This is Bri4n.
Bri4n is a gimmick with only one main purpose in life, to sell insurance. He was created by some person, probably in a suit or a skirt, to steal people away from their insurance providers and their price-comparison websites, and lure them into the domain of the “look at this” and “you can get a free pen with this one, Nigel”.
When I found Bri4n he was hiding in a bag of charity shop clothes, right at the bottom in the hope that nobody would find him. At first I wasn’t sure if he was aware of everything so, cradled in my arms, I took him from the bag and placed him back in the real world. The light was bright in his tiny, robotic eyes, and his gaze shifted away towards the dark corners of the room.
Within a few days his temperament was more stable or, at least, stable enough to carry on with the conversation that had been dangling from my tongue. I told Bri4n that he was a gimmick and that the days of being a fixtures on television were long gone. I even told him that he was no longer a collectable and his brothers and sisters were being sold for nothing more than the price of a toaster on Ebay. This upset him greatly, I knew it would, but I needed to tell him the truth. It would sting like a bee in a hipster jacket, trying to convince his friends that baked potatoes smothered in strawberry jelly tasted better than it sounded. It was the only way he could move past this though and onto the next part of his life. I wanted a new start for Bri4n as it is something we all deserve when staring down the barrel of a downward spiral.
His recovery was carefully monitored over the next week. Bri4n remained silent for most of it, humming to himself in his lighter moments. I don’t believe that he will ever truly get past the facts that haunt his existence. I can see a great despair in his eyes that all the robot pornography and robo “road juice” can’t wash away. He is a great companion and, as a flat mate, other than not contributing anything towards the rent, nor attempting any of the various cleaning and cooking chores, he is ideal.
If you’re passing by my way you may see him, arms aloft, pupils blazing like the astro moons of Jupiter, cursing the world, lamenting his life, asking all of the important questions at the same time like a crazy old man shouting at a cloud.