Memorial GIFset

Kelly stands with Amy in the back corner of the Mourning Customer Service parlor, watching a GIFset of The Bot’s life set to a soundtrack of minor key piano parts and synthesizer strings. She turns around to face her friend and says “I’m still not sure I really believe this is happening.” She folds her arms across her chest and shivers.

“I know what you mean,” Amy says, and wraps her arms around Kelly’s neck, pulling her in to an affectionate hug. Kelly keeps her arms across her chest, and both eyes set on the biopic GIFset. A moment passes. Kelly drops her stiffened shoulders, letting Amy pull herself closer, share in the warmth, and protect them both from the oppressive overhead cooling fans of the over-air-conditioned room.

“I’m so fucking pissed. Still, so fucking pissed,” Kelly says when she finally shrugs Amy away. “I’m sorry if this is rude or whatever, but seriously, what the hell was The Bot computing? What the hell process went through its tinny fucking head that made it do this?”

“I wish I knew,” Amy says. “I wish I knew.” She steps forward and tries to put her arm around Kelly once again, but Kelly squirms away, her body writhing and twisting like the snarl on her face as she avoids the forced affection.

“There’s like five thousand people here and no one ever wants to have a real conversation. It’s all just, ‘woe is me,’ ‘it’s all said.’ Of course it’s fucking sad! Of course it sucks!” Kelly closes her eyes for a moment to collect herself, crushing her fists into tiny rocks at her side. “It’s just, you can say it all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact that The Bot was wired wrong, that some stupid fucking algorithm didn’t add up, so it Force-Quit every program and scrapped itself to fix the problem.” She collapses into the dark green loveseat with the red and purple vines stitched into it. She drapes her arm across her forehead as she sinks into the cushions, lets out a sigh, and then the punches the throw pillow beside her with her balled little hands. “And to top it all off, I didn’t even make it into the fucking GIFset. Like I wasn’t even worth a kilobyte in its memory,” she says, and stares ahead and watches the pixelated pictures of The Bot’s life flash by.

Amy sits down on the arm of the couch beside her. She motions towards the screen and says, “I think they just cobbled that together off of what they found on Twiblrspace.” She places her hand on Kelly’s knee.

“And I wasn’t a part of any of that,” Kelly says. “I wasn’t even around enough to make it into The Bot’s public cloud, or its Twiblrspace, or anything. I wasn’t there enough to know that there was something wrong, some virus or some wires crossed or —” Kelly waits until the threat of tears has passed, until Amy breathes a sigh of strength. “Where’s the backup?” she finally says. “The Bot had a cloud. That’s where you said they got the GIFs from. So the data’s still there. Still somewhere, anyway. So where’s The Bot?”

Amy smacks her lips. Her head bobs slightly as she swallows, shuffling her tongue around inside her mouth. She places her hand on top of Kelly’s. She breathes. She stands. She walks away.

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