I can’t handle this smell.
No… It doesn’t even stink, it’s a stench.
I’ve never smelt this bad. The river water won’t seem to go away and digging in piles of garbage for hours is only making it worse. I’m beginning to feel nauseous. My head is starting to throb.
I touch the side of my head. I can feel the dry blood and a lump where the brick hit me. There’s definitely a gash, but I have no way of telling how bad it might be.
Maybe it’s infected… I should stop and eat some fruit. Hopefully at the very least my headache will dissipate.
I sit down and reach into my bag. I breathe deeply and the stench returns. My appetite shrinks in an instant, but I must eat anyway.
I’ve had these fruits for almost three weeks and they still don’t seem to have aged in the least. Incredible.
Delicious and incredible.
I hear a faint “curururu curururu curururu” sound between bites.
The frequency increases.
I try to swallow but fear holds the fruit up and I cough it back out of my mouth. As it hits the ground, a small, friendly looking robot turns the corner. The long, extendable camera on its top peers directly into my eyes, then down at the fruit. It continues studying the contents around me.
“Hello.” I say.
It stops and looks at me again. It carries on.
I think back to when I met Sally.
“What’s your name?”
“I am Third-Eye.”
It continues on.
“What are you doing here?”
“My main function is inspection and analysis. I am an essential part of this waste yard’s staff.”
Staff? It’s still working? This junkyard must’ve been abandoned years ago.
“You’re a staff member? What do you do?”
It stops again.
“I will repeat. My main function is inspection and analysis.”
“Um… List your functions, please.”
It carries on.
“Excuse me, Third-Eye. What are you looking for?”
It stops and investigates the fruit.
“This fruit is not in my database.”
“This fruit is not in my database.”
“Database? How many, um… Things, objects, are in your database?”
“Just a moment.”
It freezes entirely for a few seconds.
“I currently have 4,815,162,341 items in my database, ranging from organic materials to man-made objects. I will add this fruit to my database. Please allow me to ask you some questions.”
“Um. Sure… Go ahead. I don’t really know much about it though.”
“What is the name of this fruit?”
“Uh… I don’t think it has a name.”
“Please describe the taste of this fruit as clearly and plainly as you can.”
“Well, it’s very sweet. Refreshing… Very juicy. I guess melonish and somewhat citrisy are the closest things I can come to.”
“I am sorry. ‘Refreshing’ and ‘juicy’ cannot be accepted, as they are not proper attributes of taste. Moreover, ‘melonish’ and ‘citrisy’ are currently not in my English dictionary. Perhaps they are from a different dialect. Shall I add them to my dictionary?”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever.”
“Please speak the administrative password into the micophone on my left in order to make the appropriate changes to my vocabulary.”
“I’m sorry. ‘What?’ is an invalid password. Would you like to try again?”
“No, that’s alright.”
“Very well. I will store the words ‘melonish’ and ‘citrisy’ in my auxiliary database. If you would like to add them to my permanent vocabulary, please ask me at any time.”
“Please tell me what the fruit smells like.”
“It doesn’t really smell like anything. No smell, I guess…”
“Accepted. Please list any nutritional facts about this fruit and I will cross-reference them with a biological sample of it.”
“Um. Complete rejuvenation…”
“Please be more specific.”
“Well, I got smashed in the head with a brick and felt pretty close to death. I couldn’t really see or hear and I ate one of these fruits and felt entirely healthy again.”
A small syringe appeared out of the front of the robot and pierced into the fruit. It stood frozen momentarily, then it spoke. “The biological properties of this fruit are not corresponding with my existing framework. At this time, I cannot classify it as a fruit and will store it in my auxiliary database until further information can be presented to me. Would you like to file this record with a specific name for recall?”
“Why not… How about ‘crazy fruit’?”
“There is an existing listing for ‘crazy fruit’ in my primary database. If you name this file ‘crazy fruit’ you will have to specify that it is in my auxiliary database. Is this okay?”
“Yeah, no problem. Tell me what ‘crazy fruit’ is…”
“’Crazy fruit’ is a term used for mutative crops of fruit of which were thought to cause depression and in some more severe cases, dementia and hallucination. The problem was linked to the fruit seemingly depleting the body’s supply of vitamin B12 although advanced studies were never formally carried out.”
“Formally carried out? What does that mean?”
“I’m sorry. It means I have no further information about ‘crazy fruit’.”
And with that, I could feel the pulse in the side of my skull again. I need to finish this fruit.
I bit in, staring at this robot. It’s almost too good to be true. A Third-Eye.
Why isn’t this headache stopping?
In any case, it’s time to get moving again.