The Anomaly | Teen Ink

The Anomaly

October 27, 2012
By E.J.Mathews GOLD, International Falls, Minnesota
E.J.Mathews GOLD, International Falls, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 145 comments

It used to be that humans made machines, but somewhere along the course of history things had gotten switched around. Now body parts were mass produced, and assembled together in a factory. They were assembled from top to bottom, starting with attaching the toes to the feet, and ending with the attachment of the skull over the brain. Each one was built with precision, and exactly the same, or that was what they thought.

The whir of machines raged on as they always had, and as they always would. The sound was of men being built. They all only had two basic instincts, and they knew what those two were. Men were meant to work, and then die. After walking off the assembly line, they wandered into a dark room. Followed by an overlord, they would pick up a worn out shovel, and start scooping the dark, heavy coal into their furnace.

When death finally approached, they would suddenly get the urge to join the warm, dancing flames, and escape from their cruel masters. That was the way things were, and it was the way they would always be.

One believed there was a different way out other than the burning coals. He believed there was a way to take control. Day by day, he eyed his shovel. Each time he lifted it, he felt it grow heavier. Soon he would not be able to lift it. The man knew he had to act, and fast.

As a machine floated by, its metal gleamed in the light of the furnaces. Something snapped inside the man's head. He took his shovel, and swung with all his might. When he opened his eyes he found the robot in two, on the ground. He was triumphant. He then shouted out to his fellow man.

"Together we can rise up! We can defeat the machines! Who's with me!?"

At first there was silence, but gradually the sound grew. It wasn't what the man had hoped. He hoped it was the start of a chant, being born as a minuscule whisper. As more and more began to mimic the sound, he realized it was the exact opposite of his dream. It was the sound he had heard since he had been brought to life. It was the clang of metal hitting coal, and the roar of the fire consuming more food.

Slowly, quietly a machine floated into position. It analyzed the man's movements, along with the security footage. It made its decision; the human was too dangerous to be kept alive.

Suddenly a dart arose on the man's heart, and he dropped his shovel. A tear ran down his face as he leaped into the flames. Shortly after, another human took his place, picked up his shovel, and started to work.

The machine floated through the corridor, and back to its commander.

"What was the situation in Unit 56713?" It asked.

"Nothing of importance."

"We lost a human. The Mother would want to hear about this. What should we tell her?"

"Just an anomaly."

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This article has 13 comments.

Mickey_D GOLD said...
on Jan. 21 2013 at 8:05 pm
Mickey_D GOLD, Santa Cruz, California
11 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you don't believe in that subconscious self as a writer, then you shouldn't be doing it. ~Ray Bradbury

Simplicity is definitely this story's niche, though I do believe some of the social commentary and the fleshing-out of this dreary future was lost in that simplicity. I liked the idea of simply one ordinary man developing anomalous behavior according to his peers and acting violently in rebellion. He cut a machine in two and expected his comrades to change, but was instead faced with the same passivity that has and will continue to exist. That simplicity was good.   Though I do believe in the midst of reading I was hoping for a bit more description of the setting as a whole (the setting in the "dark room" was perfectly fine), and I did desire a bit of emotion or commentary from the Anomaly himself.   Also, I wasn't sure what you're trying to say about the machines themselves: have they become the human element of the world? They speak to each other almost like humans, though I'm not sure if that's the perception you're looking for.   Great concept, though. Good luck on your future writing endeavors! ~MNK

on Jan. 11 2013 at 9:36 pm
therabidrabbit BRONZE, Rockville, Maryland
3 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
Two things are infinte: the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe - Albert Einstein

i like it...especially the beginning. If every part of it sounded like the beginning, i think it could be even better! 

IMSteel BRONZE said...
on Jan. 6 2013 at 8:53 pm
IMSteel BRONZE, Wallhala, South Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 128 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Learn from Yesterday, live for Today, hope for Tomorrow" - Albert Einstein

"Brevity is the Soul of Wit" - The Which

Pretty good, it could some better...what's the word...feeling, I think.  Otherwise a good story.  Keep writing!

on Dec. 29 2012 at 2:19 pm
E.J.Mathews GOLD, International Falls, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 145 comments
The problem with expanding on this piece is that it has a Terminator, or Matrix theme about it. 

on Dec. 29 2012 at 11:36 am
Claudia.VII BRONZE, N/A, California
2 articles 0 photos 51 comments

Favorite Quote:
\"Let them eat cake.\" -Marie Antoinette.
\"Genius is born-- not paid.\" -Oscar Wilde.
\"Press the button, we\'ll do the rest.\" -George Eastman
\"If you\'re going through hell, keep on going.\" - Winston Churchill

Firstly, all the best ideas come in Bio, trust me, studying for finals, I find more stories than I do notes. Anyways, I liked this piece. I liked that it made a point while balancing light and dark through uses of an almost fairy-tale like atmosphere in the beginning. I found this a sincerely enjoyable read, keep up the good work!

on Dec. 26 2012 at 11:02 pm
jdaniels1779 BRONZE, New York, New York
3 articles 1 photo 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou

I love how this article hints in my opinon how technology is taking over human society. Keep writing and make sure to check out my stuff once pending has approved!!!  writing makes the world still human.

on Dec. 26 2012 at 7:22 pm
BrandNewBeginning BRONZE, Moreno Valley, California
1 article 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It takes a great amount of courage to stand up to our friends, but a great deal more.. to stand up to our friends."
"Never back down."

This was really good! I think you should expand and make it into a novel. You're an amazing writer! 

on Dec. 23 2012 at 6:20 pm
E.J.Mathews GOLD, International Falls, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 145 comments
Exactly right! I wrote this while I was bored in Biology class, so I had to finish it a little abruptly.

on Dec. 23 2012 at 3:30 pm
marchbutterfly GOLD, Orange, New Jersey
18 articles 0 photos 12 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When you play God, you get screwed."

I really did like this. It was really creative and very well written and almost seemed like a social commentary. The only criticism is that I wish it was longer. Anyway well done.

on Dec. 22 2012 at 8:39 am
E.J.Mathews GOLD, International Falls, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 145 comments
Thanks! I'm always worried about how well my stories are written, and its nice to hear when I've done a good job!

on Dec. 22 2012 at 8:36 am
E.J.Mathews GOLD, International Falls, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 145 comments
Thanks so much! I've honestly never read Fahrenheit 451, but its on my list. I love that this story gave you unanswered questions, because that's exactly what keeps a reader wanting more. Thanks again, and I can't wait to read your stuff!

on Dec. 22 2012 at 12:32 am
applesauceHater SILVER, Nikolaevsk, Alaska
8 articles 0 photos 124 comments
Bwah!!!This was awesome(kinda, just kinda remindsme of fahrenheit 451, or atleast the style, which is good!!!)This could easily  be turned into something longer, like another guy that actually prevails!!!!it would be aweseom!!!but then again, the ending was very thought provoking, Like people dont think , and when one does, hes an anomoly!!!its trajic but an awesome story!! awesome writing skills btw!!!:)

on Dec. 21 2012 at 10:13 am
GuardianoftheStars GOLD, Shongaloo, Louisiana
17 articles 0 photos 495 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Let's tell young people the best books are yet to be written; the best painting, the best government, the best of everything is yet to be done by them."
-John Erslcine

I liked it! :) It was a fresh new twist and something like I've never read before. Very refreshing. ^_^ Out of creativity and how you wrote it I'll give it a 5/5 stars. Keep it up!