The tomatoes ripen and die and ripen again before the first survivor bangs with mud-soaked hands on the door to GRD-N3R’s greenhouse. GRD-N3R is a good android. He has taken excellent care of the plants here, and here is his reward. A human to appreciate his long labors.
“This is all you’ve got? More fucking tomatoes?” The survivor launches one at the reinforced glass where it bursts into juicy tears. “Are these all you boltheads grow these days?”
GRD-N3R is a good android. He learns from mistakes.
Thankfully, new fertilizer will make the next crop of tomatoes the best yet.
Hayley Stone is an award-winning author and poet from California whose short fiction has appeared in Apex Magazine, Fireside Fiction, and more. She is best known for her weird western novel, Make Me No Grave.
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