The Manual

Synopsis: In a dystopian future, the last human is raised by a machine. He struggles with the loneliness of no human interaction and questions the teachings of a mysterious religious 'Manual' which the machine claims is holy.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Short
Director(s): Wil Magness
30 min


Did you intend to end your life?

I needed to see.

Wanna go the firewood.

I don't wanna... [unintelligible]

Daddy, daddy.

Wanna go outside.

It's okay. Its okay.

I wanna go I want outside.

I wanna go I want outside.

I know. Lets sing a song okay?

I know. Lets sing a song okay?

[Singing] Tell me why, the stars to shine

I know baby.

[Singing] Tell me why, the Ivy twines

I wanna go outside. Wanna go outside.

Okay. I know.

[Singing] Tell me why the skys so blue

I wanna go outside.

[Singing] And I will tell you, just why I love you.


Wanna go outside.

Keep him safe.

I have heard your order and will comply.

I wanna go outside.

Wanna go outside.

Day thirty-six report: Father, James continues to grow, and remains safe.


In the beginning there was the Creator.

He spun his finger and the Earth was formed.

With a thought, the plants and animals dotted the landscape.

From Him flowed man, and from Him, all knowledge.

Man was gifted with intelligence above all others.

With it man made Machine in his own image.

Just as the Creator had made man in His.

[Singing] Tell me why the Ivy twines. Tell me why

The Manual version six point zero point one three. Reality Perception.

Reality is a trickster. Blue is only blue when all agree that it is blue.

It is the nature of sentience to question. This text was born from such questions

and lifts the burden from Man and Machine alike.

We are now free to live in comfort with the knowledge that our philosophy is sound.

[Singing] Tell me why the stars do shine.

Tell me why the Ivy twines.

[Singing] Tell me why the skys so blue.

And I will tell you, just why I love you.

[Singing] Cause the Creator made the stars shine.

Cause the Creator made Ivy twine.

[Singing] Cause the Creator made the sky blue.

Creator made you, thats why I love you.

Did you intend to end you life?

I needed to see.

You know it is forbidden by The Manual.

If you had succeeded, you would never see your parents again.

It was just darkness.

An absence of time.

I died and the next second, here we are.

Do not let this bother you James.

When our experiences contradict the teachings,

we must reexamine our experiences and find the errors in observation.

Our perceptions can deceive us. The Manual is our only certainty.

Now, would you like to your your horoscope? It is an exceptional one.

Day thirteen-thousand five-hundred and twenty-seven report:

Father, James severed his ulnar artery along his left wrist.

I found him with sufficient time to perform my duty.

Why did you report that?

Your father instructed me to keep you safe

and he sees your pain clearly from the next world.

You know what The Manual states.

I know what The Manual states.

I need something else.

I need to find something.

We can resume our search for people if that is what will give you solace.

Would you like to hear your horoscope now?

Man, Machine and Animal.

There is no room in the City of the Creator for animals.

The base instincts, with no intelligent mind to guide them have no place in His city

where suffering is unknown.

When Man and Machine pass through the gates, ills and malfunctions are left behind.

The flesh does not rot. The metal does not rust.

I have located the map.

As you are aware, we have cleared a radius of two-hundred miles.

So I propose we start at zero degrees and work our way clockwise beyond the searched area.

It is a six day walk to the unexplored, so we will need provisions for you.

Are you aware that I am composed of meat?

Blood, bone and meat.

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Wil Magness

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Manual" STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Dec. 2023. <>.

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