Care

Author:Michael W ChoSource:dailysciencefictionRelease time:2018-12-06

"You feel angry," Care told Makato. A fiery sensation ran up from his stomach to his chest.

You feel hungry," Care told Makato. The food tray in front of him contained pureed carrots, boiled spinach, and protein cubes. Care had been made with placid eyes, a doll-like nose and mouth, and straight brown hair. Makato looked at the front of his belly, and it grumbled.

Later she wheeled Makato through a corridor with windows opening onto a park. People in tracksuits or hospital gowns, accompanied by those dressed in white like Care, were on the lawn, none of them moving. She let Makato look out the window for a while, but she didn't say anything. They went to a room floored by multi-colored rubber tiles. People in wheelchairs sat at tables with building blocks or other toys on them.

She parked him in front of a white box with shapes cut out of the top. Plastic objects corresponding to the openings lay next to it.

"Would you like to play with this?" said Care.

Makato picked up a red triangular solid and reached toward the circular hole, but when it didn't work, hurled it away. It spun, a blur of red, and struck the bald head of a woman facing in the other direction. She had been playing with action figures, paused, and then resumed without turning around.

"You feel angry," Care told Makato. A fiery sensation ran up from his stomach to his chest.

Makato repeated the word, his voice creaky from lack of use. He rested his hands in his lap and refused to do anything else Care suggested. She took him away from the room, through an elevator and other halls that echoed with the squeak of her rubber shoes, and brought him into the park.

A soft pine breeze brushed his cheek, and the sun made him squint. A red spark lifted up from the horizon like a firework, but didn't dip back down; it rose up until it went so high it disappeared. A man in a blue gown raised a limp hand, the gesture sloppily tracking the spark. The man gulped air and shook in his wheelchair, as if trying to get out.

Care wiped Makato's cheeks with a cloth. "You feel sad," she said.