A Bright Future

An essay by Keeper, as provided by Jamie Lackey
Art by Justine McGreevy

I strode through the long twilight shadows. My metal feet clanged against the cobbles as I dodged plumes of noxious steam rising from manhole covers and jumped puddles covered with filmy layers of oily sludge. Human offal lined the streets. I was glad that I’d never been equipped with olfactory receptors.

I hated this city. Any being with an ounce of vision could see that it was nothing more than a glorified rats’ nest, filled with women of loose morals and men made superfluous by advancing technology.

I reached my master’s dingy quarters. The cramped, damp space was lit with a single oil lamp. The windows had been boarded over, and a soiled cot occupied half of the floor. My master slouched behind his roll-top desk, cradling an ugly pen.

My master had kept better quarters, once. He’d been selling off his fine furniture, piece by piece, to support his vile habits.

I expected that the desk would be gone soon.

A Bright Future

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2013 collection.

Keeper is a self-aware automaton who is diligently working to rid the world of humanity and its accompanying filth.

Jamie Lackey lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their cat. Her fiction has been published by over a dozen different venues, including The Living Dead 2, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Daily Science Fiction, and she has appeared on the Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention and Tangent Online Recommended Reading Lists. She reads slush for Clarkesworld Magazine, works as an assistant editor at Electric Velocipede, and helped edit the Triangulation Annual Anthology from 2008 to 2011. Her Kickstarter-funded short story collection, One Revolution, is available on Amazon.com. Find her online at www.jamielackey.com.

Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at http://www.behance.net/Fickle_Muse and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.

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