by Mary E. Lowd
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, September 2014
Marla realized that she’d left the 3-D printer running. She’d been up late synthesizing a chef-bot she’d found the pattern for online. Sure, she could have just baked the damn cake for Leia’s tenth birthday party herself, but the chef-bot would do a better job. And it was programmed with the recipe for homemade hard candy — she could put that in the piñata she’d printed up.
Marla didn’t want to get up out of bed and go downstairs to turn the printer off. She elbowed her husband lying beside her.
“Hey, Dave, did you turn the printer off before coming to bed?”
He grumbled and rolled over, pulling the blankets away from her.
Marla decided that he’d probably turned it off. Besides, Leia knew better than to mess with the printer if she woke up first. Marla fell back asleep.
“Mom! I made myself a birthday present!”
Oh, god, was it morning already? Marla couldn’t even open her eyes. “What, honey?” she asked. “I mean, happy birthday! Wait… What?”
“I saw that you left the 3-D printer on for me,” Leia said in her cheerful, chirpy morning voice. “So, I did a search and found this really great dinosaur pattern — then I copied the horn from a unicorn and some wings from a super-sappy angel pattern –”
Marla couldn’t keep up with Leia’s words, but she could tell it was important that she get her eyes open NOW.
When she opened her eyes, a three-foot-tall, bright green T-rex with a unicorn horn and wings loomed over her and David. It was standing on the foot of their bed. Its metal teeth gleamed.
Leia knelt beside the T-rex with her arms wrapped around its neck. “Isn’t he great? I gave him the AI of a lawn-mower!”