His Robot Girlfriend – Chapter 10 Excerpt

The first quarter of the school year flew by. Despite the fact that classes were larger than ever, the children were more obnoxious than ever, parents were more clueless than ever, and the administrators were more useless than ever, Mike thought that things were going pretty well. It was he mused, probably because he was one hell of a teacher. He felt more organized and prepared than he had in years and he certainly had more energy. He walked to and from school almost every day. Three days a week he went to the gym afterwards too. Each day at lunchtime, the other teachers at his table would watch him as he unpacked the carefully crafted meal that Patience had sent with him.

The students and teachers at school saw Patience only occasionally. This was not because Mike was ashamed of her, but because he remained as he had been before her arrival, essentially a homebody. They went out to dinner once a week, and Patience would provide pleasant conversation, though she didn’t eat. Most nights though, they stayed home. She fixed him a dinner more than equal to those they found at restaurants and then they usually watched a movie on vueTee. Increasingly this was followed by some sexual activity, and Patience confirmed Mike’s opinion that his libido was on the increase, though he declined her offer to graph it for him.

Mike carefully watched the unfolding election. Though he was loath to throw away his vote by choosing the Greens, in the end there was just no way he could live with himself voting for either Barlow or Wakovia. Mendoza was the right person for the job. So he resigned himself to the fact that his candidate was going to lose and put a bright green Mendoza/McPhee ’32 bumper sticker on the back of his Chevy. Then fate stepped in. In early October, a series of announcements by Ford, Gizmo, Intel, and other major manufacturers pushed the market up past 20,000 for the first time. The government’s monthly economic indicators were even better than expected and it shot up even more. Then at the end of October, President Busby announced that the Chinese had brokered a deal in which the Russians would pull out of Antarctica. The war was over and the United States and her allies had won! The first troops began arriving home November second, just two days before the election.

Patience produced a dinner of barbeque ribs and chicken, potato salad and coleslaw, and apple cobbler on election night. Harriet and Jack arrived early and they all gathered around the vueTee in the living room to watch the returns. The twenty-ninth amendment provided a national set time for elections. The polls were open from 7AM to midnight, Eastern Standard Time. Of course ninety five percent of the voters, Mike included, had voted during the previous two weeks on the internet. By law, the news outlets were not allowed to announce winners until after the polls closed. Even so, when four o’clock hit, the states on the vueTee screen began filling in with color at a remarkable pace.

Mendoza reached the required electoral votes well before the small party watching in Springdale, California had finished their meal. The Republicans took the new south—Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Cuba, and the Virgin Islands. For a while it looked as though the only state to go blue would be Puerto Rico, but then after the winner had already been declared, California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii and Pacifica were filled in with blue. Mike’s disgust that his vote had in fact not counted, since Wakovia had won California was ameliorated by the fact that his candidate had won the election. Evelyn Mendoza would become only the second female President of the United States, having won the remaining forty three states and a whopping 407 electoral votes.

It was late that evening, after Harriet and Jack had gone home, after the talking heads on the screen had finished interviewing the winners and losers, campaign workers, and supporters, after the victory and concessions speeches, as some of the many ballot questions were being reviewed, that Mike sat bolt upright. In Massachusetts voters had passed a non-binding vote in support of their state’s governor who had earlier in the year signed an executive order allowing marriages between human beings and robots. How had he not heard about that?

“Patience?”

Her smiling head popped around the corner from the kitchen, where she was putting away the last of the dinner dishes.

“Did you know that humans and robots could get married in Massachusetts?”

“Mm-hmm,” she nodded.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“You had other things to worry about Mike. School was just starting. Besides, Massachusetts is on the other side of the country.”

“Don’t you want to get married?”

“Of course I do. Now that I know it’s what you want.”

“Why didn’t you know that before? What about Vegas?”

“What happens in…”

“Don’t say it.”

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His Robot Girlfriend – Chapter 3 Excerpt

Her eyes flashed at Mike as he reentered the room and she said. “Yes, Mike is here. May I ask who is calling? This is his girlfriend.”

She stopped and listened for a moment. Then she said. “Just a moment,” and handed the receiver to him.

“It’s Lucas,” she said.

Mike grabbed the phone. “How is my son the general?”

“Don’t start all that,” said the voice at the other end. “Tell me all about this lady.”

“Well…”

“Tell me. I think it’s great you’ve got a girlfriend, Dad. She sounds young.”

“Umm. She’s a Daffodil.”

“A what? A robot? Huh.”

“What do you mean ‘huh’?”

“I don’t know. She didn’t sound like a robot.”

“She doesn’t look like one either,” said Mike. “I keep forgetting that she is one.”

“Well, I guess it’s all good,” said Lucas. “Everybody’s getting one. I’m just glad you have someone to take care of you. Can I tell Harriet?”

“No! I don’t know what she’s going to say about it. I’ll tell her when she gets back from her trip.”

“Alright Dad. Take care of yourself. I love you.”

Mike hung up the phone. “He’s calling Harriet right now.”

“Which bedroom belonged to Lucas?” asked Patience, in the car on the way to the mall.

“The one on the northwest corner. Since we’ve been exercising, I’m thinking that we could make it into an exercise room. The room on the northeast corner, on the other side of the stairway was Harriet’s. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. I wanted to turn the south bedroom into a study. I keep thinking I might sit down and write a book about all the goofy things the kids at school do. So far though, it’s just become a trap for all the crap in the house—kind of like the garage.

It was an hour drive to the mall, because the closest good one was in the nearby city of Pico Mundo. Patience spent the entire drive holding onto Mike’s arm with both hands, and pressing her face onto his shoulder. At the mall, the two entered by the food court. Mike bought a smoothie, and they began to circumnavigate the mall, stopping at each clothing store to see what was available for either of them. Mike let Patience make all the style decisions.

“I would like to get my ears pierced,” said Patience, as they stopped in front of a jewelry store.

“Are you sure that you want to?” wondered Mike. “Your holes won’t grow closed if you change your mind, will they?”

“No. But would you like it if I had my ears pierced?”

“Yes, I think I would.”

When they went into the store however, they were turned out.

“Humans only,” said the woman behind the counter. This made Patience pout, which in turn, made Mike smile.

They had quite a load of shopping bags, by the time they made their final stop at the lingerie store. Mike sat down and waited while Patience gathered her selections and then stepped back into the changing booth. She stepped out again and again to show off tiny lacy bras, thongs, and some very hot little lacy things called tangas, as well as garter belt ensembles. With her perfect body, her chiseled features, and bright eyes, Mike thought she put to shame the giant photos of the models wearing the same things plastered across the wall of the shop. By the time that she was done, a sizable audience of men, some ignoring the women that they had come in with, were gathered around to watch.

Mike decided that it was time to head home. Gathering all of the items that Patience had tried on, he sat them next to the register and, when the clerk had finished ringing everything, he paid for them. Both smiling, they made their way out of the mall and into the parking lot. The sun was going down. They had spent the entire day shopping, and had spent almost four thousand dollars.

“I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on clothes in a year, let alone a single day,” said Mike.

They reached the car and opened the trunk to put away all of their packages. Then Mike heard a voice behind him.

“Give us the packages and your wallet.”

Local Writers Group

A writers group can be a valuable tool for a writer.  I have been a part of a writers group for years.  Sadly, that group has dwindled down to just three members including myself.  Nevada is a very transient state.  People move away all the time.  Also, since our group was by and large older, many members have passed away.

I’ve gotten emails from another writers group over the years.  This is one that is actually in my home town (I have to travel to another nearby city for my group).  It is very large and organized.  Over the years I’ve heard some criticism of this group.  They charge large yearly dues, and they offer very little feedback to their members.

However, since I had the time, and they were meeting not far from my house, I decided to go check them out.  They were meeting in a local coffee shop.  I went in and saw the meeting room.  As it was still ten minutes before the start, I stopped at the order counter for a drink.  They had fancy wines, fancy beers, and fancy coffees.  I don’t drink any of those things, and they didn’t have soft drinks, so I turned to the tea menu.  They had ten kinds, and I had heard of exactly one of them.  So, I ordered iced Earl Grey.  It was five bucks.  I tipped two.  I was given my drink, dropped some sweetener in it and turned back to the meeting room.  It was still two minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting.

The door had been shut, but not just any door– a huge metal sliding door.  I kid you not.  It was like the door to get into the computer lab in Tron.  There was no sign saying “Writer’s Group” or “visitors welcome” or anything.  So, I turned and left.

To add insult to injury, the tea was so bad, I threw it away.