Amanda and her son, Bobby, brought home her latest purchase to show Conrad, her second husband.

"Look what I bought Bobby, Conrad," said Amanda, opening a large box. "It's a Teddy Fluxpin doll, complete with over 500 programmed phrases! You never know what they're going to say next," she explained.

Conrad frowned. "How much did you say you paid for this?," he asked pointedly.

"Now isn't that just like you!," protested Amanda. "Don't worry, I put it on the charge," she answered evasively. "And Bobby really likes it!," she boasted, handing the teddy bear to her son.

Bobby hugged the toy and fingered a small plastic tab on the bear's back. "I love you very much!," declared the bear in an appealing electronic voice.

"See?," endorsed Amanda, "It's really interactive!"

Conrad scowled. "The boy is eight years old!," he declared. "You're going to make him into a sissy with that thing!"

The doorbell rang and Bobby went outside with a playmate, leaving the bear on the kitchen table with his stepfather. As his wife went to prepare lunch, Conrad picked the toy up and pushed the button on its back.

"I don't think that I like you," said Teddy Fluxpin to Conrad.

"Hey Amanda, did you hear what this doll just said to me!," complained Conrad.

"They say many things," countered Amanda. "Besides, Conrad, it's just a toy!," she protested, returning to her lunch preparations.

Conrad threw the bear roughly against the wall as soon as Amanda had left his field of vision. "You're going to be sorry you did that," declared the bear's electronic voice.

That night, Bobby was snuggled asleep in bed with Teddy Fluxpin when Conrad entered the boy's bedroom. He quietly pulled the bear from under his stepson's arm and carried it downstairs to the trash can, throwing the bear inside. "I'm starting to hate you," declared the electronic voice before Conrad closed the lid on the trashcan.

The next morning, Conrad was surprised to see his stepson seated at the breakfast table with his bear. Figuring that his wife had retrieved the bear from the trash, he resolved to replace the objectionable thing with another toy. That day on his lunch hour, Conrad bough a doll-sized action hero figure for his stepson, presenting it to the boy at dinner and snatching the bear away.

"No, Daddy! I want Teddy Fluxpin!," protested Bobby as his bear was taken from him.

"Big boys don't play with stuffed animals," snapped Conrad to the boy. "Play with your new Sgt. Rock action figure!-See, he's even got a karate grip," promoted Conrad.

"Daddy, please!," pleaded the weeping boy as Conrad carried the bear off.

"You'll do as you're told!," ordered Conrad as Bobby's mother tried in vain to comfort him.

Conrad again carried the bear to the trash can and removed the lid. The blue eyes of the bear flicked open and fixated on the grown man. "I'm going to kill you!," declared the electronic bear's voice. Conrad slammed the toy roughly into the garbage can, and chained the lid down so that nobody could remove it. Thumping the lid of the can in triumph, Conrad went to fix himself a snack downstairs and watched television well into the night.

It was nearing midnight when Conrad ascended the darkened staircase to the master bedroom. He had almost reached the top step when his foot caught in the darkness on some object, causing him to stumble and lose his balance. Conrad fell backwards and tumbled down the full flight of stairs, striking his head hard and suffering cerebral bleeding. As Conrad struggled to maintain consciousness at the foot of the stairs, he became aware that the object which had caused his fall had tumbled down the stairs against him and rested inches away now from his face...the accursed Teddy Fluxpin doll, realized Conrad!

The bear fixed Conrad in the soft blue glow of its electronic eyes. "I told you that you'd be sorry!," it exulted while Conrad's consciousness flickered, then faded forever to blackness...