I am a robot. I live in the sea. My skin is metal yellow, though the seaweed makes this difficult to see. It covers me.
I am inactive during the daytime. At night, when the bathers step into the sea, my electrocells swell with electricity.
The night swimmers swim close to the shore. On occasion, one of them swims farther out, out of sight of the others. This is when I rise up from the sand at the bottom of the sea.
I approach the swimmer. He is generally unaware of me. My heart chamber slides open, drawing in sweater, and the swimmer. My heart chamber slides shut, and expels only water. The button on my chest turns from green to red.
When dawn comes, I move towards the shore. My heart chamber once again slides open. Seaweed emerges. A glistening new tissue of seaweed that spreads over the skin of the water. In the early sun, the weeds shine as if berried with green crystals.
When the hotel doors open, I retreat. I glide back into deep waters. I sink into the sand and the bottom of the sea. The button on my chest turns from red to green.
Rolli’s short story collection, I Am Currently Working on a Novel, is now available from Tightrope Books.
© 2014 Rolli
Image “Robot on the Taff” © Flickr user John Greenaway
Rolli is a writer, illustrator and cartoonist hailing from Canada. He’s the author of two short story collections (I Am Currently Working On a Novel and God’s Autobio), two books of poems (Mavor’s Bones and Plum Stuff), the middle grade story collection Dr. Franklin’s Staticy Cat and two forthcoming novels – Kabungo (Groundwood, 2016) and The Sea-Wave (Guernica Editions, 2016). His cartoons appear regularly in Reader’s Digest, Harvard Business Review, Adbusters, The Chronicle of Higher Education and other popular outlets. Follow Rolli on Twitter @rolliwrites.