Naive as a creature of this forsaken world, I stumble upon an unsuspecting form of machinery. Coated in its unusual metal finish, it sported a remarkable plain architecture, so bare a structure that it gravely fails to identify itself, nor its purpose of existence. With my innocent mind I inspect its body, carefully examining its structure, make and form. I ran my fingers through the empty divide that seems to separate the machine into two. I pressed my ear into its sheer metal finish, and I heard clangs and hisses and many other incomprehensible sounds. Beside it, I spotted a minuscule device that seemed to operate the machine. It consisted of symbols I knew I have seen before, but can’t seem to remember. I pressed one of the buttons, and then I grew flabbergasted.

The top of the machine lit up with unusual symbols I can’t seem to comprehend. It seemed to tick like a clock, one lighting up after the other. I heard sounds from beneath the metal barrier, sounds of something moving. After a few seconds, the empty divide that separated the machine into two grew larger, larger and larger, until it revealed an empty space right in front of me. It seemed to be a portal, a small room. I entered the room, and examined it for a while. The room was brighter than outside, and buttons with the same unusual symbols were mounted on the wall on the right side of the room. As I looked around, the small room was of the same metal finish, only its floor was more of wood than metal, but I can’t really distinguish between the two. With my curiosity growing bigger by the minute, I pressed a button on the wall. The empty divide started to faint smaller and smaller, until I couldn’t see the place where I have gone before I entered the machine. The machine seemed to make an upward motion, as my feet can feel it moving. I almost grew sick but I contained it for the meantime. When the machine stopped, the empty divide once again grew larger, revealing something that for the second time, made me grow flabbergasted.

The metal machine with great metal finish, strange symbols and wooden floor, took me to a very strange place, a place I’ve never been to before. If I may say it, it brought me to a new world, a world different from where I have gone before I entered this strange metal machinery. In my mind, I started to ask questions.

“Where am I?
“How did I get here?”
“What was that machine for?”
“What is this place?”

With my childlike gaze, I approached a fashioned creature attired in the most unusual manner, gadgets and stuff hanging from it. I tugged and pulled on its attire, and it looked down on me. I pointed at the strange machine I have just alighted, with the empty divide still wide open, and then it gazed at it and gave a hearty laugh.

“Where did you learn to use the elevator, young child?”

So that was what that strange machine was called.

“That Strange Machine” is one of the few short short stories I’ve been storing in my hard drive for many months now. This afternoon, I decided I should post it because I found meaning in it already. When I wrote it way back November 2005, I really had no intention or meaning I wanted to impart. This afternoon, however, I was stricken by the idea. In a nutshell, I was able to understand my own work, 5 months after. Weird. I never thought it actually meant something.

Anyway, “That Strange Machine” is an irony (my favorite!). It talks about innocence and maturity at the same time. The experience of the character is mainly innocent, but the discourse (the way he re-tells the story) is very much mature. Let’s just say I can very much relate, being in this stage called “adolescence” and all. I’m really in a battle between childhood and adulthood, between being childish (or carefree) and being mature. And “That Strange Machine” shows just that. Hope ya like it. ^__^

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