"Am I a real girl?" She listens to her whirrs & clicks, slides her pale hand over his black skin. "Of course you are, sweetie. You're my girl. You just need to blink more." He adjusts a screw behind her ear. " What did you do?" "Oh, I just tucked you in, s'all."

He pulls her gently along the street, her unblinking eyes greet dark stares, white hand in his. The whirrs and clicks don't add up. Here, he says, look at this! Want some soda pop, sweet as #ambrosia? This machine is old as me, he says with boyish pride. What'ya 'aving?

She points to the red can. He grins and fires in a dime. Coming right up, Sugar! She touches the machine. It does not whirr or click but something buzzes within. Come on! He jabs the numbers again. Another dime. A #quizzical look. He shakes it. She blinks as he swears

She spots it first. Elegant is her word. He steps back, his is a swear. The creature crawls from the back of the machine, between Coke cans and chocolate, and spreads its ferrous wings. Stand back, sweety, but the girl ignores dad, places her palm flat on the glass

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