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Chester Burton Brown

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The home bought twenty-seven robots from the hardware store, but only one of them would live forever. Since the robots were covered under warranty for just thirty-six months this represented an exceptional value.

At the ninety-month mark twelve of the original twenty-seven were still standing. Which twelve of the twenty-seven was impossible to say, because each was composed of parts cannibalized from the others. As a cohort they had commingled, and the commingling continued. At any given time any number of them might be laid up in the shop, worried over by the home’s custodian as he swapped innards from one to keep the other online and then back again once the mending was done.

Who was who? Not even the robots knew.

The residents called all of them Bobo.

“Bobo, I’ve fallen!”

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