T.S. Farnsworth had received accolades for his robotics work from France to Romania and Sweden to Malta, but in the company of Andronicus Stanford Stapleton he encountered continual criticism.
“The skin of that plantosaur is too shiny,” bellowed Stapleton. His criticisms were always shouted, praise merely murmured.
“You mean herbivore?” Farnsworth tried not to look at the plump man’s shuddering jowls.
“I know what I mean!”
The two strolled through the museum with Stapleton offering criticisms of every single display. To be fair, Stapleton complained about everyone’s work. At least he was an equal opportunity whiner.
“Oh that one’s interesting,” noted Farnsworth.
“Oh that? The Egyptian Portal? Bah! Pseudo-Scientific balderdash! It’s something I’ve placed here to amuse children and idiots.”
Farnsworth ignored the implied insult. “It seems to hum, as though it were operating.”
“What? Oh, the installers must have produced that for new-age fools. As though it might actually open to another place and time.” Stapleton waved his flabby arms mockingly.
Farnsworth wasn’t convinced, but he walked on with Stapleton. They roved deeper into the museum where Farnsworth’s robotic dinosaurs graced the displays. Stapleton led them to where an Edmontosaur display had been forcibly dismantled. “Look at this mess!” boomed Stapleton. “This is sloppy work, Farnsworth!”
“I didn’t do that,” shuddered Farnsworth.
“Oh really? I suppose it was elves?”
They ventured further. “Now this is excellent work,” murmured Stapleton, gesturing at a free-standing Tyrannosaurus Rex display.
Farnsworth felt the blood drain from his face. “I didn’t make that.”
“Well who did? Farnsworth, you can be…” Stapleton stopped when the tyrannosaur’s head suddenly dipped down towards them, and it growled.
“Realistic motion, Farnsworth.”
“Uh, that’s not a robot,” squeaked Farnsworth.
“What? Don’t be daft, man! You’ve lost…”
The Tyrannosaur roared and stomped.
As Farnsworth sprinted down the hallway, he looked back. Stapleton nearly kept pace with him. The man ran in lurches. His prodigious penduluming paunch continually threw him off-balance. The tyrannosaur crashed through the hall behind him.
“You’re the dinosaur expert,” squealed Stapleton. “How fast do we need run to escape it?”
“I don’t know,” grunted Farnsworth. “I just have to run faster than YOU!”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. Look here for this week’s prompt and a blue button linking to many other stories: