The Red Palm

Content Warning; This story contains vulgar language, and graphic violence.

Julien handed his boss the H-5 hydraulic screwdriver as he’d been asked, and took a large step back. Dr. Grimes didn’t so much as glance over his shoulder as he swiftly yanked the screwdriver from the intern’s hand. Hunched over, sitting on a bar height iron stool, Dr. Grimes began tightening the screws on the steel cover plate that hid away the more complex and intricate wiring. Sitting up straight, then leaning backwards stretching his back and neck the doctor let out an excited hiss.

All done boy! All done!

Julien cowered and gently nodded.

Rubbing his neck Dr. Grimes bounced down from his perch landing in a crouched, half squatting position on the hard, checkered floor of the laboratory where he and the intern had been building his latest masterpiece. At the moment they were on an unbroken seven day streak of working sixteen hour days.

Dr. Grimes scurried to the work bench on the other side of the lab, through the intern, to retrieve the controls for his magnum opus.

In a single motion, Julien spun out of the way and slid behind some stacked boxes filled with lithium ion batteries and nuclear power cells, better to be out of sight for this next part he thought.

Shuffling papers and parts, searching the workbench and then “Aha!” his back to Julien, Dr. Grimes’ hand shot upwards holding the control panel. Spinning around like a professional dancer, the doctor’s eyes and smile beamed outward from the low light at the edges of the lab. He lunged forward into the bright lights at the center of the room where his glee melted into a sneer.

Why are you hiding boy! Step out into the open and take in my glory!

Julien reluctantly came out from his safe place and sidled behind the doctor just as the fans roared to life.

Yes, Yes, Yes! cried Dr. Grimes.

Julien was shaking, he’d worked for Dr. Grimes for the entire summer and he knew that this wasn’t going to be one of those inventions that changed lives in a good way, no, this was something Julien was very scared to see come to fruition and he hadn’t been sleeping well thinking about the ways in which Dr. Grimes’ invention could be used to cause great harm.

Looking upwards at the ten foot tall machination Julien took in the large steel structure with its gears, wires, and hoses all concealed beneath the behemoth’s shiny, silver skin. Just as his scrutiny reached the top of the structure two red lights snapped on, the eyes, Julien winced.

The Doctor was overjoyed at his creation and he yelled over the very loud rumblings filling the lab and shaking its tables and chairs, boxes and parts. Gears grinding, fans spinning, hoses pumping oil and other fluids through-out the giant’s massive internals.

This is amazing my boy! Amazi…

Just as he was starting his second self aggrandizing declaration, the monstrosity grabbed Dr. Grimes with his massive left hand and squeezed until the doctor’s head burst, showering Julien and the boxes he was once again behind with grey and pink tissue and blood, incredible showers of blood. The enormous, red spattered robot threw the remains of his creator across the lab, the body striking and cracking the far wall just outside the small room he’d used as a private office. Dr Grimes’ remains slid from their landing place, to their final resting place.

The robot’s eyes turned a brilliant shade of green as it surveyed the rest of the laboratory. Its gaze came to rest on Julien as he stepped out from behind the blood soaked boxes of power. The automation genuflected before the boy, lowering his head.

Julian reached out touching the top of the robot’s head with his outstretched palm and through his blood soaked grin he whispered

Good boy.