On the outskirts of a large city lay a small cottage in the year 2054. The outside of the building was minimalistic, but on the inside was a woman with dreams larger than the city. The lady’s name was Molly, and she wished to have somebody to love and care for. She wanted a child more than anything, but could not have one. She was depressed by that fact, until one day she found a way to have a child. It took many years to perfect, but she eventually made her dreams came true. She vowed to do everything in her power to protect the child.
A slit of light broke through the damp, musty basement of the cottage. It traced its path to a single bed. On it lay a small, delicate girl with skin that looked like it was made of porcelain. The girl opened her eyes, and gently swung her legs off the bed. Her bare feet scavenged on the cold floor until she found the tiny slippers to fit her feet.
Walking carefully, in fear of knocking over a beaker that lay on the cement, she followed the stream of light. The girl was entranced by the beam, wanting to know where it lead. Her feet lead her to a thick, wooden door, left slightly ajar. Without hesitation, she pushed open the door, and was blinded by the light that met her.
“Hello, darling! I see you’ve made it into the living. I thought you’d never wake up!” a woman’s voice called out.
The girl opened her eyes, and saw that an elderly woman sat in front of her. Behind the woman lay a shiny panel with a variety of buttons. The girl glanced around, wondering where she had wandered.
“Where am I? Who are you? Who am I?” the girl calmly questioned, her voice remaining even.
“I thought you would never ask! You don’t seem to remember anything I taught you before. My name is Molly, and yours is Hazel. You are in my house’s basement, my laboratory. You will be staying with me,” the woman chirped.
Hazel dropped her gaze to the floor, unable to speak. Molly spoke once again, “I’m sorry. This must have been quite a shock after just waking. I was just excited to see you. I was just hoping to be like a mother to you. I can be very overwhelming sometimes.”
Hazel tipped her head up, towards Molly, and gave her a grin that stretched across her whole face. Still smiling, she walked across the room until reaching Molly. She reached up, and embraced Molly in a tight hug. “I should be the one apologizing. I knew I couldn’t handle all the information. Thank you for giving me the truth. I really want you to be my mother.”
Molly’s face lit up. She had just been gifted with the greatest blessing. A smile as bright as the sun shone across her face as she grabbed Hazel’s shoulders. Holding Hazel back from her, Molly said, “Thank you.”
Every day, at dawn, Hazel would wake Molly with a handful of flowers and a full breakfast. After Molly was done eating, they would go on a walk through the urban city where they lived. A river ran through the center of town, and every time they passed it, Molly would say, “Never go near the water. It is dangerous, and I don’t want you to drown.”
Every day, on their morning walks, Hazel would open up more to Molly. She became more comfortable talking to Molly. On one particular morning, Hazel asked, “Where was I before you adopted me? What happened to my real mother?”
Molly replied, “I adopted you, but the adoption center knew nothing about your past. I’m sure your mother was a good lady, but I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything more.” Molly began questioning what she said, and worried that the information she had would not be enough. She hoped she would not break the vow she made.
“Thank you, I can see that you don’t know any more. I just wish I knew more.”
“What did I do to deserve you?” Molly said, smiling gratefully.
They continued to walk through town, until reaching the main crossroads. A small figure lay sprawled on the ground. Hazel quickly kneeled down to the small boy, and asked, “Are you okay? Where are your parents?”
The boy replied in a squeaky voice, “I don’t know. I got lost in the crowd, tripped, and fell. Now, I can’t find my mom anywhere!” The boy stopped talking, now with tears running down his face.
“You will be fine,” Hazel replied. She reached out and grabbed the boy’s hand. “I will help you find your mom.” With that, Hazel lifted the small boy up above the crowd, arms shaking. She calmly asked the boy, “Do you see her?” She slowly spun in a circle, until the boy cried out, “There she is!”
Hazel set the boy down, and watched as he ran, without watching where he was going, right into the car filled street. Hazel quickly dashed after him, and was beside him in an instant. She swooped him off of his feet and ran to the other side of the street.
Hazel set the boy down, and watched as he ran into a woman’s open arms. She tightly hugged the boy, and picked him up. Looking at Hazel, she nodded, and said, “Thank you so much for saving my boy!” She carried him, and the boy lay his head on his mother’s shoulder. While walking into the distance, the boy found Hazel with his eyes, and gave her a genuine, grateful smile.
On that day, Molly realized that her words were not enough to protect Hazel from the dangers of the world. She began to question the amount of power she really had.
Days passed into weeks, and Molly began to tell of her past, and her family. On one brisk October morning, the day began with the regular walk through town. Molly and Hazel passed by the river, and Molly give her usual warning to Hazel. Hazel replied, “I know, I know. You tell me every time!”
“I just want you to be safe, dear,” Molly chirped. The pair paused on the bridge overtop the river, and watched the quick current pass beneath them. They saw a girl and her mother feeding ducks along the shore. The girl tore her hand away from her mother’s and began to chase the ducks. The ducks headed as a mob into the river, the girl close behind. She followed the ducks past the shore, into the deepest part of the river, where she was swept away by the water. Hazel, having seen the event take place, ran off the bridge and to the bank of the river. Looking back at Molly, she said, voice quavering, “I’m sorry for betraying my promise, but a little girl’s life is at risk.”
Hazel jumped into the river, without looking back. As Hazel leaped into the river, Molly screamed, “Hazel, no! Stop!” Molly ran towards the water, but Hazel had already submerged herself in water. An explosion of sparks erupted from the river, blasting Molly back. With the explosion, Molly collapsed to her knees. “No! Not my Hazel! Not my dear, sweet Hazel!” Tears began to stream down her face.
“I’m sorry Hazel, I should have told you sooner. I should have told you my past, your past.” Molly paused, taking a deep breath. She said, “I was told when I was young that I couldn’t have a child. Being foolish, I decided that if I couldn’t have a child, then I wouldn’t fall in love. I shut myself away from the world, and became fascinated with robotics. For years, I tried to master the creation of robots, but failed every time. I became enveloped in shame, and would not leave my house. I starved myself while trying to create the perfect assistant. I became a person I would not dare to describe to you. I became a monster.”
“After a particularly devastating failure, I left my house. I saw a woman and a small girl walk through the town. I realized that I was simply lonely. However, it was too late for anyone to want to fall in love with me, and I could not have a child. I decided that an assistant was not what I needed to make. I needed to create a child, someone for me to love.”
“Now that I knew what I wanted, creating a robot was much easier. I knew the characteristics of my dream daughter, and I kept those in mind when I was creating you. Mind you, I still had numerous failures. Until, one day, the robot I had been trying to create was no longer a failure. I had created a robot, a daughter. I had created you.”
Molly’s voice cut out as she buried her face in her hands. She sobbed like she would never cry again. She began speaking again, this time just a whisper, “You were everything I had ever dreamed of. You were brave, kind, loving, and the perfect daughter. I only wish you were here with me. You brought joy into the darkest part of my life. I miss your sweet laugh, kind smile, and warm heart already.”
Voice raising to a shout, Molly cried, “I was so stupid as to think that I could have you forever! I should have told you, and now you are gone! It is all my fault! Nothing I can change will make the pain any less! I know that there is only one way I will be happy. Goodbye, my dear Hazel, and I will see you soon.”
Molly rose to her feet, knowing what she had to do. Tears still streaming down her face, she looked around her, to the city where she had grown. She whispered, “Goodbye.” Molly jumped into the river, and was quickly overtaken by the current. She glanced around one last time before plunging her head in the water, never to see the world again. The world faded black, and Molly was happy once more.