Nighttime. School wasnt really lonely at night, since there were always the other electronics around to talk to, but they were all asleep. Only Lampy stayed up. He had a job to do, after all, and he wasnt going to shirk it.
His light still on, Lampy gazed down at the cluster of white eggs confined in the tank. They seemed to reflect his light back at him. From the teacher, the orange lamp knew that these eggs had to be constantly warmed so they could hatch and little yellow baby birds came out. Usually, it was the mother who sat on them and gave warmth, but in a classroom setting, that was his job. To warm with his light.
He didnt turn his stare away from the eggs. Not at all. Not when the door creaked, not when the tree banged against the window, not when the fan in the corner coughed loudly before finding a more comfortable standing position. This was life he was taking care of! He couldnt afford to avert his glow one second!
Lampys bulb burned out.
He screamed loudly in panic for a while until a pencil sharpener told him to shut up. Okay, okay, relax. Therere a bunch of extra bulbs here. The eggs didnt need warmth constantly, he would just pop into the cabinet and come back with a brand new bulb.
And so he did. The lamp unplugged himself, jumped off the edge of the tank and off the table. He jumped his way to the cabinet and easily wrapped his cord around the handle to pull. The bulbs were at the top shelf, presumably because she didnt want the children getting at them. But no, it wouldnt take long, he could climb quickly, he was experienced at this, wasnt he?
Up he climbed, up and up and up. It was exhausting, but he couldnt stop. So he kept climbing until finally he climbed up besides the small box marked Bulbs.
Somehow, he got a horrible vibe from it. He felt something amiss and felt that, as soon as he looked in the box, something bad would happen, like in those horror movies the teacher sometimes watched. But what was he supposed to do? Just stand around while the chicks slowly died? Lampy determinedly stuck his head in the box.
Nothing horrible happened. But there was indeed something rather horrible. There was only one bulb left.
One bulb. Meaning he had to take his time getting down so he wouldnt break it so the eggs would get his motherly glow. But he couldnt waste time like that!
He heard his name being called. Lampy
It sounded like the eggs were calling him.
Just, just hold on a second! Lampy grabbed the bulb tightly with his cord and jumped off without hesitation. Success! The bulb was undamaged. He quickly spat out the old one while climbing back up the table and screwed in the new one just as he hopped back onto the tank so he could shine his light once again on the eggs.
But this bulb was burned out too! He looked at the eggs. They looked dull, devoid of life.
Wait! Just wait! Lampy spat out this useless bulb, mind racing about what to do. He let his gaze fall all over the classroom and then
of course, he thought, seeing the other lights on the ceiling. Hey! he called up. Hey! Hey! Help me down here! I need a new bulb!
The ceiling lamps roused themselves aggravatingly slowly. New bulb? they asked stupidly.
Yeah, I need one! Something thatll shine real bright!
The lights exchanged glances and stared back down at Lampy. Then they opened up their protective covering to show absolutely nothing. No bulbs, they said over and over, cackling wildly. They suddenly grew arms. No bulbs! No bulbs! They reached out to grab the lamp, as if ready to strangle him or to drag him up to the ceiling to join them.
Lampy let his mouth drop open in fear, and he backed up, but he forgot that he was standing on the edge of the tank, so he fell in. He fell for a long time, though the tank wasnt even that big, all the while hearing the jeering No bulbs! and the pleading Lampy
He couldnt answer to any of these. He was screaming too much. And finally, he landed rather hard on the bottom of the tank. Though the bottom had been covered in soft grass-like stuff, Lampys head resounded loudly when it hit the floor.
The eggs were nearby. He could see that the birds inside were dead. The eggs werent firm anymore. They looked fragile and they were a sickly yellow and they smelled.
Lampy had no idea what to do. He had no bulb and obviously it was too late. The eggs melted away, turned into an ugly yellow gloop on the bottom. They revealed the blackened remains of the unborn chicks. Their beaks were open, as if gasping for air they could never breathe.
Lampy backed away until his back felt the glass wall. Though their eyes were shut and would be shut forever more, he couldnt help but think they were following him.
Wheres our bread
they moaned, though their beaks didnt move. Only, they said it all at once so it instead was a confused jumble of words that echoed in the lamps head again and again.
The unborn, mummy-like chicks turned their heads to him, beaks still agape. Lampy tried, but couldnt back up anymore, so he tried shutting his eyes, but he could still see them, somehow. Wheres our food
And they lurched up on their underdeveloped feet. Some fell back down. For a few, the legs snapped off. They advanced towards him nevertheless. The feet also followed. Lampy tried to run past them. Wheres our warmth
One of them tried to grab him as he jumped passed, but the twiggy arms meant to be wings broke off, still hanging onto his neck. Lampy gasped and so desperately tried to shake them off that he crashed into the opposite wall. The arms seemed to be trying to strangle him. Wheres our sky
Looking back, Lampy could see the others still lurching to him, beaks still open in soundless screams. Wheres our sun
Suddenly, their eyes opened. They were gleaming blood-red. In fact, they were blood. Lampy could see it continuously streaming down their black faces. Their beaks suddenly grew sharp teeth that looked like they could easily shred through him. The wings suddenly grew claw-like, seemingly able to piece holes through him. The arms around his neck were doing just that. He could feel them piercing into his neck, hurting him. Somehow, he shook them off. But they simply scuttled back to the advancing mob, which seemed to be fusing together into a large, black monster. Their various beaks screamed at him. It wasnt soundless anymore, he could actually hear it, a sound that drove nails through his head. WHERE IS OUR LIGHT!</b>
Im sorry! wept the lamp, trying to scuttle back, away from this monstrosity, though he knew there was no room to. Its not my fault!
WHERE IS OUR LIGHT?!</b> the beast screeched again, advancing on many small legs. Lampy had scooted himself into a corner. He could only try to look away as this
thing stomped up to him and breathed and drooled on his face.
It scratched him. More holes were added to his body. It bit his cord off. It continued this relentless attack until Lampy had no idea what was holding him together anymore.
Somehow, he could feel that they were just about ready to bite his head off. He wondered if he would feel any more pain after that. He let his tattered body fall over and let himself be vulnerable. What was he supposed to do? Throw grass at it?
But then he was suddenly being picked up, out of reach of the screaming monster. The cry of WHERE IS OUR LIGHT</b> grew fainter, as if he was being picked up by a giant.
This giant turned out to be the teacher, a young nice lady. Lampy cringed. He wasnt sure what was coming next, but he knew it was going to be bad.
The woman glared at him disapprovingly behind her glasses. She stared at the tank, which seemed small again, and the raging unborn creature inside. Then she carefully examined all the holes scattered across Lampy and the inside of his head. Then she turned into a monster as well.
Her nails lengthened and her hands grew withered as if she was growing older. Her face distorted, as if it was being sculpted with a pottery wheel. Her chin started to go one way and her teeth fell out and her eyes grew fiery and her skin turned gray and her hair frazzled and moved about with a mind of its own. As she talked, the chin moved further sideways, making her mouth an L-shape.
NO BULB, she screamed. The lights above cackled and repeated this. NO BULB, NO USE! NO BULB, NO USE! She screeched this over and over again, as the lights repeated this and the unborn chicks constantly chanted WHERE IS OUR LIGHT</b> in the background. Lampy couldnt struggle out of her strong grasp. He was too tired, too wounded, and he couldnt move anyways. He could only watch on as the teachers face distorted even more, as the whole room seemed to swirl around him, as everything seemed to fly out and glare.
Finally, their voices distorted. As everybody screamed at him NO BULB, NO USE and WHERE IS OUR LIGHT</b>, the voices seemed to circle around him too and grew into something rather familiar-sounding. What did it sound like? Lampy strained his memory.
It sounded like
it sounded like
The teacher raised him over her head, and he quickly realized she was going to throw him. With his body in this state, he was sure he was going to fly apart in a million pieces. No! Stop! Please dont! Im sorry! Lampy shouted, but it made no difference.
There was a loud crash.