s3venMature

"Roscoe's looking after the kids Saturday," said Lucy as she spooned a mountain of mash onto the plate. "Where should we go?"
Garry looked up from the newspaper, blinked twice then shrugged. "I don't know," he began.
"I'm not asking you to know," replied Lucy, the spoon hitting the plate with force. "I'm asking you to think about it. Where do you want to go?"
Garry sat, staring into the wall, listening to the three kids arguing over the console in the loungeroom, before slowly answering, "We haven't been to Pepper Ridge for ages. A nice quiet drive through the woods, a picnic-"
"Oh God, not a picnic," said Lucy as she sat down opposite him.
"Fine, we'll eat on the way. Hang out until sunset. What do you think?"

-

You don't like me thought 274.
"Empathy?" asked Bill.
Observation thought 274. Everytime you look at me there is a fear. Muscles tense. You start tapping your left foot.
"How do you make the link from fear to dislike, Buddy?" asked Bill.
I don't like dogs thought 274.
"Are you afraid of dogs?"
I must be thought 274. What other emotion accounts for a dislike.
"Hmm... bad experiences?" ventured Bill, writing on the piece of paper. "The unknown?"
Perhaps but not convincingly so thought 274. I am supposed to believe that I had a bad experience with a dog in the past and that has led to a fear of dogs and that has led to me disliking dogs in a worry that a dog will attack me in the future.
Bill deliberately stopped tapping his left foot. He stood up, pushed his chair to the other side of the room, then walked up to the ResRec tube and looked into 274's eyes.
"You didn't scramble. Are you remembering this? Are you remembering being attacked by dogs when you were little?"
No thought 274. I am remembering being told to remember. I am remembering that once I did not know of dogs and then the next once I am being told to be afraid of dogs. I am remembering that someone tried to tell me what emotion to feel about dogs. I am remembering. I am remembering fragments of thoughts and feelings and places falling into my memory. Memory that is not yet full. Memory that can be corrupted. You know this. What really happened at Pepper Ridge.

The End

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