Toaster landed hard after his run through the flowers. Whatever pain he felt, he didn't notice, for there was a mob of animals after him. It was around now that the small kitchen appliance would begin cursing his mirror-like chrome. Why did animals (and children) always become attracted to shiny, reflective objects?
A smile crossed the appliance's faceplate as a shrub came up on his right. Seeking a place of refuge, he quickly jumped through the plant's branches to the other side, dark green leaves effectively shielding him from view. He could hear voices saying frantically "Where'd he go?" but after a few seconds, the pack seemed to have run off. Toaster snuck a peek from around the corner of the shrub. If they were gone, he could get back to his friends and they could continue their search for the Master-
What was that? Toaster thought, badly startled by something brushing his back. Spinning around, he discovered…a flower. Are flowers supposed to move? He thought curiously. The flower itself was small and graceful-looking. It was in full bloom, the beautiful yellow petals displayed proudly with a few drops of dew remaining of it, making it sparkle slightly. Toaster found himself speechless by nature's wonder, but was quickly shocked into action when the flower began to…caress him.
Now he was thoroughly stumped; why would a flower do that to him? Eyes wandering down, he saw a perfect reflection of the flower on his chrome, mirror flower nuzzling the real one back. Gently, he pushed the plant away from his body.
"Oh, no, no, it's just a reflection," he explained softly, "I'm not a flower." Despite the truth, once Toaster's handle left the stem, the flower was rubbing against him once more. He panicked, not knowing what to do in the new situation. A part of him was reminded of the Master, how the boy always loved to pick him up after his toast was finished. The child had strange way with appliances, each one had loved the boy in their own way. But Toaster remembered, this flower was not a human or an appliance. He couldn't just stay in the same spot until the flower stopped; he had to get back to his friends.
Hastily, Toaster ran off to behind the other side of the shrub, leaving the flower slumped behind him. But then he did something he would later regret and cherish: he looked back.
A sliver of sunlight cast itself upon the prone flower. Unlike before, the petals were drooped downwards as well as the leaves, rejecting the very thing that gave it life. Toaster only watched as the flower gave a slight shudder, almost like a sigh, and one of its beautiful yellow petals fell to the ground. It had just given up living, and it was all because of a little toaster.
Toaster couldn't help but think of how fragile the flower had been. It had grown up alone, isolated from the multiple flowers in the meadow. Lonely, it had lived for another seed to come along and take root next to it. The flower had waited for a friend.
Who knew how long it had stood there? It suffered through, day in and day out; clinging to the hope a companion would come along. And then Toaster came.
That lonely little flower experienced the presence of another. It fell in love and outwardly displayed its affection, afraid that its only companion would leave, trying to deny the inevitable. And then Toaster ran away.
Toaster carried a heavy heart on the walk back to the meadow. He was the cause of complete heartbreak. He had caused a beautiful flower to die alone and in agony. He had been so harsh to it and he would never forgive himself for it.
On the rise of the hill, the little appliance sadly passed a backward glance to the clearing. As he thought about it, the flower reminded him of the group's youngest member. The night before, he had been just as harsh to Blanky as he was to the flower. Blanky only wanted to snuggle up next to him, just for something familiar to remind him of the cottage. But Toaster pushed away the young appliance, refection the blanket's affection…exactly like what he did to the flower.
If he and the others continued pushing the electric blanket further and further away, would the same thing happen, would Blanky die alone and afraid with nobody to comfort him? But then, Toaster asked himself another question: would he let such a thing happen again?
Clenching his jaw and closing his eyes, he thought only one word.
He would never let something like that happen ever again, to anyone. No matter what, he wouldn't lose anyone else on the journey, especially not young, naïve Blanky.
The kitchen appliance couldn't help but smile a bit. If the others wouldn't take it upon themselves to be kind to Blanky, he would. He'd give the youngling the care and attention he needed. He would be a friend to Blanky, a brother even. Whatever they went through, Toaster would always be there for Blanky, no matter what.
And Toaster wouldn't have it any other way.