Misfortune of a Robot

He is a boy. He has been waking and sleeping in a small house with his sister and humble grandparents who taught him the lessons of discipline and righteousness. He hates to be bathed but never forgets to do the Sign of the Cross before water touches his body. This is what his grandparents wanted him to be. With her lola, they walk the long trails of procession during Good Friday, following the figure of Blessed Virgin Mary who cries blood. The boy was at all times afraid of that. Though, his fears and tiredness will be washed out after his lola bought him new Spartan slippers after the walk.

He had grown in a less typical community and become an introvert during his childhood years. His desire to meet new friends was expressed to non-living things. Every day, the boy sets time to search for different sizes and forms of stones that are striking to his gentle visions; he collects it and brings to his secret pseudo-museum beneath their 1-meter bamboo floor.  Stones are special that made him name them. Lifeless, but their arrangement and hidden beauty in the boy’s eyes were enough to make him smile.

But the limits of this boy had been realized, it more fun way out. He started to mingle with other boys younger than him and leaving those numb and in-comatose stones on his occipital. They taught them new lifeless recreations, and this becomes a battle. Battle of friends’ trust.

Lifeless smile-giver and friend-provided-thing number two: bottle tin caps. They call it tansan in Negros Occidental and these have become an addiction. Tansan is considered as mock money and also player’s armor that is being used as a batano.

The next month, by the current trends and demands of these children, another medium of recreation turned out: lastiko. Lastiko is a rubber band with bonded ends that appears to be in circular shape. The other months, new hobbies were in trend and in constantly changing.

No matter how the boy tried to win the game and gain his friends attention, he always ends up a loser. In the fury goals of taking the tansans and lastiko back, he bought it to his opponents (who was his friends who challenged him in a game) and gained a filled box.

The poor child never tried to gamble it again in a game. He became revengeful and protective of what he owns; coward in losing them.

On the busy roads of the ill Coloso Street that was filled with lanterns and lights, this boy was in great excitement of annual happiness- his parents. Christmas was the only time to have time with his Mama and Papa. There will be tasty and delicious foods, new clothes, big discarded books which her mother asks to take and so many toys he loved. That was heaven in one week.

And in one morning, his father gives him a robot three-fourths of his size. His father inserted four AAA batteries at the compartment and turned it on. With no sudden delays, the robot eyes turned red and his feet and arms ammunition move. The boy threw it and ran in his unexpected surprise.

The robot was named as Zadac, not because it was written in the package, but the robot introduces itself to the boy. As the robot would say, “I’m Zadac. Drop your weapons. Fire!” The boy found his new best friend: he brings it in his bed, he cleans it, he cries to his father when the batteries wear out. That was the happiest day for the gentle visions of the boy. Until his parents went back to Manila without waking him up. And his mind assumes that his parents hiding in the room, up until the next Christmas comes.

Lonely as they may seem, the boy turned out be different. He grows into isolation. Deep into his mind, he realized that toys and clothes were not important. These could not supply the happiness he wants. And he started to break them, little by little.

His lola have been bellowing him on the way he cares about his toys. The boy becomes harsh with the things he have. He manipulates and throws it every time he may like. And one time, a toy catches his attention-Zadac. Even his best friend had a hard and creepy time keeping up with the boy. He looked for screws, wirings and joints, examines and studied its anatomy. The poor machine who is packed with ammunitions and batteries failed to survive the manipulative of the harsh child. In the absence of grief, the child continued to disassemble the robot’s head from the body. He detached everything connected. He destroyed his best friend.

On the latter, the boy had seen the Zadac’s head and realized things done.


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