Summer comes to a crashing end…
Ten-year-old Kevin Taggert prefers to stay home with his video games, but his parents insist he join a summer sports program. Exactly on the day the Vordac raid Earth. With his little sister depending on him for protection, Kevin must find the strength and wisdom to keep them both safe.
Before they both end up dead, or even worse: as life-long slaves of the Vordac.
Summer Crash (Zerralon 1.1)
Part 21: A Focus
Having made the decision didn’t solve Kevin’s issues. Deciding was one thing. Doing it another.
He found plenty of information on the internet about all sorts of robotics and robotic programming. Some of it simple things he already know, such as how to reset and restore a processor. Simple things that required only the touch of a button.
No, he needed more than that.
To bad he wasn’t left alone to do it. His brothers and a few of the neighbor kids needed him to complete a team. He played basketball in the driveway of the neighbors for about an hour before everyone agreed Kevin probably wasn’t the best to have on a team. Nice blow to his already-bleeding ego.
Then, Christy dragged him away for a tea party. He gladly went. At least her dolls wouldn’t complain about his lack of coordination.
“Boo is visiting today,” Christy said as he sat down at the small round child-height table in the back yard. Dolls of different sorts sat in the other chairs, each with a teacup and saucer placed in front of them. Including Boo, who sat in the privileged chair right next to Christy.
“Boo had to travel a long way to get here,” Kevin said.
Christy nodded fervently. “Oh yes. A very dangerous journey. She was in my dream last night. She saved me from the robots.”
Christy smiled at Boo while she poured the imaginary tea. Kevin watched her, his dreams now taking on a darker side.
“You’re having nightmares, too?” Kevin asked as she turned to pouring him his share of the imaginary tea.
Christy set down the pot and adjusted her wide-brimmed hat. “Nope! Boo was there to help. Like I told you.”
Kevin took a sip of his tea, now wishing it were the real thing. Too bad he didn’t have something coming to his rescue in any of his dreams.
“Now, I don’t know if Boo is having bad dreams. She might, but she’s brave,” Christy said with a grin as she lifted her own cup.
“Yes, she is. So were you.” In some ways braver than him.
Christy shook her head. “Nope. I was scared, but I was okay.”
Kevin set down his cup, not understanding that a bit. “What?”
She shrugged, then reached over to straighten one of the dolls threatening to tip out of their chair. “I knew you would know what to do. You would take care of me. So, I was okay.”
Simple straight-forward logic. How he wished it worked for him, but it didn’t.
Not that he could say anything to Christy about it. She wasn’t having nightmares, and he didn’t want her to. Which meant, he just needed to get his own problem figured out. Find a way to make the dreams go away.
“I don’t like bad dreams,” Christy said simply. She reached over the table with a small plate with a fancy scalloped edge. Arranged in a circle were miniature crackers. “Cookie?”
“Neither do I. And, thank you.” Kevin took one, wishing she’d snuck real cookies out of the kitchen for the tea party. But not with Nanny-Bot back with the family. She might be currently watching Sean and Greg’s basketball game, but she seemed to know when anything was amiss. Such as snitching snacks that could spoil their appetite for dinner.
A big wet splat hit one of the teacups directly inside. The next one hit Kevin’s hand. He looked up, finding a dark cloud drifting overhead. Small drops hit his arm and a cheek.
“Rainstorm! Inside loves!” Christy jumped up and grabbed her dolls.
Kevin grabbed the two dolls on his side and the plate of crackers as the rain started falling in earnest. They ran for the closest door, stopping only once they were inside the garage.
Christy stopped and looked back outside. “So much for the tea party.”
“We had a little bit of one,” Kevin said, handing her the other dolls. The crackers he kept for himself.
“We can continue our visit with Boo upstairs,” Christy announced, heading for the door leading into the house.
Kevin munched on a cracker, no longer seeing the downpour outside. Only vaguely was he aware of the front door of the house opening and closing as Sean, Greg, and Nanny-Bot came inside.
Instead, his attention focused on the shelf next to the open doorway leading to the back yard. A shelf with several metal and composite shapes sitting on it. Layers of dust covered two of them, indicating how long they’d been there. Both projects his mother and father promised to get to someday, but never did.
“Are you coming?”
Kevin glanced over, finding Christy waiting for him at the open door leading into the house.
Something in his mind clicked. Another way to do something about the dreams. To not feel so helpless. To fill these days with something more interesting to him personally rather than what everyone else wanted him to do.
“You go ahead. I need to work on something,” Kevin said. Christy frowned, obviously not liking it a bit. “Greg is back inside. Why don’t you ask him? He hasn’t visited Boo in a while.”
Christy grinned, making a little jump. “Good idea!”
She shot into the house. The door closed behind her with a solid click. Greg would soon find himself presented with a very determined little sister who didn’t care if he wanted to play video games instead.
As for Kevin, he knew what to do now. Learn by doing. Learn by practice. Drive the dreams away by actively doing something.
He set down the small plate of crackers on a shelf and reached for the dustiest lump. The perfect thing to learn on: a malfunctioning yard-bot.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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Part of the Forward Motion Flash Friday Challenge.