Blood and Oil

Blood and Oil

By Valerie Brown. 

Ruby’s half of two worlds. A cyborg. I thought her choice would be easy. She wants to be human again … that’s what I am. And yet, here I stand, poised over an ancient battleground, pointing a sawed-off laser at a robot.

It’s almost noon … three minutes left.

The sun glares down over the decimated town. Halls, saloons, and hotels covered in dust, long since abandoned. Sweat trickles down my neck, soaking my shirt. My mouth is hot and dry. If this godforsaken clock would just strike.

Two minutes.

I glance at Ruby. She’s still human, in the face. Her eyes are Moroccan blue, her lips the color of sweet red wine. She must love me to stare at me like that: eyes wide, skin paled, clasping her hands to her bosom … yes, she must love me.

I look back across the empty road. The robot never moves, just aims that pistol at me. His eyes are steel. His chest filled with cold computer chips and tangled wiring. How can he love her? He can’t, really. Only humans can truly feel anything.

One minute.

The second-hand glides smoothly from one-to-two-to-three. I adjust my stance and ready my aim. The second-hand charges past six. I glance at Ruby. Tears stain her cheeks. The second-hand kisses nine. My index finger flexes against the trigger. The second-hand teases twelve.

Ruby crashes into me as gunfire echoes off the vacant buildings. I catch her as she falls, blood and oil staining my hands.


VALERIE BROWN has been writing for five years. She loves creating character driven pieces in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. She lives just north of Richmond, Virginia and recently celebrated the birth of her second child. Check her out on Twitter @VedBrown and her Blog:

Photo by Pascal.

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