A Story by Carl Taylor

A man loves his ill wife, so he gets an android to help around the house. He is poor so he had to get a defective one....


The waves of time have washed over the planet relieving it of many woes and placing just as many back on it.  In this break in the waves we find Earth in the year 2164 where androids live among humans to help them in their every need. Androids have become so common that android repair shops are as plentiful as TV repair shops where in the 50’s.


            Jerry loved his wife, even though she was ill. It came about suddenly leaving her slightly lame and sick, what it was no one knew, even in the advanced times they lived in medicine only came so far. The things Jerry loved about his wife were things most people might not think of, like how she lifts her coffee cup for a gentle sip, how she moves as if she was on delay due to the disease, how her voice had become small and raspy, one could almost say that the disease made Jerry love his wife more. 

            The coffee cup ascended slowly to her mouth stopping as the full lips parted ever so slightly, gently kissing the cup as the warm dark liquid dashed into her mouth leaving a slight trail behind that lingered before falling downwards on the cup. Closing her eyes in comfort Jerry’s wife said with a slow smile.

            “Nothing like a warm cup of Joe.” Watching his wife gingerly Jerry responded with an ever so gentle smile.

            “Yeah, refreshing uh?”

            “Just something to warm this failing body of mine.” She said looking down, avoiding Jerry’s stare.

            “Cathleen don’t you think we should get an Android to help around the house with your condition getting worse?” Jerry said extending his hand to Cathleen’s and squeezing it tenderly.

            “Can we afford one?” She asked looking at him with her childlike stare.

            “Sure we can, I mean there is that used Android shop in town I can go to. I am sure they have one to fit our budget.”

            “Okay… just don’t try to get one we can’t afford, I don’t want to be more of a burden.” At this Jerry’s eyes sparkled, every so slightly. Ever since he was a child he loved taking care of things, the only animals he would want where the ones that he would have to nurture back to health. He really should have been a doctor, but no he is a factory worker.


            The bellowing smoke towers, darker than night, loomed over Jerry as he exited the old factory making his way into town. A couple of bikers passed him by as a few hover cars flew overhead. Jerry and Cathleen lived in a small mining town in what was called the Midwest.  Nothing much was different from our time, minus the flying cars; bikes were still just as efficient as long as there is road for their tires. Jerry walked by the glimmering windows that reflected the leisurely clouds of a spring day. The sidewalk was still made of cement, what else could it be? Trees hugged the side walk as signs hung over head for the appeal of Jerry’s eyes, but he was set on just one: Mike’s Android Repair and Resale.

            Pulling the glass door open a bell rang as Jerry stepped inside a dusty store that was easily older than he was. Little paths made their way through pagodas of mechanics, a few arms here, a few heads there, all android’s of course.  A fan spun slowly overhead, turning the stuffy air ever so lightly.

            “Why hello there.” A man out of site said working his way through the towering pagodas.

            “Hey.” Jerry said raising his right hand, his one-piece body suite crumpled loudly due to the layer of soot that staid on it from his work.  Out of one of the dark paths came an old man, not yet hunched over except for his heavy eyes and low glasses.

            “How can I help you?” His aged voice rang through the room.

            “Yeah I am looking for an Android to help around the house, you see my wife is ill so she can’t do much anymore.”

            “Ah I see, I see. What type where you looking for?” The man asked taking off his glass and rubbing them with a cloth.

            ‘Umm I don’t know I have never bought an Android before, I am on a low budget though.”

            “Does quickness matter?”

            “What do you mean?”

            “Well I have a model out back, she was sent back for delayed reactions, but she still gets every thing done, just not as quickly.”

            “Does that make her cheaper?”

            “Well yeah.” The man said eyeing Jerry with a pity eye.

            “Alright, well can I see her?”

            “Come on back.” The man said turning around raving Jerry to follow him through the jagged valley of mechanical parts. The further back they went into the store the thicker the dust seemed to become. Jerry coughed as they passed through a doorway that had no door to a slightly brighter room where in a corner sat a lump of a white sheet. “Now I don’t know what her original purpose was for, cause she is a fine looking model, but I had her do some work around here when I first got her, until I got better help, and she worked just fine.” The man said as he tore off the white cloth revealing an old wooden chair that sat a medium height women in a silver jacket with sharp shoulder pads that connected to her slightly puffy knee long skirt that was above her pant covered legs of the same color that connected to the identical silver shoes. She had a round face, Asian, her warm skin warped smoothly across her small nose and slight childlike brown eyes. Her tree-brown eyes stared off to her right, looking down; they even looked like they had tree rings. Her long dark eyelashes curved like a reversed hill over her eyes as her eyebrows arched in triumph. Her dark hair made a circle around her head ending at her ears, puffing up ever so slightly.  Reaching behind her neck the man pressed something illuminating her eyes to life. Moving slowly with gentle twitches of movements she moved her head and stared at Jerry with a wide, childlike stare.

            In a slight gasp, at what Jerry could not put his finger on, he said.  “I’ll take her!”


            “Cathleen, Cathleen!” Jerry yelled in excitement as he came through the screen door.

            “Yes dear?” Cathleen yelled back, in her soft voice, from the bedroom. She could hear Jerry’s eager footsteps running to the room as another pair of slow, slightly heavy ones followed. Poking his head around the doorpost Jerry said.

            “Alright, Cathleen you won’t believe the deal I got!”

            “What, what is it?”

            “Close your eyes!” Jerry said in a wide smile. Laughing slightly Cathleen closed her eyes, her slow smile spread across her smooth skinned face.

            “Now open them!” Jerry practically yelled. Opening her eyes slowly Cathleen gasped at the sight of the Android, standing strong in the doorway, her childlike eyes staring calmly at her.

            “How?” Cathleen said flabbergasted.

            “Well she has a glitch that delays her action, but she doesn’t drop a thing, and she does the work just as good, just not as fast.”

            “Well as long as it gets finished.”

            “I know, right, that is what I said.” Jerry said as he jumped on the bed and knelt his way to Cathleen’s side, putting his right arm around her shoulder he waved his left arm at the Android saying. “She can help you around the house, now you don’t have to worry about falling, just call her name. She never tires, she never needs to be recharged, just maybe a repair here and there.”

            “How… she seems like such a good model.”

            “She is the latest one, thank god for that slight flaw, uh? The guy I got her from sure was swell.”

            Looking at Jerry than the Android Cathleen asked.

            “Well, what is her name?” Flipping himself around to face Cathleen Jerry said.

            “We get to choose.”


            “Really and truly.”

            “Can I pick?” Cathleen said cautiously, afraid of the answer.

            “You bet you can!” Jerry said kissing her smiling check. 

            “Um… how about… oh this is hard.” Cathleen said turning to Jerry than the Android. “I got it, Judy.”

            “Judy it is. “ Jerry said turning to face Judy. “Judy how do you like your new name?”

            Turning her head in a slow jerk Judy said with a slow smile.

“I love it.”


The days washed over Jerry and Cathleen, and now the ageless Judy who could be seen walking through the house caring a tray with Cathleen’s medicine, her hips swaying ever so slightly as her legs moved forward in a slow glitch, never spilling one thing. Cathleen came to adore Judy, she would talk to her as she did chores around her, not minding the wait required for her response. They had a surprising amount in common. On days when Cathleen was feeling good she would get out of bed, slowly as if controlled by retarded jerks, and she and Judy would dance slowly to the old music once heard in the secret walls of the Speakeasies. Countless times Jerry would come home to the sound of jazz or opera reverberating through out the house and then out of the door way would come, not Cathleen, like she once would when she was well, but Judy, walking slowly, her hips swaying and with a slow smile she would greet Jerry. Or when Jerry would come home to find Judy at the fish bowl watching the fish she kept swim mindlessly around its bowl, seeing Jerry there Judy would smile through the bowl looking at him with her large childlike eyes. Jerry especially loved the days when he would come home and find Cathleen well enough to do work with Judy. He would watch her curvy hips sway to her slow walk, slightly lusting over her body like he did when he was younger, but those were times forever gone. 


Sipping coffee Jerry watched the slow familiar trail of the loose coffee drop rolling down the cups around him as Judy walked behind him, slowly handing him his breakfast as she sat down in Cathleen’s chair.

“Mhh, thank you Judy. Is Cathleen up yet?”

“No… I went into the room…but she was not up yet.”

“Well be sure to take her her breakfast when she wakes up.” Jerry said looking down at his coffee that was still rippling from his last sip.

“Of course.” Judy said with her slight smile. Looking up at her Jerry froze and contorted his face in slight confusion before shaking his head and looking back down at his coffee. “Jerry… What is it?” Judy asked stretching out her hand, freezing before touching Jerry’s, then gingerly squeezing it.

“Oh nothing… “ In a slight laugh Jerry added. “I just keep forgetting that you don’t eat.”

“Yes…I sometimes am confused… by your eating…” Looking away, as if searching for the right words Judy turned back to Jerry, her face contorted in slight emotion. “Jerry… I am worried about Cathleen…”

Looking Judy in her childlike eyes Jerry scanned her face, bewildered, what was it that kept provoking his memory? Turning away from her stare Jerry closed his hands over his warm cup. “I am too Judy… I am too.”


The day was quite when Jerry walked home from work, it seemed like the dark looming cloud from the factory had spread across the sky, creating an illusion of a rainstorm. Jerry tried to ignore this as he bought some chocolates for Cathleen, the ones with rum fillings, her favorite.

Opening the now squeaking screen door Jerry called out.

“Cathleen, Judy!” The house responded in silence, now jazz or opera today.  Jerry repeated his call as he walked through out the house stopping in the kitchen where Judy stood, head lowered with her hands clasped in each other at her waist.

“Judy, what is it?”

Looking up slowly, her head gave a slight glitch as she said with her moist childlike eyes.

            “Cathleen… she…” She did not have to say more, and Jerry’s answer was heard in the fall of the box of chocolates, one flew out crashing on the ground, sending a spray of maroon rum across the kitchen floor.


            The funeral was silent and it seemed to move very slowly. It was just Jerry and Judy, they had no relatives or any friends. All they had where each other under the looming gloom of the dark factory cloud.


            A drop of coffee slide its way down to the table exploding in a circle around the cup as Jerry’s hands clasped the cup. Judy sat by him in Cathleen’s chair, a cup of coffee in hand that she lifted to her mouth and sipped with a slow warm smile as a drop found it’s way down the cup’s side.

            “Nothing like a warm cup of Joe.” Judy said with her eyes closed, breathing in the coffee.

            “Yeah, refreshing uh Cathleen?” 

© 2008 Carl Taylor

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Added on July 31, 2008


Carl Taylor
Carl Taylor

Houston, TX

First off I do not get to read a lot of other people's work, just a forewarning. It is cause I am studying aboard in France next year, so I am brushing up on my french and trying to get an english cre.. more..