My Uncle From the Sky

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by dizzie, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. dizzie

    dizzie Active Member

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    This short story is dedicated to anyone who grew up playing with an Optimus Prime toy. Don't expect lots of continuity or even action. It's more of a sentimental homage/ journey. Thanks for reading!


    “My Uncle From the Sky”


    by Maroon Corey


    Porches were made for nights like this: The clatter of kids inside putting dishes in the dishwasher, followed by whatever short-lived game they had invented to stave off bedtime. How wonderful and even temporarily perfect, to be able to half-stand, leaning on a wood banister with something to drink in one hand, looking out over the horizon while the crickets chirp their evening concert. The sounds floated over a warm summer breeze. Could your hear the wind running its fingers through the tall grass or perhaps did you just just feel it, there in the starry darkness?


    The weathered white garage, fading to a misty grey in the absence of sunlight, looked almost stoic against a backdrop that could probably only be captured in dark shades of oil paint by an old master. As the soothing chorus of humanity from behind and nature from ahead continued, a star sparkled and moved with a trail behind it: A falling star; a meteor. They were easy to see this far away from the city, and even plentiful on some nights. It had been a while since one had graced this particular slice of sky-theater; an unexpected delight to add to a beautiful evening.


    As the star fell, though, its dazzling show didn’t begin fizzling away like usual. It seemed to only increase in brilliance. Still leaning on the porch rail, his eyes narrowed and his lips parted slightly as he tracked its trail with keen interest. Then, his gaze slowly began to open wide as the streak grew wider still. He began to ask himself if a slight audible sound was connected to the star.


    By the time his brain registered that the exponentially increasing volume of what started as a whistle and dropped in pitch to a rushing torrent of liquid wind was indeed paired with the scintillating display, albeit on a slight delay, it was too late to have any reaction other than to shudder backwards with a start. The star-turned-fireball ended with a thud that could be felt there on the porch, followed directly after by the sound of twelve dozen shovels-full of dirt cascading over the shed and surrounding field.


    He stood in silence. The insects had stopped. Inside, a child sounded as if they were calling out to their parent, in question. Then, there was a very different sound. It was a sound that didn’t come along with shooting stars or meteors: a sound that didn’t come after an airplane crash or a cannon ball, or anything in the world as a matter of fact. Not this world. Yes, it was a sound that he hadn’t heard in over 30 years: a sound that he halfway didn’t want to believe and yet one he had longed for every day since. It was a sound that could mean everything was ok or that everything was about to be turned upside down.


    He didn’t feel his drink slowly slipping from his hand as his fingers relaxed, powered down by his brain. All mental energy was devoted to a flood of memories reaching back to a childhood that had been shaped by the experiences that followed that unmistakable sound. As the imagery, feelings, smells, and bitter taste of adrenaline filled his senses, the falling drink took minutes as time slowed for him, its liquid trail following. Finally, the drink made impact on the porch floor, shattering. It was of no consequence to him as he stared on, mouth agape.


    “Honey, you alright?” she called from inside. Children continued playing uninterrupted, oblivious to anything outside the immediate confines of their own imaginary world, as it should be. Beside the garage, a cloud of dust reflected the light of star and moon. His heart pounded and his body recoiled as the seconds for the smoke to dissipate again seemed to take forever. And from that cloud, a familiar silhouette. One that caused his cheeks to begin to draw up in a smile. The sweet night air finally rushed back into his lungs.


    “Honeeey?!?”


    “Uh, yeah babe, everything’s alright - something...something fell out in the shed that I was working on I, I need to go put it back.”


    He bounded off the porch as if he were a young boy, running to meet his playmate in the yard. His joints reminded him that he was no longer that boy, and yet still he jogged on, undeterred by the prominence of a figure that towered higher and higher above him as he drew closer. The disparity between its size and his seemed to have no regard for the many inches and pounds that time had added to his stature as a grown man.


    There had been important days that had passed for him in those years since; days that would continue to be the most important ones of his life; college graduation, his wedding day, the days his children were born. Just like on those days, his senses took in everything: The wisps of smoke blending into the dark; The feel of the ground underneath his shoes as he ran; The toad jumping from the pathway to avoid an early demise; The swarm of gnats he momentarily broke through; the firefly he whizzed past as it blinked the glow of an old-time neon sign. And then, the edges of the stark grey forms ahead becoming imbued with evidence of color as he came closer, catching the ambient sky. Red. Blue. Silver.


    “Optimus.”


    The name had not left his mind or his lips for a day since its bearer had shepherded his comrades back on their way home. How many times had he looked in that quadrant of the sky with his telescope, wondering. How many stories had he told; been almost forced to tell? How many late night discussions with the woman of his dreams? How many times had he carefully related details to his young children in answers to their questions after seeing the picture on the wall and the album of newspaper clippings? The sensation of being able to say that name to its owner, present here for its recitation, was something he had coveted for a long time now, and it was a relief.


    “Marty. It is good to see you, my friend.”


    “It’s good to see you too, Optimus - it’s great to see you!”


    Then, the bright smile drifted from his face as it suddenly lost expression to the obvious question.


    “What brings you back?”, he said with an intent gaze, waiting with trepidation.


    “Don’t worry, Marty. Everything is fine.”


    “Oh...that’s great!” he said with a sigh. “Glad to hear that. So... how’ve you been, it’s, it’s just so great to see you,” he continued cheerfully, “I wondered about you so many times!”


    While his speech was harried and excited, the words from the behemoth figure were restrained, yet somehow filled with the same energy.


    “I’ve thought of you many times too, my friend. I wanted to come back, and check on you.”


    He smiled a sincere and delighted “Oh! I’m honored!”


    The visitor reflected, “While I’ve never been one to pay casual visits, I only regret not coming back sooner. Logic bares that the years which passed since we parted would be much more impactful upon the human lifecycle than mine. However, the change you display takes me aback. You are now in appearance like the so-called adults we dealt with those years ago. I am positive that the intelligence and compassion you displayed then continues to be far above theirs. The honor is mine, Marty.”


    He felt his eyes water a bit as he replied “That means so much to me, Optimus. I’m no hero, but hopefully I’ve managed to hold my own ok. I’ve definitely faltered from time to time. Um, it’s no piece of cake going from being a child to an adult - I mean to say - it’s challenging. But I always tried to think back to you and the others and those times we had as an example, and to stay true to that spirit that I felt then as a little kid. You know, I have my own children now (or maybe they have me), and it’s so true that they are able to display such wisdom at times. I really feel like I learn from them!”


    “How meaningful it must be to experience parenthood. I felt that same wisdom from you in your youth, Marty. We all did. And long before human civilization existed, we also experienced the growing pains of navigating newfound knowledge, ability, and responsibility. To falter is to exist. However, the journey of those like myself had the benefit of many millennia as its ally. Your all-too-brief struggle to mature is more intense by many factors. I do not envy it.”


    Marty shrugged a nod in consent.


    “I’ll also say this, Marty. I have thought back to your own example time and time again as well. A hero is one who inspires another with hope and courage, whether that other is an army, a community, a stranger, friend, or a child. Marty, you fit that definition on more than one count.”


    He smiled as he exhaled, turning his head downward and then back up again, eyes sincere. “Thank you, Optimus. I think maybe I needed to hear that. Maybe we all need a reminder of the good that’s inside us from time to time. I hope you know I feel the very same way about you. You’ve certainly inspired me with a lot of hope and courage”


    His response was likewise sincere. “Thank you, Marty. We do need to hear it and you need to know its truth in yourself. And by the way, don’t worry, I still know remember what ‘piece of cake’ means.”


    He chuckled.


    “I’m so glad you’re here!”


    He found his arms extending themselves from his body, in a welcoming gesture.


    Marty’s index finger pointed up to the imaginary light bulb over his head as he said “Hey listen, how would you feel about meeting my wife and kids?” now thumbing back toward the house. “They’ve heard so much about you and they’ve seen some of the old photos and videotapes - I think they’d kill me if I didn’t at least try to get you to come see them, and I’d love for you to meet ‘em if it’s ok…”


    The great general’s response was proper and genuine. “I would be honored.”


    “Aw, that’s great!” Marty’s hands clapped together. “Hold on just a minute. Or, I tell you what, um, no one anywhere near here is gonna to see you if you step out over here close to the house if that’s comfortable for you. I wish I had something more to offer you than just a piece of ground to stand on!”


    “Your presence is all I require, Marty. I’ll follow you.”


    He nodded with a smile, a quick “Alright!”, and ran to the house. Maybe his legs were getting younger again somehow. “Is that even possible?” he thought. “No, what a dumb idea!” And with that, he was already opening the screen door. His wife was in the kitchen, getting the kids lunches together for tomorrow, more than ready for him to jump in at any point with helping hands. She spotted him peripherally with a “Hey!”


    “Hey, babe!” he said as he walked into the kitchen, carefully closing the front door behind himself.


    “You fix up what you were working on out there?”


    “Yeah, kind of,” he said as her inquisitive gaze devoted him more attention. She now realized that he was panting. Her eyebrows descended as she wondered.


    “Babe, I’ve got a visitor here - we’ve...got a visitor here.”


    “Who?” she said without inflection. He saw the potential cast of characters running through her mind along with the reactions they would elicit.


    Propping himself on a nearby counter top, he explained “It’s not anyone you’ve met before, but you’ve heard a lot about him.”


    He treaded carefully as her face constricted further.


    “Who?” with a slight head shake and more investment this time.


    He straightened his posture as his breath returned. Nodding slightly with eyebrows lifting, he said “It’s him...He’s here.”


    His face asked her a question that he couldn’t put into words and that she couldn’t answer directly. His gaze caught a nearby framed photo, sparking the tremor of a brief smile. Her question in response, was spoken almost breathlessly:


    “Prime?”


    He nodded in consent. He knew that she knew that he knew better than to play a practical joke of that scale. And he knew that she knew that he was in his right mind. And yet, he understood her disbelief. He walked to her and, stepping in close, he took her hand.


    She dug her feet in to stand her ground, leaning back and pulling her hand free. “Wait, why?” She shook her head in disbelief. “Why is he here?”


    Throughout the years, their fears, hopes, and dreams had grown to resemble each others’. At times, they were a mirror image. Now was no exception to this phenomenon as the nightly news images of destruction and explosion reeled through her frontal cortex, unyielding, as they had in his own mind earlier that night. Why couldn’t he have anticipated it better? Why couldn’t he have gone about it in a better way? Well, at least he could understand.


    “Honey, I swear, everything is absolutely fine. It’s really him and all he wanted was to come and see us...well, to see me, but now he knows about you and the kids and says he would be honored to meet you all.”


    “The kids?!?” She was incredulous.


    He plead their case. “Well I mean they’ve heard so much and they’d be so disappointed they’d be crushed, I mean - are they asleep?”


    Shaking her head and stammering slightly, she replied, “I don’t know, probably not yet but wait, I don’t know that they’re ready for this - I don’t even know that I’m ready for this!”


    Big events were always easier for them when they were planned well in advance; especially for her. This is one that couldn’t be planned. This is how it had happened, how it was. And it was good; good enough. He knew it in his heart.


    He paused. He spoke. Slowly. Deliberately.


    “Babe, step outside with me. Trust me.”


    He lowered his head, locking his eyes on hers, knowing that in a single glance it would tell her all she needed to know and feel before stepping through the doorway between themselves and a being imbued with so many tons of living metals, patiently awaiting their company.


    He had been honest with her. Seeing him would not be a surprise to her. This is the behavior she expected from him. She had a right to it. And foremost, she deserved it. Moments of trust fulfilled, like this one and many others, are what had turned him into her hero, and her into his. In that moment, he recalled how Prime had labeled him as such just moments earlier. The great leader who meant so much to so many would now meet the one who meant everything in the world to Marty and their children. As she uttered a soft “ok” and moved across the room with seriousness in her face, Marty’s eyes were on his wife. For this woman, stronger than himself in more ways than one, he prepared to steady her if needed with his hand gently on the small of her back. She appreciated the measure of comfort as he knew she would.


    Touching the knob began an out of body experience for her. As she opened the door, a rush came over her as red, blue, and silver glinted in the moonlight. The volume and speed of the neurons that pulsed in her mind during those few seconds could challenge the abilities of any mind, human or alien. The thoughts that those intracranial pulses represented would inspire wistful bits of conversation for years to come. And while her thoughts were hers alone, the rapid and multifaceted biochemical response was apparent to Prime and astounding in itself as he stood sentinel-like and silent in the dim glow of the porch lights.


    Now that the door was now swung wide, a young child in her nightgown was visible to Prime behind Marty and his wife, unbeknownst to her parents. The child slowly descended the stairwell, sleepy-eyed and barefoot, with her soft bedtime toy in hand and head cocked curiously to the side. She tried to take in the scene as she drew closer, unable to see her mother’s wide eyes contrasting the remainder of a steeled composure.


    Down below the porch that lay beyond her parents was the leader of a great nation. Could the little girl have even fathomed the swath of eons he had existed, had she known? In time, perhaps she would understand more of the stories: The vast multitudes of lives he had saved and brought dignity and opportunity to: The wars in which he served as a humble and devoted leader, willing to sacrifice everything for his brothers and sisters in arms: The wisdom, fairness, and love he had shown without fail to all beings.


    Marty and his wife soon heard the creak of the stairs their young one descended. They turned to see. Lowering their gaze and with a reassuring smile motioned with their arms for her to join them at the door. Trusting in her parents protection, her feet pattered lightly across the floor to satisfy her curiosity and to feel her mother’s and father’s loving touch.


    Now, on the ground down below the porch, this savior, this unflappable hero, this enormous uncle from the sky, slowly and gently lowered himself, bringing his eyes level with the eyes of a small child who was somewhat new to this world and to life itself; small and relatively powerless, yet possessing all the hope of humankind in those penetrating eyes. Prime knew that look well. He remembered it from what seemed like only yesterday when he had first seen Marty. He knelt before her.



    The End
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  2. Night Flame

    Night Flame TFW2005 Supporter

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    Thank you. Very captivating writing, with great emotional investment. I wouldn't hate seeing this continue, though I know how satisfying it is to tell a short tale very well.

    Great job.
     
  3. dizzie

    dizzie Active Member

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    Hey, I appreciate the remarks and glad that you liked it. I'm open to any criticism as well. After I finished it, I did have thoughts cross my mind about continuing the story and using the above as the first chapter. If there was interest, I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to it! Thanks again.
     
  4. EnderDovah

    EnderDovah Active Member

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    Just Perfect. Just everything about this gives not only nostalgia, but almost pride in knowing that even a simple name of a fictional character can bring a sense of hope. I almost cried reading this to be honest. It doesn't help that i read this while revisiting my own fan fiction i had neglected. Any continuation of this would be amazing, but even in its current state this is a master piece. Thank you for writing this.
     
  5. dizzie

    dizzie Active Member

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    Hey, EnderDovah, thanks for giving it a read! You're too kind and I'm glad to hear that it was nostalgic for you and tugged at the heart strings. I'm reminded how the Toy Story movies are such a good concept - we can all relate to that connection with a toy as a kid. And you keyed in on the central concept - the hope and pride a special character can bring to us in real life. Prime is perhaps somewhat of a rarity in our era as what can be referred to as a "non-tragic hero" or a hero without character flaws. I also remember reading about how Peter Cullen's brother who served in Vietnam had an influence in how Cullen acted out Prime as a leader of virtue rather than a guns-blasting maniac (that role was filled by others!)

    I saw your fiction piece - I can really hear the voice of the narrator from the G1 cartoon in that opening! And while Optimus Prime stands on his own as a character, they say that a great villain makes a great hero in storytelling. In any case, the world of Transformers has always centered around Prime v/s Megatron for me. Good job honing in on him right from your opening. Keep it up! Who knows, maybe I will too... I appreciate the encouragement.
     
  6. dizzie

    dizzie Active Member

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    Hey,

    Sorry to bump this old thread but I put this story up on Wattpad for anyone who maybe didn't see this when I originally posted and wants to give it a read. Maybe a little bit nicer interface for reading prose - My Uncle From the Sky - Wattpad

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Shauntell HOlm

    Shauntell HOlm Active Member

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    This is really good! I noted a couple grammatical errors but the pacing, the tone and the emotion was superb. I've posted a couple chapters for an existing fan fiction myself and, like you, have a real love for Optimus Prime. For me, he is the Transformers franchise. He is the symbol of hope and goodness. It's awesome as a stand-alone piece but it would be interesting to see more, if you have such plans.

    Awesome job. Brought a nostalgic feel.
     
  8. dizzie

    dizzie Active Member

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    It sounds like we are on the same wavelength with this character! I've never really thought about it as as such, but I would agree that Prime really is the centerpiece of the franchise for the reasons you mentioned. Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear it came off as nostalgic, which was a primary motivation for writing it.

    I read part of your first chapter - a fresh look at their home world during a time of peace. While the level of personification/ humanization you present isn't necessarily my interest, it certainly made me smile. The detail about the young ones growing up on alternative energy sources captured my imagination. The overall picture you began to paint almost made me think of my hopes for the future return of Syrian refugees to a peaceful land.

    I'm still curious about your opening sentences. Initially I was unsure if this was a metaphorical another storm on the horizon or if the clouds in the distance had come and gone. Maybe I misread or maybe it would be more clear if I read further. Or, perhaps it is your intent to have some ambiguity here!

    I'd LOVE to know my story's grammatical errors! I can return the proofreading favor with a couple (I think?) in yours
     
  9. Shauntell HOlm

    Shauntell HOlm Active Member

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    Thanks for checking my first chapter out! I'm not clear on what you meant by 'humanization.' But I got the idea of alternative energy sources from a little research I did via wiki. I learned that in Beast Wars there was a kind of 'cyber fruit' although the explanations for what it was were slightly ambiguous. Never gave a lot of explanation for it or what it was exactly other than it was a 'cyber fruit.' But it gave me the idea that maybe there was a way to create a kind of hybrid fruit and vegetable that was cybernetic, mostly metal but slightly organic...maybe the beginning of 'techno-organic' type .... somethings, I don't know.

    Regarding the opening sentence, I could possibly try rewording them? It was supposed to indicate that a storm had come and gone but it was also somewhat metaphorical. Or it was supposed to be.

    And I would be happy to check for grammatical errors, if you'd like? They were small but if you're willing, I would appreciate the proof-reading. And I would be glad to help you in the same way. Would you prefer through email? Or here?