They had been wandering for hours. What started as a simple trip out into the meadow behind Franz’s parents’ farmhouse had taken a bad turn when they wandered through a small copse of woods and had gotten disoriented. When they’d emerged, they had ended up in a neighboring meadow where the treeline obscured their view of the house.
It probably wouldn’t have helped much even if they had been able to see it though; Franz and Werner were only six years old, and all the farmhouses looked similar to them.
Werner’s keeper had accompanied the boys, and the hulking biped glided alongside them, making sure they stayed safe, although it was helpless to guide them back to home. Its onboard GPS was programmed to specifically seek out Werner’s house, which was miles and miles away. They could be lost for days if they tried to follow that signal, or worse, meet a stranger.
With this unfortunate set of circumstances, the boys had no choice but to try to find their way back to the right meadow.
Back at the farm, the boys’ parents had called the police when they realized they didn’t see the lumbering orange chassis of the keeper out in the field, and a search had been quickly organized.
Sig had been assigned to drive the van through the fields while other searchers set up a perimeter along the nearby roads. He was relieved when he spotted the keeper a couple of fields over from the parents’ house.
When Franz saw the van approaching them, he tugged on Werner’s arm, urging him to run. Neither boy could read very well yet, and the clear police markings all over the van went unnoticed by them.
Nonetheless, Werner wasn’t scared of strangers. He knew that his keeper would protect them. He spoke into the manual control module, and the keeper took off at a steady gait towards the van.
When it got within range to use its visual scanners, the keeper, which was able to read quite well, recognized the police markings, and came to a full stop. Its directives included a failsafe that overrode all aggressive action in the presence of emergency personnel.
The boys found themselves home just in time for a late dinner before they were put to bed. They had had a full day.
Happy Sunday everyone! This is not my favorite piece ever, but the prompt picture was difficult to work with. Yeah, there could have been an explosion following this scene, but I didn’t want explosions; I wanted a children’s story.
As usual, this is piece was done for i09‘s Concept Art Writing Prompt. Follow the link to read other stories based on the same picture.
Feedback’s welcome in the comments!