The Last Automaton of Doctor Jubal Varva


Noon came, but no church bells marked the time. Bells never chimed. Doctor Varva was thinking about the bells nonetheless.

I could always tell. He never noticed anything when he thought about the bells. The Bombardment rattled spare parts on his desk, a spring falling to the floor from the vibrations. He stared at a sheet of note paper.

These times were a problem for me. I needed to get his attention, yet he could no longer hear anything else. After five minutes and twenty-eight seconds, he finally heard me. 

“The king is here to see you, Doctor.”

“Hmm, what?” he said, blinking at me in confusion.

“The king is here to see you, Doctor.”

“How many times?”

“Eighty-three, Doctor.”

“Forgive me, Hortensia. I was thinking about the bells again.”

“I know, Doctor.”

Hortensia was not my name. He often called me that those days. I no longer corrected him. It upset him when I did.

Published by K. A. Lindstrom

A traveling nomad with hermitic tendencies.

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