5:57am. A blip on Robocop’s visor sends him into deep memory again: a woman in a nightgown, moving backwards; a boy, a son.
6:00am. A pink sunrise accompanies his morning scan. He once drank coffee, but that desire no longer exists.
7:01am. The precinct is still in night mode: vagrants and vagabonds. “Hey Robocop!” shouts one, as he’s dragged to the cells. “See you in hell, motherf-”
7:17am. Detroit downtown. Vehicles on fire. Robocop steps onto glass. “You’re under arrest!” Guy — twitchy — makes a run for it towards the trash cans.
9:25am. Downtown skyline. Robocop sits in his squad car and waits for a call. Clouds pile up from Windsor, Ontario. He thinks only in eventualities.
12:14pm. Warehouse. Soft rock music wafting from somewhere — an office perhaps. Robocop lifts his gun, sets it to automatic. A criminal with filthy long hair and a scarred face turns around and says, “What the f-” before receiving several rounds of ammunition through his torso.
3:20pm. Apocalyptic skies. Robocop stands outside the precinct, but cannot force himself inside. Sirens blare in all directions. Detroit is going down. Detroit is dead. He turns towards the fires.
5:55pm. Visor half torn off. Left arm incapacitated. Robocop steps from the smoke, gun in hand. A few officers across the street shake their heads and drop their guns. “You did it again,” says one, almost to herself.
7:17pm. Home: a recharge on the chair in store. A look in the mirror. A second look in the mirror. Detroit is no longer dead. It’s critical. It’s hit the bottom.
9:20pm. A blip on Robocop’s repaired visor: a woman in a nightgown, and a son and a house and a life.
9:27pm. A blip on Robocop’s repaired visor: a woman in a nightgown, and a son and a house and a life.
9:35pm. A blip on Robocop’s repaired visor: a woman in a nightgown, and a son and a house and a life.
Jonathan Cardew’s stories appear or are forthcoming in Passages North, JMWW, Superstition Review, People Holding, and Atticus Review, among others. He was a finalist in Best Small Fictions 2016 and received a Pushcart nomination for 2017. He edits fiction for Connotation Press.
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