She spots a ball wrapped in fancy christmas paper under the tree. Clive, her son will not be disappointed this year. A rectangular box, half as tall as Sussie, rattles with the dull, heavy thump of the doll her daughter has craved for everyday since it appeared on the toy store’s show window. She cannot wait to see those beautiful brown eyes lighting up at the sight of this equally beautiful treat.
She came late to the gift-giving part of the evening this year, owing to Johnny’s worst tantrum in years. But no matter. She’s sure the partially unwrapped train set in the corner will be enough to pacify her youngest. If she’s lucky, the little tyke may not even mind the bloodstains on the exposed side of the box. No, Johnny’s too young to question things like that.
Tonight’s a good night to spoil her kids rotten. She’s also had her fill of fresh blood from the family she’s been stalking for weeks.
Balancing her precious loots under both arms, Mary pays the Millers one last glance. Their eyes have glazed over, frozen in a familiar look of fear.
She genuinely hopes her gratitude reaches them in the afterlife.
———- *Inspired by this prompt from Writers Write’s Facebook page.
Cleaning up has always been a tedious affair. The clanging bundle of metal marked CU148 would’ve hated being assigned to it, had he been given enough emotional chips to care.
But cleanup robots aren’t supposed to care. They aren’t supposed to feel anything besides a straightforward will to clear a post-apocalyptic planet of debris, following a mandated attack from an army of merciless destroyer robots.
Sentimentality has no place in a cleanup robots’ basic system.
But something akin to an ache in the chest always makes CU148 stop and pick something up to keep.
And his mementos just keep growing.
———- *Inspired by the prompt Record from The Daily Post. *Also posted on Drablr.com.
He found her on his porch one cold night, her tiny body wet and shivering from the rain. He took her in, dried her up, and offered her his dinner, even though he has not eaten since breakfast and his stomach was already cursing him in French.
Soon, she grew into a beautiful furry scavenger, his lucky charm. What little food he had that he offered to her that first night and every night since, his cat returned ten-folds.
Thanks to those fancy lady’s pouches she brought home each night, they could now enjoy a full pot of rice everyday.
Superstition: If you leave some rice in the pot, there will always be something in the house to eat.