Broken Clockwork3 mins 149 3 mins 149
I woke up at seven sharp and swung my feet off the square cream bed and into plain grey slippers. I had a cup of bitter coffee on the table and left the one-room house at 07:30. As if on a cue, all the other doors in the neighbourhood opened, and seven dull brown-eyed, black-haired men stepped into their respective RideBots as one. I ran my fingers through my raven locks, patting down the bangs that covered my left eye, watching the RideBots leave the block in a systemic manner and enter the main street that ran perpendicular to our neighbourhood. The neighbourhood drone, WorkerBot004, reminded me I was late, pushing me towards my company-issued RideBot. My Ridebot picked the same route my predecessors did, and I entered the office at 08:02. My access card was filled with irregular times, while the others had a constant of 08:00. As I settled onto my square desk on one corner of a room filled with square desks, I began typing in the information on the sheets on my desk. For some reason, I could never remember what I had typed and had long since given up on trying.
Just then, WorkroomBot009 started arranging the things on my messy desk so that they perfectly matched the other desks, telling me it was the third time this week that I had failed to keep my things tidy. Irritation seeped into my bones as my chaotic desk slowly shifted into order. The pesky drone then recommended me for stress counselling, informing WorkerBot004 about it at the same time.
Suddenly, the man sitting two tables ahead of me clutched his left eye and yelled, “My eye, what’s wrong with my eye? I can’t see! What’s going on? Why does it say-“. The man was cut off as WorkroomBot009 sedated him.
Three MediBots pulled the man out and whispers filled the room.
“Poor man must be so stressed!”
“It must be what, two months since someone in our workroom was taken?”
“I heard that the computer radiation has some sort of effect on the eye, some study from Workroom002, I think.”
“What? I am going to request for more leave then.”
WorkroomBot009 flew back into the room and everything returned to normal, almost as if five minutes ago, a man hadn’t gone crazy. Sighing, I returned to my work, focusing on reducing the pile of documents on my desk. As per usual, all of the finished work at the same time and left Workroom009 at 19:00. As my Ride bot moved through the grid of lanes, the square building reduced in stories until finally, it reached the Worker Block, subsection 004. My square house, with simple cream and grey furnishings, just like the other seven houses on WorkerBlock004, was the same as it was when I left, except for the meal that was sitting on the table, delivered by WorkerBot004 just a few minutes ago.
I ignored the steaming food and went into the only bedroom. Facing the mirror, I pushed aside the bangs that covered my eye. It was a normal eye, the same shade of mud brown as my other one, but now, the left side of the world was shadowed in darkness. Slowly I raised my hand and covered my right eye. Everything was now black, no, it was darker than black, and amidst this darkness, there were three, flickering green words.
‘Error, maintenance required.’