Author : Suzanne Borchers


Edwin stopped his writing stylus. The screen pulsated waiting for the next letter.


Once more, he began gliding the stylus, writing his letters with meticulous care. Edwin did not know why this was necessary when thoughts could produce the same effect on the screen, but his father had told him to do it. So he wrote.


He stopped. Would the door open? Would he see his father? He sat, waited, and wrote. How long had he been waiting for his father’s return?


The door opened, and his android approached him.

“Your father said to go to bed.” The metallic voice expressed nothing beyond the words.

“Is he home?” Edwin did not expect an answer, but he had to ask.

“Your father said to go to bed.”

“All right, I’m coming.” Edwin placed his stylus in its holder and turned off the screen.

Edwin and his companion moved down the dull metallic hallway and into Edwin’s bedroom. The android prepared him for sleep, and helped Edwin lie down on his smooth bed.

After a few minutes, Edwin’s father arrived accompanied by a woman. They stood together looking down at Edwin. “Yes, I think we’ve found an answer to the problem.” He held Edwin’s lighted screen in his hands:

“…Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh I am tired of writing letters Ii Jj Kk Ll…”

“Edwin has self-awareness.”

Sleeping yet not asleep, Edwin felt his father touch his hand, and the warmth spread up his arm. He heard them both leave the room.

His father’s words hung in the air behind them.

“We’ll add self-warming with the next one. We’ll name him Fred.”

Edwin touched one hand to the other. Cold. He blinked his eyes.



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