photo prompt by Liz Young



From the storefront, Tavian watched his new technician sitting idle in the workshop. Her gaze skimmed broken toys, gaudy parts in states of disassembly and electronic disrepair. On the workbench, the EM-stylus rested untouched.

Her caseworker had warned him the girl required leeway, wasn’t quite right. He’d agreed on the trial but needed results or couldn’t keep her no matter how bright.

Perhaps feeling Tavian’s eyes, she looked up and nodded affirmation. But to what question? Curious, he went to investigate. Picking up a doll delivered with a broken voice processor, she switched the baby on, and it talked.  “Mama.”


Friday Fictioneers: 100 word stories