Hot Potato! Short Story Collaboration #4 A.K Anderson

24 Jun

Hot Potato

Welcome to Hot Potato!

8 writers over 16 weeks writing 1 short story

 The Potatoes: 

Ben Cooper, Gail Aldwin, Aksania Xenogrette, CJ Sullivan, AK Anderson, Laura Besley, Gwendolyn Salzman, Natalie Elizabeth Beech

Here’s the fourth fortnightly instalment of our collaborative short story, this time featuring potato/writer AK  ANDERSON who is taking CJ’s ‘middle’ and continuing the story however she likes….

In case you need a reminder of how our story began you can find Ben’s beginning here and Gail’s ‘middle’ here and CJ’s ‘middle’ here


Here’s AK’s contribution:


The Owl saw the child approaching the fence, and wondered what this was about.

What new Legend was about to be born?

The Owl dove at the glass box inside the arcade. It held a mannequin. And the mannequin held tiny cards. Just as the mannequin had dropped The Lovers through thecrack in her box so many years before, she slid another card to the Owl.

The Owl picked the card up with her beak and rushed to the rafters to contemplate this new portent, and to observe.

Robo-girl’s memories were disturbed by the rush of air and feathers. She realized, sadly, that she was still alone, and sighed.

Was she remembering? She thought she heard human footsteps, that she could sense the heartbeat of a person of blood. Oh, how nice it would be to have a friend again. After her Tom had been gone for fifty years, her loyalty circuits were supposed to reboot. A new human could claim her with a simple touch.

Robo-girl heard more footsteps, tiny, hesitant. She sighed again. She listened to the tiny footsteps, wondering what child 100 years ago had moved so, to give her a memory this vivid.

“Chloe, wait!”

A man’s voice echoed through the arcade. Mice and rats, Swallows and Sparrows, Larks and Finches departed in a feathered cloud. Who was this man to destroy their carnival nest? A man. A human man’s voice. Robo-girl slowly pushed her torso into a sitting position. A human man like her Tom. Would he claim her? Would he be kind? Would he want to make love with her on the beach?

Her eyes had long since worn away, the sensors filled with corrosion. She used her other sensors to locate the short, breathing human who was warm, only a few armlengths away.

“Touch my hand,” she said to the child, holding out her arm. Her voice modulator still worked. She had a lovely human face, Tom had told her many times how lovely she was to him. The child would be drawn to her smile.

The small human took a step away from her.

“Daddy?” a girl’s voice said, shaking.

“Chloe, don’t touch her,” the man’s voice said, his footsteps heavy on the planks.

“Just touch my hand, Chloe” she repeated, keeping her voice set on the soft, nurturing tones. She had a lovely human face, Tom had told her many times how lovely she is to him. The child would be drawn to her smile.

When she smiled, she heard the child step away again. What was wrong?

“What is she, daddy?” the child asked as the adult footsteps grew near.

“A discarded toy,” he said, his voice filled with something Robo-girl’s sensors could not register.

“Is she a person?”

“No. Stop calling it ‘she’, it is not a woman. It has never been a person.” The adult took a step away. “Come on, Chloe, let’s get out of here. Leave that thing where it is.”

The Owl tilted its head and watched as the father and daughter left the fairgrounds.

Robo-girl tilted her head as she listened to their steps and the scrape of their clothes against the gap in the fence.

Long after they had gone, robo-girl stood. She shambled to the windmill and recharged her power. Long after the sun stopped powering her solar relays, she followed her newest data, and slipped through the gap in the fence.

The Owl pecked at the card from the arcade machine. She wondered what it meant as it fluttered to the wooden floor onto the place where robo-girl had lain.

The smiling face of the Star peered up into the night sky.



If you want to find out more about AK and her writing you can do so here:

or follow her on Twitter here:


AK’s text was passed to potato Laura Besley on Friday. The next instalment of our short story will be on Monday 8th July. It will be intriguing to see where Laura  takes us next………

FYI: The writer’s are progressively taking up the structure of beginning, middle and end. The writers can take the story where ever they like.



2 Responses to “Hot Potato! Short Story Collaboration #4 A.K Anderson”

  1. C.J. Sullivan June 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I love it!


  1. “Catch!” Story collaborating Hot Potato game with Artipeeps | A.K. Anderson | Science Fiction and Fantasy Author - June 25, 2013

    […] Part 4 (my part) – Don’t touch! […]

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