The Friend from the Stars

5 min
Image of Fall 2020
Image of Short Fiction
Huff and puff went Abe, his short legs brough him across the wide grass plain. He held his favored toy truck in both of his hands.
“Hello!” He shouted into the trees. “I’m back!” His eyes darted around. The ground shook and Abe knew to keep going forward. “Hi!” He smiled brightly at the yellow globes which were staring back at Abe. The small child bravely held his toy truck up. “This is my favorite!” He was a speck compared to the robotic dinosaur, hidden by the tall evergreens, and currently resting its chin on the ground. “What is your favorite toy?” It growled something and although he had no idea what was being said, Abe answered “Wow, that’s really cool!” Abe rushed up against the robot dino, wrapping his small spread of hands around the robot’s knee. “Let’s be friends!”

Abe moved his way up past the rounded boulder, his hand gently brushing on its surface. Once he had made it to his destination, Abe dropped all seriousness and flailed.
“AHH~” Abe exclaimed. He was on the ground, legs crossed and his back resting on the be a nose of the robot dino. There was a small ‘tss’ sound coming from inside the metallic body, like a sign of annoyance but it did nothing to move away. “Yeah, I didn’t do it.” Now there was a stronger growl of disapproval. “What? I can’t just asked her to the dance.” Abe sat up to look directly into the yellow eyes. “I thought I would have more confidence now that I am in 8th grade.” The robot dino turned its head like it was ashamed for knowing the coward in front of him. “Don’t do this to me. She always has people around her. If I just ask her there and she rejects me, I would be embarrassed for life.” Seeing that there was no response, Abe turned look at the dino. “Do you have someone back where you came from?” The robot dino was silent and the sound of the wind blew through the trees. It hung its head. Abe pat its side. “Don’t worry. You are very handsome.” The robot dino seemed to lighten at that moment. “What about family?” Once again it hung its head. Abe bit his tongue at his stupidity of triggering such a sadness. “Okay you know what. That’s why I am here. And I promise I’ll be the best family member you ever have.”

“Hey...” Abe sighed and slumped his back against the side of the tree. He looked up at the giant robot, who returned with a look of concern. “It’s a hard time in high school. People are harsh and the teachers don’t understand.” Abe hung his head, then felt the robot dino wrap its tail around him. The 16 year old leaned in against the metal. He felt an instant pang of comfort and immediately the student looked up. “You should teach me how to fight.” It gave off one roar before rising to its feet. “Hell yeah!” Abe jumped up, following the robot deeper into the woods.

“I did it!” Abe jumped into the forest with pride, interrupting the quiet slumber of the robot dino. He was dressed in a fancy suit and tie, coming right from a job interview. “Dino, Dino, I haven’t even told my mom yet. I came to you first, are you proud? It is my first job since graduating from university. Please congratulate this 23 year old.” The robot dino reached out a finger to pat Abe on the back but translated to human terms, it became a shove. He fell onto his bottom as he looked up at the tall structure. From deep down, however, Abe knew what came from the supposed heart inside that metal chest. They both exchanged bright smiles towards each other. “I’ll still have to wear this suit!”

“Dino boy. I was planning to host my wedding over there.” Abe pointed. As tall as he got when he became 30, he was still nothing compared to the grand robot. “You can see it from here, on top of the hill. You could be a part of it and be my best dino.” Abe smiled. “My bros all fought over who was going to be my best man. You should have seen Carl’s and Yam’s faces.” Abe smiled but inside his heart was a jab. “Maybe I can bring them here to show you and do a little ceremony.” The robot dino rubbed Abe’s cheek with the back of its hand.

The robot dino perked up to the shouting. Playing with its fingers for a moment, the robot dino registered all the recorded noises that it came into contact before, trying to match the noise with something previously heard. Picking out the tone and pitch, the robot dino was only able to identify it as excitement and anxiousness mixed with rough breathing. Something shook near the right, catching the metallic structure’s attention. It zoomed in to focus on what caused the rustle.
“DUDE!” The robot dino jumped when Abe jumped from the bushes. “I am just so...god, how do I say this?” Abe clapped his hands together and for a split second, the robot dino saw the young child that first found him almost 30 years ago once again in front of it. “My wife just told me she’s pregnant! I’m going to be a dad!” Abe paced around. “Oh my god, I don’t think I am ready. What if I lose them? What if I hurt them? I need to start saving money for their college tuition...What if I can’t teach them enough?” The robot dino heard a few more phrases but ended them all when it reached over to pat Abe’s head. Abe looked up from the touch and took a deep breath. “You’re right. I need to chill. Would you like to be their GodDinosaur?”

The walk into the forest felt longer than it was in the beginning. The joints of Abe’s legs were suffering more with every step on the uneven ground. Luckily, there was a cane to aid him. He smiled as usual, with every visit to the robot dino he once found 70 years ago. Compared to then, the robot dino had grew green with moss living inside the forests. It sat there, waiting for the wobbling gentleman to sit at its feet.
“Oh wow, these joints aren’t made for walking anymore.” His low chuckle mixed into a wheeze and cough. Similarly, the rustling robot clinked and clanked here and there just to brush the top of Abe’s head. Abe leaned in against the metal body. It was no longer as cold as it was when he had first approached the beast. “Thank you for being here to listen to my rants as well as the good things that happened. And the nagging about my kids.” Abe couldn’t raise his head up to look up anymore but he knew the robot dino was nodding with the sides of metal scratching against each other at the neck. Abe closed his eyes with a slow sigh. “I want you to know I love you lots. You’re very much treasured my dude.” His hand was weakly raised up with a signature finger gun. The robot dino smiled, knowing that it was going to be the last one in this sunset. It wrapped its hand close around Abe, feeling the other’s softer and softer breathing. “We are both so old now...” Abe shook his head. “I really hope that you would be able to look after my children for me. I worry about them constantly, you know that. Especially with the most recent spoiling of them coming from Carl and scolding from Yam. The two really don’t know how to change...” Abe did one final stretch. “Promise me you’ll watch them least for the rest of their lives...” The robot dino looked at the small human, coming to terms that the sun was setting in more than one place today. The robot dino exhaled, shutting off its eyes slowly, the light flickering in its irises. Its arms fell slowly, resting in the position similarly to how Abe’s were.


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