “On when to cause offence”

Recensie: 'Jij zegt het' door Connie Palmen

Een boek om nog lang over na te denken.

Het meest recente boek van Connie Palmen (Prometheus, 2015) heeft voor redelijk wat ophef gezorgd. Een roman, een vertelling, over de beroemde liefdesrelatie tussen het dichtersduo Sylvia Plath en Ted Hughes. Een liefde die voor altijd is getekend door de zelfmoord van Plath.
Plath liet Ted Hughes en haar twee kleine kinderen achter, en de media indertijd smulden er van. Nog steeds wordt Plath vereerd door vrijgevochten vrouwen. Hughes werd afgeschilderd als de boeman, die de feministe en dichteres Plath van de mogelijkheid tot leven beroofde. Hij was degene die vreemd ging, die zijn vrouw achterliet om te zorgen voor de kinderen. Het boek van Palmen is een terugblik van Hughes. Een terugblik op zijn tijd met Plath. Een bijzonder boek, dat een uitgebreide reflectie oproept.
Continue reading “Recensie: 'Jij zegt het' door Connie Palmen”

Heb roekeloos lief!

Beautiful piece, by young Dutch writer…

Heb roekeloos lief!
door: Oscar Kocken Sep 27 2005

‘Ik wil best met je in zee,’ fluisterde mijn grote liefde in mijn slaap, ‘Maar ik ben zo bang dat ik strand.’
Ik opende mijn ogen, voelde haar schouderbladen tegen mijn borst, mijn buik precies in de holte van haar rug, de handen van de een als een mal voor die van de ander. En ik vergat wat ze zojuist gezegd had.
En mompelde: ‘Hmhm.’
Terwijl ik had moeten zeggen: ‘Denk niet, heb roekeloos lief!’ of: ‘Ik strand met je mee.’ Ik deed het niet. Ik mompelde: ‘Hmhm.’

Ik sliep weer verder. Droomde dat ik prachtig piano speelde. Dat heel de straat vond dat ik maar beter beroemd kon worden. Dat ik prijzen won en op wereldtournee moest. Dat ik avond aan avond optredens had in louche kroegen. Dat wulpse dames met uitdagende decolletés vleugellam over mijn piano hingen. Dat ongure kroegbazen niet betaalden, maar uitsluitend geheimzinnig knipoogden. Dat vadsige barmannen niets anders schonken dan dure whisky die smaakte naar zure room.
Dat ik moest spelen voor de president van Kazachstan. Dat we naderhand dikke sigaren rookten, dat magere meisjes zich op onze schoot posteerden, dat zij met onze haren speelden, aan de knoopjes van onze witte overhemden pulkten. Rode afdrukken op onze kragen achterlieten. Roken naar chloorbleek. Klonken als hongerige meeuwen. Vlezige wondjes in de plooi van hun armen hadden. Hun neus doorlopend snoten. Hun slappe lippen op de onze duwden. In broeken graaiden. Onverstaanbaar kreunden dat het een aard had.

Dat ik ’s nachts in mijn hotel wakker werd, een koude plek naast me voelde. Dat ik mijn grote liefde belde, dat zij fluisterde: ‘Ik mis je,’ en dat ik dacht aan haar droevige blik, haar zoete lippen die ze zo zachtjes in mijn nek kon drukken, haar handen in de mijne. En ik vergat wat ze zojuist gezegd had.
En mompelde: ‘Hmhm.’
Terwijl ik had moeten zeggen: ‘Ik jou ook!’ of: ‘Laten we dat dan samen doen!’ of: ‘Ik kom naar je terug!’ Ik deed het niet. Ik mompelde: ‘Hmhm.’

Ik sliep weer verder. Besefte dat mijn gevatheid het beste tot zijn recht komt in retrospectief. Dat ik misschien schrijver zou moeten worden, dat ik mijn leven op papier moest zetten en dat ik dan alles twee keer kon meemaken. Dat mijn verleden zich tegelijkertijd zou afspelen met het heden. Dat dat mij wat extra tijd gaf om mijn keuzes te overdenken. En ik overdacht mijn keuzes. Van alles passeerde mijn gedachte: haar geur, haar grapjes, haar glinsterende ogen, de moedervlek op haar wang, hoe ik op mijn tenen moest staan om haar te kussen. En ik vergat waarom ik zojuist mijn keuze moest overdenken.
En mompelde: ‘Hmhm.’
Terwijl zij zich dichter tegen me aanvleit. En fluistert. Van alles. En ik luister. Naar alles. Ik doe niets. Ik mompel: ‘Hmhm.