Family Memories

A Flash Fiction by Jonathan Chew

Here you go Timmy darling…” his mom said as she placed a hot bowl of soup in front of him. Timmy inhaled the beautiful bowl of warm chicken noodle soup, steamed carrots, and salty broth. His favorite.

His Dad chimed in, “How was school today son?

“It was awful. Todd picked on me today and made me lick the icicle hanging from the classroom door. It tasted GROSS!”

As your father, I have to say that you shouldn’t let bullies push you around like that. I have a few tips up my sleeve if you would like some advice…

At least your tongue didn’t stick to it!” Mom chimed in, “because that can rip the skin right…

Timmy stuck out his tongue showing the piece of skin that was now missing.

TIMMY!! Why didn’t you TELL ME!” and almost mechanically, without missing a beat, she dropped the dishes in the sink and went to the cupboard and got the first aid kit and started removing the gauze and Ibuprofen and tweezers.

“Nah, it’s not that big of a deal, don’t worry about it!” Timmy stammered, and started to get up.

He felt a cold metal hand grab his arm, and pull him back into the chair. “Now this is an emergency son, let your mom heal the wound…

A whirring sound and a couple clicks continued as the dad got up from his chair.

Timmy sighed and hit a button on the right arm near his wrist.

-Silence-

The sounds from both his mom and dad had stopped.

Timmy removed his dad’s mechanical arm, and pushed his mom’s body back and got up and looked at both of them.

It had been 6 years since the accident, two days before his 11th birthday, that had changed his life forever. That horrible snowy day that took his childhood away and thrust him on an accelerated journey into computer science and robotics.

In his confusion and frustration, all that was left of his parents now was their house and closets of clothes, and a bunch of old video footage. So he had spent a little more than half a decade digitizing every piece of information he had on them.

Luckily, he was born in the latter part of the 2030’s, so robots were more prevalent than they had been, as he had learned, in the earlier part of the millennium.

He had programmed them as best he could, even down to how his mom cooked his favorite chicken soup, but he could never escape the pure mechanical responses that would happen from time to time.

There was a knock at the door. “Timothy!… Are you in there??… It’s almost 9 PM! Your going to miss dinner!…” said a woman. Another deeper voice shouted, “You come over here too often! We’ve been worried sick about you!

Timothy knew who it was, and took one last look at the room that he had recreated from his childhood which was sitting inside a giant empty warehouse. He knew it was probably time to really say goodbye for real and accept his parents were never actually coming back. Even though they were well alive in his memories, it would never be the same.

He took one last huge breath, turned, and opened the door for his foster parents.