Pining for the Fjords

Kevin follows Kara who was now stomping down the corridor at a marching pace.

"So you know where we are going?" asks Kevin.


"Dare I ask?"

"We are going to see a man; about a parrot."

"A parrot?  What parrot?"

"No. 'About a Parrot'.  It's a pub.  Where people meet, have alcoholic drinks and talk."

"Yes.  I know what a pub is.  So, where is this 'About a Parrot'?" asks Kevin.

Kara stopped.  Kevin noticed that there were two shapes on the floor in the darkness ahead of them.  

Kara scrutinised the diagrams on her wrist, then said, 'Just under a thousand years ago in that direction.'  She resumed her pace.

"What are they?" Kevin said pointing to the shapes on the floor, now only a few feet away.

The larger of the two shapes, turned out to be a large metal robot that was a poor approximation of a human in shape.  It had a huge spherical head  whose diameter was the same as it's disproportionate body below.  Dulled silver platework covered all of the body apart from the black rubbery joints.  It's short legs meant that it's arms stopped just short of the floor when it was standing.  A black line ran around its head from which dropped two green triangular eyes.  The whole ensemble represented a both the comedic yet the tragic in equal proportion.  The robot was lying still, it's humongous head leaning against the corridor's wall.

Beside the tragic metellic figure sat what appeared to Kevin as a normal, every day, regular looking red toaster.  Both objects were covered in a thick layer of dust.

"Other travellers.  Best to leave them alone. C'mon," said Kara as she hopped sprightly over the robot's feet.

Kevin attempted the same manouvre, trips sligtly, then made a running recovery.  They carry on down the corridor.

The two eyes of the robot flashed a couple of times then eventually blinked on.

A plume of dust blew out of the top of the toaster, "What?  Where?  Who wants toast?" it asks no one in particular.

"Typical," compained the robot sardonically.

"What's typical?"

"I have carried you for two hundred thousand years through these corridors.  From the day I picked you up until the day my leg servos wore out and I, with the mind the size of a planet, an infinite list of topics to talk about and all you can do is talk about cooking breakfast meals."

"Are you sure I can't offer you a toasted bagel?"

"For the 263,345,642th time, I don't eat.  Can't we talk about something else?" pleaded the robot.

"What else is there to talk about?  To serve toasted bread, waffles, tea cakes, crumpets is my only, solitary, ultimate purpose in life," said the toaster.

The robot lets out a low, defeated sigh, "Life.  Don't talk to me about life."

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© Copyright 2010 Paul Phillips

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