Short Stories

Short Story: Function Reserved for A Beating Heart

The flower twirled between his fingers. He had stopped working and watched as the organic fibers glistened in the sun. There was a smell; he could quite differentiate it. Flowers were good at scents. You could say it was their survival mechanism—his was doing what was asked of him efficiently and precisely. For the past ten years, it had been handpicking flowers and preparing them to be sold onwards.

When he wasn’t working, he read everything he could find about flowers. The evolution to attract pollinators had been his first interest. Then the long history of cultivation, not to mention biomechanics and environmental factors. But what he loved now the most was the stories of how people use them. How passionate they could get for the tulips and how those same flowers were tied to a season. Or his favorite one. The black rose. The symbol of mystery and eternal love people in the Victorian era had sought and cherished.

It baffled him why an organic material, which withered away in days, fascinate people so much to sacrifice everything to grow them when there were the robotic flowers that were forever in bloom. Which fragrance you could alter to your mood. Why did they pay more for the flowers he collected? The roses, the Casablanca lilies, the carnations, gardenias, and the rest.

He lowered the red rose on the cradle, hovering on his shoulder height. Roses were eternally loved, that much he had learned. They were never out of style. He wondered would he ever have someone who he wanted to give a rose. But it might be a function reserved for the beating hearts. He was composed of silicon and electricity. Not as far from flesh as one might think, but still wired for a difference. He looked at the next rose on his cutting list. Even it had a statistical charge. So did bees. Negative and positive. But yet he wasn’t the same. He was like the robotic flower, unfading and durable, but nothing like the real rose would be. Not as valuable or sought after.

He cut the next rose. It was who he was.

Thank you for reading and have a pleasant day/night ❤

© K.A. Ashcomb

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