“Honey, I’m home!”
“Hey Mack,” she said. “I’m here in the kitchen!”
Mack rolled into the kitchen, his photoreceptors gleaming. After all these years he still felt a shiver whenever he got home to Cybil. She was crouched, looking away from him and into the oven. Spot was asleep under a sunbeam by the window.
“Don’t you dare,” she said. “Or the lasagna flies away!”
“I’d never!” Mack said.
She creaked straight.
“Ouch! I have to go see the doc and have that back of mine fixed,” she said.
“Ah, Cyb, that back of yours looks as nice as ever!”
“Idiot,” she said.
They embraced and kissed.
“That smell is so nice,” he said, stroking her scalp.
“No, the lasagna,” he said.
She punched him. The clang made Spot open her eyes and meow in protest.
“Lay the table!” she said.
“On your orders, ma’am,” he said, and rolled into the dining room. “How was your day, Cyb?” he said, his voice generator figthing the noises of cutlery and glassware.
“Business as usual at the store. Oh, yes!” Cybil trundled out of the kitchen. “Remember Janx? From college? She dropped by.”
“Janx! Oh my, it’s been ages! How is she? Looking as good?”
“You go on like that, Mack, and Spot and I will eat the lasagna, and you’ll have her food,” she said, shaking her index at him. His faceplate smiled. “Yes, the damned girl still looks like a damned model,” she said, and stuck her tongue out. “And she has succeeded in life. She owns her own company and is making huge amounts of money.”
She smirked. “Worse of it all, she was absolutely charming. She has matured, and the stupid cute girl is completely gone. You’d have loved her,” Cybil jabbed.
“Cyb, you cannot still blame me for that! Half the class was infatuated with her!”
“More than half. Some of the girls were, too,” she said.
“Oh, really?” he said. “Now that is interesting…”
“Idiot!” she said again. And they laughed together.
The oven alarm beeped.
“I’ll get the lasagna, you get the drinks,” she said.
“And what about your day?” she said, as she opened the oven and the aroma expanded into the kitchen.
“Ah, boring as ever. Wine or beer? It’s lasagna, wine it is, I think.” Mack didn’t see Cybil rolling her eyes at him. “Sheela is insufferable, I tell you. If it weren’t for the money, I’d leave the company.”
“You love your job, Mack,” Cybil said as they walked into the dining room.
“Yes, but I hate my boss. She’s… insufferable.”
“You do the cooking tomorrow. I’ve just arranged my doc appointment,” she said.
“OK,” Mack said. He pretended not to notice how she had changed subjects. After all, his boss wasn’t going to disappear anytime soon. No need to dwell on it. Mack smiled. Cyb knew him so well.
They received a message.
“Oh, Jax’s birthday,” Cybil said. “This weekend.”
“Damn,” Mack said. “I’m sure Furn and Anvl will be there. Shit.”
“And you’ll behave, Mack. Jax is your only brother and Furn is his best friend. You come across like a homophobe,” she said.
“Which I am not.”
“Which you are not, but still.”
“Anvl is a moron. I don’t know what Furn sees in him, or how Jax puts up with him.”
“All right, I’ll behave. But I’m not wearing a tie.”
An alarm went off.
“It’s time already?” Cybil said, as she stood, “It’s too early!”
“Doesn’t matter! It’s time!”
Their egg was hatching. Their dragon was coming.
This is my entry for the Weekly Writing Exercise: February 29–March 6, 2016 on the Writer’s Discussion Group in Google+.
I liked this exercise. The image is so strange: it’s a robot watering an egg that sprouts from a tree! So I decided to instead write a normal, everyday conversation between two people. Only the two people are robots, and we have the little surprise at the end to tie it with the image.
The challenge was a blast this week, with many great stories, and a winner by my friend Anna Harte. Check them out!