Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Fly Rips the Fly

In my younger days, I've dreamed of being an inventor. But somehow in high school, I've got into arts and now I'm in a job not related to invention at all. Luckily, writing provides me with an opportunity to invent, an inventor. Here is a teaser from my latest short stories collection, My Darcy Vibrates..., with Lizzy being an inventor.

Seated on the lawn of Oxford University, Jane tried one last time to change her sister’s mind. “You’re sure you don’t want to come?”

“Your history professor trashed us. Why would I want to go and listen to his antiquated lecture? I have better thing to do here,” Elizabeth said firmly as she worked to fix the lips of the robofly.

“But Mr. Darcy is so handsome! Six foot three, broad shoulders, darkest eyes, long eyelashes, and all that lush, dark, wavy hair... If Charles wasn’t my soul mate, and Darcy wasn’t his best friend, I would be acting like all of the other girls in class, wearing their see-through tops, push-up bras and mini-skirts.” Jane sighed.

“And he was not belittling scientists. He simply said that they should learn about the past in order to create a better future. In fact, I think he has the hots for you.”

“Ha ha. Are you trying to be funny? And I don’t think that learning about how we had war after war will help us to prevent another war. Damn! Caroline’s mouth is deformed.” Elizabeth threw down the electric drill in frustration.

“Oh Lizzy, you shouldn’t call your robofly Caroline! What if she heard you?”

“So what if she did? Your soul mate’s sister is an annoying specimen. She fawns over rich men like a pesky fly. See? I even made the eyes with small circles in different shades of orange, exactly the way that Caroline looks when she wears her designer sunglasses. I think I’ll win the Inventor Competition and the ₤50,000. It will help Mary to pay her grad school fee.”

“All right then, I’ll leave you with your invention. I’m meeting Charles first, before I go to the lecture. You can still join me, if you change your mind. It starts in about an hour’s time. See you!” Jane gave Elizabeth a kiss on the cheek and left.

Elizabeth was happy to see her sister go. She was determined to make Caroline the Robofly’s lips perfect, and Jane had been distracting her with her talk of old-fashioned Mr. Darcy.

The robofly was about the size of the palm of her hand, and Elizabeth had packed a lot of functionality into her small invention. Caroline could fly, grab things with her six legs, and hum as she zipped through the air. But the hairy mouth just didn’t seem right.

Half an hour later, Caroline the Robofly was ready for her next test flight. Elizabeth turned the remote control to ‘On’ and launched the fly.

“Yes!” Elizabeth exclaimed, and put up one hand in triumph. Caroline’s wings were quite steady, and the humming sound was perfect. After a few minutes of circling, however, Caroline the Robofly suddenly lost altitude and crash-landed on a man passing by.

“Oh, sorry!” Elizabeth rushed to the man’s side…and her eyes widened as she saw that Caroline’s crooked lips had latched onto the fly of the man’s trousers. “Oh, I am sorry!” she reiterated, and raised her eyes to meet those of the stranger.

But he was no stranger. He was Mr. Darcy, the history professor, and he was scowling at her.

“What is…that?” he demanded, and pointed at the palm-sized fly on his fly.

“That’s Caroline,” Elizabeth blurted.

“Caroline…as in Charles’s sister?” His countenance darkened.

“No, it’s just my invention. A robotic fly that I named Caroline. Her mouth is deformed. I mean…it has a design problem.”

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