It had joined our household back in 2042, when our daughter had died. The death had been sudden, a quick encounter with a fast moving hover car had split her 6 year old body in half, splattering her intestines and organs over the road. Sarah had seen it happen.
She had never been the same after that. Every time she close her eyes she saw it happen. She woke up each night screaming, she tried to end her own life in the bathtub. There was little I could do to help, other than hold her, reassure her that things would be okay. But now, she is dead. The replicant we were given to help both of us cope with losing our daughter killed her, crushing her in an embrace that broke bones. Sarah died in my arms. The machine told me that it cared about its mother and only wanted to see her at peace, so it gave her a hug. Then it asked me to play hide and seek. I refused. I tried to call the police, but I couldn't. I was trapped in the house with this thing that wore my daughter's face.
Standing there, still covered in Sarah's blood it sat in my daughter's pyramas on my daughter's bed counting. I wanted to break it, to disable it, but I couldn't. The baseball bat was still in the kitchen.
It opened its eyes and looked at me. “That’s not how the game is played — Daddy.” It glared at me with its dead eyes. “You go hide and when I find you, I hug you.”
It all sounded so innocent. But I knew what that meant.
“Do you need a hug right now?” It asked.
“No,” I replied.
It returned to its countdown. I had no choice. I was locked in the house with it with no way to call for help. I hid, knowing that it would find me.
It did. Even though I went to my office and hid in one of the cupboards, it didn't take long for it to figure out where I was.
Now, the replicant lays broken. The ugly resin ornament my wife and daughter bought me when we went on holiday is rammed into its face. The ornament they had insisted I keep on my desk. The ornament they had carved a single word into -- love.