Welcome to The Echo’s annual feature — Summer Soap. Now in its sixth year, Summer Soap is a daily fictional serial run over 12 parts, which started last Monday and ends today. Called Droid, this story is about a boy who builds a robot, and was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC. Catch up with previous episodes at echolive.ie, where you can also hear a podcast of the story. In the final episode, Lucca explains why he built his robot, but his mission was a failure...
The series is read by Anna O'Donoghue
“Thanks be to Christ,” says Antenna, rolling his eyes into his skull as he slams The Echo on the table.
Aileen is scrolling through her phone. “Terrible, isn’t it?”
Lucca stares at the headline on the paper; ‘TRINITY PROF FOUND HANGED’.
“‘tis not terrible,” says Antenna, “It’s great news for humanity.”
“Ah, but a man has died,” says Aileen, wiping grease from her phone screen, “His family must be devastated.”
“Poor aul family,” Antenna snorts. “I’d be throwing a party in the shebeen, God love him.”
Lucca and Eden sit smoking on the roof hours later.
“CC killed him,” says Lucca.
Eden stares at him. “What?”
“He did,” says Lucca, putting out the fag. “He’s pals with a load of lads who work for the news. And a load of politicians.”
Eden doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
“It’s a cover-up,” says Lucca quietly, “CC got rid of him. It’s been dressed up a suicide. His friends in the media and everywhere else are helping him keep the whole thing zipped.” He sighs. “Jesus, Eden, it’s all my fault.”
Eden rolls over and hovers right over him. “Ah, Luc’, why?”
“I shouldn’t have done nothing,” says Lucca.
His eyes are beading with tears. “I shouldn’t have built no f**king robot. I thought it would make me feel better about myself. I thought it would help me… make sense of humanity. But no-one actually likes Grim for who he is. They just like what he can do for themselves.”
Eden rests her head on Lucca’s shoulder.
Lucca continues: “My life was all about that robot and what it could do. Now people are killing each other over it. I was too wound up about my dad to know how to care about other people.”
Eden runs her hand through Lucca’s hair. “Please, Luc’... you didn’t mean what you said earlier, right? About this not working out?”
Lucca stares at the sky. “I want to see him again.”
Neither of them say anything for a moment.
“What’s happened to CC?” asks Eden.
“He’s gone,” says Lucca. “No-one at UCC has a clue where he is.”
Javier sticks his head through the skylight.
“There’s more of those feckers at the door, Luc.”
“Reporters? They’ll leave eventually,” says Lucca, not looking at him.
Javier stares at them. “I thought ye two were over?”
“Piss off, Jav’,” says Lucca, “Get me a Coke Zero from the fridge.”
Javier dips down for a moment but then surfaces again. “Here, Luc... I’m sorry about...“
“Leave it,” says Lucca.
When Javier is gone, he says, “I’m seriously considering dropping out of UCC.”
Eden grabs his hand and says, “No!”
Later on, he slides off the roof and into his bedroom window. He can hear Aileen and Antenna talking downstairs. He hears Antenna mention something about Estevan. About how he might be leaving the hospital soon.
Later on, they all eat their dinner on trays in the sitting room. Trinny’s death has a small segment on RTÉ News.
“They seem to have lost interest in you, Luc’,” says Aileen.
Lucca thinks about Grim, sitting in the basement.
“Don’t worry, Luc’,” says Eden. “You’ll have your proper moment one day.”
Lucca’s heartbeat is hurting. After dinner, he heads down to the basement. When he lays Grim down on the table, he takes out his tool kit and takes him apart.
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