Flash Fiction: Fuzz-bot from Hell

Dr. Pillowcase set the timer on his new smart watch as he dipped the last necessary top secret ingredient into the catalyst for his latest mad project.

The liquid gurgled a smoky hot pink while the sawtooth blades came unlocked in a gear-like motion counterclockwise, making a screeching sound every 3.15 seconds, give or take a millisecond.

He set the Soul Generator to Potent and enthusiastically stirred the contents of the flask while humming a tune from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

His fuzzy gray brow furrowed as the temperature rose.

He scratched his forehead but forgot he was wearing super-adhesive ultra grip gloves so his hand became stuck to his head.

The machine carried on while he used his left hand to pour the contents of a previous flask into a small steel lifeless robot that had a screen for a face.

Just then, the new puppy- the one he had recently bought as a surprise birthday present for his only child- quietly snuck up behind him.

It was the puppy’s purpose to chew up the scientist’s shoelace, just as he had chewed up the cord tied to the door of his pen.

Dr. Pillowcase felt an itch on his lower left calf and reached down to scratch it.

The puppy yelped as his fur and the hand became one.

Just then, and as one would naturally expect under these circumstances, poor old Dr. Pillowcase lost his balance, tumbling backward and hitting the nape of his neck on the vasectomy machine he was in the process of patenting and that was inconveniently located two steps behind them.

He lay there for hours, the anxious puppy licking the half-dead man’s face while whimpering and pulling the left arm to and fro.

Hours became days and the only person on earth who knew of Dr. Pillowcase’s secret lab, his ex-wife Verna, was off in southern France having the time of her life sun bathing during their son’s extremely expensive private swim lessons.

Meanwhile, the gooey hot pink liquid transformed within the Soul Generator into a deep fleshy red with an odor hinting of fresh blood.

A shrill beeping sound gradually grew in strength overpowering the intermittent screeching of the Soul Generator’s gears.
It awakened the puppy from his slumber of desperation.

It was the doctor’s timer.
It had been set to 60 hours and 33 minutes.
The robot also awakened, having been synchronized to the watch.
Its screen lit up and had the puppy been able to read, it would have read:
“Date: February 20, 2015
Time: 14:34:01
Temperature: 102.5° Fahrenheit
Humidity: 42%
Battery Life: 8%”

This last part had a yellow exclamation mark next to it.
The robot’s screen portrayed the puppy staring into its shiny glass.

“Detecting… Detecting… Components:
98% Organic Fuzz
2% Skin Cells
Enter name: _____”

The robot waited for half an hour but it wasn’t wired for patience so it made up a name: Fuzz-bot.

“Battery Life: 6%
Immediately find a power source.”

The robot scanned the room for resources.
It found the doctor’s notebook on the table and processed the information.
It poured the dense liquid that had dripped back into the flask into one of its robot holes while the puppy barked visibly agitated.

At this point, it would have been very convenient for the puppy to have been able to read.
The robot’s screen read, “Eliminate source of disturbance…
Fuzz-bot convertible to energy.
Eliminate source of disturbance.
Fuzz-bot convertible to energy.
Eliminate source of disturbance.
Fuzz-bot convertible to energy…”
and so on and so forth in 9 point type throughout the entire screen.

The robot picked up the puppy, put it through a special door in the Soul Generator, and waited another 60 hours and 33 minutes in sleep mode for the machine to finish.
But of course, since the puppy was attached to the doctor, they became one for all eternity.

Now, both were still alive when they got shoved in, so when the machine stopped, neither had died.
They had simply become liquid, sediments and vapor.
The robot woke up right on schedule, gobbled up its main course and dessert and proceeded to call itself Fuzz-bot.
It immediately gained a wealth of intelligence, not to mention access to all of Dr. Pillowcase’s assets, and a very mischievous, playful approach to its new life.

On top of this, Fuzz-bot had a seemingly instinctive sudden obsession to find and protect the boy.
It wasn’t free will and it sure as hell wasn’t fate.
It was nature.
But what is nature to a newborn robot?

Fuzz-bot, now father and guardian, called Verna on its new smart watch.
Her voicemail said she was busy taking private swim lessons of her own.
Fuzz-bot felt jealous.
But what is jealousy to a robot?

He accessed her messages and figured out which hotel they were staying at.
He shipped himself to Marseille because it was cheaper than flying coach.
Then, while Verna was busy with her swim instructor, he swam after the boy only to find out he hadn’t been designed to swim.

The DNA of puppy and man had battled it out within the robot’s infrastructure, and Puppy DNA had won.
Fuzz-bot had grown fur, only he kept shaving off the part that grew under his screen.

The boy saw something like a shiny mammal drowning and swam over to try to save it.
It was too heavy and he cried, “Aider! Aider!”- “help” in French.
The swim instructor, who for the sake of this story we will describe as having had smooth, tanned, impressive biceps, quickly swam over to help.

As soon as Fuzz-bot could stand up, he bit the instructor and kidnapped the boy, while the ex-wife Verna ran in vain after them.
Fuzz-bot barked behind a Mini Cooper and then hijacked it.
He made the driver take them southwest down a rural road til the car ran out of gas.

All the while, the boy would not stop complaining.
The robot part of Fuzz-bot wondered if he could feed the boy into the car thereby solving two problems.
His curiosity at this point took precedence over his bitter possessiveness and he focused his screen on the boy’s face.

“Detecting… Detecting… Components:
43% Organic Fuzz
57% Skin Cells
Enter name: _____”

“My name?” asked the boy in the voice of a little girl.
“My name is Duke.
What’s your name?”

The robot swelled up inside with a feeling comparable to love.
But what is love to a robot?

“My name is Fuzz-bot.
Duke, I am your father.”

The boy’s face reflected confusion and then glee.

“Cool! I always wanted a robot for a father!
Let’s get outta here Fuzz-dad.”

Fuzz-bot left the car’s owner, who appeared to be in a state of shock, 500 euros in the cup-holder for all her troubles and suggested she install better speakers.

Then he took the boy by the hand and they hijacked a sailboat off the Atlantic coast of France, where they spend their time fishing and chewing ropes to this day.

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