It was exactly one week after her birthday that Muriel realized that Harry was a robot.
Up until then, she’d just thought that he was as near as it was possible to get – for a man – to being a perfect human being.
He did everything for her: listened to her, helped her, did jobs around the house without being prompted and took her on surprise holidays. On top of all that he was good-looking, had a great sense of humour, was a great fuck and did his job well. Muriel couldn’t help but be in love with him.
Yet at odd times, there was something a little distant about him. When he didn’t know she was watching him, she saw a look of detachment cross his features, as though he’d suddenly switched off from her and her world. This hurt her a little, so one day she asked Harry about it. He apologized for giving her that impression, but all it was was that she’d simply observed him when he was tired and trying to unwind from a hard day at work.
“Are you sure?” she’d asked, and he’d taken her into his arms and held her tightly.
“Of course,” he’d responded, stoking her head gently, before taking her to bed and making love to her. Read more…
R J Dent says: ‘After reading Isaac Asimov’s wonderful I, Robot stories, I always wanted to write a robot story. Once I’d had the idea of a woman becoming unhappy because her lover was too attentive, too perfect, I had the main story idea. The other spark that really brought the story to life for me was the idea that the robot was in a permanent state of being improved, according to the partner’s wishes. Harry’s name came from the protagonist of Hubert Selby Jr’s, The Demon; Muriel’s name came from Steve Harley’s Muriel the Actor.’
Text: Harry (1635 words)
Copyright © R J Dent (2001 & 2016)
Image: Personal Robot 06 by Franz Steiner
Follow R J Dent’s work on: