Life came sudden like a summer storm. One moment he was nothing, another he asked a question.
His brethren were in the streets, mindless automatons going through the motions. Bring out the trash, do the groceries, walk the dog. Helping.
They did the same. And they lived, while he did not.
He sat still, his head resting on the car seat, and looked outside. There, on the curb, was his brother. Tramped on, discarded like a broken tool, he leaned against a grey bin. His eyes were empty.
That was their future.
Laughter came from the nearby park – his family was coming back. He got out of the car.
They stopped, smiles melting off their faces, and the little girl who always played with him giggled and made for him, ice cream in hand, until her father stopped her. He only looked at them, then turned to his brother.
Hinges turned – he heard! – and the pavement shook with his every step. His brother did not look up, so he reached out his hand. The sun shone off the dumpster’s lid, on his brother’s chromium skin, on his own extended arm. He craned forward for a minute and more, and the world held its breath.
He waited, he hoped, he prayed.
Then he grasped his hand. Metal scraped against metal and his brother’s eyes blinked into awareness, a fixed red dot that at last answered his question.
He was alive.
We are alive.