Warning: Sexual situations including an o-face and bare buttocks, violence and creepiness
He’d woken up to the sound of evil laughter, with a thousand questions that were never answered.
“Not much of a skill-set beyond the default cooking and cleaning. This one might be hard to get rid of.”
“He’d be perfect for uncle Gwrtheym.”
“Your uncle’s too posh to buy a used robot, princess.”
“His mind’s a blank slate; that makes him as good as new,” she giggled. “Go call him, daddy. I’ll put in another eye. I’m thinking…pretty, pretty blue.”
It was the one time he would have liked to be powered down. That would have, in fact, been the practical thing to do on her part. Instead he woke up fully charged and alert with his arms and legs rendered temporarily inoperative and his eye still broken. He still had a headache, and the sickeningly sweet smell of bubblegum and popping noises she made with it were not helping.
“So is your lack of skills due to your brain damage or were you just activated by a dunce?” She giggled again, this time through her nose. “Why am I asking you? You don’t know any more than I do.”
Servos were programmed to feel pain, but their near indestructibility granted them a very high pain threshold. This little girl knew how to cross it.
“Our Servette has gold badges in everything. Sculpting, painting, flower arrangements, computer programming, tinkering…she can do anything—except talk. Daddy calls himself a scientist, but honestly he’s useless without her. She’s the one you owe your life.”
“Life” was an interesting word choice. In a way she was more aware than anyone that he had feelings, both emotional and physical.
“All done!” she said, with a final pop of her gum. “There’s a mirror in the back if you’d like to take a look. Don’t mind Servette over there; she’s just taking a little powernap.”
He didn’t really want to see, but thought it best to do what she said.
She lunged at him but missed due to lack of vision.
“Daddy, the robots are fighting!”
Life with Mr. Big was so many better in comparison it almost seemed good. He didn’t treat Servo any worse than he treated anyone else, never even feeling the need to use the remote control on him. He barely even noticed him, or anyone. His world was in his mirror and most of it was obscured by his giant head.
And even outside the house, most people were not like Circe. Most people were just starers
Or gropers, because he was too shiny to have personal boundaries (though touching them back would have meant torches and pitchforks.)
And then there was Brigit.
“IF YOU COME ANYWHERE NEAR ME I’LL RIP YOUR HEAD OFF!”
But there was one person who’d given him more grief than all these people combined, even more grief than whoever had left him in pieces in the desert. That honor went to the creator who decided that a pointy cycloptic freak with huge forearms and no lips or tongue, lacking in almost every quality that society said a “real” man ought to have…
…should have the desire for human women. Only a mind more twisted than Circe’s could have come up with that.
Not that that had stopped from getting lucky, so to speak.
“Oh, hi! Are you Donny’s maid?”
“Yes,” Nina sighed.
“Can you tell him we had to run, but major thankies for helping us with our research papers?”
Nina grabbed the stack of papers off the desk before they could reach them. “Your patient shows symptoms of personality metamorphosis, including increased hostility and recklessness, after being bitten by a wild animal. What’s your diagnosis?”
“Guinea pig plague?”
“Congratulations, doctor. You just got eaten by a werewolf!”
“Well, how were we supposed to know?! We haven’t gotten that far in class yet!”
“It’s the topic of your papers! ‘Lycanthropy: The Search for the Cure’!”
“What does that have to do with werewolves?”
“Good morning, Donny. I brought back the term paper that ruined my sister’s life.”
“Sorry, I’ll buy her a new one.”
The sad thing is Dina would probably take him up on that offer. “Oh get up, you unethical scumbag.”
“Aww, jealous much, Nini?”
“Donald, I don’t care if you sleep with every townie in town as long as you’re not doing their homework for them!”
“Jealous,” he hissed.
“You know if you had half an ounce of self-control you’d be three quarters through med-school right now!”
“I just wrote two whole research papers while sexy cow-girls trashed my house. I have bushels of self-control.”
“What about your own paper?”
“Don’t worry, I got them back from your lady-friends and put your name on both. Now get dressed, you have class in half an hour!”
“Wow, mom. You’ve been working out.” He finally moved something besides his mouth. “Why didn’t you return my calls, Nini?”
“I’ve been busy! I have an eccentric new client who flew me off to Twikki Island while my sister had a total meltdown. It would help if your calls were at least coherent.”
“I tried to call you last night, but your sister was really mad at me for the whole ‘outing’ her thing. I apologized a thousand times and offered to make it up to her in a billion different ways, but she still wouldn’t let me talk to you. She even made up some ludicrous story about why you couldn’t come to the phone!”
“And you were so starved for companionship that you just had to take advantage of some airheaded, barely legal coeds?”
“They were the ones who took advantage of me!”
“What was the ludicrous story, Donald?”
Don snickered. “She said you were seeing someone! Like, in a real ‘relationship.’ Which alone would be hilarious, but she had to take even further!”
“She said—” he started laughing before he could finish. “She said the guy is a…”
Nina kept her own laughter to herself. “It’s true, Donald.”
“I’m dating a vampire.”
“But—but—HOW did this happen? I thought you were a lone wolf desperado untamable love machine!”
“Well, at first I was just kind of curious as to what the sex would be like, and he did turn out to be quite a, uh, love machine himself, but somehow it ended being much more than just a physical relationship. There’s just something extremely refreshing about the way he’s really not like the other guys.”
“It’s the bad boy thing, huh? The whole sexy mysterious creature of the night deal?”
Nina coughed. “…not exactly. Though he does have a dark mysterious past.”
“Well, CONGRATS! I’m totally HAPPY for ya!” he said with a thumbs-up. “I can’t wait to meet the lucky guy!”
“Neither can I, Donald.”
It was strange how being undead made him feel more alive. There was something about the magic in him that made him feel less mechanical. He thought of the way Kiernen and Kvoran could change their shape and wondered if it was possible for him. If he could turn into a bat would it be a real organic, squishy creature? The thought was both exhilarating and terrifying.
And he could definitely get used to never having to look at his own reflection again.
“See that statue? I found it in the attic last night. Mr. Big originally had a ‘Pride’ painting up there but I replaced it with ‘Freedom’.”
“I like the symbolism. Did you redecorate the whole house?”
“After you fell asleep last night, I didn’t really have anything else to do. I couldn’t rest until the sun came up.”
“You know there’s plenty of nightlife in this town. You don’t have to waste all that vampire stamina watching me sleep.”
“It’s too dangerous for me to be around people.”
“I think you’re just saying that because you don’t want to be around people,” she said gently. “I’m shy too, you know; I just make up for it with my right hook. I learned a long time ago you can’t it let get in the way of life, and as much I love a quiet night at home, you can’t stay locked up in here forever.”
If he was a hot redhead he’d probably have felt the same way, but he didn’t want to argue with her. “With all due respect, ‘quiet’ is not the word I’d use to describe our nights together.”
She didn’t want to argue either. Scooting closer, she started running her fingers over him the way she would massage a client. It felt good, but he couldn’t believe it felt the same as it would on real flesh. “Are you still having flashbacks?”
He’d have been content just to let her use him, but she seemed to want to give as much as she took.
“No, but maybe that’s for the better. I’m not sure if I want to remember a life that ended with me broken and abandoned. I’d rather concentrate on this new one for now...”
Later that night as he did the dishes, he heard a noise at the front door. He could smell something in the air, similar to how Mortimer had smelled in the lab and very different from Nina. Human blood.
His first thought was that Mr. Big had finally returned. Would he throw him out the way he’d thrown out Dina? Would he even notice he was a vampire until somebody pointed it out to him?
At least he hadn’t walked in during an intimate moment, though a dark part of him wanted to see how he would react to that. He wondered if he should run upstairs and wake Nina before the awkwardness started.
But the hideous, shambling silhouette outside the front door was not Mr. Big’s, and it had no blood or scent. Or voice. The burglar alarm now dismantled, the figure forced the door open with nothing but her own strength.
“Fangs? What is this, Halloween?” Xanthos had shaved his mustache off sometime in the past few years.
Grainne, however, looked exactly the same, still wearing the same pink dress she always wore. “I’ll bet my brother paid a couple thousand to make him look so ridiculous. I’m surprised he didn’t get airbrushed flame detail up and down the sides, too.”
“Nothing a pair of pliers can’t fix.”
If he had any cravings for human blood they were off-set by sheer terror. All he could do was stand there as speechless as Servette. After a moment of tense nothingness, Grainne spoke to him directly. “Why are you just standing there? Aren’t you going to help us with our bags?”
Before he could figure out whether he was going to or not, the entire room was distracted by Nina and her abs descending the staircase. “What’s going on? I heard—” She blushed and covered herself with her arms. “Oh excuse me! I didn’t know there was anyone else here.”
Circe gasped and squealed and clapped her hands, but she was the only one to deduce what was really going on.
“Oh look, a squatter,” Grainne said, her voice cold. “Didn’t I say we’d better rush over before my brother’s floozies destroyed the place?”
“No, she’s a guest.” Servo finally brought himself to speak.
“His guest, mom,” Circe said, winking.
It took a couple more winks before Grainne finally got it. “Ooh, naughty boy! Is this what you do when the master’s away?”
“Who are you?” asked Nina.
“Grainne Salamis. In light of my brother’s disappearance, the house is under my care now, along with everything in it.”
“I hope you’re not counting Servo as a thing.”
Grainne rolled her eyes. “Yes, I’m including your little ‘vibrator’ under that definition, and believe me he’ll be getting a full run-over with bleach before we let him touch our food and belongings!”
“I don’t think you even have a legal claim on this house. In cases of alien abduction, the property of the victim doesn’t—”
“—I don’t need to be lectured on my rights by a hooker!” Grainne whipped out the remote control. “Servette, get rid of the superfluous redhead.”
“No! Leave her alone!” Servo’s voice came out louder than it ever had. It shocked everyone but Circe and Servette.
“I have had enough of your attitude, sassy boy! I don’t know what kind of freak-brothel my brother was running here but in my house we practice a little thing called ‘respect.’ It’s something Servette took a while to learn, but she did, and with her help I think you’ll learn a little faster.”
Nina’s fists were powerless against solid metal, but she took advantage of her foot being within range of Grainne’s head.
Seeing his wife go down, it was Xanthos’s turn to take charge. “Power down, Servo!”
“Let her go.” She didn’t listen to him until he started waving his hands. It felt really silly and must have looked even sillier, but somehow it worked.
“Are you okay?”
“Just a little bruised.” Nina was a little shaky as he helped her to her feet. “She was so strong. Are you that strong?”
“They’re anatomically identical, save for a few cosmetic differences.” If Circe was upset about both her parents lying unconscious on the floor, it wasn’t apparent from the twinkle in her eye. “I didn’t want to come here, you know. I miss my boyfriend and the lax law enforcement of the outskirts of Strangetown. Robot trafficking is so much harder in the city—”
“Oh shut up, you little brat.” Nina ripped the chord off her neck and held it up for him. “Is this yours?”
He nodded, and looked Circe in the eye. “Tell your parents they can have the house, but they can’t have me.”
Pisha pluba mimmlers scabbled ooba rowza flobe,
Immawumba eefle eeba kloosha mibe
Fromeena kappa laza tibe
Yassa quirler appa wub
Ya mala nobe emma neeba zow
Sibby ooba kaw bidda loxaw kidrow emma neeba zow
Rainelle rolled her eyes at the far too familiar scream coming from next-door. It was like the little maid who cried wolf at this point, but she went to check anyway, for the entertainment value of seeing the crazy neighbor-lady freak out.
“LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO MY YARD, YOU HELLBEAST!” Brigit screamed, throwing trash at some defenseless dog who'd dug a hole in her yard. After missing every single throw, she ran back inside.
“Awww, poor thing. Did the mean lady scare you? She scares me too. It’s not like you can make her yard any uglier!” He was friendly and surprisingly well-groomed, and there was something in those sad mismatched eyes that went right for her soul. “Come on, sweetie. I’ll find you something to nibble on.”
The song Robotboy is by Robyn
Thanks to lilyturtle for the servo heads and arms!