Irreplaceable

“Hanniah likes lego for fractions,” he said, packing a bag to leave.

“Of course,” she said.

Of all the teachers, he could trust her. She’d take care of the kids.

He knew this.

“And Kione needs to ask lots of questions. Answer them all, please,” he scanned the room for remaining valuables.

“Always.”

Sirens blared in the distance.

“I have to go. Please make sure-“

“Everyone knows it wasn’t you,” she touched his shoulder, “time to hit the road, Jack.”

He smiled, shaking his head, “humans.”

But their laughter felt hollow.

He left, watching home shrink in his rear-view.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


April 29, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “hit the road, Jack.” You can interpret the phrase any way you like — road trip, goodbye, or story. Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. View the full compilation here.

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Carrot Cake

“Scanning; water, sand. Beach.”

“Correct. This?”

“Turbine engines, winged structures. Aircraft.”

“This?”

“Two humans. Arms around eachother. Content. Hugging.”

“What else?” The human watched the Android ponder.

“Unable to ascertain without further details.”

“Guess.”

“Scenarios with highest probabilities are a need for warmth, or pressure to ease physical discomfort.”

“Anything else?”

“Physical fatigue; a need for postural support.”

The human glanced up at a surveillance camera.

“Emotional comfort?”

The human paused.

“Physical contact creates a bond, a feeling of worth. Like ingredients in the carrot cake we made. Individual ingredients gained deeper worth through bonding.”

The human grinned, “exactly.”

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


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Red

Dirt caked her soft dress. She’ll wash it later. For now, though self-assigned, she had to complete her mission before the sun set – she had to find it.
Laughter reached her, drifting from the house at the bottom of the yard; soon it’d turn to cries.
She had to hurry.
She sped over the ground, eyes darting.
At last she spotted it, red fabric peeking out beneath the roses.

Hiding behind the gum’s roots, she held her breath as her charge’s carer emerged, collected a red blanket, disappeared and all became quiet inside, as the lights went out.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


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The Gift

Hiding beneath the roots of a grand gum, she heard the tiny sobs.
Her charge had been playing outdoors again. Did she hurt herself?
The fairy, wings tucked away, peered through grass above. She could see the side of the little girl, hands cupped, tears dripping onto dusty clothes.
Something hung out of her fingers.
Should she let her cry? Her heart ached.

It was still so warm and so soft too. Why wasn’t it moving?
Something buzzed past the little girl.
Her palm itched and she opened her hands.
She gasped as the mouse looked up at her.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


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Porcelain

Waves hushed sounds of traffic far behind. Tiny fingers grasped mine, pulling past flowers and trees, little feet skipping over loose stones.
I took one step for her four.
She hadn’t told me our destination; “it’s a surprise Mummy.”
She glanced back, round eyes gleaming and all smiles, “we’re close!”
I couldn’t help but smile with her, adoration running deep.
Her pace slowed and I looked up.
I froze.
Upon a bed of grass, decorated with turquoise waves, lay a porcelain tea set; the one from my first birthday.
“Surprise, Mummy,” she beamed.
I hid tears in her embrace.

© 2015-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


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