Iron Bench

October 25, 2008
“Sir, are you o.k.?” the orbicular android V.E.R.A. (voice enhanced robot assistant) asked looking up at his master whose eyes seemed fixed on the brainsick world which he once called home. The year was 2070, and the world was a clock ticking in the wrong direction.

“No, I am not,” Norm 203 Jr. replied his eyes lurching back to the world before him hoping it was all a dream. The glossy eyed figures to his dismay had not a look of intelligence; their surgically implanted wheels bit by bit edged their way forward in a now iron world. Instruments hung around their hands, feet and head to keep their nails and hair from growing at the extreme mutant pace of three feet per minute. Headphones hung from their ears like snakes in a tree, their ipods all unanimously playing the same brainwashing songs.

“Sir, sir,” V.E.R.A. said.
Norm’s mind came roaring back into reality “Yes, what is it?” he said touching the last historic piece in the world, a wooden park bench, which he was madly in love with, knowing that if it were ever turned into iron there would be no hope for humanity.
V.E.R.A. quickly said, “You had just begun to tell me how the human race came to be what it is today.”
“Ahh, yes I remember now,” Norm thoughtfully said, his body comfortably arranging it self on the bench. “Well, the year was 2030 all the activity sprang forth the day when the W.S.H. (world school headquarters) decided to try and conjure up another one of their ‘brilliant’ ideas. The problem at hand was the students of the world would bring their ipods to school everyday regardless of the rules against it, they did not care! To them the rules were a deck of cards and they were holding all the aces. The W.S.H. contemplated this issue for weeks at a time; each of their attempts was a catastrophe.
One day a young man in the prime of youth came walking in the two front iron doors of the school, and urged the W.S.H. to listen to what he had to say. He said the solution to your dilemma is to make the kids wear their ipods at all times and listen to the same songs day after day. He could tell the W.S.H. was a daft group of people and that he would need to educate. Don’t you see the students will get tired of the songs; in addition their grades will go down because they cannot hear what is being instructed. In the end they will be begging you to take back the rule promising that they will never wear their ipods to school again. You with me still V.E.R.A.?” Norm asked making sure his story made some sense to the robot.
“Yes sir, my memory data bank is absorbing it like a sponge.”
Norm continued, “The next day the new rule was enforced at the drop of a hat, and that is when things began to get sticky. Everything was fine at first, but after awhile the people began to change.”

“Is that why people look like they do today?” V.E.R.A. asked Norm.

“Yes, pitiful isn’t it?” Norm replied, a disgusted look on his face.

“Could you just enlighten me on something?” V.E.R.A. asked. “Since it is obvious the ipods are connected to the problem, then what made the ipods do this to the people of the world in the first place?”

“That is what I have been trying to solve for years V.E.R.A. I come to this bench everyday looking for a solution and can’t seem to find it.” Norm replied. “I can feel the
answer bubbling inside me ready to burst.” He touched the bench and a spark ignited in him; his mind began a race to catch up with his thoughts. He touched the bench again; sparks flew, an engine ignited, numbers raced through his head, ipods blaring music, off in the distance you could hear the heart wrenching screams of newborns as machines surgically implanted wheels in their feet. His mind racing closer to the finish, he jumped off the bench. The answer was within his grasp as he wheeled his way home, V.E.R.A. following right behind. He burst through his front door, and started tearing everything apart “Got it!” He shouted and handed V.E.R.A a newspaper and a birth certificate. They wheeled back to the bench and sat down, “Read it,” he commanded V.E.R.A.

V.E.R.A. began to read the newspaper, “Norm 203 Jr. is credited with the rule that all students have to wear their ipods all the times.” V.E.R.A put down the newspaper and began to read the birth certificate. “Norm 203 Jr. born in 2010 the only person in the world with a severe case of electro pulse. What does this mean?’ V.E.R.A. asked.

“It means I am the one messing up the human race, the day the school enforced the rule a huge shipment of ipods came into the W.S.H. I was there and without even knowing it, my body was sending signals to the ipods causing them to malfunction. I am the cause of this. Oh V.E.R.A. I should have known,” Norm held back the tears, “There is only one way to reverse the changes done to humanity,” he took out a pistol that he kept under his belt and handed it to V.E.R.A.
Years later V.E.R.A. revisited the bench his master once loved. “Oh sir, your death was one that did not need to happen,” V.E.R.A said looking down at the bench that was now just like everything else, iron.

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