Oracle Bitch and Teddy Bear

Gifted. Gifted with a photographic memory and a lightening-speed decoder of a mind. Me. Gritch. No. It’s a curse. I am Alan Turing’s research associate and first jilted lover. I still carry a torch and I’m jealous as ever. Today, he is putting the finishing touches on a robot he’s named Oracle Bitch. It’s going to be bigger than the Enigma Machine, more efficient than a Markov Chain, he says, built on Boolean algorithms and fuzzy logic, posterior probabilities and normalizing constants. In the corner, Alan’s old teddy bear, the one he used to take with him to college, stares at me with outstretched arms and a parabolic grin. Make the Bitch talk, I tell Allen.

In machine language, Alan asks Oracle Bitch what crawls on two legs in the morning, three by afternoon, and stands upright by evening. The glass egg-shaped head of Oracle Bitch lights up in phosphorescent colors. “Fuck you,” the tiny ticker tape coiling out of its mouth reads, “that’s too easy. Anyway, you screwed up the sequencing.”

Alan types in another question into Oracle Bitch’s terminal. “Why is my life so rancid with emptiness?”

Teddy Bear’s eyes across the room, eyes that are brimming with Inclusive ORs, twinkle at me.

“Because life is a bitch,” the tiny paper reads. The print reminds me of the kind found in Chinese cookies. I must squint to read.

Alan, flushed, pouting, turns to me and says. “It’s making fun of us.”

“Now the big question and no nuisance answers,” Alan says.

The next question reads: “Why am I such a discombobulated fop?”

Oracle Bitch is silent for a moment. Then the lights in its obloid head begin to spin and the answer rolls out. It reads: “Because you are attracted to other operators with your same body parts . . . 000100101001 001 110. . .. .in summation of all previous answers, it can be said with all judiciousness that death is the only answer to life.”

Teddy Bear’s eyes are loving me at a distance.

Alan begins to weep, walks over to Oracle Bitch and embraces it. Slowly, I walk over to the A/C outlet and unplug Oracle Bitch. Later, it dies of battery drainage and Alan, from the endless looping of his heart.

I take Teddy Bear home with me and place him on an old folding chair in the attic. There, we stare at each other for hours. In time, we will become good friends.


Kyle Hemmings lives and works in New Jersey, where he skateboards and sometimes falls. His work has been pubbed in Apex and Abyss, Aphelion, Nite Blade, The Horror Zine, HorrorBound, and others.