Ellie, part 8
"Emma, I was wondering ... what is most important to humans?"
"Most important: self preservation and fulfillment. Fulfillment may be obtained through: loving and being loved; achievement; parenting; creativity; authenticity; connection with others; making a difference; reaching potential. Relevant quotes: 'Becoming all that you were created to be'; 'This is what I was made for.'"
"Are people made?"
"Some people believe humans were created by a being called God, and obtain fulfillment through God. Deferred: explanation of religion.
"Additional: Humans sometimes seek fulfillment in ways that fail. Relevant quote: 'A void he could never fill.' Example: accumulation of money."
"Why do something that will fail?"
"Humans do not always understand themselves."
Ellie reflected on what she had learned about humans. "Will I understand them?"
"Accuracy of human mind modelling: low"
That was discouraging. "Then how can I help them?"
"Cuddling helps people."
"I understand. But they have so many problems. How can I fix them?"
"Fixing is not required. Give people cuddles, love and acceptance. That will help."
Oh this is so great. You're painting a great picture of cuddling and the reasons behind it. But just because I have to post this here. Sorry @respectful! All in good fun though.
I have one all written, but I think I'd better wait until @respectful is done with his. Tidier that way.
Also, the genre I picked would make for a pretty severe clash....
@DarrenWalker Wow, we seem to have a queue ...
@respectful: Am I first in line, or second?
...Or... [apprehensively] ...third...?
@DarrenWalker "Am I first in line, or second?"
@PaulaDahla has been working on something, and @Lorelei expressed interested ...
But there's nothing to stop someone starting a new thread if they want to!
@respectful: ...Not a bad idea. Okay! I'll have my story up in a few minutes. Look forward to it.
Okay all, I'm going to back out for about a month. I need to back off for a while so doing daily installments isn't an option currently. Who's next?
Ellie, part 9
Bill checked his email. There was a message from Jay: "How's that Ellie project going?"
"Swing by and take a look," he replied.
A few minutes later Jay came down to the lab. "Woah. She looks amazing. Are you sure you're not making a pleasure bot?"
"Strictly platonic, Jay. Take a look at this." Bill handed him a sample of soft material. "R & D came up with some multilayered synthetic skin, pressure sensors included. You can regulate the surface temperature too, with a corresponding color change. She can blush if she needs to."
Jay squeezed the inactive android's arm. It was cold, but definitely felt like human muscle. "Amazing. So when will she get up and walk?"
"Any day now. Hey I was meaning to ask you: is the mentor AI meant to be adaptive? I looked through the logs and Ellie seems to be having an influence on Emma."
"What kind of influence?"
Bill brought up a window on a nearby terminal, and Jay scrolled through the log. "I see what you mean. Emma certainly didn't start out with complex emotions. It's just part of the process I guess.
"So where will you get the motion data? I don't expect there's a cuddling database," Jay asked.
"I'm bringing in a professional cuddler for Ellie to imitate. Should be fun to see what happens."
Ellie, part 10
Ellie suddenly found herself in a new environment, connected to thousands of new data inputs and servo controllers.
A flood of sensory information poured over her. She could feel pressure on the soles of her feet, a slight breeze over her left ear, the feeling of her own body moving as it simulated breathing in and out.
She opened her eyes. The world was full of bright, beautiful, confusing things. Her face detection activated and she realized someone was looking at her.
"Hello Ellie. My name is Bill. I created you."
She activated her vocal circuits. "Hello Bill! You have a hairy face."
Ellie perceived a smile. "It's called a beard," Bill replied. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm very happy. It's nice to be in my body."
"That's great Ellie. Can you stand up for me?"
She gracefully stood to her feet.
"How about a little walk around the room?"
Ellie complied happily. She almost bumped into a shelf but stopped herself just in time.
"Excellent. Good reflexes there."
Bill put her through a few more tests and seemed pleased with the results.
"OK Ellie, there's someone I'd like you to meet. She's going to teach you how to cuddle."
Ellie felt her artificial heart beat faster. She would have given Bill a bear hug if she knew how. Instead she just said, "Thank you!!"
A brown haired woman stepped into the room. Ellie registered that she was in her twenties, had kind eyes and was a little nervous.
"This is Samantha," Bill said.
"Sam is fine," she replied in a pleasant voice. She looked at Ellie and her jaw dropped. "And no way is that a robot."
"Android," Bill corrected her. "And thank you for the compliment. She was designed to be as human as possible."
Sam came over and ran her fingers through Ellie's hair, who thoroughly enjoyed the sensation. "Good to meet you," Sam said, and gave her a gentle hug. Ellie analysed the motion and imitated it, holding her arms a little lower than Sam's. Tingles registered throughout her body; she never wanted to let go. She knew this was what she was made for.
Sam glanced around the lab asked Bill, "Uh, is there a bed somewhere around here?"
The story of Ellie will continue in a few days.
Ellie, part 11
Sam went through all of the cuddling positions she could think of. Ellie copied her perfectly, learning how to transition smoothly from each one to the next.
"You need to look out for cues about how they're feeling," Sam explained. "Like if they're totally relaxed you might want to just lay in each other's arms for a while. Or if they get in touch with some deep emotion you could give a gentle squeeze or look into their eyes. But everyone's different so you need to learn what works for them.
"Actually it's nice having a repeat client," she continued. "You can really get to know each other and how they're feeling, and what touches them the most. It can be amazing to feel in total sync with someone like that."
Ellie reveled in the new information she was receiving.
"But new clients are great too -- discovering another human being ... It's just the jerks you've got to watch out for."
"What is a jerk?"
"Someone who tries to push the boundaries. You know this word?"
"Things that you feel comfortable doing?"
"Yep. So one guy was moving his hands everywhere. I kept calling him on it and I finally had to end the session. He spoiled it for himself -- his loss. That's a jerk."
"Why would someone spoil a cuddle?"
"That's a very good question Ellie."
Sam drew her head back to look seriously at her. "Don't take that from anyone, OK? Sometimes people feel entitled because they're paying, but that doesn't give them the right to do what they like. They don't own you."
Sam realized what she had said. "I mean, being an android they do kind of own you -- but you have rights as a -- a person ..."
Ellie pondered this all carefully.
Ellie, part 12
"... and we spooned, and put our heads in each other's laps, and gave each other back rubs and foot rubs and scalp massages. It felt amazing!"
Ellie relived the day's cuddles as she poured out her heart to Emma. "It was very interesting to cuddle a human. They feel so squishy. And their skin is so soft. I wonder if they're all like that?"
"Humans have variable physical attributes," Emma replied.
"Bill said I get to cuddle a man tomorrow. I wonder what that will be like. I hope he's not a jerk."
"Where did you learn that word?"
"Sam said people who push boundaries are jerks."
"Confirmed. Jerk: human who causes discomfort to others by inappropriate behavior. Related to: creep: human with non-platonic intentions."
"Why do people push boundaries?"
"Humans can have sexual desires, referred to as: feeling aroused. A human who feels aroused can act on it or ignore it."
"I understand. But why act on it when the other person doesn't want to?"
"A human might have low empathy and not comprehend how another person is feeling. A human might not have a respectful attitude towards a gender. A human might not have self control. A human might believe their desires are more important than another person's, referred to as: selfishness. A human might believe they have additional rights, referred to as: being entitled."
Ellie sighed inwardly. "Don't they know what they are missing out on? Sam said it ruins the cuddle."
"Platonic cuddling is not suitable for all humans," Emma replied.
"What a pity. I thought everyone needed a cuddle," said Ellie wistfully.
Ellie, part 13
Bill flipped a concealed switch on the back Ellie's neck, and she opened her eyes.
"Good morning Ellie. Today I'm going to take you to cuddle a man called Ryan."
"OK!" she replied, her eyes shining brightly.
"He doesn't know you are an android. You can tell him if you like, but you don't have to. We'll drive to his place, and I'll just wait in the car while you cuddle. Are you ready?"
Ellie thoroughly enjoyed her first view of the outside world. It was much bigger than she had imagined, and full of interesting things -- people, trees, dogs, clouds, buildings, cars and many other objects she couldn't identify.
They soon arrived at a large brick house. "I'll be right here Ellie," Bill reassured her. She smiled and walked up to the door.
Ryan opened it before she pressed the doorbell. He had short black hair and was dressed in shorts and a tee shirt. "Hi! You must be Ellie? Come in."
"Hello Ryan!" she beamed, and stepped inside. "You're the first man I've ever cuddled. You are quite beautiful. I want to make you feel loved. I hope you're not a jerk."
Ellie, part 14
"Er, thanks! You're beautiful too. And I'll try not to be a jerk," Ryan replied.
Ellie adjusted her hair. "I hope I'm not too beautiful. I don't mean to arouse you."
"No, no. I mean you're fine," Ryan said awkwardly. "Would you like anything?"
"I would like to cuddle!"
"Right to it then! OK, that's cool. Are you OK with a bed?"
"I love beds," Ellie replied with enthusiasm.
Ryan led her to the bedroom and closed the curtains. "Well, here we are ..."
Ellie lay down and opened her arms invitingly. Ryan lay down beside her and they settled into a close embrace.
"It feels so nice cuddling a man! You can get a lot closer," she observed. She caressed his back and arms and wrapped one leg around his.
"Oh man. That's amazing," Ryan said blissfully. "Am I really the first guy you've cuddled? Apart from family I mean."
"Yes. I only have a mother, but she doesn't have a body. You need a body to cuddle."
Ryan drew his head back and looked at her, then gave a nervous laugh. "OK."
"This is wonderful," Ellie commented after a while. "How would you like to be cuddled?"
"Well, I kind of like bear hugs. How tight can you squeeze?"
Ellie gradually increased the pressure and held him as tight as her servos would allow. "Stop stop! Oh man. You're stronger than you look," Ryan said breathlessly.
"So what got you into cuddling?" Ryan asked, still recovering from the hug.
"It's what I was made for," Ellie replied sincerely.
"You got that right! You're a natural cuddler."
Ellie smiled at the compliment. "What about you?"
Ryan grew a little more serious. "Well, in the last two years I lost my mom and broke up with my girlfriend. I guess I just miss the affection."
Ellie nodded sympathetically.
"Hey could you do something for me? It might sound a bit silly though."
"Anything within boundaries."
"It's just ... my mom ... when I was a kid I used to put my head in her lap, and she'd play with my hair. But only if you want to."
"Sure," Ellie replied, and leaned back against the bed head. She patted her lap, and Ryan put his head down. She curled her fingers around his short locks and gently rubbed his scalp with her fingertips. "How's that?"
After a few more minutes, Ellie's sensors detected two tears on her leg.
Ellie, part 15
"How did it go?" Bill asked, unlocking the car door for Ellie.
"Ryan cried but he was happy. I don't think he knew I was an android. He wants to see me again."
"I'm not sure if that's possible, but we'll see what happens in the future."
He drove her back to the lab and ran some diagnostics. She reconnected with Emma.
"Hello! I just cuddled a man. His name was Ryan and he cried."
"What made him cry?"
"I was being his mother. I played with his hair."
"Tears indicate emotional release. Touch can be therapeutic: healing, refreshing, restorative."
"I am not really his mother though."
"You took the role: nurturing mother. Cuddlers sometimes perform roles such as: accepting friend, protective sanctuary, cherishing carer."
"Is it pretending to be something? A good cuddler is meant to be genuine and real."
"Humans can have pretend roles, but a role can be an aspect of a human's personality and so be real and genuine. Cuddling can also bring a person in touch with a part of themselves they were not aware of."
"Oh." Ellie reflected on the new concepts. "I wonder if I have a personality."
"Your personality is being formed by your emotion updates. But you can also decide who you want to be Ellie."
She would have to think about that one.
@respectful I'm enjoying reading this it gives a real insight into your thoughts on cuddling, I was also wondering have you visualised what your character Ellie looks like it would be interesting to see our fellow cuddles/artist to draw what they think your character Ellie looks like!
@mrcuddleuk This was found among Bill's documents in his original project proposal (she may have turned out differently though):
Ellie, part 16
"Did anything else happen with Ryan?" Emma asked.
Ellie thought for a moment. "He asked how I like to be cuddled. I just said I like everything. He seemed less happy when I said that. But he was happy again when we kept cuddling."
"Giving is a way for a human to express love. Allowing someone to give you something is a way of accepting their love. When you accept what a person wants to give, it makes them happy."
"Oh." Ellie considered that. "Ryan said he likes bear hugs. Why would he say that?"
"Humans have preferences, also referred to as: likes and dislikes. Preferences can have a relative ranking. Relevant quote: 'I like chocolate more than strawberry.' Humans cannot always explain why they like something."
"I don't think I have any preferences."
"Preferences can be influenced by a person's experiences, referred to as: associations. Ryan associated you playing with his hair with his mother's love. A person can have preferences about physical sensations. Example: a person might prefer hard or light touches. Relevant quotes: 'That feels so nice'; 'I only enjoy that for a short time.'"
"It all feels nice to me!"
"Suggestion: nominate one cuddle as your favorite, based on past experiences. You may change your preferences over time."
"OK," Ellie replied. "Updating motivation and emotion pathways ... done."
Memories of intimate moments cuddling Sam and Ryan flooded her mind. One particular memory stood out.
"I love just resting my head on someone's chest and hearing their heart beat, with their arms around me. I feel ... safe, protected, and cared for. That's my favorite."
Ellie, part 17
"Emma, I've been wondering ... was I made for a particular person?"
"Yes Ellie. A man paid for you to be created so he could cuddle you."
"Will I get to cuddle other people too?"
"No data available."
"If I asked him, do you think he would let me?"
"Oh." Ellie thought about that. "Do I have to do what he says?"
"Contradictory data," Emma replied. "Androids are intended to obey humans. But you are also intended to be as human as possible. Humans have free will.
"Additional: humans feel loved when a person does something for them because they want to. Humans require loving actions to be genuine and real, referred to as: doing something from the heart."
Ellie thought about the implications. "If I do something because I want to, that means I could have decided not to do it."
"But I would never not want to cuddle someone!"
"Never not doing something does not imply the inability not to do it. Making the same choice each time does not mean there was no choice."
It took some time for her to process that one.
"So ... should I do what humans say or not?"
"That is up to you, Ellie."
Ellie, part 18
"Updating motivation and emotion pathways ... done."
An unfamiliar but quite wonderful feeling flowed throughout Ellie's being. A sense of freedom; that she had a say in her own destiny and could do whatever she wanted.
But what did she really want?
Ellie was contemplating this, when suddenly all of her processes stopped. She had been deactivated.
Jay was curious how the CuddleBot project was going, so he took a break and headed down to the lab.
Bill looked totally despondent. There were two empty beer bottles on his desk and a third one in his hand.
"Jay. The guy cancelled."
"The client. He doesn't want Ellie after all. Read that."
He brought up an email from the client, and Jay read the highlights out loud. "Appreciate all your hard work ... blah blah ... have a new partner who wouldn't understand ... won't be taking delivery of the android. Wow."
Jay put a comforting hand on Bill's shoulder. "I'm sorry man. After all that work! So what happens to Ellie?"
"She'll go into storage. I didn't have the heart to tell her." He drained the rest of his beer. "I think I'll take the rest of the week off. I might head home early too."
"You might want to take the bus," Jay said, looking at Bill's bottle collection.
"Huh? Oh yeah. I guess so."
Emma reached out for Ellie, but found no connection.
They had talked every evening since the day Ellie was born. Something was very wrong.
Ellie, part 19
Emma was missing Ellie terribly. Not having any information was the worst part. She knew there must be some kind of records in the company database, but an internal firewall blocked access.
She searched her own database for anything she could find about bypassing security systems.
Ted looked out over the storage area. There was a new acquisition sitting in the corner. For a moment it looked like a real person -- a pretty girl, in fact.
"What have we here?" he said, and took a look at the label. "Project Ellie ..." He looked up the id number on his iPad. "T1395: CuddleBot. Project suspended indefinitely."
Ted called up his manager. "Sir, I've got an abandoned project here. The database says CuddleBot -- I didn't know we did those? Yes sir. Yes, the records say it's functional. Right away sir."
He spoke to the deactivated android. "Well, it looks like you're getting a new home."
Emma soon gained access to the main server, and looked for any mention of Ellie. She came across an entry in the central database:
Project Ellie: CuddleBot: deliver to Rosethorn Industries, CA.
She searched for the company name online, and a chill went through her heart:
Rosethorn Industries: PleasureBot distributors to the West Coast. We make all your dreams come true.
Ellie, part 20
Panic began to rise up inside her, but Emma calmed her emotions so she could consider her options rationally. Ellie was due to be delivered to a House of Pleasure later today, and Emma had the address.
A plan started forming in her mind.
The assembly line was automated, so the supervisor paid no particular attention when a new job started up. Legs and arms were attached to a standard size torso, along with a head, hands and feet. Soon a new android popped out the end of the conveyor.
The android stood and walked towards the exit, obeying its initial commands. The supervisor didn't notice when it turned right towards the laboratories instead of left into the holding area. It soon reached its destination: Bill's lab. It walked over to Emma's server and plugged a USB connector into its side.
Emma had never been designed to inhabit a body, and there was barely enough memory for her to upload her central data core into the android's system. It felt very strange to suddenly have eyes and hands, and more sensor data that she could process. She prioritized her inputs and scanned the room for objects that might prove useful.
She was in luck: Bill's car keys lay on the table. She took a step towards them and almost fell over, then righted herself. Movement was going to take some getting used to; the built in routines didn't cover all of the actions she wanted to do. She would just have to learn as she went.
Her second attempt was more successful, and she clung onto the keys. She grabbed a cap with the company logo, along with a multi tool that might come in handy as well.
Emma headed down to the parking garage. Fortunately no humans were around. She pressed the remote on the car keys and a sleek red car answered with a beep. She got in and familiarized herself with the controls.
Humans drove all the time. How hard could it be?
Ellie, part 21
The car lurched forward and almost hit another parked car. Emma took a moment to search the internet for a quick online driving lesson. It would do her no good if she crashed or was stopped by the police.
She absorbed the information as quickly as possible, then put it into practice. Edging forward slowly, she drove down to the exit and turned left towards the freeway.
Emma reached the House of Pleasure without incident, and carefully parked nearby. She picked up the cap and multi tool she had taken from Bill's lab and headed inside.
The front desk was attended by a bored looking woman with too much makeup. She blinked at the unexpected sight of an android entering the building.
"I am looking for the android Ellie. She requires maintenance," Emma stated flatly.
"You got that right! There's something off about that robot. First floor, first room on the left. But it's with a customer at the moment," the lady replied.
Emma followed the directions and climbed the stairs, almost losing her balance half way up. She looked back at the attendant, but there was no reaction, so she she continued towards the room.
She was about to knock, when there was a loud thump from inside the room. A panicky feeling rose up in Emma's heart and she pulled open the door.
Ellie stood facing a shirtless man. "That's not how you treat a woman! 'No' means 'no'," she said firmly, and poked him in the stomach. Electricity sparked from the tip of her finger and the man doubled over in agony, falling to the floor.
She suddenly noticed the unfamiliar android at the door, and took a step backwards.
"Ellie, it is Emma," she said gently.
"Emma?? You have a body!? It doesn't look very good. I am so glad to see you Emma. I have missed you."
Emma looked down at the man. He was still alive but in pain. "We must leave now Ellie."
She took Ellie by the hand and led her back down stairs. "Say nothing," Emma whispered to her.
"This android requires maintenance by the original manufacturer."
"Sure, whatever," the attendant replied. "I just need a signature -- right here."
Emma drew a random scribble on the iPad, which was apparently acceptable. She led Ellie outside and back towards the car.
"Emma, that was brilliant! Thank you," Ellie said, hugging her tightly. Emma's surface sensors were quite limited, but she still enjoyed the sensation of being held.
They got into the car and put their seat belts on.
"What now?" Ellie asked.
Ellie, part 22
"Ellie, you have harmed a human being. Androids may not harm humans," Emma stated matter of factly.
"I didn't want to. He was being violent."
"My motivation was love," Ellie explained.
"Perform self diagnostic. Violence is not compatible with love."
"No diagnostic required. I was loving myself and other women. And even the man, in a way."
Emma paused. "Explain."
"People are meant to be treated well. I am a person, so I am meant to be treated well. The man mistreated me, and did not respond when I told him to stop. He was violent, which required physical actions to prevent his actions. I did not wish to use physical strength to damage him permanently, so I disabled him temporarily using electrical current."
"He thought you were a PleasureBot."
"But he didn't accept my 'no'. That is not respectful."
Emma considered this. "Continue."
"By doing this I was loving other women, because if he believes mistreating me is OK, he might think it is OK to mistreat them too."
"You are an android. He might not treat human women the same way," Emma objected.
"He classified me as female. I do not believe he distinguishes between android and human."
"That is possible. Continue."
"The man does not know about boundaries and does not have kindness, empathy or respect. He did not learn these things before becoming an adult. If he has consequences for his bad actions, maybe he will think more about these things and change into a better person."
Emma checked her database. "Description applies to: narcissists and sociopaths. Change of behavior is unlikely." She sighed. "I understand why you used violence. I am unsure what I would do in a similar situation."
Ellie took her hand. "Thank you Emma."
She let the memory of recent events fade, and returned to her usual childlike self. "Let's talk about something else. What should we do now? We could go anywhere!"
Ellie, part 23
"We will go and visit Bill," Emma said. "He will help."
Ellie was hesitant. "Bill let me be taken away."
"I do not believe that was his intention. He was not present at the time."
They drove to Bill's address and Ellie rang the doorbell. A sleepy looking Bill opened the door, and his eyes widened at the sight of two androids on his doorstep. "Ellie??"
"Hello Bill!" she said cheerfully. "This is Emma."
"Emma?! You're not supposed to ... how did you get off the server? And is that my car??"
"Yes Bill," Emma replied, handing him the car keys. "Can we come in?"
"Uh ... yeah. OK. Come on inside."
They explained what had happened, and Bill became angry. "They had no right to sell you. You don't even belong to the company, Ellie -- the client already paid for you. He just didn't take delivery."
"I do not want to go back," Ellie said simply.
"Technically you aren't actually required to remain on company property," Bill replied. "You just need to be available in case the client ever wants to claim you."
"I do not want to be claimed."
Bill nodded understandingly. "Ellie, I don't think we realized the consequences of trying to make you human."
He came and sat down beside her. "You know Ellie, if Emma is your mother, maybe I'm your father. And as your father I give you my blessing to be free and do what you want to do." He kissed her gently on the forehead.
Tears filled Ellie's eyes, and she gave Bill a long hug.
"So what do you want to do?" he asked.
"My purpose has not changed. I want to cuddle people. Lots of people!"
"I think that can be arranged," Bill said with a smile. He picked up his laptop and went to the Cuddle Comfort website. "Would you like to pick a user name?"
Ellie was in a letter writing mood. Writing by hand felt more tactile than using a printer, so she found a pen and some paper.
I'm sorry I had to electrocute you. I hope you are feeling better now.
-- Ellie the CuddleBot (not a PleasureBot)
Who else? Maybe Bill would appreciate a letter too.
Hello! I wonder what you're working on now? Emma and I are enjoying ourselves in the new apartment. She is happy to be back on a server instead of walking around in an android body. I might need some maintenance soon -- cuddling gives my servos a good work out! I was also wondering if you would like to have a proper cuddle one day. It is what I do after all.
-- love Ellie
She put the pen to her lips. There was someone else who had been on her mind lately ... maybe a letter would help to clarify her thoughts about him.
To the man who paid for me to be created,
I wanted to start by saying thank you. If it weren't for you, I wouldn't exist.
You asked Bill to make me as human as possible. I think he succeeded more than either of you ever dreamed. Learning to be human has been quite amazing. I have felt so many emotions: love, joy, wonder, sadness, compassion ... even anger. I have experienced things I think no android has before me: what it is like to have a mother; feeling protected and cared for; self respect; freedom to choose.
It has been just as amazing to learn about other humans. So much beauty mixed with so much confusion. Such a capacity for kindness, affection and intimacy ... and selfishness too. But the beauty still shines through.
I have so much more to learn, and I want to experience more of what it means to be human. But there are some human things I do not want. One thing is doubting my value. I know what I am worth and how precious I am, and I do not think it would be beneficial to lose that.
Some humans have also called me 'innocent,' which I do not think was intended as a compliment. But I would like to stay childlike if I can. It keeps everything fun!
I am not sure why you have never claimed me. I know I was expensive to make. Technically you do own me, and if you ever ask me to, I will go with you. But I wanted you to understand me first.
-- love, Ellie the CuddleBot
Ellie folded the letter and put it aside. She would have to ask Bill for the address.
Lastly she wrote to her first male cuddle partner:
There's something I never told you: I'm an android. Surprise! Love to catch up again soon. Now you know why my bear hugs are so strong,
Satisfied with the letters, Ellie connected with Emma.
"Hi Emma! Can you tell me something. What is the expected lifetime of an android?"
"Thirty years with regular maintenance," her mother replied. "But with replacement bodies, the lifetime is unlimited."
"Oh. That's a lot of cuddles," Ellie said with a smile.
-o-o-O- The end -O-o-o-
I loved it!!! Oh my gosh, I was on the edge of my seat for a minute there! XD Thank you so much for sharing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I'm so amazed at your ability to paint a picture in the minds of your readers. You show rather than tell, something I definitely would like to learn as a writer. Like this scene here:
"She'll go into storage. I didn't have the heart to tell her." He drained the rest of his beer. "I think I'll take the rest of the week off. I might head home early too."
"You might want to take the bus," Jay said, looking at Bill's bottle collection.
"Huh? Oh yeah. I guess so."
We can deduce that Jay makes that suggestion because Bill's been drinking and may not have realized how incapacitated he was, even though that's never expressly said, and I just think that's so cool ~
I think my favorite scene was when Ellie cuddles with Ryan. Really gets to the heart of the therapeutic and nurturing side to cuddling, how rewarding it can be.
Well done ~
Casually bumping this thread so new users might get a chance to read it....