They say humans form their first memories at about three years old. I don’t remember when Kayla’s parents first activated me, but I do remember Christmas Eve. My skin was a honey-colored bear cub, all brown eyes and big paws. I was programmed to sing and recite the alphabet, the pad-screens on my paws loaded with scripts to flash colors, letters, and numbers. They tucked me carefully into a big green box with a red bow.
Mom patted me between the ears. “Go to sleep.” The words triggered hibernation mode, and I felt my eyes close.
They hadn’t named me yet. They wanted Kayla to do that herself…
My story “The Bear with the Quantum Heart” is now online in this week’s issue of Strange Horizons. (Squee!) *ahem* You can read it (and comment) here: