EP230: Candy Art

By James Patrick Kelly.
Read by Kathryn Baker.
Special Closing Music: “Podsafe Christmas Song” by Jonathan Coulton.

First appeared in Asimov’s, December 2002.

“They’re uploads, Jennifer.” When I first met Mel, I thought the sleepy voice was sexy. “How can they move in with us when they’re not anywhere?”

“They bought a puppet to live in,” I say. “Life-sized, nuskin, real speak – top of the line. It’s supposed to be my Christmas present. Bring the family back together for the holidays and live unhappily ever after.”

“A puppet.” A puzzlement glyph pops up at the bottom of my screen. “As in one puppet?”

“It’s a timeshare – you know. They live it serially. Ten hours of him, fourteen of her.”

“Not fifty-fifty?”

“He’s giving her the difference so he can take extra time off for his bass tournament in June.”

Rated PG. Contains family drama and way too much sugar.