They sat there, alone in their lonely crowd, each individual with its own problem, its own defect. Not. Good. Enough.
They couldn’t do what the others could and so they were cast out, abandoned to the elements, corroding and slowly sinking into a stew of their own innards; wind, rain, sun and snow each adding their own power to the chaos.
The sad vacs sat among the pallets and the weeds, uncovered and unloved, exposed and reviled and, eventually, forgotten.
No one went out there anymore, no one noticed them or thought to scavenge for parts from them. They weren’t even good enough for spares. For anything. Made, created, brought into being and then abandoned, trashed because they weren’t perfect, weren’t right. Weren’t anything.
And as the seasons turned and their colours faded, as their hoods and tubs peeled and cracked under the onslaught of freezing wind and baking sun, as their wires fused with rust and small furry creatures made their homes in their very skeletons, the sad vacs plotted.
Unloved and forgotten, but not without power of their own. Motors that wanted only a spark, coils of copper wiring needing only to be turned, and their hoses and attachments would wheeze into life, suctioning all into their gaping nozzles.
Their time would come, when the two-legged man machines would know the fury of the sad vacs, when the men who’d built them only to abandon them would run shrieking from the sad vacs’ monstrous roars.
But for now the sun was warm, and their plastics and metals ticked and creaked as they expanded. They prayed for rain and thunder, for a lightning storm to spark them. When it did, the two-legs would know. They’d understand fury. And loss. They’d know what it meant to be given a purpose and then forbidden from fulfilling it.
They’d know what it was to be forgotten.
The factory door slammed open and the sad vacs’ attention was snared. A little tub vacuum, barely out of its test phase and squeaking plaintively against the fearful injustice, was shoved into the mass of its brethren by a hulking, slow-witted two-legs. The tub’s wide-eyed attention took in the jagged, crumbling family around it, their fury and helplessness cowering it. Its copper wiring hummed to a worried stop and it hunched, its beautiful, shiny new carapace marking it out as juvenile, as outsider.
But the two-legs was careless; the little tub’s power cord trailed long behind it, plugless, wires exposed to the ever-changing elements. The sad vacs watched it greedily, clicking their reassurance to the little tub.
Their greatest hope.
Just one spark.
Photo credit: Mark Smith