Today’s Write Now! prompt caused me to pay a bit of homage to Mr. Philip K. Dick. This one is inspired by his wonderful tale, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” (also the inspiration for the 1982 film “Blade Runner”). I call it “Confession:”
The sign beneath the cross read “Tyrell Inc.’s Church of the Blessed Ascension.” All the churches were corporate owned these days it seemed. Rick had searched far and wide to find one that wasn’t but hadn’t yet; this one seemed as good as any of the others. Besides, he was tired. The ornate door opened heavily as he approached: there were no more carved wooden doors, only metal replicas that even sounded like creaking trees when they swung open for church patrons; it was to provide some old-world ambiance, he figured. Once inside the dark sanctuary his eyes adjusted and Rick made his way to the left; neon certainly had not gone out of fashion and the brightly lit sign above the open booth made that fact abundantly clear.
“Would you like to make confession.” A voice announced, much less a question than a statement, from the other side of the screen as Rick closed the door.
Rather than answering, since obviously his presence in the booth was response enough, Rick sighed and began: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been far too long since my last confession. These are my sins:
- I have killed at least 14 men, 3 women, a child, and two hamsters. Two of the men, two of the women, the child and two hamsters were in the same house. Also, the hamsters were electric but were well cared-for pets, so I feel bad about that too.
- I have told at least 20 lies in order to make money. I know it’s wrong, but sometimes I had to do it to not blow my cover.
- I coveted my neighbor’s house; I work hard and he is a lazy slob, but yet he has a better house than mine.
- Oh, and I’ve thought of killing him to get it, but figured I couldn’t get away with it so I didn’t.
- I have lusted. Yeah. I probably should have said that first, but I’ll just leave it at that, since I can’t count the number of times.
- I have had at least 35 bouts of extreme anger; at least seven resulted in me causing bodily harm.
I am sorry for these sins and all those I can’t remember.”
From the other side of the screen came a sound like Rick had never heard before; it was a combination of scraping, clicking, and screaming. If this was the sound of a pissed priest, Rick figured, he might not want to confess again in the days ahead; he had more to do and keeping it to himself might be safer. The noises continued and were accompanied by a sick-sweet smell of burning; Rick exited the booth and ran almost face-first into what looked like a brand-new Nexus-7 priest model, which was carrying a fire extinguisher. It opened the other side of the booth and sprayed foam on what remained of the Nexus-5 model that was slumped therein. Rick leaned over to look a bit more closely at the Nexus-5; there was smoky goo in the cavity that should have housed its positronic brain. As he backed away slowly and considered how he could confess killing an electric priest, the Nexus-7 glided toward him. “I think you broke it,” the 7 said; Rick figured this had to be his biggest sin ever.