Once upon a time there lived a young childless
couple. Try as they might they could never conceive; they tried everything they could find over the years until eventually they just had to give up all hope
and resign themselves to being childless. However, one day the fates smiled upon the heartbroken couple and what happened was nothing short of a miracle
. On a bright summer's morning she ran downstairs and hugged her husband, whispering into his ear. They were going to have a baby! They embraced and wept tears of joy for what seemed like hours, and from that moment on they spent a wonderful nine months together in a haze of happiness
Robert was a promising little boy; he was bright, good looking and always polite and obedient - he was a dream come true. His parents loved him dearly, he was a miracle, a special gift they would never take for granted. However at the tender age of ten he succumbed to a terrible fever, a strange disease which would not release its clutches on him. His parents watched in anguish as it spread through his body until he was withered and decayed, his limbs twisted and gnarled like a brittle and rotten dead tree. His breathing became laboured and he sprayed spittle upon exhalation, his voice became a horrible nasal whine and the Robert they knew and loved was gone.
After almost three years of this suffering, Robert regained enough strength to shuffle about the house, but he was not the boy he used to be. He constantly slapped his parents, barking "Waah!" in contempt. He always demanded his dinner at all hours of the day and looked down on everyone else as "mere mortals." Convinced of his superiority above even God himself, Robert now demanded to be called Mr Waah, and ordered his parents to do everything for him, demanding the most surreal things of them just for his own amusement. The only reason they stood for all of this was the vain hopeless hope that Robert might some day return, and this was the only thing lifting the anguished despair enough for them to carry on. His father doted on his unreasonable, demanding son hoping that gentleness and kindness would soften Mr Waah into giving up the Robert within.
One day Mr Waah's parents drove him to the park, hoping that the fresh air and excercise might do him good. On the way there, Mr Waah's constant yelling and screaming, his demanding and contemptuous rantings, were all beginning to drill into his father's skull. He started shaking, he knew he could not take this any longer, and he suddenly cried out and collapsed in tears at the wheel. The car swerved violently, weaving around the road as Mr Waah bellowed and barked and his mother screamed in terror, until eventually, cutting through all the cacophonic misery and chaos there came a terrible crash as the car swerved out of control and smashed headlong into a large tree on the roadside.
At the hospital, Mr Waah's broken father sat numb as he heard of the death of his beloved wife, his childhood sweetheart. His son was also smashed to pieces but they were managing to keep him alive, and the doctor told him it may be possible to save his son with radical new technology. The details didn't sink in through the thick mess of horror and despair, but he agreed - anything to salvage what was left of his family and perhaps allay the intense grief and unbearable guilt, even if it was only the slightest respite.
After some time, he didn't know how long - days? years? - Mr Waah's father was escorted to a special room where he would meet his reconstructed son. The door swung open, and he gasped in shock and confusion at what he saw: a tank on wheels housed Mr Waah's brain floating in thick green goo, with electrodes and wires leading to the outside of the tank where they connected to a camera, a microphone and a speaker. There was also a handlebar on the back for his father to wheel him around like some gruesome shopping trolley. It was grotesque; this was not a human being, it was not even a monster, it was just a sickening chimera of artificial life and biological machinery.
Mr Waah's camera whirred as it swivelled round and pointed at his father, and a vile nasal whine burst from the speaker. "Get me dinner! Waah!" he barked. Despite the travesty which confronted him and the former horror of looking after Mr Waah, his father rejoiced at not having lost all of his family. He thanked the scientists and surgeons with tears of joy and wheeled Mr Waah home.
However, his joy was short-lived. Mr Waah always demanded to be placed directly in front of the television so no-one else could see it, and whenever his father went out he demanded to be taken out and wheeled around, where he would yell at people from his speaker and his camera would pan from side to side, scanning for anything and anyone he could mock and yell at. "Waah!" he would bark constantly. "Get me dinner, daddy! Get me dinner! Stupid! You're stupid you are daddy!" It went on and on and on, but his father loyally wheeled his vile son's brain around, suffering all kinds of abuse as he hoped and prayed with tears of desperate sorrow that Robert might one day return to this twisted brain. He endured this pitiful mockery of a life for almost two years, still never losing hope.
One day, while he was being pushed through the park, Mr Waah entered one of his fouler, louder moods. "Waah!" he roared. "Get me dinner, stupid! Waah! WAAH!" this went on and on and on, until his fragile father could no longer bear it. "Stop it!" he shouted, but his desperate voice was no match for Mr Waah's speaker and his relentless "WAAH!"s. He put his hands over his ears and pushed Mr Waah erratically forward with his body, his eyes screwed shut. "I can't take this!" he sobbed. "I just can't! It's too much!"
Onward he went, sobbing, eyes shut, until a terrible crash broke through the din. The noise sent a shock of terror through him - the last time he had heard a crash like that.... He opened his eyes immediately, and was greeted by a sight which made him feel sick. He had inadvertantly wandered into the road, and lying there on the tarmac was the shattered glass and puddles of goo with fizzing pieces of broken electronics that were once Mr Waah. "What have I done?" whispered his father, stumbling forward. "My son!" he cried. "My son! My son! What have I done? I'm so sorry...." He fell to his knees in front of a small puddle of goo in which his son's brain sat, a small helpless piece of organic sponge, a pathetic reminder of who it once was. Pangs of guilt racked his body for all the times he had been impatient with Mr Waah. "My son!" he choked.
Nearby, the speaker fizzed and crackled. "Daddy!" it said weakly but with desperation. "Daddy! Daddy!" There was a pause and another crackle and it died out, for the very last time ever. He felt a wave of complete and utter heartbreak wash over him and sink into his stomach. It was not the voice of Mr Waah - it was the voice of Robert.