It’s been awhile since I walked the city just because of walking and enjoying the streets. I was bored out of my mind, had nothing smarter to do, so I went out. The weather forecast said rain starts at 7, hover bots were in place to shower down the filth from the sidewalks, purify the air we were breathing, so I took my jacket.
I knew my block like the back of my hand and had no worries I would get lost in the few miles around my building. There it was, the long neon lights, flashing signs, cars running, people in haste to and off work, some children playing with their cyber pets. It was the same picture I see everyday when I go to buy bread and Chinese food from the restaurant down the sidewalk. There was a caffe with wide sunshades and metal chairs I like to sit in and watch life happening before my eyes.
But tonight, there was something different on a familiar side of the street. An object that was closed since I was a kid, now glowed with white lights, a sign standing there defying the turbulent rainy clouds. It was some independent art gallery so I got interested in what was on the program.
From the first step in, a curator approached me, a robot with a smile.
– Hello. Welcome to our gallery Sir. – he sounded calm, mild and suiting to ears, – May I interest you in our current presentation of the great artists of today? – he asked giving me a pamphlet with scribbling on some foreign language I haven’t seen before.
– Sure. – I say frowned at the lines that made no sense and logic, then I start following the whirring robot.
– This is a “Drunk men”. – robot stretched his palm at the first painting in the clean white wall, my military brothers hugging me as I sleep wasted.
– Wait. What is that? Is this a joke? Where did you get this? – I asked the robot, listened to the sounds of his body trying to find an answer to my question.
– Your question is not set correctly. Please try again or rephrase it. This is a painting on a cloth, painted in the summer of 3076, by the artist who wants to be unnamed. It is a brilliant combination of colors with a beautiful message hidden with every stroke of a brush. – robot spoke to my idiotic face that started smiling as this was clearly a joke someone threw for me and I decided to play along.
– Yeah. Alright. What else do you have? – I posed the question ready to burst in laughter when joke comes to an end.
– This is the “Crying man”. – robot pointed at the painting, now with a face that haunted me in dreams, a face of a man begging for mercy, my first kill in the war.
– What the fuck! Where did you get this?! This is my memory! How did you get this our of my head?! Who the fuck are you?! – I grabbed the robot that shook his head in short twitches, defensively waved his head.
Some short circuiting broke the robot apart and stinged my hand I held him with. A smoking metal rubble was on the floor when I stepped back and watch it catch flames. All painting were there, my fight with the girlfriend, screaming father’s face when I run over our dog, dead friends, dead soldiers, all vivid images I dreamed in nightmares.
I stormed out without interest to see was this a candid camera, a rude joke or a real thing. Rain pursuited me home, made me take everything off and find some medicine to calm down. A hot bath didn’t help.
I looked myself at the mirror, checked my vitals and scanned my head with the online doctor, but he haven’t had any solutions for my problem. He gave me an invitation to a hospital for further analysis, which I tossed away like trash.
Tomorrow, when Sun shined over the wet air and threw a rainbow, reflected its rays from the little ponds on the road, I went there again, but when I got there, the object was in ruins like whole my life. Maybe I was going mad, but if that was a joke, it was brilliant.
Here are some stories that work brilliantly.