An Experiment Gone Badly

The little construct rolled on her side with a moan, arms folded across her aching belly.

"Bad.. bad, bad, bad caramel." She rocked, bemoaning and lamenting her fate to the empty room, subject to an existence devoid of her favorite candy.

A respectably sized pile of small bits of waxed paper was piled on the stand near the examination table she slept on, telling the tale of just how much candy it had taken to bring her to this pained state and the nearby chamber pot was filled with more purged sweets than a girl her size could contain.

It had all begun with a conversation before Christmas. She'd been too shy to approach the man in the Santa suit, even as the other children crowded around him. The Scientist nudged her forward, whispering encouragement in her ear, but she clung to him instead, too afraid of the large man she heard sometimes carried switches for naughty children.

Wren was pretty certain she wasn't a naughty girl, especially in light of the clearly drunken boy who slurred his words as he demanded sweets, but it seemed to her unethical to accept candy from Santa when she was neither Christian, nor, strictly speaking, alive. She'd never known Jewish children to get midnight visits from Santa, and she was positive he never visited graveyards.

And there was another element. As she watched the children eat their treats with envious eyes and a sense of buyer's remorse.. or perhaps non-buyer's remorse, she asked the Scientist if constructs could even eat candy. She wasn't certain, but she could imagine sugary things gumming up her clockwork parts.

The Scientist revealed a truth his little creation hadn't considered.. her did not eat.

Her head canted as she tried to remember if she'd been hungry since he'd revived her. Certainly she'd eaten. She'd eaten better under the doctor's care than she'd ever eaten in life, but had she been hungry? In truth, she hadn't been hungry, but in light of her regular meals she'd had no reason to wonder if she *could* be.

She meant to find out, and one day, she was certain to manage it, but the Scientist continued to provide good meals and the girl who had already known too much hunger in her short existence, had no willpower to deny herself the plate put before her.

What she did have the willpower to do was stash away pennies she'd managed to collect running errands for shopkeepers and, when the Scientist busy enough not to catch her, looking pitiful on a street corner, begging passersby for a coin if they could spare it.

For six weeks, she collected her pennies until she had enough to buy a few pieces each of peppermints, humbugs, licorice, taffy, toffee, chocolate, caramel, barley sugar candies, lemon drops, and a candy apple. She was ready to perform her experiment.

She'd gotten through all but the toffee and one caramel when she was struck by a sour feeling in her stomach which quickly grew into an all out bout of nausea. The unfortunate timing of the reaction, combined with a lack of experience with candy in any but the most meager quantity, left her to assume the cause of her despair was the caramel she'd been savoring when it came upon her.

She clutched her stomach and sobbed, convinced she could never again have the rare treat she'd most enjoyed. It was going to be a long afterlife.


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I have a mechanical heart and green reanimation serun for blood. I have glowing eyes that look like The Scientist's, but they're not his, they just look the same. I don't like swimming on account of I think my pilot light might go out.