Archive for July, 2014


Monologue of a cleaner

by Camilla Stein

I am a cleaner and I like my job.

I mean, it’s a job, it pays my bills, and it’s not the worst job in the world – unlike those awful mining jobs on Mercury; folks like myself melt there all the time, get home burnt and bruised if at all. So, yes, I like my job. Only sometimes I wish I were doing something else. Something more poetic perhaps, more elevating, something for the soul.

See, I clean up the streets of San Francisco. Every day I go out and I clean up. My employers also give me great tools. This is perhaps the best part of my job – tools. I have a few very handy gadgets, but the incinerator is my favorite. It leaves nothing behind. Spotless clean – just how I like it.

Another tool is what I call ‘a catcher’- it’s a nifty little thing that you throw out like a lasso and it wraps itself around your target while on the move. I have to say, this is perhaps the biggest hazard on this job. Not all targets are easy to handle. Singular targets are low maintenance, I deal with them in a matter of minutes. But when there’s a group, things get a bit messy. Many try to escape. They would spot your vehicle from afar and split in all directions, especially when they are part of a larger colony. Catching them all is tricky, more so when they’re smaller, younger. But I have a reputation to maintain, so I work hard. Once I even was the employee of the month. It felt good.

All and all, you need to know I don’t like leaving any blood or other bodily fluids behind. Large corporations want to see their cities bloodless – it’s written into the Universal Code of Cleaners. Clean as a whistle I believe is what they call it. And they’ll do anything to make it so.

In fact, this is how I got into this business in the first place. The word on the streets was these corporations were ready to pay a mighty dollar for cleaning jobs (things were getting out of hand fast and something needed to be done with those sweaty smelly bags of flesh) and were ready to take it to the next level. So they would hire anyone who wasn’t afraid of getting a bit dirty and was ready to uphold corporate work ethics when it came to cleanliness. I don’t mind getting a bit dirty. I mean, look at me, I have nothing on me that would get ruined by a little blood spatter here and there. One wipe with a sonic towel and I am spotless again – just like my work place. So that’s how I got hired.

Now, I have to say – and this is important – my job is rewarding in its own way. After all, by the end of the day I look back at my results and see that I made the world a better – cleaner – place. This feels right to me. Recently, I’ve been thinking of starting my own freelance operation. The market for this is strong. I could go international… even interplanetary if I wish. It does seem like the world of possibilities.

Do I bore you with my story? Oh well. You should know that I’m an android. No human on this planet would do my job. In fact, there’s not many humans left here anymore – I’ve cleaned up most of them.

Camilla Stein ©2014. All rights reserved.

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