Sunday, 16 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'Sundays Well Spent' by Mileva Anastasiadou

I once was human, but I no longer remember much of that season. I am now a machine. The usual kind, with gears, accessories and all.

“Dad, there are children on the TV who are working. Should I be working too?” I’d asked dad long ago. My father tried to shun a direct answer. He only sang along with me one of my favorite tunes at the time:

“Today is Sunday, Sunday ice cream. 
All you hungry children, come and eat it up.”

I am not sure when the mutation happened to me. It manifested slowly, without me noticing the gradual changes. I think that my life transformed into survival, and finally into plain machine maintenance, as soon as I started working on Sundays. I then mumbled some objections, yet they convinced me that the new working conditions would better serve the needs of humankind.

On this sunny Sunday, I stand still at the side of the street, watching some other machines work, and humans walking by watching the machines work. A passerby throws some coins in my hand, which will soon charge my batteries for a little longer. He stares at me for a while, then quickly turns his gaze the other way.

“Look dad! He is broken. Can you fix him?” asks the kid standing beside him.

“He is not broken, son. He is unlucky,” answers the father. The old tune comes to my mind and I start singing:

“Today is Sunday, Sunday ice cream.
All you hungry children, come and eat it up.” 

The boy jumped with joy, but his father quickly pulled him away. I am not certain as to whether he was surprised at the machines having a voice, or if he got worried that the mutation might prove a contagious disease after all.


A longer version of this story has appeared in The Molotov Cocktail

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