My latest in the Flash! Friday contest, where I was fortunate enough to win third runner-up with the following judge comments:

HG: “There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t fight another machine.” The title fits the story in so many ways. Hollowness, literal emptiness, loneliness… It makes me sad in a helpless way, and somehow I understand the robot’s pain even though I don’t have a similar experience to draw upon. Beautifully done.

FI: Another story that won me over for the trim, simplicity of it. The voice in “Hollow” is perfect, cold, distant, matter-of-fact and ties everything together from John’s death to the slow wait. It, too, raised questions of the relationship (dependence?) between humans and their technology. Anything that makes me think gets high marks in my book.

No photo prompt utilized, the featured photo here is just one I picked after the fact. My entry:

Character: depressed robot
Setting: a house about to be bulldozed


I need to get John his tea. But John is dead and the tea grows cold. And I can’t move, but they are coming.

John had a heart attack three days ago. I tried to use CPR, but I couldn’t find his pulse with my metallic fingers.

He sunk his life-savings into me for situations like that and I failed. And now they were coming.

There was nothing I could do. I couldn’t fight another machine.

I tried to sip the cold tea with the tea bag still in it and the tea didn’t go into my metallic mouth and it dribbled down my chest.

Time calculations told me it was cold, but I couldn’t feel it.

From the distance, the rumbling of the other machine knocked over the rest of the tea into my lap..

I stood up and went over to John’s body, also cold like the tea. And sat next to him as the rumbling grew closer.

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