TITLE: Round Robin
The little boy climbed onto the rail, reached, pulled himself up the stone wall, then scrabbled along the top and under the leafy branches. He was about six, a pudgy kid in a red shirt and tan shorts, his hair curling sweaty around his face. No one noticed. They were all too occupied watching the polar bear in the enclosure, who at that very moment rose on his back legs, paws in air, and lowed morosely into the sunlight. But I wasn’t too occupied. No, I followed the boy, one, two, swung my legs onto the wall and into the viridian shade.
Good, said my Client.
The boy’s mother rooted around in the underbelly of a stroller while a toddler - his sister - screeched with fury at the heat, the crowds, maybe at the helplessness of being strapped into a vehicle and carted around God knows where, or why, when all she wanted was her dolly, and her blankie, and her bottle.
I sympathized with the baby. If I could've solved my problems by opening my mouth and letting loose howls of anger and frustration, I would've done so years ago.
The boy clambered higher, thrusting his chin out, his young skin moist with humidity.
He’s afraid, said my Client, whose name was Booth, and who was my guide and controller today, moving my body with the help of a chip his unit implanted just to the left of my cerebral cortex. And he hates his sister, Booth added.