The Automatic Concrete Soup Theory

Within the thick walls of an Industrial Unit stood Mr. Automatic, a weird looking computer key who had pencil drawn letters instead of eyes, a space bar for a mouth and speakers slightly hanging from each side gave him the possibility to hear and more importantly take in, store and process human commands.


Perhaps the dullest inhabitant of the Industrial Unit was Mr. Concrete, whose job was to support and surround it. Burdened by millions of footsteps and his own heavy weight, Mr. Concrete, or ‘Tsimento’ as he was known to his friends, had become quite dreary. He grunted and moaned about anything and everything.


Ms. Soup, the luckiest of the Industrial Units tenants, lived in its more luxurious side, away from the dark and morbid surroundings where Mr. Automatic and Mr. Concrete where staying.


She lived quite happily in a small kitchenette decorated with red chequered curtains. Inside her home Ms. Soup sat showing off her vibrant red tomato colour, waiting for her suitors to arrive.


In the year 2345, and on the 40th day of Melch, the dawn of the big day was just breaking. The “National Day of Simply stuff” was the day when all the inhabitants of the Industrial Unit gathered and talked about a life without humans.


« Oh man, just picture it: no being stepped on, no mal-handling from those constipated looking women wearing those stick like shoes, no running, no liquids spilled upon my rear from time to time, you know what I mean? »  said Mr. Concrete with a cockney accent as his left side cracked a little.


« No » Said Ms. Soup with her attitude “Française”. « I take it personally. Humans have this ingrown habit of stirring me like crazy. The salt, ah… ‘Le sel!’. Some of them sprinkle it all over me without even trying me out first! Then you have others who overheat me, slide me from one cup to another, mix me with various; croutons…meat… oooh, it’s just awful! ».


High on a bench Mr. Automatic just sat and listened quietly. He always seemed to be down to earth and knew that if it wasn’t for this bunch of humans they wouldn’t be sitting here celebrating this national day, and come to think of it, they where fortunate enough to actually have a national day…


So he just remained silent and just mingled…


« At least they don’t come up with new versions of yourself all the time. By the time I get used to the idea that there is a better, stronger, handier version of myself there’s a new one popping out ” said Mr. Automatic. Being from Dubai Mr. Automatic was of top-notch quality, after all he was the only one who could build walls, plaster and make frappé at the same time. But the olden days had long gone. Today’s invention was tomorrow’s history.


Blinking his on and off button he continued. « At the end of the day you just end up in the bin. Our fellow over there, pointing to Mr. Fantastic, who once upon a time could merely lift bricks, well, he just gets dustier and dustier as time goes by and well I…I…I know that one day I too will end up either in a cupboard someplace, in a dust bin, or even worse, I might be broken into millions of pieces… »


Up upon the wall, very slick looking and posted at a hand’s level stood Mr. Click. That’s the nickname he was given. You see that’s the only noise he would make when a human pushed down on him with his finger, but although a mute he had extreme powers. He controlled that technological power known as electricity…


All that murmuring nearly drove him out of his socket! Poor Mr. Click provided all these guys with the power to be what they where and seldom did he get any gratitude. Sometimes he compared himself to the sun, he thought he was so great and loved the capability he had to give his fellow friends and humans, I mean come on! What would these guys be without him?!


The voltage coming from deep inside his body started humming and thus rising. Higher. Extremely high. And then… POP! Absolute silence. Darkness. Emptiness. Everything suddenly stood still. The murmuring stopped. Mr. Automatic looked rigid and useless. Mr. Concrete had his mind together but what would he become? And as far as Mrs. Soup was concerned, well she would probably just rot away between her high-society residence.


As for the humans, they had just realised the true meaning of the « National day of Simply Stuff » and very soon the 40th of Melch 2345 would merely be known to them as « The Automatic Concrete Soup End Theory”.


Published in Pixel This Zine, 2006

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About Melissa Hekkers

I am freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus. Recently, I've been focusing on developing my writing, promoting my own books and teaching creative writing to children and adults. My most recent publication (2020) - Amir's Blue Elephant- pushes the boundaries of creative non-fiction, and recreates the moments that marked me the most, whilst volunteering in refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece, and during her ongoing involvement with the refugee community in Cyprus. In 2018 I published My Capre Greco Mandala which is the third in a series, an interactive colouring book about the biodiversity of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus. My Akamas Mandala, the second in the series, is a colouring book inspired by the variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Peninsula. In 2016, I published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia. I also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: I writes about migrants and refugees, both as a reporter and a features writer; I profile them and teach them creative writing skills. In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, I published my first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, I launched my second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which I was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award. My third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014. In between the last two books, I published my first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth. In 2019 she was contributing author to the anthology Nicosia Beyond Barriers: Voices from a Divided City, published by Saqi Books, London