Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Orange, The Christmas Story – 2013

At 7pm on Christmas Eve, Anna received a text message from William. “Broke my mom’s present. Help!”

Anna groaned. She typed back. “I’m in the middle of dinner. I’ll see what I can do later.”

William’s response was just two words. “Please hurry?”

Anna considered the delicious-looking food on her plate. There really weren’t any other options, though. Of course she was going to agree.

“Ok,” she replied. “Come by in an hour.”

She excused herself from the table and went to work on the problem.

 

It took her fifty-six minutes to solve it.

William arrived right on time.

Anna handed him a small package and a list of instructions. “Follow these, and you’ll be fine,” she told him.

William opened the box a crack and peered inside. “Thanks,” he said. “It’s perfect. This means a lot to me.”

“I know,” Anna told him. “Now get going, or you’ll be late.”

William reached into his coat pocket and produced an orange. He tossed it to Anna. “That’s for you,” he said. He laughed slightly. “I know we said ‘no presents’ this year. But it’s not fancy. I was in a rush.”

Anna caught it. “Dessert,” she said with a flourish.

“Merry Christmas, Anna,” said William.

“Merry Christmas, Will,” said Anna.

No. 511

The arrow struck the armor just above Sir Eliot’s heart. The deflected missile scored the dull gray finish of the steel, leaving a scar of brilliant white.

No. 510

The pterodactyl swooped up and away.

The human ran for shelter.

Both were terrified.

Neither could figure out where the other had come from.

The platypus just shook its head and continued to search for food in the stream.

It had seen this scenario before.

No. 509

“Sire, the numbers you asked me to find are in. SPCA kitten adoptions are up this year!” said the demon.

The Devil cackled. “Excellent,” he laughed. “Then my plan is working!”

“You are using kittens for evil, my master?”

“No,” said the Devil. “Not kittens. Who do you think I am? That’s crazy. But, someday, those kittens will grow into cats!”

No. 508

“We’re Christmas pirates,” said the Captain, emphasising “Christmas”. “We plunder mostly trees and tinsel.”

“We don’t have any of those on board,” I told him, my eyes locked on the giant sword strapped to his belt.

“Oh,” said the confused scallywag, “I suppose we’ll be moving along, then.”

“Come on, boys,” he cried, waving his candy-cane hook in the air, “There will be another sleigh along, shortly!”

 

As they departed, off into the snowy night, I sat back against my seat and breathed a massive sigh of relief.

No. 507

The building erupted from the ground with surprising speed. Its sudden appearance caused confusion and panic among the townsfolk. Without builders, or human expediting of any kind, it was as if the structure was simply growing.

The feelings of terror heightened when another one began to form on the other side of the lake. And then a third, next to the courthouse.

The invasion had begun, and nobody knew what to do.

Bullets and explosives had little effect. A bulldozer’s blade was unable to penetrate the outer walls.

The buildings, eventually seven in total, topped out at twenty stories.

With no credible means to destroy the towers, people soon forgot their fears, and began moving in.

Other towns and cities begged to be told how to develop their own versions of the habitats.

The residents were unable to answer, and conflict arose between neighboring municipalities.

 

When the buildings started to decay, after forty years, nobody could remember how they were formed, only that they were the worst thing to ever happen in Herons Mill.

No. 506

On the day Earl Pickens died, a woman claiming to be his daughter walked into the detective office of Grainier and Hutch.

Martin Hutch was the only one there, and she met with him for almost thirty minutes.

After she departed, Hutch worked through the night, piecing together the torn-up document the woman had left with him.

By sunrise, he knew he’d handed the biggest case that he would ever have to solve.

The fate of an entire town hung in the balance.

Hutch had never been to Ruby Creek, but he’d be there in six hours, when the first bus of the day arrived.

No. 505

Mr. Anderon had a green mustache. And even though he rarely came out of his house, all the neighborhood kids knew it.  They’d stand on the street corner and whisper to each other. “Did you know that Mr. Anderon has a green mustache?”

Nobody disagreed, except for Lily. She decided that the story must be made-up.

She resolved to test her theory.

Thinking of only one way to do so, she marched right up to Mr. Anderon’s door and rang the bell.

“Hello?” said Mr. Anderon as he answered. “What can I do for you today?”

Lily had not thought of a reasonable excuse for visiting. She blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “I’m Lily. Would you like to buy some cookies?” she asked nervously.

“Excelllent!” said Mr. Anderon. “I rarely get the opportunity. I’ll take three boxes!”

Lily had no boxes of cookies and, instead of replying, darted away at top speed.

 

She was out of breath by the time she made it home.

“So what color was it?” asked her brother.

“It was green!” she gasped. “It was bright green, like a lime!”

No. 504

They say that somewhere out there, everybody has a doppelganger.

I saw my mine for the first time on a Thursday morning. She was stopped across from me at the intersection of Kilroy and Westland.

The next time I saw her was six days later. She was buying a newspaper from a box on the other side of the street. We were even carrying the same bag.  I called out to her, but she didn’t look up.

The third time, she passed by on the escalator at Century Town Mall.

She’d gone by the time I was able to make it back downstairs.

I had been close enough to smell her perfume, which was the same as mine. And to notice she had a mole just under her left eye, just like I did.

It was unsettling.

I looked it up. Even for real twins, that doesn’t happen.

I realized that my identical twin was too identical.

No. 503

The Bureau of Making It Happen’s headquarters was in a large warehouse at the end of an infrequently traveled street.

There was a reason for the isolation.

Most people, if they found out about the Bureau’s work, would react with fear, or even anger.

And rightly so.

The Bureau was tasked with, as was indicated by the name, making things happen. Anything that was written down, to be precise.

Their job was to turn fiction into non-fiction.

The Bureau was founded in deepest secrecy in 1942. Their mission was simple. The Allies were looking for ways to win the war, and felt that the ability to conquer with words would be an expedient means to that end.

Unfortunately, years of less-than-competent management and vague direction after the conflict turned a relatively straightforward focus into something altogether more powerful, and scattered.

The scientists, working without constraint, exceeded all logical limits, until everything had to be addressed.

A child’s Christmas wish, scrawled on a letter to Santa, got as much attention as a fan-fiction internet blog. Every threatening text message was intercepted and sent to the central database for further action.

Luckily, for almost everyone, by 2013, the backlog of tasks was approaching a one-hundred-and-seventy year waitlist.