Moments Lost in Time

Every morning I awaken to an impeccable layer of fine dust replacing the one I removed the day before. Yes, I appreciate that this is a GREAT opening for a dystopian novel and I have the plot already in my mind. Here goes:

An active yet elderly lady spends her days in a tiny house in the middle of no where. The house is surrounded by a 12 foot lilac hedge and a six foot wooden fence. Much of what she needs is delivered to her house by robots and she has NO IDEA that there are no people left on earth. NO IDEA at all.

She and her two dogs live their lives without knowing that ALL of the other people on earth have succumbed to a deadly virus. It was a gradual die-off, giving humanity time to replace most farming, manufacture, delivery — everything! — with robots. The UPS delivery guy looks just the same, but he’s really NOT the same. In fact EVERYONE looks the same, but…

And why? Is the human form the most efficient that the robots could have adopted? Well, it happened like this. Their designers — back when there were still people — thought this was the best way to combat the terrible feelings of hopelessness experienced by people everywhere. If the robots were covered with a human form, people could continue to deny what was happening. Yes, you got it. They are all replicants (who could EVER top Philip K. Dick on this one?) So, when the replicants themselves took over production (it had to happen) they continued. Somehow they had all been built with a certain wistful high regard for humanity. Their “ideal” is human beings. What would Plato say?

What no one knew — and the woman didn’t know — is that the virus, bereft of “hosts,” had died a natural death during one particularly cold winter. It had fallen with a heavy January snow, had blown away in the March wind, and vanished completely in a brief, June thunderstorm. Why the woman was immune no one would ever know. And what the replicants would do when she was gone (as the world really DID revolve around her) was anyone’s guess, not that there was anyone TO guess.

18 thoughts on “Moments Lost in Time

  1. Living on a new cul-de-sac with neighbors who rarely venture outside even on the nice days, I could easily imagine this scenario happening. Have a great day!

  2. The robots will go on – that would be the next chapter…what happens when someone comes to earth and all the robots are going about their business as if humans are still alive…

  3. I think I’ve read that story! Or was it a movie? “I am Mother” which was disturbing. And yes I’ve read Phillip K. Dick….

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