Karin stood looking at herself in the mirror with her arms crossed. Her dark hair sat in a messy bun above her pouting face. She scanned her reflection up and down dismissively and exhaled. Her outfit was casual, and she had clearly had had a few kids. The tank top was easy to throw on, and the leggings were comfy.
"Thirty seven isn’t old. I still got it….. ” She tried to assure herself. She bit her lip nervously. She had had a few kids, and things never quite shrunk to where they were before. She squeezed her arm, should it have been this squishy? Was that too much tummy? Her legs were nice right? The leggings gave them a nice shape. Plump thighs, that was a good thing. Her feet were definitely nice. She took good care of them….usually. The chipped blue polish wasn’t doing them any favors. She flexed her toes. Size 9 isn’t big is it? She was kinda tall, they had to be in proportion. Her soles didn’t feel quite like sandpaper quite yet, so that was good. She checked her hands, were they fat? They were soft, but never got the attention her feet did, unpainted and in need of a trimming.
This was her morning routine and she couldn’t help herself. It wasn’t even Karin’s fault that she was being critical on herself. It was in her programming.
The REAL Karin had gone on a trip with her family, and had been relaxing on a beach somewhere without a care in the world. And despite all her own critical thoughts, she had a lot of self love hidden in her too. Maybe a little too much in fact. That’s why when she went to splurge and order a robotic home sitter and helper she ordered an exact duplicate of herself. All it took was a few quick body and brain scans, hair samples, and two weeks of production. She explained the odd choice of a copy of herself as helping her kids feel more comfortable with their new at home helper. But it was all to satisfy a narcicism that Karin hid from everyone, even herself.
The robotic duplicate had let herself in a couple of days ago, after the family had already left. She found a note on the counter, with an extensive list of chores to do. The real Karin never got around to a lot of the house work, believing there was no better time than tomorrow to get started. The only fault in her plan to return to an immaculate house was that her duplicate had the same philosophy. The note quickly found itself in the trash, and the food in the fridge was pilfered quickly.
Robo-Karin spent her days lounging about, streaming shows and movies, and eating all the snacks in the house. She had an advanced internal system that could convert food into energy like a real human. Her cloned skin even perspired, grew hair, and required regular bathing. She was so realistic she could heal from scraps and cuts like a true person. All these technological marvels culminated into one thing; another lazy housewife.
There were a few benefits to being artificial however…
Karin sat on “her” couch, left arm elbow deep in some pretzels as the romantic comedy she had been watching was coming to a conclusion. The remote went missing a week ago though which was rather annoying. Not having a smartphone to use as a remote herself, Karin had to get creative.
Perched by the buttons on the TV was a right forearm. A right forearm that terminated about two inches from where the elbow would be. It was so real that it looked like something from a horror movie, except for the simple metal connector port and grey synthetic muscle in the open end. With a bit of practice, Karin could change the TV to whatever she wanted without getting up using her detached limb.
The handsome man on the screen got down on one knee, as the pretty lady put her hands over her mouth. Karin was completely enthralled. Her ring finger shot up nine feet away and turned up the volume a few notches. The man smiled a perfect smile.
“Charlotte, I know this is so sudden….but would yo-”
NO SIGNAL DETECTED.
'No!” Karin shouted, spraying bits of pretzel out on the coffee table. She had been watching for the better part of two hours and was at the home stretch. “Damnit…” She waited a couple of minutes and glanced out the window. It was a beautiful day outside. It couldn’t be the weather…had the real Karin forgot to pay the bill this month? Despite never meeting face to face, Robo-Karin knew herself all too well. If this kept up, she would run out of distractions and actually have to consider cleaning.
The thought terrified her.
She placed her head in her remaining hand and contemplated her predicament. An itch struck her right leg. She reflexively reached to scratch it before remembering she didn’t have a right hand at the moment. She huffed before freezing. She couldn’t feel her right arm anymore. Sure it was off of her, but she had been feeling and controlling it a few moments ago. She glanced towards the TV.
Still sitting where she had left it was her hand. The arm seemed to be moving frantically without any direction from her. The fingers stretched out as her hand swiveled on it’s wrist. “The Wifi!” She had limited access to the homes wifi, which had been allowing her independent parts to communicate with one another.
Karin got up and approached her own arm cautiously. The arm showed a lot of character for a single limb. It seemed panicked, having been cut off from all of it’s own body's senses from the elbow up. Suddenly it started to drag itself forward looking for the rest of itself. Karin was hypnotized by the strange scene. Her hand looked so helpless and cute like this. She snapped out of her odd thoughts just as the hand was about to crawl right off the TV stand.
“Careful!” Karin whipped out her left arm just in time and grabbed her detached limb. The hand flailed in bewilderment. After a moment though it seemed to relax and slow. Karin was enthralled with her own hand and watched as the fingers flexed inquisitively, reaching out for something to touch. It wouldn't even feel like playing with herself....
Karin shook her head. It was probably best to stay in one piece right now with the internet down. She managed to get the forearm squished under her left armpit, and attempted to line up both connection ports of her right arm. Her wiggling fingers tickled herself, and with a surprised laugh she dropped her hand. The arm flailed again, shocked by the sudden fall.
"Damn." As she began to bend the arm did something Karin couldn't believe. The fingers clenched tightly, all except the middle one. "Wow, you've got some nerve... maybe you shouldn't squirm so much? Did you consider that?" Thoughts of punishing her hand crossed her mind. Then self-awareness hit.
"God, what am I doing?"vShe got on her hand and knees “If you make this easy I’ll give you a manicure.” She promised the deaf limb. The arm clawed angrily at the empty air as she grabbed it. She got a good purchase on the end of her limb and shoved it into the empty socket below her elbow quickly.
Instantly feeling and control returned to Karin. There was no visible sign that her arm had ever come off in the first place.
She sat on her knees for a moment and admired her handiwork. “Maybe my hands do need some tlc. They are kinda important. I don’t know about you though.” she told her right hand, only half joking.
With no TV she had to come up with some other way to distract herself. She pondered for a minute. AH-HA! Mani-pedi! Something she desperately needed! She wouldn’t even have to go outside for it!
Jumping up with uncharacteristic energy, Karin made for the stairs to “her” room. She found herself in her charmingly disheveled bathroom, rooting through the drawers for supplies. She pondered about the point of her makers making her so accurate as to need this kind of maintenance. It was a blessing though at the moment she decided though.
“Some nice music, maybe a little wine, a foot soak.” She was getting herself excited. “Just what I need.” She collected all the little pieces in a tupperware container and made her way down the hall to the stairs. She could lay in a lawn chair in the backyard and get some fresh air. That was healthy right?
That was when it happened. Right before she made it to the landing her barefoot stepped on a discarded toy car. She had dodged it several times, but forgot about it on her return trip. She was flung forward, all of her supplies flying out before her. Her head connected with the wall at her chin. What could have been a fatal accident for her real self was mitigated by her robotic nature. Kinda.
There was a pop sound and Karin felt herself spin through the air and land on her cheek. Here eyes were squeezed shut. It took her a moment to realize she couldn’t feel anything from the neck down.
There was also a pop sound and Karin felt herself land flat on her chest. She was thankful that some of the extra mom weight cushioned her fall. It took her a moment to realize she couldn’t open her eyes, and she hadn't heard a thing since that popping sound.
Karin suddenly opened her eyes. “Oh..” She was laying on her right check, half an inch from the top stair. It looked much higher then she remembered. She couldn’t lift her head, and her eye started to flit about quickly trying to access her situation.
Karin also gripped the carpeted floor with her hands. Her eyes still weren’t opening, and something didn’t feel right. She brought her hand up slowly to her face, but there was only air. That can’t be right she thought. She moved her hand lower, and felt an empty port where her neck should have been.
Karin’s head heard a noise behind her. It was the sound of some bumps on the wall and the odd creak you hear sometimes when a person gets up. Now she could hear frantic patting on the wall moving toward the corner.
Karin’s body was panicking. Her big toe touched something. She recoiled for a moment. Was that a bowling ball? She tentatively nudged it again with her toe. Was that hair?
"ver hear! Hey, there you go. Careful…CAREFUL! I’m right by the - AHHHHH!!!!”
She felt it tip and roll away. The stairs! At least she had noticed those before she got hurt! She stood, feeling the vibrations of the heavy ball bouncing down the stairs through the soles of her feet. She gripped into the carpet with toes. Wait, Hair?!?!
Karin’s head bounced and spun down the stairs. The last step sent her high in the air before she landed straight onto her neck stump. Something chipped off of the connection port in her neck before she rolled onto her left cheek. “Owwww…..” she grumbled.
The body stumbled down the stairs blindly. One arm shot out to detect any obstacles as the other braced her to the wall. She tested the steps as gently as she could, afraid of stepping on a piece of junk or her own noggin. Thoughts of her head shattering into a million pieces at the landing of the stairs filled her with dread.
Karin’s head was sore all over, but relatively unscathed. She heard the sound of foot steps coming down the steps. Her body must have missed a step, as she tripped forward, bumping into the wall at the bottom. All Karin could see was the side of her own foot an inch from her face, a slight odor of feet hit her nose.
She finally was at the bottom of the stairs. She carefully lowered herself onto her hands and knees. She patted the floor a few times before she found it. Her fingers explored something with warm skin and a ball of a hair at the top. She found it! She gently placed both hands on the sides of the lost head and lifted. Sat on her rear legs crossed and using her sense of touch she rotated her cranium to face her. It was heavier then she thought it would be, but warm and soft too. At least it seemed to be in one piece. Her fingers felt movement, was her head talking to her?
"Thanks a lot! You almost killed me!” Karin’s head glared at her body. She didn’t get a response. “Hello….anyone home? I-woah”
Without warning sensation rushed into Karin’s head and body simultaneously. Karin’s head barely caught herself. The body’s previously panicked AI was quickly overwritten and both parts felt a common frustration at her situation. The wifi must have come back on.
"Thank god.” Karin sighed with relief. She hugged herself tightly to her chest. Her face smushed into her bossom, she took in the smell of fabric softener and herself. After a moment she placed her head down in her lap facing up. This point of view had given her a new appreciation for herself. She really was quite attractive she wasn’t she? Thoughts of lusts entered her mind.
“Hey beautiful….” She purred. A soft hand stroked her cheek gently. She could have a lot of fun like this. “I might be a stay at home mom…” she knew she wasn’t a real one, but enjoyed the persona granted to her. “…but I still got it don’t I?”
This body wasn’t fat and old. It was mature and full-figured. She was hungry for her own attention. A bright smile beamed at herself as she brought her hand up to the sting on her tank top.
WARNING - POWER LOW - 1 MINUTES REMAINING
The words scrolled across her vision in red flat letters.
“Huh?” Her head should have had more than enough energy to last for several hours. Something wasn't right. She’d have to go back to one piece for now and figure out the problem.
"Maybe this afternoon…” Karin commented wistfully. She began to pick her head up delicately. At least she could still pamper herself. Thoughts of polished nails and lingerie filled her mind. She brought her neck down between her shoulders. She lined up both ends and pressed down.
Where was the click? This was the first time her head had come off; it just must have gone on more smoothly than her arm. As soon as she had released however her vision pitched forward and she found herself rolling across her lap and then the floor. She flapped her arms in disorientation. As her head settled, she got a view of her own panicked movements. She looked like a headless idiot from her point of view several feet away.
WARNING - POWER LOW - 1 MINUTE REMAINING
“Really?” Was something damaged in the fall down the stairs? She crawled forwards clumsily, her vantage point not matching the direction she wanted to go. She reached for herself with the wrong arm in a rush, her sense of left and right skewed facing her body head on like that.
WARNING - POWER LOW - 45 SECONDS REMAINING
"Hurry up!" she barked. She found purchase on her bun and hauled herself up hastily. Her teeth grit and eyes clenched shut as the full weight of her head pulled against her hair. Quicklt she grabbed herself with both hands and spun her head around. She realized with her eyes close that manipulating her head in her grip by touch was much easier.
WARNING - POWER LOW - 30 SECONDS REMAINING
With both ports lined up once more she pushed her noggin back into socket. No click. She sat and caught her breath and waited for several seconds; holding her head firmly in place. No power warnings displayed. Good. She was getting power to her head; it just didn't lock into place. She couldn't hold it on her body forever though. What could she do?
"Tape!” It was genius! She had seen duct tape somewhere. Where was it again? She got up carefully, her right hand pressed down on her cranium. She made her way towards the kitchen. The tape had been in one of drawers. It had to be.
“Come on Karin, you got th-”
Her shin bashed into the coffee table and once more she was in temporary flight. Karin’s head soared from her grip into a laundry basket which tipped over, smothering her in her own dirty laundry.
The pain dull pain in her shin and shock at another fall distracted her for a few crucial moments from her most pressing issue. The first power warning went unnoticed as she took in the sent of dirty socks and underwear.
"Owwww....." the muffled moan emerged from the pile of clothes.
WARNING - POWER LOW - 10 SECONDS REMAINING
Her eyes shot open. A soft smelly blackness engulfed her head.
"NO NO NO!" She felt herself get up....somewhere.
“I’m here!” fear filled her voice. She felt the wood floors of the living room under her palms as she crawled on her hands and knees. She scrambled through the room to make contact with her lost head.
WARNING - POWER LOW - SHUTTING DOWN
"COME ON! THHIiss iiisssnnnn'tttt fffffaaaaiiiirrr.....” Her voice took on an vacant as it slowed and her stressed expression softened. All thoughts ceased as the last bit of power drained from the head.
Karin’s body was cut off from her head once more. She was on her own again to navigate the house with only one out of her five sense. Where was her head? She was stuck in this house without any kind of help until the real Karin got back home.
She stood unsteadily. The realization of her situation hit her hard. Not having a head would be boring. Really really boring. Like REALLY REALLY REALLY boring. No sight, no sound, no talking, no music, no tv, no movies, no food, no distractions! She was doomed! Hysterical thoughts coursed through her circuits as her sightless rampage begain.
Arms flailed and legs stumbled as she tore through everything in her path. Within moments the lamp beside the couch had crashed to the floor. Next had been the coffee table, flung to its side. And soon the rest of the house would follow.
The real Karin and her family had no idea what they were coming home to.
Karin lounged on the couch, hunched over with her legs spread as she finished up her project. She sat in an old gray over-sized t-shirt and black yoga pants. Her hair was down, she hadn’t bothered to do much since getting out of bed. The morning had been kind of productive. She had at least gotten Karina, her seventeen year old to school on time (almost). Her husband had left for work while she was gone. Finally, she had the house to herselves. “ Can we watch something else?” A voice came from her lap. “ Can we watch something else?” A voice came from her lap.
“ Can we watch something else?” A voice came from her lap.
“ Not yet, I’m almost done. ” Karin responded with the exact same voice. Set between Karin’s thighs was an exact duplicate of her. Or at least an exact copy from the neck up. Karin was in the process of styling the head's hair into a neat braided bun. The detached head strained to look up from her perch, a cellphone cord attached to the connection port at the bottom of her head. Set between Karin’s thighs was an exact duplicate of her. Or at least an exact copy from the neck up. Karin was in the process of styling the head's hair into a neat braided bun. The detached head strained to look up from her perch, a cellphone cord attached to the connection port at the bottom of her head.
Set between Karin’s thighs was an exact duplicate of her. Or at least an exact copy from the neck up. Karin was in the process of styling the head's hair into a neat braided bun. The detached head strained to look up from her perch, a cellphone cord attached to the connection port at the bottom of her head.
“ Come on, the tutorial is pointless at this point. ” Robo argued. “ Just a couple more minutes, I want to see how this will look on me.” “ Just a couple more minutes, I want to see how this will look on me.”
“ Just a couple more minutes, I want to see how this will look on me.”
“ Aww, please,” the mechanical noggin whined, “ can you at least turn something else on. We both know that you got this. “ I’m not really this impatient am I? ” Karin glanced up at the TV to make sure she was doing it right. Almost there. She glanced down at the top of her own head. She had been a hairdresser back in the day; but it had been years since she practiced her craft. “ I’m not really this impatient am I? ” Karin glanced up at the TV to make sure she was doing it right. Almost there. She glanced down at the top of her own head. She had been a hairdresser back in the day; but it had been years since she practiced her craft.
“ I’m not really this impatient am I? ” Karin glanced up at the TV to make sure she was doing it right. Almost there. She glanced down at the top of her own head. She had been a hairdresser back in the day; but it had been years since she practiced her craft.
Robo-Karin looked about the room as she waited impatiently. Her body really did a number on the place. Luckily for her, Karin was able to convince the rest of the family to chip in to get the house back into some kind of order. The rampaging body had been shut down with some sort of phone app, and was currently resting upstairs in the closet. Robo- Karin’s head had been active for about half an hour.
“ So is my neck issue fixed? ” she asked.
“ Pretty sure at least. We glued some pieces back in that we found by the stairs. I guess we’ll see what happens when I disconnect you.”
“Huh, I uh.. guess so.” Robo’s voice sounded concerned.
“Annnddd TA-DA!” Karin clutched both sides of the head and jerked her up to get a close look at her work.
“ Hey careful, you're going to make me dizzy! ” Robo-Karin protested.
“ Damn, I look cut with a bun… ” Karin proclaimed as she wavered between admiring her own work and being jealous of Robo-Karin’s hair. She swiveled the pudgy ball in her grip to face her. She really had pretty eyes, didn’t she?.
“ You know, I bet you would. And I know somebody who could help you with that….” Robo-Karin arched an eyebrow.
“ How about after you clean up the mess you made? ” Karin teased.
“ Ha ha, your funny. ” Robo-Karin muttered.
Karin squinted her eyes. “ Your right though. Maybe I do need a little TLC. "
“ I’d give you some if I could…” There was something in the way Robo-Karin said that.
“ Well since you put it like that… ” Karin pinned the charging cord below to the ground with her foot and pulled.
“ OH! How about a warning next time! ” Robo-Karin gasped. She glanced side to side, no power warnings. “Ha, I think it worked! I should be all set!”
Karin stood and arranged Robo in the crook of her arm. “ Lets get you some arms and legs then! ” They made the trip upstairs quickly, both excited for what was to come.
Robo-Karin watched from a pillow on the bed as Karin opened the closet. She backed out huffing, as she dragged a headless body out from the closet by it’s ankles. She grabbed the limp bodies wrist and pulled, propping it up in a sitting up position.
“ Whew…. your heavy. ” Karin placed her hands on her hips as she looked down. Seeing herself with no head was interesting.
“ We both weigh the same amount. ”
“ No way, look in there, ” She pointed at the opening between the shoulders. “your’e made of metal and stuff. I can’t be that heavy. ”
Robo Karin rolled her eyes. “ Oh really? Wanna bet? ”
“ Hey, do you want a body or not ” Karin walked over to her duplicate’s dome.
“ Sorry….. I’ll watch what I eat …. as soon as I have a stomach.”
“ Right answer. ” Karin grabbed the head by her sides. She crouched as she tried to line up the ports.
“ There we go… there should be a-”
Robo-Karin jolted up as she felt a rush of sensations. Her body came back online and she took control. She wiggled her fingers and admired them. “ Ha! There we go! ” She bounced up and squished herself to Karin tightly.
Karin smiled as she hugged back. She was really soft, wasn’t she? She sniffed.
“ You need to take a shower. ”
“ And you need to brush your teeth. ” Robo-Karin beamed back, as she backed up. They both looked each other up and down, captivated.
“ Wow, the mirror doesn’t do me any justice. I still got it... ” Karin said as she admired “her” body.
“ Yes I do… ” Robo-Karin bit her lip. Her eyes settled. “Wow, I love that color! Did you get that done at the beach?”
Karin wiggled her toes, decorated with a glossy coat of mint green polish. “ I know right. Look even my fingers match! ”
“ Lucky, last time I tried to do my nails my head fell off. ”
“ Well, you're the one with the gorgeous hair. ”
“ Aw, all thanks to you! ”
“ Well, beautiful, why don’t we do something about my hair and your nails? ”
“ Sounds good! I think we’d make a pretty good team. ” Karin’s and Karin’s self indulgence had reached unprecedented new heights.
After gathering supplies they both hunkered back down in the living room. Robo-Karin sat on the couch legs spread, her eyes glued on the tutorial that had been on earlier. Karin sat on the floor between the legs, her hair starting to take the shape of a bun.
In front of Karin was a plactic container with warm water. In it were two detached feet. She lifted one out of the water and started to dry it with a towel. She set it sole up in her lap and traced a finger down the instep.
Robo-Karin jumped a little as the toes scrunched. “ Ha ha! Hey! It’s your hair that’s on the line!”
“ Man, I don’t know if the pumice stone will do. You know where the cheese grater is? ”
“ Oh your just soooo funny. ”
“ Aren’t I? ” Karin smiled as she picked up the foot and started scrubbing the hard spots. It was crazy, how could a robot get rough feet? She was enjoying her task however, so why complain. Were her feet really this big though?
Within the span of 5 minutes, the foot was clean and soft to the touch. She flipped it and looked at the nails. A few flakes of blue dotted the corner of the nails. “ Are you cool going with blue again? ”
“ That’s good with me, ” Robo-Karin nodded her toes in confirmation as she weaved another braid. They continued on, both relaxed and enjoying their own company.Robo finished setting the bun as Karin applied the last coat of polish to a pinky toe. “ Done! ” They both shouted in unison.
Robo finished setting the bun as Karin applied the last coat of polish to a pinky toe. “ Done! ” They both shouted in unison.
“ Done! ” They both shouted in unison.
The pair enjoyed the rest of the day on the couch, a bag of chips passed between one another. Both sat with one leg extended, their foot resting in the other’s lap, as they gave each other foot massages.
“ This is the life…” “ Yes it is….” Karin’s phone pinged. She checked for a notification. “ Oh, Tiffany wants to meet for coffee. What do you thi-” Her eyes went wide “ Oh crap! Karina is getting out of school in 5 minutes! ”
“ Yes it is….” Karin’s phone pinged.
Robo-Karin sat straight. “ Hey, you know what? You went this morning, I'll go this afternoon. ” She was feeling oddly charitable after a day of pampering.
“Yeah, pass me the car keys and I’ll grab her. Ask Tiff if she can pick you up and go have fun.” Robo-Karin smiled, proud of her own generosity. “I bet Karina won’t even notice it’s me and not you. ”
“Hah, you probably right! ” Karin went upstairs to dress up as Robo hurried out the door.