Animatronics

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


A short story inspired by the second Picture Prompt for February 2018 from the Imaginarium House.

Submitted: February 14, 2018

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Submitted: February 14, 2018

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Animatronics

Sean had been able to talk or think of nothing else, since it had been announced that the school trip would be to the Science Museum. Now, Sean loved science of all kinds but what made this really special was that their visit would coincide with a massive dinosaur exhibition. Much as he loved science, dinosaurs were his passion.

Even as a young child he had collected the models and now, at ten, could name any that so far had been discovered. He would spend many an hour pouring over the large, lavishly illustrated encyclopedias, and dazzled both his parents and teachers alike with the things he could tell them.

The night before the trip, Sean found it almost impossible to sleep. Eventually, though, he finally gave in and entered a dream full of gigantic creatures and vicious battles, of long-necked herbivores, and roaring carnivores. It was such a fantastic dream that he was reluctant to wake up and leave it until he remembered it was the day of the trip; then he was raring to go and was first pupil to arrive for the bus.

It wasn’t a long journey. All through it, Sean talked to anyone who would listen. He had brought with him a pocket-sized guide to flick through on the way, and was happy to show off his knowledge to his friends and class mates.

First on the bus and first off, Sean could not concentrate on the various exhibits and demonstrations that were taking place. At any other time he would have found it fascinating but now he had no time for anything other than dinosaurs. He itched to go ahead, leave the others behind, and several times, Mrs Fuller had to call him back. But eventually they made it in to a large hall, and Sean could hardly believe it.

Models, giant, realistic replicas of the creatures he had spent so many hours studying. This was what he wanted to see, not science. The kids broke up in to small groups and wandered from dinosaur to dinosaur.

From the long-necked diplodocus to the three horned triceratops, they were all there. They even had a pterodactyl rigged up to fly and screech its way backwards and forwards across the room. Perhaps not surprizingly, Sean’s favorite was the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

It stood there, looking ferocious and hungry, it’s small front legs moving up and down. The boy couldn’t resist reaching out to touch it. Surely it was not made from any kind of plastic, he thought. What his hand touched felt very much alive. When it suddenly let out a blood-curdling roar, Sean jumped back, startled and afraid.

Didn’t it turn it’s head towards him, have a good long look. Once again he stepped forward, placing his hands on the model. He walked around it, crawled under it, wanted to climb on to it but didn’t quite dare. He would happily spend the rest of his life next to this creature. It’s head turned, it’s tail thrashed. Sean gasped, convinced it had really come to life.

One of the museum staff walked over to him. “Impressive animatronics, isn’t it! Don’t think I’ve ever seen such a spectacular display.”

The others had gone, moved off further into the museum. Sean did not want to see anything else but he could see Mrs Fuller heading his way. “Sean, come along! What would your parents say if we lost you?”

He’d have to go. But he’d have one last look before he left. And it was then that it happened. The Tyrannosaurus winked an eye, straight at Sean. It WAS alive! But he’d not say anything, he’d keep its secret. And he’d buy the biggest poster that the museum shop had before he went back home.


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