The Talking Robot is a creepy story about a young boy who never learned to speak. In order to help him, his parents buy him a doll as a present – a robot that can talk.
I have a son who I love with all my heart, but even though he is 5 years old, he is not able to speak. I can’t stand it when people refer to him as “dumb”. He’s an intelligent boy, but he has a problem.
When he was just a baby, my son suffered a serious illness. He recovered from the disease, but he never learned to speak. My wife and I took him to several psychologists and therapists, but none of them were able to help him. They said the cause of his problem was psychosomatic and he would eventually grow out of it.
My wife and I spent a lot of time with our son, talking to him and encouraging him to repeat words after us. All he was ever able to make was a high-pitched wailing sound. Sometimes he would get very frustrated and break down crying. All we could do was hug him and assure him that we loved him.
One day, I was in a toy store and a doll on one of the shelves caught my eye. It was a talking robot. I decided to buy it for my son as a present. I was hoping it might help him finally learn to speak.
When my son opened the box and saw the talking robot, he was overjoyed. He was so excited, he hugged me and made high-pitched wails. I pulled the string at the back and showed him how to get the robot talking.
My son fell in love with that toy and brought it everywhere he went. I would often hear him playing with it in his bedroom, pulling the string and making the robot talk. However, my son never spoke a word.
One morning, my son came down to breakfast and I put a plate of waffles in front of him.
“I don’t like… this,” he muttered.
For a few seconds, I couldn’t believe my ears.
“What did you say?” I asked in surprise.
“I said… I don’t like… waffles,” he repeated in a dull monotone.
I rushed over and hugged him tightly. Tears were streaming down my cheeks.
“You can talk!” I shouted, joyfully. “You can talk!”
“I can… talk,” said my son.
“How?” I asked, my voice heavy with emotion. “How did this happen?”
My son raised his hand and pointed to his bedroom.
“It was… the robot,” he said haltingly. “The robot… gave its power… to me.”
After that, my son began talking every day. He says a few words every day, but it is always in the same dull monotone. I should be happy, but I’m not.
There is something different about him. He doesn’t show any emotion anymore. He never cries. He never smiles. He never hugs me. He just sits there, staring at me.
He also never plays with the talking robot anymore.
Yesterday, I picked it up and pulled the string.
It made a high-pitched wailing sound.
No matter how many times I pull the string, it still makes that high-pitched wail…
… the same high-pitched wail my son used to make.
Even though my son doesn’t play with it anymore, I’m afraid to throw the talking robot away.