Setting Draft

“Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle…”

The non-living thing moved forward with its legs and feet covered in the soft and gorgeous patterns on a pair of grey Lolita shoes. The bounces between the steel floor and plastics repeated over and over against the rusty walls from giant industry on both of her sides. She lifted up her metal eyes within the networks of the gears——the stacks around her race up to the sky, spiting smokes upon the only area that is not covered with industries. The stacks, they are always there as the backbone of the city——from her existence to the moment of her first time staring at the sky. She forgot how much time had she been in this city and what was her time left.

Sometimes questions will flow out from her gear orientated brain. Is there sun, or is there moon, or any other thing behind the tiny spot of the grey sky? Fairytales had told her that suns and moons only exist in fairytale; plants, animals, and water only exist in fairytale; fairytale only exist in fairytale. Many years ago, of what time she cannot remember, the government blocked all the tales. The government is not government anymore, she thought, according to the memories locked up in her gears, government is used to manage something, yet that something never exists anymore now.

She cannot feel the flow of air today. Everything within the air stayed in the same position, like broken gears in a broken machine, cannot be fixed. It is not a cold or hot, neither is it a dry or wet day. Her body had lost the feeling of this grey plaza; she felt tired about all those same, unchangeable feelings she received every day at every second. She did not have a meaning of her life from her existence, nor the city wanted to give anyone a meaning of one’s life. The only command she had in her brain is to walk, to walk with the steel joints that connected her body together, to walk with the clinching sound of her ageing gears within the thin layer of rubber and plastic.

She stopped walking.

There is a spot of an undiscovered color stretched out from one of the cracks on the brown rusty wall. It is a color she had never recognized in her long-term memory stored along her metal brain. She felt that her gears are moving fasting; she felt the flow of air; she felt the hotness around her body. Emotions popped up from the deepest steel layer of her brain——vibrant, surprised, delighted.

She knows the picture.

A sprout.


Tears came out of her eyes, dropped on the steel floor of the steel city. She kneeled down and prayed and cried and laughed. The true emotions transferred from her to the tiny living thing, to the future living city and the blue skies.