Short Stories

Writing: Short Story: Mechanical Man

Hi everyone! Sorry about posting this so late. I have had a weird day, and finding an inspiration to write was difficult. Instead of going to my morning swim, I went to the climbing gym. I didn’t get the usual repetitive movement and my dulled brain being inspired and telling me stories or mulling over concepts. Rather, my brain was focused on the bouldering problem and trying to function together with my body. I love bouldering for that, but it is bad for letting your thoughts to rest and letting your mind wander. And after that, I hurried home to prepare lunch and then hurried out to meet my mother-in-law, which had the world on her shoulder. So an idea of a story was under a rock today. Anyway, this short thing came into my mind when I snatched Fuzzy (my long-haired cat) on my chest and laid on a couch for a moment. I’m afraid there is no satisfactory ending, just a tone and a concept I can’t quite finish.

Short Story: Mechanical Man

“Good day, sir! … Good day, madam!” he said after every person who passed by, lifting his black bowler hat and tipping his head. His shoes clicked as he hit the heels together when he made his little bow.

No one greeted him back. They walked past him without a reply. Some threw coins inside his hat when he made his gestures of appreciation, accompanied with mocking laughter. They thought him to be a machine. Occasionally, late at night, he considered if he indeed was one. But how was he to find out if no one stopped to speak to him?

A woman with the prettiest and saddest face he had ever come across walked out the doors past him. He gave her a smiled. “Good day, madam!” he said cheerily and took off his hat, tipped his head, clicked his heels together as he gave a little bow.

The woman glanced towards him, and the saddened look faded away, turning into an angry frown. “Go away,” she said.

He rewound back up when there was only a fleeting picture of the woman’s backside.

She was forgotten as a man leaning against his cane walked out through the same doors.

“Good day, sir,” he said, and took off his bowler hat, tipped his head slightly lower than before, clicked his heels together, making an extra sharp note as he gave his bow.

The man looked through him, making him want to follow his gaze and see what was happening behind him, but he stayed in his pose. Eventually, he stood back up once again alone.

At the end of the day, when not a single person had come out through the doors for hours, he said, “Good day, sir!” Took his hat off, tipped his head, clicked his heels together, and gave a bow. Then he moved down the steps and into the darkened city, keeping his gaze on his shining black leather shoes, which squeaked after every step he took.

Thank you for reading and have a lovely day!

© K.A. Ashcomb

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