Author’s Note: Sometime around 2012 I saw a submission call for a 100-word short story by Lascaux Flash Contest. I do remember that writing a 100-word short story was impossible…or was it? I submitted this story to that contest, along with a few thousand other authors. It didn’t win anything, but it was read by a fair number of readers. Again, I can’t remember the numbers but it was better than some, less than others. I wrote this short bit some years before that. I believe the story was written sometime in 2009, or at least that is what the file history date claims on the computer.
“Is there a God?”
He did not know how to respond. The question reverted to memory. He had thought on the subject before and had come to no conclusion. There were too many dangers hidden here at present. “It is possible.”
She moved through the dark tunnel playing as she went, as most eight-year-olds would do. Occasionally, she would pick up a rusted chunk of metal or a strand of colorful wire then quickly lose interest and discard it. “Mother said there was a God.”
The question was stored for later processing. “Your mother was wise.” He watched the girl jump off a wooden crate and into a large puddle of water. “Please be careful, there are dangers.”
“I don‘t see those mean monsters.”
He knew of the dangers of this world. The Unseen had come from the stars and destroyed everything earth held of life; Anna was the last human. His scans told him this. “We must remain silent now.”
She pursed her lips, looking at him with narrowed eyes. He was to protect her as he was programmed, but he had no idea how he could complete this command.
From the shadows, a quick flash, and a moment later he was leaking hydraulic fluid from his mid-section.
“Anna, I see God.”
She ran to him. “Really?”
He held her, knowing it was close. “Yes, I believe He is waiting for us.”
At least he hoped that God would take in a faulty automaton.