Flash fiction: In Memoriam

From the prompt “brass” at Ad Hoc Fiction.

He lives in a heap of rusted metal parts beside the old shopfront on Marley Road. He’s an older model; a ‘67, maybe, long obsolete. He pays no attention to the world, until you stop in front of him. Then tiny pinpricks of light in his eye-sockets focus, and he holds out a flower to me.

The materials he uses are dead; polished brass, rusted iron, silvery aluminium, fragile plastic, thin wire. But under his tools, they come alive. It’s a long time since I have seen anything as beautiful blooming in the real world.

I hand him a coin, which he pushes between his teeth.

“Where do you get your materials?” I ask as I tuck the metallic rose into my uniform.

“My fallen kin provide.” His voice is a flat drone. “Now they have another use.”

He starts another flower, and I walk away into the smog with a memory pinned to my heart.