Looking back at the things I’ve written in the past, I realize that I’ve made leaps and bounds of progress since I began writing. But my imagination has always carried the same flare, and I am still very proud of my earlier work. This is a brief excerpt from one of the three short stories that can be found in my first book. This particular passage is from a story called, “In the Works.” Enjoy!
“IN THE WORKS”
Below, on a rough metal desktop amongst heaps of wire coils and plastic sheathing, stands an almost featureless outline of a face. Plastic nodules with curves and indentations – resembling cartilage – make up the moveable prosthetics; a nose, lips, high rounded cheekbones, a jawbone, and a deeply convex brow. The jigsaw face is fitted to a nearly translucent dome shaped cranium. A white rubbery substance with bright colored wires in it can be seen through the top of the dome, along with an occasional soft pale yellow glow from within. The wires are stretched along the inside of the skull, creating the illusion of veins, and the head is situated on a crude metal base with a swivel top. Its humanlike characteristics remain motionless and display no signs of life until a small propeller begins to spin, causing a piece of sheet metal to fall from the desk. The metal hits the hard floor with a loud clatter, causing the once inanimate face to spring to life with a series of ticks and tremors. First the lips and brow convulse, and then a pair of thin plastic eyelids fluttered open, revealing two gleaming white eyes with no pigment. Within seconds, two eerie black pupils begin to emerge and quickly rove around the room, darting to and from the various sights. The pale yellow glow within the skull suddenly changes from pink to red, and then into a deep shade of purple.
First, the eyes focused on the device that woke them. It was a miniature replica of a B-17 Bomber from World War II. The motor on the toy would occasionally start on its own, and as the prosthetic eyes peered at it, the whirling propellers were slowly coming to a halt. Now the tiny pupils explore the rest of their surroundings. Several other small antiques and gadgets cluttered the surface top; more relics of a bygone era. Most of the neighboring space was occupied by piles of oil slicked tubes and wires and symmetrical plastic housings. The nameless face was amazed by the spectacles here. Every object in the room was new to it, because it had no memory. It had never opened its eyes until this moment. Byron Hanley has been working on this project for weeks now, but only inserted its ingrain chip last night. Now it is trying to open its mouth to speak, but it produces no sound. It has yet to be equipped with a throat or tongue. Still, in utter befuddlement, the eyes continue scan the room with excitement. There are beakers large and small, all different sizes and measurements. Some are so big that they have to be suspended in zero-gravity in massive machines that hold them in containment fields. This laboratory is so large that it accommodates three of these machines with an immense basin beneath them, large enough to hold hundreds of gallons of fluid. To the right there are several drums of chemicals against the far wall that are stacked three high, with plenty of room for a fourth. To the left are numerous liquid nitrogen tanks that are used to store test tubes full of experimental research. In the center of the room is a large cylindrical shaft of glass that stands ten feet tall and three feet wide with a computer console behind it.
Suddenly a large metal door swings wide at the top of the long spiral staircase that leads down to this room. The heavy door slams against the wall with great force and is left impacted. Now the robotic head could hear footsteps trampling closer and closer. The light inside the skull turns from purple to bright green: this is fear.