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20th June
posted by amber


With one hand, Raiva adjusted the VR interface glasses where they bit into the bridge of her nose, while she kept her other hand buried in Laura’s innards.

“Raiva!” her mother chided as she removed their dinners from the processor, “if you’re going to fix that doll, would you stop watching your sim! You’re sure to do something wrong and then it’ll go crazy in the middle of the night and kill us all or something.”

“Mom, it’s just a doll. Don’t be so old fashioned.”

In a few minutes, she had the doll re-booted and returned to her anxious little sister. “Thanks, Raiva! Mom said we couldn’t afford to get her fixed.”

As Suni scooted under the table to play with her doll, Raiva muttered, “No prob, honey,” distracted by the sim. The role she was playing was of a pioneer girl living in a cabin in the middle of a vast golden grasslands, where eagles soared overhead and antelope bounded around, where people could step out their doors and see the blue sky instead of living like gophers in dark cramped burrows underground. Her name was the same as the one she’d given her sister’s doll, Laura.

Her mother leaned across her to put their bowls on the table. “Raiva! Are you playing that historic game again?”

“Yeah, Mom. So what if I am?”

“Well, you waste so much time on it. Eat your dinner. You’ve got to get to work soon.”

“I hate that food plant!” She could never get the smell of mold out of her clothing and hair. “Why can’t we eat real stuff like they did in the pioneer days? Laura and her family had a garden. Did you ever have a garden?”

“Sweetie, no one’s had a garden since my grandmother was a girl. You know what, you work hard tonight, maybe you’ll get a raise. And I’ll put in some extra hours at the recycling plant. Perhaps we can save enough to buy you another module for Little House on the Prairie.”

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story was inspired by the first line of Mary Robinette Kowal’s story, ‘For Want of a Nail’ in the September 2010 issue of Asimov’s.

1 Comment

  1. Amanda

    I love your science fiction Amber!

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