flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: Anna P. for Sale

This flash is inspired by an image from wiki commons.

A spotlight opened on the darkened stage and a beige female figure rose with liquid grace to an upright position.

Above her, on a balcony, a short, balding man spoke into a bright red microphone. “The Anna P. 5 is latest version of automotive robots. It is more graceful and more productive than ever before. Watch.”

A slow throbbing beat filled the air and the Anna P. extended a leg and spun. She raised her arms, as if holding a pole, and twisted her body around like an exotic dancer gone wild.

“As you see,” When the announcer spoke, the music stopped. She froze in position, both arms behind her, one foot lifted off the floor, back arched. “Anne P. flexibility is greatly improved. It also has better equipment. Anna.”

She rose to a standing position and pulled away the skin covering her belly, showing a number of sockets and a small screen.

“Its skin color is thoroughly customizable.”

Anna touched the screen and her skin color changed from beige to ivory to caramel to chocolate.

“It can be programmed to whatever you need. Waitress, bartender, cleaner, bouncer. We are not allowed to display the function, but the Anna P. is sexually functional. It can also lift up to 500 kilograms.”

At this, another Anna P. walked onto the stage. She dragged a cabinet stacked with four large cement blocks behind her and tossed two to the other Anna P. The music came back on and they danced with the blocks, tossing them through the air like balls of cotton.

“If you buy now, we’ll throw in accessories for free.”

The second Anna set her blocks down and opened the cabinet to display numerous hair pieces, eyes, mouths and chests.

“If you would like to buy, please line up at the cashier,” the announcer concluded.

46 thoughts on “Friday Flash: Anna P. for Sale

  1. And when do the Anna P.s revolt?
    I really liked this, even though the image kept me distracted. I never catch it switching direction!

  2. Creepy indeed, but I sure could use an Anna P — or the male equivalent. Gotta lot of housework ;^) Very clever. Peace…

  3. So with that image, I kept coming back to two equally terrible jokes.

    First, given the psychological studies the image underpins, I totally wanted Anna to have spin-cycle problems. Various viewers see her moving in opposing directions.

    Second, in response to this: “It’s skin color is thoroughly customizable.”

    I went with Harold Ford and thought, “So long as it’s black.”

    I’m a bad person. I apologize.

  4. A nice piece of sci-fi but I to am wonder when this AI will become aware – hold on to your hats when it does!

    I think I may have spotted a typo “but the Anna P. sexually functional.” shouldn’t that read but the Anna P. is sexually function?

  5. Now that’s a research project I could get behind… I mean I’d be on top of things… er, staying abreast of the developments… [somebody stop me….]

  6. I like your Anna P. Is there anything she can’t do? The fully functioning sex thing is disturbing though! I think I spotted an “it’s/its” error in there somewhere! Eeek!

  7. That was disturbing, lol. It evoked feelings that I similarly felt when reading Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl.

    Way to make us uneasy!

  8. OMG, there would be a huge line forming for that, I would imagine. Hmmm. I can’t believe how disturbing the story is, and you did a great job to get it that way.

  9. Sonia,

    I like that you didn’t shy away from the question of sexuality, so to speak. You painted a picture of a world that is coming soon. I wonder what it will mean for relationships and the dynamic between woman, droid and man.

    Nice work.



  10. Creepy? Or a sign of actual things to come? Either way, the story was wonderful!

  11. Nice future you’ve captured here and I like the way you address it through the lens of the floorshow. I’m in the creepy camp, but I think that is because the robot seems to willing to follow the announcers commands. (I like how you didn’t directly assign a sex to the robot.)

  12. It calls to mind an eBook I read called His Robot Girlfriend, but this was executed better than the book.

    I could see the Anna P driving down the birthrate in “first world” countries even farther… I hope these guys read their Asimov for when those babies get self-aware.

    There’s one more typo: “She dragged a cabinet stacked with four large cement blocks behind her and tossed two the other Anna P. ” Did she toss two blocks *to* the other Anna, or did she toss the *cablnet to* the other Anna? (Lordy, always one more typo!!!)

    1. Three typos in one story – this is not good. Clearly, I need to review more.

      Never read (or heard of that book), but better executed sounds good (typos and all lol). In first world countries and every where else, too. But there might be different versions of it, so as to better target different demographics and offer a variety of price points.

  13. Very creepy. I like this. And like the others before me, I could see this becoming a reality. The future of blow-up dolls and cleaning service combined. Yikes.

Say something and make my day!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s