By Thao Dinh
Down in rags with a soiled stray bulldog puppy in her metallic arms, Cherie cried: “What does it take to be considered human?” Her words released into fog, vanished in the unwelcomed neighborhood of Chicago.
Across the street, there was a French bakery, doors wide opened to let in air. Its glow lit up the gloomy avenue, as it lit up a final grain of hope in Cherie’s beating heart. Her fleshy, purpled bare feet pushed against the thick snow, racing to the bakery’s entrance like a drowning sailor swimming towards a lighthouse, still holding tight to the puppy like a life vest.
“Please! I accept even moldy bread crumbs! I have been starving for days…I will work for you if it needs to be! But please, just let me eat something…I’m dying…”
The sudden intrude of the wretch disgusted customers, each sporting designer clothes and enormous faux fur hats. Exasperated, the owner with a big mustache growled at Cherie: “Pute! For the likes of you?! Half of your monstrous face is made of rusty steel and the other half mud and worms. Va en enfer oh chérie. Allez. Shoo!”
As usual, Cherie quietly exited. She almost didn’t notice her pet lingering inside the bakery, which scared a customer, causing him to drop his burning pipe. In a split second, the store was set ablaze. Instinctively, Cherie rushed towards the fire, using all her strength to drag panicked people out. Her blonde hair turned crimson, but her steel arms and left half of her face were shining as a knight in armor.
The next day, local news reported an intentional fire caused by a cyborg girl and her filthy dog. Burying her only friend, Cherie wondered if it was better to not be considered a human after all.