FLASH FICTION: Jenny

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My only friend is the robotic cat that helps me when I fall down. Her name is Jenny.

Well, I have big leg trouble. My one leg is twice as big as the other leg. I’ve gone through two sets of hips now because of the strain of lugging around my big leg. I put soup cans in my purse to balance things until I was accused of shoplifting.

I fall down a lot. Medication makes me dizzy. I take three pills three times a day and two other pills two times a day and this new pill once a day. Those aren’t the directions but it’s easier to remember.

Thank God for Jenny. When I fall down now and say “Jenny!” she glides right to me. She hooks her claws into my sweater and lifts me up. Once, she pulled my shirt right off and my bra. I would have been so embarrassed if I had friends!

The best thing about Jenny (except for the helping) is if I put a record on and stand her on her back legs she dances in rhythm in a stiff way. It’s not helpful but it’s sure entertaining.

The worst thing about Jenny is that at the end of the day you have to wind her up. You crank her tail till her eyes light up. It’s not a problem for me now, not a big problem, but my arthritis is catching up with me. I take glucosamine three times a day. But one of these days, I won’t be able to wind Jenny. Her eyes won’t light up. And when I fall down she’ll just sit there on her stand not moving. I’ll be rolling around on the floor, and not with laughter! You don’t laugh when you can’t reach your glucosamine.

Every night before bed, I pray that nothing happens to my Jenny. I pray for God to give me strength to wind my Jenny. I can’t afford the new Solar Jenny or the Vibrating Jenny. I’m on a very fixed income.

When I climb into bed—it’s not easy, with a big leg—and turn out the light and see her red eyes shining at the end of the hall, charged and ready, it’s such a comfort to me. I don’t mind getting up in the night because I know they’ll be there, glowing like heavenly coals.

But if I ever woke up suddenly, and only saw darkness…

God! I don’t know why I’m telling you this!

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