My Robot Ran Away!

Kathy Temean at Writing and Illustrating hosts a picture prompt each month to write a 23 line first page.  January's featured this delightful robot/alien/dog picture by Patrick Girouard.   I tackled this prompt to practice "boy voice," but, boy, did it put up quite a fight giving me inspiration!  Here's where it took me:

Illustration by Patrick Girouard

My Robot Ran Away

By Lauri C. Meyers
     "Mom!  Have you seen my robot?" I yelled as I ran down the steps.
     "Isn't your robot in the Lego box?"  Mom yelled back.
     "Not the Lego robot, Mom!" I said, searching behind the door.
     "You mean the Robodog you got for Christmas?  I think I saw him in the basement."
     "Not that robot, either," I said looking under the kitchen table.
     "Robot waiter?  Robot action figure?  Robot toothbrush?  You have 100 robots!  I can't keep track of all of them," Mom said. "Maybe you could get a Robot Mom to be in charge of robot observation."
     "Nice, Mom.  You know, making fun of me lowers my self confidence," I said, secretly annoyed she came up with such a great robot surveillance idea. 
     "You're such a sensitive scientist," she said and stopped cooking for a second to help me.  "Which robot disappeared?"
     "The one I made last night.  His name is..." I couldn't finish the sentence because I hadn't had time to brand him or even test him yet.  "Um, you would recognize him as the Electrolux vacuum cleaner you threw out with a toaster on top."  Mom's eyes glanced at the counter to confirm the toaster's absence and returned to me with a glare.  
     "Hey, you said you were tired of the kitchen smelling like burnt toast," I spit out quickly.  She stared at the ceiling and nodded her head side to side like she always did when she noodled an idea.   She shrugged her shoulders satisfied with the solid excuse for a toaster upgrade.   
     I heard Robodog's mechanical bark coming from outside.   When I opened the door, a flash of vacuum hose legs and stainless steel ran past.   Was that my robot?  But how?  Sure, I'm pretty good at making things, but every project requires some tweaks to work properly.  I needed to run a few tests and tinker with his settings.  But first I had to catch him, before he caught Robodog.   


  1. Replies
    1. I don't even know what he was going to do to Robodog! I never made it to the second page of this story. Can he even catch anything with those vacuum cleaner appendages?

  2. That is terrific! I love the idea of a robot-fixated inventor kid.

    I don't write beyond the 23 lines either. Usually. Sometimes.

    This is my favorite line: She stared at the ceiling and nodded her head side to side like she always did when she noodled an idea.

    1. Usually. Sometimes. for me too! Sometimes the character just takes the story for a run, and it's hard to edit down to the 23. Other times maybe I get too stuck on what I can see in the picture versus just being inspired by it.

  3. This is terrific, Lauri! You have a great voice for midgrade. Love your description of the robot- vacuum with a toaster on top. It's so true that we live in an era with so many robots. Enjoyed the part when your MC was annoyed that his mom thought of the robot surveillance idea. Funny! And you left us with a cliff hanger, Can't wait to read the rest of it.

    1. Beginnings are much easier then endings, I find. Characters are always willing to start an adventure with me, and they are all like, "So what's next?" and I'm all like, "Dude, I dunno, you started this journey." They can be a real pain sometimes.


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