Here's the blurb and a brief excerpt of my upcoming short story, coming soon from Red Rose Publishing:
Harvey-467 is a typical 25th century android—blond, blue-eyed, and perfect in every way. Except he’s constrained by his programming. He yearns to be creative, but it’s impossible. Everything in his life is planned, deliberate, precise.
One day he concludes that it's time to get married, to have a soul-mate with which to share his life. So he custom-orders a bride from a catalog: beautiful, talented, and equally perfect.
And that's when everything goes terribly wrong.
The story uses dark humor and irony to explore what it means to be human—and whether free will and violence are inextricably entwined.
When consciousness resumed, he checked his internal chrono and was stunned to find that 1.86 hours had elapsed since shutdown. It was well past .
Wow, my cortex must really have gotten hot if it took this long to cool down to safe levels.
He became aware of his surroundings. But how did I get from the living room to the back porch?
I wonder what Maya must have thought when I froze up. She was so angry I wouldn’t be surprised if she went on for ten minutes before noticing.
He chuckled at the image of her berating the back of his inanimate head, and then becoming twice as incensed that he hadn’t heard a word she’d said all that time.
She must have been so mad she carried me out here. Well, I guess I’d better get it over with. I hope she didn’t lock me out.
He sighed and tried the door handle. It turned.
What he saw in the living room shocked him to the processor core. There lay Maya, her beautiful face smashed flat and her cortex spilling out of massive rends in her cranium plate. The spark of sentience was gone from her lovely green eyes. Red hydraulic fluid had leaked all over the mint green Berber carpet she’d insisted on buying. More had sprayed the walls and ceiling.
But how? Who? What happened here? Who would murder an android—and why?