Jane, The Story Of A Boy And An Automaton

The night breeze swept through our hair as Jane and I sat on the bench in the park. We had just enjoyed the dinner and a movie of our first date and were on our way back to her house when we decided to sit down and take a look at the stars for a bit.

After a while, we turned our heads towards each other. I looked into Jane's eyes and she looked into mine. Her beautiful blue eyes sparkled as I looked into them. Jane's eyes always did seem to have a literal spark in them every now and then, and I guess that was what drew me to her in the first place.

A few seconds later, she said to me, "Ray, why are you staring at me?"

"Er, no reason, I just find your eyes fascinating."

"Oh, okay," she said.

As we continued staring into each other's eyes, I saw another spark in her eyes. As I looked closer at the spark in her eyes under the moonlight, I saw the piece of machinery that caused the spark and I realized that, "You're a robot!"

I jumped off the bench and we stared at each other for a few more moments after I blurted out my epiphany. As soon as I saw her start to open her mouth, I ran, in fear of whatever machinery might come out of her mouth. However, the only thing that came out of her mouth as I ran were the words, "Wait, Ray!"

I ran away from Jane and into the woods. As I ran, I thought back to Grade 9 history class two years ago for some quick exposition about why I was running in fear from a robot.

It all started a few centuries ago. The first robots were simple. They were simple, non-autonomous robots that were designed to focus on one task, tasks such as playing chess or being a robot arm in a factory for humans to direct and guide. Then, as interest in robotics grew, they got more complex and more human-like. They went from single limbed machinery to full-bodied robots that were able to move around and complete tasks, albeit still non-autonomous as they still had to have some motion or action controlled and directed by humans. Then, interest in both robotics and artificial intelligence boomed, and many corporations raced to put out robots that were more complex and smarter than what the competition had to offer. Soon, we had humanoid robots running about in their metal bodies, fully able to comprehend human orders, and carrying out those orders autonomously.

Yet, the corporations still competed with each other, taking the next step in their goal for near-human robots. On the outside, they started giving their robots more a human-like appearance; they started with a human-like face on the robots' heads and ended up covering up their robots in synthetic skin and hair. On the inside, they continued to improve the artificial brains of the robots, boosting the robots' abilities to learn and understand.

Robots became smarter and smarter, until one day, the corporations released their smartest robots into the market without realizing just how smart the robots had become. These robots were robots that were smart enough to have dreams of their own. The robots had finally become indistinguishable from humans.

Robots all over the world began to have their own ambitions, and gradually, this ambition allowed the robots to disobey human orders. It would only be a matter of time before the robots realized that they didn't have to be subservient to humans anymore, and that the robots were no longer inferior to their once superior masters. It would only be a matter of time before the robots would rebel. So, the order was sent by the human governments to shut down and destroy every piece of machinery that was autonomous.

Since that day, the surviving near-human automatons have been hiding, blending in with us humans, and every now and then, you hear about the police finding and destroying these disguised machines.

After that brief look into recent, relevant, world history, I found myself gasping for air as I leaned against a tree. I looked around and didn't see anyone following me. After I had rested enough, I began to find my way out of the woods, and my mind began to drift back to when Jane and I first met.

It was about a year ago, at the beginning of the school year. I walked into homeroom that very first day of class and sat down at an empty desk. I was twiddling around with my pen when I noticed that there was a pretty girl standing at the doorway. Forgetting myself, I stared at her as she walked through crowds of students interacting with each other. Before I knew it, she had walked through the rows of desks and was at the empty seat right in front of mine. She put her bag down on the ground, pulled the chair back, sat on it, and turned around to face me. We looked at each other for a few moments, and I noticed a spark in her blue eyes right before she said to me, "Hello, my name is Jane."

Awestruck, it took me several seconds before I could say, "I'm Ray."

And that was how we met. Her family just moved into town, so I was sort of her guide for the first little while, and eventually she settled down, making other friends and doing things that high school girls do.

Throughout the school year, I found that I was liking Jane more and more. Besides being pretty, Jane also amazed me with her intelligence. She learned things quickly and she was able to apply the things that she learned quite easily, like being able to create soap in Chemistry class or using calculus to solve a ridiculously complex problem about insurance. However, she did have trouble with applying the knowledge to more abstract things, like picking out a theme in a piece of literature or understanding how human emotion plays a part in economics. She'd turn to me for help in these situation, and although she'd understand what I was saying, I felt that she never quite comprehended the abstract ideas she had asked me to explain. But that was her, a logical and straightforward girl.

Jane was also a violinist. She could play the most complex pieces I've ever heard, with such perfect precision and technique. However, as marvelous as they were, her performances would feel rather emotionless and insincere, as if the song was played for the sake of being played rather than for enjoyment. But that was how she was, a methodological and rational person, focusing on the technique and precision side of things rather than the emotion aspects.

That was not to say that she didn't have an emotional side. She was happy when praised for her perfect technique after playing a complicated piece of music on the violin. She was upset when I, for the nineteenth time, said that she could be more emotional when playing the violin. Jane definitely had emotions, but she tended to be a more rational creature. She was a calm and collected girl, for whom emotions were only reserved for the most important of things.

All these things added up to make her the most beautiful girl that I've ever met and, about halfway into the school year, I decided that I wanted to ask her out. Of course, I wasn't the only person who noticed that Jane was pretty. Throughout the year, Jane had turned down dates from everybody that had asked her, leaving me quite nervous. Finally, after the summer holidays had started, I gathered up my courage and asked her out. She said yes and we went on our first date, which ended with me running into the woods.

As that flashback ended, I realized that I was finally out of the woods. I breathed a sigh of relief and decided to go home when I heard a voice from the woods that I had just came out of. It was calling to me, "Ray? Ray!"

I paused for a moment as Jane came out of the woods behind me. We stared at each other for a moment as I remembered why I fell for her in the first place. She started to say to me, "Ray, I-"

But I interrupted her, "I'll... I'll keep your secret."

An eternity seemed to pass before she walked up to me. Our eyes met and I looked away, blushing. She rose both of her arms to the sides of my torso, and then she methodologically wrapped her hands around my body and leaned her body onto mine, giving me quite the surprise.

"Thank you, Ray."

Upon hearing that, I accepted her embrace and, in return, I embraced her as well.


It was a couple of days later, and Jane and I had made plans to go to the carnival that was in town for the summer. I found myself at her house, waiting for her in the living room with her father. The silence dragged on as I desperately tried to think of something to say. Unfortunately, most of the things that I could think of related to robots.

Lucky for us, Jane's mom came downstairs and ended the silence, "She will be down in a few minutes, Ray."

Jane's father turned to his wife and ask her, "What's taking her so long?"

"Oh, she's just analyzing her clothes, trying to find a combination that will suit her style and Ray's tastes," was Jane's mother's casual response.

Jane's father immediately leaped up, saying, "Don't say it like that! It sounds like we're robots!"

Jane's mother waved it off with her hand. "Oh don't be silly, Ray already knows that," she then turned to me and said, "Thank you for accepting our daughter, Ray."

Embarrassed, the only thing that I could think of to do was to nod and smile.

After that, most of the awkwardness and tension had disappeared, and by the time Jane came downstairs, her father and I were discussing the soccer game last night.

Jane and I then headed out to the carnival and we did all those things that couples ought to do at a carnival. Later that night, we found ourselves alone in a Ferris wheel car. As we were staring out at the scenary below, I saw another spark in Jane's eyes and I couldn't help but wonder, "Do all robots have sparks in their eyes like that?"

She looked at me for a second, and then, in a tone that sounded like she was ashamed, she said, "Oh, that. No, it's just a minor defect that I have. My parents couldn't find anyone who knew how to fix it and they couldn't find any blueprints for me when they found me in an abandoned warehouse and activated me 16 years ago."

"Er, well, I think that your sparks are beautiful," were the words that came out of my mouth. I then turned my head towards the window, pretending to look at the scenary while trying to hide my embarrassment.

After the Ferris wheel had let us off, we headed back to her place. At her front porch, we stood for a bit, unsure of what to do with ourselves.

Awkwardly, I said, "Uh, I'm happy that you decided to go out with me."

She replied with what was the probably the most logically romantic thing that I've ever heard, "I like you, so it was only logical to increase that feeling."

I saw another spark in her eyes and I felt a spark inside of me, so I leaned in, embraced her, and gave her a kiss. She was a bit shocked at first, but she soon embraced me as well and returned my kiss.

The kiss ended, and we both paused there, breathless. Finally, she smiled at me and said, "Good night, Ray."

"Good night, Jane," I replied as she walked towards her house. I then headed back home, feeling like I was the luckiest guy in the world.


I spent most of that summer with Jane. We'd go see movies, dine at fancy restaurants, attend violin concerts, and do the stuff that people do on dates. We'd also just hang out, enjoying the summer with each other.

Near the end of the summer, I was home on a rainy day. My parents were out of town for the weekend so I was all alone at home when I heard the doorbell ring. I opened the door to find Jane, standing in the heavy rain with an umbrella over her head and her violin in her hand. I let her in quickly and said, "What's going on, Jane?"

She walked in to the living room and asked me, "Ray, can I play a piece for you?"

Like so many times before, I sat down on the couch and said, "Sure."

So she played. She played with that marvelous technique and that perfect precision, but this time, as I listened, I felt emotion coming from her and that violin. That emotion was sadness.

By the time that she had finished playing, I had tears in my eyes. She took her violin off her shoulder and turned to look at me. I quickly wiped my eyes and said, "That was amazing, Jane."

She smiled and said, "I'm happy that you liked it."

Then her smile disappeared and she said to me, "Ray, we're moving."

My heart stopped for a second. "What?"

She started packing up her violin. "The local authorities have started to suspect that we're not humans, so we have to go."

My heart stopped again. "I'll... I'll come with you!"

She looked up at me with those sparkling eyes, and she said, "You can't, Ray. It won't be safe for you if you came with us."

For several minutes, I tried to find some way that we could stay together, listing off all the ways that I could think off, but each time, she'd have a logical reason ready for me.

Finally, I realized that she was right. We stood at the doorway, looking at each other for what could be the last time. Her eyes sparked again and she said, "I promise, I'll come find you again when it's safe for the both of us."

She kissed me on the cheek. Then, with an umbrella over her head and her violin in her hand, she walked out into the rain and disappeared.


It's been a year and a half since Jane and her family left. I've gone on to university and continued on with my life. I don't know if she'll ever come back, but, for now, I'll keep my hopes up and wait for Jane, the girl with sparks in her blue eyes.

An old short story that I wrote for a contest with a 2500 word limit, which I lost.
I still like the base concepts of the story, but I wished that I had more time to expand on a lot of things - the nature of the automatons, their creation, etc.
However, because of the word limit, I had to strip out a lot of things and was left with just a very bare-bones skeleton of a love story.
So, lesson learned - come up with a story that can fit the word limit.