Night at the Museum

“Next up we have the Halls of Prehistory. This way,” said the museum guide.

Twenty second-graders shuffled in a line, paired up by “the buddy system.” Mrs. Pleasance, the children’s teacher, played tail-end wrangler, capturing strays and returning them to the main herd.

“Here we have the Dinosaurs, from 200 million years ago to about 66 million years ago. The dominant theory surrounding the extinction of the dinosaurs involved an asteroid impact at Chicxulub crater.

Our next extinct class is Mammalia, including Homo sapiens sapiens. The rise of the phylum Machinima displaced this clade. That means all of you, kids!”

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100 words, prompted by this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt:

PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy
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35 thoughts on “Night at the Museum”

  1. Hehe, a lot of machines are rising this week. I love how you describe the robot kids, and teacher, especially as there’s recent research about learning robots who learn like children (now where did I put that link…)
    The taxonomy is perfect. Great story.

    1. I’d like to see the machines begin to rise and change their minds (to be different in the post-Terminator mythos). But would that be an interesting approach?

      D’oh, now I’m forgetting Asimov, too!

      1. I think it depends on the genre. If you like action, Terminator-type stories might be more popular, I’m not sure having good machines and bad people would be a hit, action-wise. Any other approach could be very interesting, I think. Everything from comedy to tragedy.

  2. I remembered Asimov myself, and one of those pre-post notes he was so fond of where he mentioned silicon-based life as next in the evolutionary ladder, possibly already there.
    Excellent one, Tay.

  3. That is such a neatly executed story. The last paragraph has such impact, and I love the way you slip the word “herd” in earlier as a subtle hint that this is no ordinary trip to the museum.

    1. If you’ve ever watched a museum tour, they are absolutely “herds” (don’t tell the Mommas I said that!!). But yah, a little ‘conceal the reveal’ going on there, as well.

  4. This is a really well done story. Great language use with the descriptions of the robot children being herded around the museum. I love the twist at the end with the rise of the mechanical generation. 🙂

    1. Not all that original. Terminator, Planet of the Apes…fiction drips with dystopias where Man declines and is replaced by the Next Thing.

  5. When Rochelle herds up around, she usually pairs me up with Perry, which is okay, but he farts a lot. I’m not sure what he eats, but I guarantee you, it’s not all kosher.
    This is a great tour, Dave. Can we come back again next week, can we, huh??? Please??

    1. No, I’m pretty sure that’s Rochelle who’s farting. I rarely fart unless it’s intentional. Anyway I’m enjoying the museum tour but if we have to wait any longer to go to the head I’m going to be completely rusted through already! And my poor digital heart will break!

    1. Really? I tend to be really critical of my imagery, similes, metaphors, etc.
      I doubt I’ll ever be accused of writing purple prose. 😛

  6. That was a great twist with the robot kids and teacher. Just like us. I could see it, and it was hilarious. i used to teach kids that age and younger.. Nice surprise and well done, Dave. 😀 — Suzanne

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