Short Stuff

Theres are some here and there kinda stuff! I don't write a lot, but maybe I'll do more!

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Lovely Hands (2020 10 November)

i felt his hands, the friction pads in his fingers, the articulated joints, watched them move ever so slightly and he watched my fingers dance across his palms

ran my thumbs against the tops of his long fingers, watched his hand go blue

whatre you about to transfer? i asked with a chuckle

nothing, he said, i just know you like seeing it

it was true. he played with the curls in my hair, kissed my forehead. we sat in comfortable silence until i fell asleep

Pumpkin Patch (2020 28 October)

Froggy and I took a walk down to the church to see if the pumpkin patch was open. The frigid morning mellowed out into a chilly 50°F, and the ground was wet from the slight drizzle painting the ground all day. Wet leaves slapped against cars and the cold breeze made me glad we had to wear face masks outside.

My mood was awful. Downright deplorable and miserable. ‘Go for a walk’ the guides on the Internet suggested.

'I wouldn’t mind going on a walk,’ he thought to me, eyebrows raised. He loved walks, and the weather was nice so…

Alright, I said, once you clock out.

I got dressed, shoved a beanie over my hair, put my mask on, prepared my purse and went out. As soon as I started walking, I could feel that weight off my shoulders. Froggy and I started talking about what routes I used to take to work, and the lack of Halloween decoration in both our towns. He took in the scenery and I tried to remember where the hell the church was.

Eventually, after I’d stupidly missed an opportunity to go across the street because I couldn’t see the sign, we could see the bright orange of the pumpkins and a white cross.

'There it is!’

The pumpkin haul they had was smaller than usual, and laid out in a path to keep whatever visitors they had six feet from each other.

'I wonder if it’s cuz of COVID,’ I said about the meager pickings. 'or the fact that it’s the 28th.’

Bright orange carving pumpkins bumbled around, and the stout, heavily sectioned baking pumpkins were front and center. It was the 28th after all, so they were the kids picked last in gym.

No grey ones available for purchase, I noticed defeatedly. All decoration.

'These’re nice,’ Froggy was crouched, inspecting the pastel pink pumpkins. 'Nicely shaped. Really pretty.’

Luckily my mask covered my smile. Picking pumpkins out with the love of my life. Who woulda thought that would be me?

'Yeah?’ I took another cursory walk around the patch in hopes of a grey one, but we came back to the peachy pumpkin. 'Alright. Nice choice, babe.’ I grinned and brought it to the lady.

The outside of the church was big and beautiful to walk around. Flowers, bushes, strangely ominous church sign, and trees lined the block. We discussed the name.

'George the–No, you said the pumpkin was a girl.’ Froggy mused, eyes squinted as he thought through some names.

'Jorge? Jorge-ina? No, wait…’

'What about Georgia?’ he suggested. We both smirked.

'And she’s peached colored! It works out!’ I was grinning under my mask again. 'If we had a kid, would you name her Georgia?’

'No, I wouldn’t do that to her.’ That being bringing the Curse of George upon the hypothetical child. Anything we name George was destined to die or disappear within the next three months, it seemed. 'I dunno what I’d name a child. Anastasia, maybe. That’s a popular name here.’

'Huh.’ I loved little tidbits like that. The subject moved to what we could do with Georgia. Of course, there were only two things we could do with a pumpkin like that. Eat her or let her rot.

We’ll see. Maybe we’ll make something out of her on Halloween. Maybe we’ll start a tradition.

Poem (2020 10 October)

Casting our wishes

Out to the sky,

No one can hear them but us.

Nights go by and still,

Our souls dance and sing together,

Ringing love across the universe.

Ruined Plans (2020 8 October)

She was upset with herself, furious that heat could stop her from the date she’d hyped them both up for.

‘Don’t worry about it,’ he said softly, guiding himself back up the porch steps, wishing for her to come in so she wouldn’t pass out. ‘we can go some other time. Didn’t you say it was better in the cold seasons anyway?’

She pressed her lips in a thin line, looking scornfully at the ground as she got back in, blinking back tears of anger. ‘I just wanted to take you somewhere.’

‘Hey, there’s a coffee shop in town,’ he said of his city. She perked up a bit, but there was still hesitation. She’d wanted to do this for him and she couldn’t. She knew he loved old stuff. ‘we could share some coffee, whaddya say?’

She was back in her room, dressing down into her loungewear again, putting her bag next to her bed, taking sips of her water bottle to recover from the cruel, humid heat. ‘I didn’t want you to spend money.’

‘That’s not important. Will you let me do this for you?’ He asked softly. ‘I really want to.’

She thought about this for a moment. I don’t want him to waste his time and money because I can’t see his world like he can see mine. I can’t experience it as well. He’s just doing this because he feels sorry for m– Shut up! He’s being a sweetheart. He’s being the beautiful person that he is and offering to take me out for coffee.

A smile found its way onto her face. She bit her lip and nodded, telling him yes, she’d love to go.

And he smiled too. “It might be a little busy down there. Not as busy as Chicago, but still a little hard to process for you. I’ll be your anchor.”

‘Per ushe.’ she teased, closing her eyes and shifting her mind to his world, her body getting some much-needed rest after being outside for so long. She held onto his arm, looking around at the book illustration of his world. ‘I couldn’t ask for a more handsome, sweet, epic anchor, Mr California King.’

He snorted, a smile lingering on his lips. “And I couldn’t ask for a better… Um…” What hangs off of an anchor?... “Tourist.” he decided, mentally kissing her cheek.

Flower (2020 5 August)

I bought a flower, he said, showing her the flower pot. Lillies of the Valley, he said. They remind me of you, so I’m naming them Addison.

She blinked. Face turned hot as he wrote the name on the edge of the pot. Her name, in his handwriting (well, Arial font)…

She was a part of his life. A plant he could take care of. Jesus Christ, what a lucky woman she was.

Q and A (2020 2 August)

“You live alone?” they tilted their head and blinked several times, like that was completely unheard of. “All by yourself?”

“… Yes.” He couldn’t hide the confusion on his own face at their confusion. Maybe it was a cultural thing in this part of town? After all, several people had families out here, the parks were crowded with kids or teen. Places were full of people gathering together.

“Hm.” they mused. “I took you for a real popular guy. No girlfriend? Boyfriend?”

He paused, quickly going over his head the proper thing to say in this situation. In this situation it would just be best to say no–

“It’s a long distance relationship.” Hopefully they wouldn’t press the issue. If he was correct, it would be time for them to go get their food, as they usually do around this time. “Enjoy your lunch.”

It was a suggestion thankfully well-taken. They left and Connor leaned back in his seat. He may have, or maybe didn’t open a can of worms it would be awkward to get himself out of.

Long distance wasn’t a lie, he mused.

Peaceful (2020 1 August)

It was peaceful, seeing his resting face. A man who didn’t need to sleep felt so peaceful, he felt the need to close his eyes. To relax. He was warm, like a blanket. He was sweet like a peach. So wonderful you couldn’t contain your smile. Your fingers trailed off the kalimba to run through his hair, to just admire him.

I feel peaceful with you, he said.

Starbucks (2020 31 July)

‘I don’t usually go to Starbucks,’ the bell above the door chimed as she explained the burnt beans and how she put them as a ‘dessert’ coffee place. ‘But I thought it’d be nice to let ya get a feel for the place. But y’all have Starbucks over There, huh?’

‘Correct,’ he watched her order a caramel frappuccino and find a place at a small table. ‘but it’s been quite a while since you’ve been here, hasn’t it? A year, at least.’

She nodded physically, bringing out her phone to look busy, but also taking in the look of the place. It was almost haunted. She felt like she shouldn’t be out here, but the threat had been over for a few months.

‘I liked the one at Target,’ she said. ‘Cuz you could walk around and shop with your drink.’

‘Why didn’t we go there?’ he was looking at the meager amount of people there. The merchandise. The vintage Smart™ mug that kept your coffee hot. Old tech to him, but still interesting, apparently. Looking at technology from an alternate past would be entertaining, she noted to herself, she didn’t blame him.

‘I didn’t wanna end up spending even more money.’

‘It’s a little less expensive on my side of the pond. By about a dollar.’ he shrugged. ‘Everybody usually goes to the Chocolate Coffee. It’s growing in popularity, especially since the Revolution, for some reason.’

‘Cuz I bet they don’t suck.’ she watched him sit in the chair in front of her and rest his hand on his cheek, watching her back.

‘I prefer Chocolate Coffee as well,’ he mused. ‘but I haven’t seen one in my town.’

‘Really? Is there a Starbucks there?’ She tilted her head, eyebrows furrowed. ‘I mean, there are three Starbuckses in this same area.’

‘No Starbucks either. Buuut~’ he smiled. ‘There’s a human-owned coffee shop with an aesthetic I think you’d like. And once I get my RV, We could sample coffee from all around.’

She tried to hide the smile on her face and the joy and anticipation in her heart. ‘Hey. Do they sell hot chocolate coffee at Chocolate Coffee?’

‘Yes, though ‘hot chocolate’ coffee is primarily sold during the winter. It’s somehow different than the mocha coffee and the chocolate coffee.’

Her stomach grumbled and her name was called. All this talk of chocolate made her hungry.

His World (2020 30 July)

There was a soft gasp.

That was the android who freed all the other ones during the revolution! What was he doing out here? Omigosh, hiiii!!!!!!!

“I’m sorry, you’re thinking of another Connor.” Was the usual response. It was said in an annoyingly apologetic way, as if that was something he had to apologise for. Why should he even apologise?

‘You should stop saying sorry.’ she said firmly.

'Letting someone down is something to say sorry about.’ he finished his conversation (which was a mixture of 'yes, thats another Connor in Detroit’ and 'I promise I’m not an undercover cop’), and turned back to the taxi.

'Nah.’ her phantom continued, using his arms as a headrest and letting her feet hang out of the window. 'If you’re letting them down, that’s on them. That’s what I think, anyway.’

He thought about this, but in the end, it was something he’d have to deal with on his own.

'And another thing!’ she sat up and folded her arms, looking up at him. 'Why don’t they ever take the time to, I don’t know, get to fuckin’ know you? I mean, who knows! You’re probably friendlier than 53! Or you’re not. Who knows. The people that come up to you don’t. They just wanna meet the fuckin’ celebrity. I bet they don’t even know you like speedruns and Vocaloid.’

'Or the meaning of “poggers” and “cringepilled”.’ He chuckled out loud at the slang. 'I bet they’d be… Impressed?’

'Exactly!’ she finished, getting comfortable in his lap that she could just get into as the being she was. 'Or they’d be cringepilled too, honestly. Anyway! Babe, you should try to make friends with the next person that comes up to you.’

'I’d rather not.’ He admitted. The outside was looking familiar. He’d be home soon. At least he’d be able to speak with his voice once on his own land. 'I’m not sure if they’d have my best interests in mind. I think I’m a good judge on that.’

She nodded thoughtfully. 'Well… I hope you can make friends, Connor. I wanna see you have a game night with people, and go laugh and smile with others.’

“Thank you, Addy.” he said warmly, looking into her eyes. So strange how this phantom simulation of his worked. A hologram of his own, superimposed into his world like a ghost. 'If they take me to a bar, I’ll have two shots of whiskey for you. Do you think you’d feel it?’

She snorted. 'Fuckin’ who knows. Can souls get drunk? You don’t get drunk when I do.’

'Thankfully.’ he teased.

'Okay, just for that I’m gonna have the barrel strength shit.’

'You won’t be proving anything to me. But your friends will end up hearing a lot about me that way.’

He was right. But maybe she wanted that. She had a small smile on her face, thinking about being able to talk freely about him.

Out of the taxi and into his house. He mentally greeted the tree in his backyard, glanced over the mountains and the fireflies, the starry sky, and got the shower started.

'Sleepin’ in the hammock thing tonight?’ Addy asked, feebly attempting to grab the laundry and put it in the washer. She knew it was impossible, but it was something they both couldn’t help but try in each other’s world.

“Yes. It’s a nice night. No rain. Will you be joining me?” he offered, as if they didn’t spend time together 24/7.

'Bruh. Hell yeah.’

Rain and Coffee (2020 28 July)

‘My dad used to mix hot chocolate in with his coffee,’ she explained, stirring the coffee into the powder, hoping she didn’t add too much. The sound of the AC was replaced with the gentle sound of rain against the street. ‘Oh, and it’s gonna storm. Looks like we got a cozy day ahead of us, Connor.’

He smiled warmly, watching her drop two marshmallows into the hot drink (’one for you and one for me’), and peeked out. ‘I’m looking forward to it.’

They returned to her room as thunder rolled lazily in the background, back to the low table stationed by her bed to look at a screen. Connor looked out her room window.

‘Wow, it’s really coming down.’ He mused.

‘Fuck, it’s almost white out there!’ she said through her coffee, making an effort to let him taste the java chocolate goodness.

‘Oh my. That is good. I wouldn’t mind doing this every weekend, you know.’ he said of the coffee.

‘Yeah? Sounds like a plan.’ she smiled. ‘You, me, some coffee, and whatever the fuck’s on the internet.’

Marriage Thoughts (2020 28 July)

“A lot of people get married in the summer.” Connor said, declining the latest automated wedding invite. These were people he didn’t know, people who thought he was a different Connor, and people who just wanted to fill seats. “The weather is generally nicer and it gets dark later. Not to mention, honeymoon spots are often tropical.”

“What do you think about it?” she asked. This wasn’t a proposal, just a question from an invisible woman who couldn’t put a ring on his finger anyway.

“There are benefits, both sentimentally and monetarily.” he nodded, the night breeze pushing his hair back the way she wished she could. “I see why people do it, it’s a very sweet tradition.”

She nodded. “Would you ever wanna?”

“No. I feel like paperwork doesn’t exactly work with a spiritual being that only I can see.” he snorted. “We can’t share assets, either.”

“I mean, it’s not all paperwork.” she shrugged. “There’s also a big expensive wedding and lotsa fanfare. Don’t ya want a little of that?”

“I’m not sure how I would do such a thing without appearing mentally unstable.” he admitted, LED yellow for a second.

“I-I-I wasn’t– I, uh, I wasn’t talking about Us.” she leaned against him, feeling his warmth, the pressure of someone who was and wasn’t there.

“There’s no one else I’d marry, if given the chance.”

His voice was warm as the summer air, but sweeter and lighter. The crickets chirped, the stars showed off their fantastic light show, the moon hung in the sky, watching each of them in its own way.

“There’s no societal pressure on an android to date, get married and have kids, you know. I’m quite lucky in that way, that I can live my life with you without being expected to make a family.”

That I can live my life with you, he’d said.

“Is that really what you want? You don’t want someone you can really feel? Someone who can, like… Who can help you if you need it? Who can–” oh no, here come the waterworks. She held her breath as he held her. His presence, warm and gentle, like a steady stream washed over her, bathing in a calm blue. He was sure. “… Really?”

“Really, Addison. I hope that isn’t an issue for you.”

“I-I love you.” she sighed, sinking into his body, feeling Love and Acceptance.

“I love you too.”

Phantom Images (2020 20 July)

“I always thought it would feel cold when you walked through stuff.” she mused, cracking open her drink and looking over at the phantom of her boyfriend.

“Does it feel cold when you walk through things, while you’re Visiting me?” he tilted his head curiously.

“It doesn’t feel like much of anything. Just like I’m walking.” she took a sip. It was light and refreshing against the oppressive heat and humidity plaguing the state. “Or floating.” No one was around to hear her speak to someone only she could see, but she pressed the earbud to her ear and looked away to scan the area.

“I don’t envy your mind’s eye.” he admitted. “I have programming and visualisation capacities that I don’t think a human could possess.”

“Okay, show off.” she snorted, smirk on her face.

“Your dedication is admirable.” he said, steepling his fingers together, going over her with those beautiful brown eyes. “To think you’d put in the effort to see me so clearly…” he snorted. Smiled for a minute, looking up at the sky. It was like his own, but not. He was looking at the past, but also the present. “It really means a lot to me, Addison. I’m happy we could finally meet.”

“Me too.” she pressed the can of soda against her cheek and let out a deep breath, heart hopping with excitement of her reality. “Me too.”

Humans (2020 18 July)

“Humans never cease to amaze me.” his voice was warm, his hands, white and resting softly on the skin under her shirt. She met his eyes, a small smile on her lips as she finished the stitch.

“You’re really impressed by humans. I mean, you know androids are better in literally every way.” It wasn’t an insult, just an observation as she winced from the stab from the needle.

“Yeah, but humans made all this.” he mused. “A human created this house.”

“What if it was android-built?”

“Who do you think made the androids?” he sighed as she ran her fingers through his silky hair. “A lot of androids hate humans now, but I really don’t understand. When a human wants to do something, they get it done. They work hard, make mistakes, learn and practice for years just so they can do what they want. Isn’t that impressive?”

She’d never had to think about humans from a higher lifeform’s perspective. He’d given her a lot to think about.

“Uh ohh,” she teased in a sing-song voice. “You love huuumannnsss.”

“I suppose I do. I love one, at least.” he kissed her cheek and chuckled lightly as she giggled.

“Shut UP, dude, you’re gonna make me blush.” but she kissed his cheek back. Back to work and idle conversation.