Oppy's Song

Submitted into Contest #60 in response to: Write a post-apocalyptic thriller.... view prompt

25 comments

Sad Coming of Age Urban Fantasy

The automatic door swings open. It creaks.

Add to list- check on door-bots to fix Ren’s bedroom door.

“Good morning, REN.”

Ren yawns. I should check with the internet if it is okay for him to be this tired.

No. No. No. Your orders were to be as human as possible. Humans have proved to combust at these layers of stress. Ren is a twelve-year-old boy, it is also okay for him to be tired at 7 AM.

“G-good morning…”

I check his stress levels. They are low.

See, Oppy? Those are normal stress levels. I lower my stress levels and feel more relaxed.

Error. Error. Error. Master Ren has gotten up and I didn’t notice.

Master Ren is frowning.

“Oppy, you need to stop thinking too much. You’ll damage your software.”

“Your concern is very touching, REN.”

Master Ren is laughing. He is happy.

Now I just have to keep him happy for the rest of his life.

**

I still remember the day I was christened. It is grained into my software for all of time.

My maker said that my orders for all my life were to be human, to never do anything wrong. To never let an opportunity to do good pass by. And then she named me Opportunity. After the Mars probe.

The Mars probe had died, and I was to carry on its legacy.

My maker gave me all of the emotions that she could think of. And then she put me in charge of her son.

Master Ren.

One day, everything changed. She showed me a spaceship-looking giant thing that she’d been working on for years. Then she said, “Oppy, things have changed. There are bad people out there who…”

“Bad people? People who hurt other people?”

“Yes, Oppy.”

“What did the BAD PEOPLE do?”

“Uh… You know the sun, Oppy?”

I had nodded. I knew the SUN. The SUN gave light for Ren to play in. The SUN was a friend.

The SUN wouldn’t hurt anybody.

“The bad people are going to make all of the sun’s friends fall down here.”

“They will hurt the SUN and take her FRIENDs away?”

“Yes, Oppy. The friends will make it so bright here that we have to go somewhere else.”

I considered it.

“Where will we go when it is too bright?”

“I won’t go anywhere. You will go with Ren into this… boat. The boat will take you to another place where it isn’t too bright, okay?”

“Did MISS tell REN about the SUN’S friends?”

“Not yet, Oppy. I’m going to tell him now. Can you please wait in the boat?”

I obediently went inside the boat and sat at the window and listened to what was happening through MISS’ microphone, that was attached to her headset, which was around her neck. She wore it, just for me. MISS went over to Ren.

“Ren! I need to tell you something important.”

“Yes, mommy?”

It was over here that I realized that Ren was three years old. Ren wouldn’t understand that the friends of the SUN would make it too bright. He would never agree to that his mom wouldn’t come along.

I stayed quiet and continued listening.

“Remember the time I told you the story about the sun and her friends?”

“Oh, yeah! The fire-flies and the white circle!”

“The white circle is the Moon, sweetie.”

“Oh…”

“Anyways, the fireflies in the sky are going to come down and visit us.”

“Really?!”

“Yes, but they are really bright, remember?”

“Yeah! You said they were as bright as the sun!”

“See, they will make it so bright here, we can’t stay here.”

Ren frowned.

“Where will we go, then?”

“Somewhere even better! I’m going to send you and Oppy to a really cool place! I’m going to send you to where the fireflies are!”

“Wooahh!! With Oppy?!”

“Yeah! With Oppy…”

Ren suddenly blinked, very hard.

“Mommy, is that one of the sun’s friends?”

Miss turned around so quickly that you would have thought she had seen a ghost. Then she picked up Ren and started to run and then dumped him in the boat with me. Then she pressed a button and the top of the boat closed and slowly started to fade to black.

“I love you, Ren! I love you, Oppy!”

Ren started crying and I cradled him in my lap. I would have a lot to explain when he was older.

The boat started moving higher and higher and higher, and eventually Ren fell asleep after a couple of hours, and left me gazing at how bright the fireflies made our home. So bright, it was like it wasn’t even there anymore.

**

And this brings us to the present. I’ve been working on this for one hundred and twenty hours straight. I am so tired. But I can’t stop. I can’t stop. I won’t stop. It’s so close to completion… what I had been working on for the last nine years we’ve been on this boat.

Ren comes in again. I’ve forgotten how many times he’s done this. This time, he brings me tea.

With one quick motion, he saves what I was doing and shut down my laptop.

“REN! I was doing something important!”

“Oppy… you’ve been at it for five days.”

“But I can’t take a break!”

“Oppy, when was the last time you charged yourself?”

And then I noticed. My battery levels were at 15%.

The lowest I had ever let my battery fall was 89%, and that was in a nightmare.

I sighed. I still had to finish it.

“REN… Give me five more minutes. Please? You can set a timer.”

Ren grinned. “I’m going to hold you to that, Oppy!”

I finished my work. Just as soon as I was relaxing with Ren and was charging and about to start a game of Monopoly, the red flashing sign I had been waiting for, for the last nine years, came.

The time where the boat couldn’t support us anymore.

“REN. Listen to me!”

His terrified eyes looked straight into my lenses.

“It will all be okay. I’ve been working on… another boat. It will keep you safe forever.”

“Oppy-”

“I can’t come. But… I’ve recorded thousands of logs. You’ll find out the truth. Why we’ve been hiding from the fireflies. Where your mother is. Remember this- I love you, Ren. My death won’t be your fault. Stay… stay happy for me.”

The tears streaming down his face moved faster with every word I said.

I shoved Ren into a small chute, that would take him directly to the other boat.

Then all I had to do was wait. Wait for my death. I might as well record one last message for Ren. I felt the need to not just say my words. I found myself singing in a very scratchy voice.

Even though our time together

Was short,

I’ll cherish every memory,

You helped me make.

When you are loved,

No curse in the world

Has any power over you.

When you are loved,

You know all sacrifices

Were made with you in mind.

I know it isn’t my place to say…

For everything is fake for me.

But the one thing that was real-

Was my love for you.

But these are my last words,

Don’t cry over them too much.

My battery is low,

And it’s getting dark.

I’d appreciate it

If you didn’t forget me.




September 25, 2020 09:30

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25 comments

Zea Bowman
02:22 Oct 07, 2020

Hey, Priyamvada (Whoo! That's a long one)! First of all, great story! Second, I wanted to let you know that I wrote a "Zombies Sound Safer Than My Family - Part 2." You had read the first and seemed to enjoy it, so I was just letting you know that I had made a second if you wanted to check it out. :)

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05:56 Oct 07, 2020

Lol no one can pronounce my name or spell it right, so just call me Priya! ^-^ OOOOOOO YASSSS TANK YOU TANK YOU TANK YOU!! 'Seemed to enjoy it' is an understatement!!

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Zea Bowman
14:03 Oct 07, 2020

Of course! Thanks, haha!

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18:05 Oct 07, 2020

Lol :)

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09:31 Sep 25, 2020

Some notes- 1. This was my first time basing a story on a different world, so I did my best but it's still rough... 2. If you didn't understand any parts, please comment! 3. YES PART TWO IS COMING!!

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Leilani Lane
01:04 Sep 27, 2020

Look forward to part two! :)

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07:29 Sep 27, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Deborah Landers
11:46 Oct 01, 2020

This is sweet and adorable, but I'm not sure I would classify it as a thriller. There are some elements that could have leaned into that, with the bad people controlling the fireflies (I'm not particularly sure whether they are meteors or bombs) and the fact that they are still after Ren, for whatever reason. The hallmark of a thriller, in my experience, is anticipation and suspence. It's in the moments of not being sure whether the characters will be okay or what's going to happen to them based upon certain situations or actions. This s...

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18:12 Oct 01, 2020

The ‘fireflies’ are actually meteors. Thank you so much for your insightful comments! I’m still working out the details of this world, and this really helped narrow some of them down. I was trying to make a blend of stiff and emotive narratives, because, even through her orders to be as humane as possible, Oppy is still a robot. I will change the genre now, thank you so much! It means so much to me that you took the time to comment this! Just to clarify some things (that will also be revealed in the second part), Ren’s mother is actually a ...

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Maya W.
00:00 Oct 01, 2020

Hello Priya (side note: I love your name)! This was a very engaging story with great dialogue and good character development. I also really enjoyed the poem at the end, I suck at writing poetry, haha. Would you mind reading some of my stories here? Thanks!

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04:55 Oct 01, 2020

Thank you for your kind words! I'll be sure to check them out! Also thanks for the compliment, hehe!

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Leilani Lane
01:03 Sep 27, 2020

Hi, Priya! This is so creative! Nice job with the dialogue here. Love the song at the end, too. Some notes: 1. Watch for passive voice: It is creaking. Red is yawning. You want to make it active instead: It creaks. Red yawns. 2. Look for opportunities to show vs. tell. For example: I am so tired. Some alternatives: My eyelids droop and my body aches [or creaks since it's a robot?] more with every second that passes. Just some thoughts to hopefully make my comment productive! :) I look forward to reading more of your work!

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07:29 Sep 27, 2020

Hello, Leilani! Thanks so much for the constructive feedback! I’ll be sure to make those changes :)

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Leilani Lane
15:07 Sep 27, 2020

Of course!! I'm glad my comment was helpful. Keep up the fantastic work, Priya! :)

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05:07 Sep 29, 2020

:D

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Hriday Saboo
02:55 Oct 15, 2020

Hey Priyamvada, a beautiful story as usual. Liked the character of Oppy. I did not find any mistakes though. Would you mind reading my new story

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10:23 Sep 30, 2020

Wow! Loved this story SO MUCH. Also, I am literally obsessed with that poem in the end. You really have a knack for poetry. P.S. 'cherry bomb'

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10:27 Sep 30, 2020

Aww, thanks so much! Also, I tried the quiz in your bio, and I got ‘Closet Writer’ and OML WHY IS IT SO TRUE hehe I’ll drop you a comment with my other account on one of your stories

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10:28 Sep 30, 2020

Okie! Thanks. Btw, in your bio you wrote say cherry bomb for your second account...? I said that as well

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10:31 Sep 30, 2020

Yeah ik I’m commenting with the other account

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04:23 Sep 30, 2020

I didn’t see myself in this story. What I mean by that is discrimination of places and atmosphere. Things that inspire my imagination. A story that really hooks me is one I can imagine sitting or standing next to the MC and experiencing what they are experiencing. This story is the making of a great novella. I know it’s hard to put everything into 3000 words. If you pursue this storyline I could see the length of it double with descriptive writing. Is this a challenge you’d be willing to try? I think you’ve done well on dialogue....

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05:35 Sep 30, 2020

Wow, Robert, thank you so much for your heartfelt comments! I was planning a second part to this before I had actually released it. I hope the second part will be more relatable, because it is from Ren's perspective. I'm not sure if I will be able to balance a novella with my school, home, and YouTuber life, but I'll do my best! Thank you so much for your constructive criticism, and I wish you the best of luck on your writer's journey as well! Again, it means a lot to me that you took the time to not only read my story, but comment to help m...

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Hriday Saboo
02:55 Oct 15, 2020

Hey Priyamvada, a beautiful story as usual. Liked the character of Oppy. I did not find any mistakes though. Would you mind reading my new story

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08:28 Oct 15, 2020

Aww, thank you! I'm glad my average is 'beautiful' :)

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Hriday Saboo
09:13 Oct 15, 2020

Welcome.

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