Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ruby and the Smile machine

smile machine1

A moment later it was finished.

Ruby stepped back and admired her handy work. She was proud of it, damn proud if she was honest with herself. It had taken almost a whole week of hard graft but it was worth it and now it was finished.

She collected up the box and all the packaging it had come in and took them down to the back door ready for collection Monday morning sharp.

She decided to keep the thick indecipherable instruction manual. ‘Just in case’ she said to herself as she slipped it alongside the many take-away menus and receipts in the drawer next to the washing machine in the kitchen.

Heading back to the lounge to turn down the booming French-electro indie pop that had accompanied her throughout the six days of construction, she considered how dramatically this labour of love would affect her life, ‘Quite a lot, but only in good ways,’ she concluded.

The room was now very dusty. It had not bothered her before, but this was probably because she had been working so intensely. As she watched the dust particles silently dance in the strong evening light in front of her she realised they were tickling her nose, which she instinctively rubbed with the back of her gloved hand.

She also now became aware that her long multicoloured brown and blonde hair was full of tiny pieces of debris, so she pulled it back into a ponytail and fastened it with her favourite clip, which was in the shape of a sheep.

Her smooth pale freckled skin was mottled with the engine grease and dirt that had collected since she fastened her first bolt the previous Sunday evening.

She didn’t know what to do first, try it out, or take a shower? She decided to take a shower; after all, it would still be there once she was finally nice and clean again.

By the time she had finished furiously towelling herself off and had pulled on her shorts, T-shirt and flip-flops it had already gotten dark. The hall light was on but when she tried the lounge light she realised it would not work as she had diverted all the power through to her creation. It was certainly true that it was going to take a lot of ‘juice’ to run, but it would definitely be worth it she thought.

Ruby took the emergency torch from the cupboard by the front door and switched it on as she walked the short distance to the entrance of the lounge.

Taking a deep breath, she shone the beam from the torch around the walls, up the curtains and across the ceiling finally settling on the exact centre of the room where it stood quietly humming to itself.

Realising Ruby was in the room; it adjusted its posture and slowly turned its head toward her. Its soft pale blue illuminated eyes glowed with life as it cleared its artificial voice box with a barely audible electronic cough, readying itself to speak for the very first time.

“Would you like me to make up a poem for you?” it asked in a reassuring calm deep tone.

“Yes,” replied Ruby as she sat on the comfy sofa, her face lighting up with a broad happy smile, “a poem would be perfect.”

No comments: