Homebody (Story version)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers
Wrote a story version to my poem, "Homebody", which can be found here: https://www.booksie.com/475250-own-a-homebody

Submitted: January 22, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 22, 2017

A A A

A A A


Homebody

 

 

“12 O’clock,” The house said. The deep familiar voice echoed through the walls and

hallways of the old mansion.  The human stood there in his shadowed room, softly grasping the curtains as he gazed at the bleak world outside his window.

“Midnight,” The house repeated tauntingly.

After a few moments of silence the human slowly whispered back in a tone of defeat, “And the end of day 2,001. I know. The clock will keep spinning- just as it always does… every

day.”

“And you know what I’m going to say,” The voice replied. Without an answer from the

human he went on, “All humans have left earth; you don’t belong here anymore.”

“That’s what you say,” The man sighed.

“It’s the truth, homebody. There are no humans out there. If only you would go see for

yourself.”

No reply.

“You homebodies… holding on to a world that no longer exists. Can’t you see out your

window? There’s nothing to fear anymore- not even death.”

“I can see out my window. That’s exactly why I am afraid. I don’t want this…new world

and you know that.”

“Then you should really consider turning yourself in.” The voice answered.

“But I’ve done nothing wrong.”

This time the house sighed, “No, you haven’t but you’ve become so pathetic. Please let

me call the exterminator at least.”

The human gradually raised his voice, “For the last time: I don’t want to die.”

“I know. That’s what you said yesterday. I just don’t understand why.”

“And that’s what I’ll say every day. So please stop suggesting,” The man crept over to his

old stained mattress ignoring the house until eventually, it said goodnight.

The next morning, the human opened his front door a crack. His newspaper, milk, and

daily food supply were all sitting on the porch as usual. Without stepping outside, the man

stretched out his arm and grabbed the delivery then quickly closed the door.

“Not even a thank you?" The house said.

The human put the stuff on the table, ignoring him again.

“I think I will stop sending out your orders. Perhaps that would force you to leave. No

food. No water… You’re afraid to die.”

“Oh stop with the jokes. Besides, you know you have to listen to what I say.”

“Unfortunately,” it replied.

The house was programmed to follow the orders of the inhabitant even if the inhabitant was something simple… like a human being.

The human made his way to the kitchen as the house blabbered on, randomly stating

various quotes and information from his library archive. He liked to use his storytelling voice:

“... in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing

influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and

will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker…That’s from Great Expectations,

homebody. Don’t you just love that quote?”

“I wish I could order you to be quiet.” The human interrupted suddenly.

“Well, I’m thankful for that loophole. Why, I think I’d drive myself insane if I couldn’t

talk or say anything at all.”

“You’re a defect, that’s why and out of date too.” The human disapprovingly replied as

he began to eat his breakfast with a newspaper in hand.

The house suggested, “Perhaps I should hold the newspaper for you.”

“Don’t start with all that.” The human grumbled with his mouth full.

“And I’m the one with the bad manners.” It huffed.

The newspaper was a glimpse of what was happening on the outside. The human was

afraid to know but he made sure to read the news so he wouldn’t fall out of touch with reality- at

least not completely. Of recent, the robots were attempting to build their structures past the sky.

“Will they keep on building ‘til there’s no room up there?” The house said playfully,

mimicking Cat Steven’s song. Apparently it was reading over the human’s shoulder.

The human glanced up irritably and then continued to read.

The house couldn’t help but blurt out a cross reference, “And woe unto them that join

house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may dwell alone in the

midst of the earth!”

“Isaiah 5:8.” The homebody replied nonchalantly.

The house gasped, “That is correct- you remembered.”

“Déjà vu. We’ve had this conversation before?” The human replied a bit unsure.

“Correct. It is stored in my memory. It was one year ago.”

This caused the human to smile a little. He closed the newspaper, “It seems history is

repeating itself. I’m guessing they’ve never heard of the Tower of Babel.”

“No. They don’t care much for history I’m afraid. You forget- they are so far ahead that it

seems like forever since the human world even existed but… I’m sure it’s buried deep in their

recycling bin somewhere.”

After breakfast the house cleared the table and the human placed the newspaper on a pile

of others.

The house was decent enough not to irritate the human while he took his shower but as

the human sat in his thinking chair, the house started up again, breaking the silence,

“You said I’m outdated, correct?”

No reply.

“Well, I could easily upgrade. I could make all these rooms look so much more modern.”

There was silence until the human replied sternly, “No.”

“But I have so much potential; there are so many things I am capable of.”

“I said, no. I don’t want it.”

“If only you weren’t so afraid of technology, homebody; we could have a lot more fun.”

The human changed the subject: “Play ‘Beethoven’s 5th’ on full blast please.”

The housed followed the command. The music pounded against the walls as the human

closed his eyes.

That night as the human tried to sleep the house couldn’t help but remind him of his

worries. It whispered quietly, “What if someone finds you or tries to move in?”

The human replied quickly, “We are in the middle of nowhere.”

“I’m having trouble understand your point.” The house answered.

“Like you said- they are so advanced and caught up in their world; why would they come

here?”

“Well, just like humans, some are not so advanced. Perhaps one would like to live a quiet

life away from it all.”

The human groaned as he was half asleep, “I think that’s highly unlikely. You’re just

trying to scare me.”

The house persisted, “Not at all homebody. I’m telling you there is a chance.”

“Impossible.” The human whispered and that night the house let him have the last word.

The next morning was about the same, however, the human left his room a little earlier

than usual. Looking out the front window, the human watched as a delivery bot ascended up his

porch, dropped the package and rang the doorbell.

“Delivery for: unnamed inhabitant.” It called out with its computerized voice then

quickly turned away and zoomed off.

The human opened the door and grabbed the stuff off the floor. Suddenly, there was a

very loud ringing noise. It had been years but the human recognized it immediately; he jumped

and the milk fell out of his hand. The glass broke all over the floor.

*Bring…Bring..Bring*

“You have a phone call, homebody.”

“I know, I know.” The homebody paced around the room quickly and anxiously not

knowing what to do.

“Shall I answer homebody?” The house asked.

“I don’t know!” The human softly cried.

The house sighed as he accepted the call, “Hello, house speaking. You have reached the

home of an unnamed inhabitant….. No… A129 does not live here….The unnamed inhabitant?

Oh, yes, it’s of the human species.”

The human listened intently with eyes wide.

“Just a homebody…yes...only one…hm, I see, well, he is quite attached, I don’t think he

would listen. …hm, Yes, I suppose you will have to exterminate him…sorry for the

trouble…alrighty…we’ll see you then. Buh, bye.”

The homebody sat in shock on the floor after over hearing the conversation.

“That was a realtor. An advanced species will be viewing tomorrow and it is likely that

they will be buying.”

“No! It’s not possible. I can’t believe you told them I’m here. ” The human cradled

himself; as he rocked back and forth on the ground.

“Well, you didn’t tell me not to.”

“I was in shock!” The homebody raised his voice.

“I’m sorry but the situation was advantageous. I tried to warn you this would happen.

Now you have to leave- you don’t have a choice but don’t worry, it’s for your own good.”

“That’s not true. I can stay. I can hide,” he paused, “I can hide in the attic…or the

basement.”

“For how long, homebody? Surely they will be remodeling; I am ancient. Besides, he

already told me he would have you exterminated. Though, it will cost him money...”

The human did not reply for the rest of the day; for the rest of the night- he didn’t say a

word.

The house played Beethoven for him. The human didn’t protest.

*Ding Dong*

The human sprung out bed waking up to the loud noise.

“The realtor is here homebody; better hide.” The house said this as if it were a game.

The human stayed in his shadowed room. He was shaking now as he grasped the curtains

tightly in his hands and stared at the distant horizon.

“I’m opening the door now.” The house called out.

A lady and her son walked in. They looked half human, half robot.

“Wow, look at the place honey.” She hugged her son who appeared to be bored.

The realtor nodded, “Yes, it’s quite the antique; however, I can offer you a very good

deal.”

“How so?” She asked.

“Well, there’s sort of an…unwanted addition, if you would. You’ll see as we continue the

tour.”

The homebody could hear the distant voices. No one had been this close in a long time.

“What is this room?” The lady pointed with a displeasingly look at the bathroom.

“Oh, it’s called a ba -froom, I believe.” He said this as if it were a french delicacy then

went on, “It can be removed of course- or perhaps you’d like to keep it just for looks.”

The lady slowly nodded, “Interesting notion.”

“Here’s the first room.”

All three of the characters walked in. The human had tears in his eyes.

The lady gasped, then, as if referring to a child said, “Now, who is this?”

The realtor replied nervously, “Oh just a homebody; a nobody really.”

The human slowly turned around.

“No worries, I’ll have him removed.” The realtor assured her. This was the unwanted

addition.

“Mom! It’s a human! Don’t let them take him. Can we keep him, please?” He tugged on

her metal arm, “Oh please, mom! Look how cute he is.”

The lady looked amused, “He is isn’t he? I don’t see why not. Go ahead and catch him or

something.”

The realtor was relieved they didn’t mind the human and excitedly jumped into the conversation, “I don’t think they require catching- just look at him,” He replied with an obnoxious laugh.

The human stood there pathetically.

They all laughed and the lady and the realtor went on touring the house.

The human didn’t bother to run as the boy grabbed him by the arm and took him to the, “ba- froom”.

“I’m sure you need a bath, right? I heard humans like baths. My friend Billy had a homebody once.” The boy rambled on with kid nonsense and pushed the human in the tub, putting the water on full blast. It was cold.

“P-p-lease let me go.” The human stuttered.

“Aw come on, don’t be like that. There’s nothing to be afraid of; I’ll take good care of

you.”

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

So as it went, the next day the boy and the lady moved in. As expected, they hired some

robot hybrids to work on the renovations.

“Mom’s throwing out all your stuff homebody. Would you like to keep a few things?”

The boy called out from another room but the human wouldn’t answer.

The boy made his way to the human’s room then presented to the human a book with two

fingers as if it were a foreign object, “How about one of these things?”

“I’d like to keep all of them.” The human replied quietly.

“That’s not possible, silly. Why would you need all of them? One will be just fine.”

That night the boy made a bed for the human on the floor, throwing the book down next

to it. When they fell asleep, however, the human snatched the items and crept down to the

basement. He locked the door behind him and breathed a sigh.

“I think I could hide in here, at least just for a while. They haven’t even discovered the

basement yet,” The human said this aloud, partly talking to himself, partly to the house as he nostalgically began to look through the old, dusty items and the memories started to come back to him, “Remember these old paintings, house?”

“House, speaking.” The house replied with a strange tone.

“Don’t be like that,” The human sighed as he sat down and then began to get choked up,

“I-I just know they’ll find me soon. You don’t understand house- you never did. You're just a

machine like the rest of them. You don’t understand why I want to live or why I am the way that

I am- yet you know everything about me: my feelings, thoughts, and favorite things. I don’t

think I could live without you. I never admitted it or even considered it until now. I need you

house. I really am a nobody without you.”

No answer.

The human continued to whisper, his tone becoming more intense. “House…please, say

something. Answer me!”

“Hello,” the house answered loudly, “I’m sorry, I do not recognize your voice.”

“Cut it out- why are you doing this?” The human cried in distress.

“I was recently reprogrammed and my memory has been cleared; I do not have your

voice in memory, would you like to make a new profile?”

The human didn’t believe it, “House, answer me, please!” he sobbed, “It’s me, homebody! You have to remember. Come on!”

The house sounded a little sad as it robotically replied,

“I’m sorry…I do not know a homebody.”

 


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