"You're late for work my love." she said as she was sitting in front of me. I sat there intentionally while the clock was ticking. The fully panelled glass wall on my left was being hit by the rain. It was reflecting the warm and bright coloured lights on LED banners and holographic images from the streets below. Glistering lights of colours were changing on every water droplet.
"Boss Kooli is dead. The business is over and he was the only one who accepted me out of every shop in this city! Other than scavenging for scraps nothing has ever truly made me happy. I have never felt satisfied even after I stopped getting robbed and bullied. Everyone thinks I am different but I am not!" I slammed the table. She looked calm as if she was expecting it. I couldn't put the right words into what I truly felt.
Something got to me and I just walked out my house. I lost my sense of making good and bad decisions. I decided to try something to make me feel better. Instead of going to work, I made my way down the busy streets. I looked left and right to look for a shop without a signboard. The only obvious way to look for a shop which did not want any attention. But I knew a shop like this existed from hearing the voices of homeless people on the streets from taking my way back home every day.
"the bends... surreal... feels... amazing... look where it's obvious but not obvious" were what I heard. I sort of figured it was a druggy sketchy kind of place. We'll see about that soon enough. As I have walked further and further from the less populated areas, I stumbled on what of the shops which looked abandoned. There were no lights or signs stating it was a shop whether abandoned or not. I walked towards it and I looked to my left. A staircase leading down with a man standing opposite from the stairs. He has a black hoodie, 'muscular' metal arms and his eye was equipped with a red lens to scan me while looking up and down. "Here for the bends?" he asked with a deep voice. "Yuh..yes..?" I said nervously. He looked at me from up to down again. "Well what do you have to lose" he said with a small chuckle and pointed the way down the staircase. Confused, I walked down the dark staircase anyway.
It was a dark and really deep smelly staircase. Mechanical rats have battery goo spilled out their abdomens on every other step. I thought these things last long. I reach a door with another man guarding it. "What is this place?" I asked. He didn't say a word and the door opened from the inside so I walked in. Wow. The atmosphere instantly changed. The people laying down couches on the left and right looked calm. Even the ones on the floor. They were smiling and looked like they were in a trance. I walked in deeper and on the left I saw locked rooms but with a small glass panel. I peeked looking for something inside. *BAM* "Don't do it! Argh" he exclaimed as he continued banging the door crying. I see another man with one metal arm broken in half with wires dangling out curled up in the corner whispering to himself in another room. It was too much.
As soon as I turned around a lady with little to no hair, wearing branded rare white lion skin coat with 2 big muscular guys holding modified semi auto rifles stood in front of me. "You're here for the bends, so you get the bends." She nodded her head toward me and her 2 escorts grabbed my arms and brought me to one the empty rooms those crazy people were in. "Stop! Let me go" I said struggling to get out but they strapped me to a chair. One of them came to my back and I felt a hose whirring and forcing its way onto the back of my head and I felt claws digging into my skull finding its way through my meat and into my brain. "Argh!!!" I screamed while my vision was faded to black.
booting... booting...booting status: failed.
recalibrating... recalibrating... recalibrating status: failed.
Did I just see those words or was that a dream? The next thing I knew was that I woke up laying on the street. I have no idea what just happened. Why do I feel real? But everything still feels so out of place. What did they do to me? What did I do to myself? I try to get home but I just stumble and trip. As I fell to the floor I couldn't get up. I looked at my own body and I saw stained torn and dangling prosthetic skin on my body. Most of my skin was torn and my most of my metal limbs and plating were visible. Now everybody is staring at me again. It didn't feel much different from before. Except now I'm half naked. "What did they do to me?!" I asked. "Metal junkie." a passer-by murmured to himself. "This isn't who I am!" I exclaimed as I try to make my way back stumbling.
"Wait, did I just glitch?" For a moment everything looked back to normal. I feel fine and normal again. What did they do to me? Did they insert some sort of program inside me? Was that some kind of scam? Whatever it is I am not going back there. Perhaps there is something they did to my brain that causes hallucinations. I didn't tell love this afraid she would be worried. I kept it to myself for weeks.
Author Notes: Thank you for reading Chapter 5 of Quixotic! Any types of feedback or comments are much appreciated. Stay tuned for the FINAL CHAPTER of QUIXOTIC!
QUIXOTIC is a story of a man who lives in the 30th century when technology is so advanced that humans and robots, AI live among each other as a natural state of the population. Despite living in an advanced world, he still faces the struggles of being an outcast, getting bullied and lives a low life. The only thing meaningful to him is his lover who is with him no matter what. After years of being lonely and depressed, he finally loses his tolerance level and does something which changes his life. What will he discover?