Tag Archives: adventure

The Christmas Gift

Jeremy was bereft. His feet were cold and he felt the sniffles coming on. And yet here he was on the evening of December 24 standing in a freezing parking lot looking at dying trees. Why? Because his family insisted. He desperately wanted to tell the world to piss off and just go and get drunk in some dive bar.

He hadn’t always been like this. He used to love Christmas. But 11 months and 13 days ago everything changed. The woman who completed him, who made him laugh and more importantly who laughed at his jokes, died. Mattie loved Christmas. She loved life. She loved him. Until some two bit gangsta’ wanna-be thought it would be fun to drag race on a snow-covered icy street. They said she died instantly. But he didn’t. Jeremy wanted to die or to kill, but instead he lived. He felt the tiny box in his pocket. He had planned to ask her that night. That’s why she was out. They were going to meet.

It had been a horrible few months but everyone seemed to have moved on. Except for Jeremy. Here he was standing in the cold with instructions to buy a lovely full tree for Christmas. He shook his head, was about to turn around and leave when he heard an odd sound.

He looked around the parking lot but he didn’t see anyone. The sound was low, almost frantic. It was a scratching noise with a hiccup and a sigh. It intrigued him. He wanted to know what was making that sound. Jeremy took a step forward and the sound changed. It was a whine now and a huffing noise. It didn’t sound human and yet it didn’t sound animal either.

A back-firing car startled him. He felt silly. It was probably just the wind stirring up some garbage. Jeremy shrugged his shoulders, he knew he needed to get on with his life. He could never forget her but maybe he should put her where she needed to be: deep in his heart where she could be protected, her memory safe. He would start by taking an active roll in this evening’s activities.

In that moment something else happened. Jeremy seemed to swim up from the abyss of grief he had been living in for almost a year. His eyes truly opened. He almost smiled. He was looking for a tree. Now there were tall ones and fat ones and ones that looked a little sad. But he couldn’t seem to find one that he thought needed a home with his family. And then something fell on his foot. It wasn’t very heavy, it was very small and it coughed.

Jeremy peered down at his feet trying to see what this thing was. There wasn’t a great deal of light but he was pretty sure that he saw it move. Without thinking he reached down and scooped up the small ball of something.

The next thing that happened was unexpected. But perhaps given the day, appropriate. With the small black bundle at eye level Jeremy poked it. It poked back! And then it opened its mouth and emitted a rather large meow. It was a kitten. It was a small, black, cold, abandoned kitten. It curled itself into a ball and started to purr. Jeremy smiled for the first time in forever. He tucked the sleeping bundle into his pocket and bought the tree it had been hiding under.

He got his tree. He didn’t haggle the price, he just paid it and chuckled. He was taking home more than a tree. He had found the Spirit of Christmas hiding in the small body of a kitten under a tree.

the end

Code Complete

 

Coding’s complete,

The DNA’s done

Personalities written

It really was fun.

 

The creatures are finished

They’re all in their places

From the workings inside

To the look on their faces.

 

Now we sit back

And see what we’ve made

And hope we’ve been right

And then wait to get paid.

 

The work that we do

It’s done on the run

Creators for hire

Our job here is done.

 

Now on to the next world

In galaxies far

I think it is close

At the very next star.

One of Those Days

Do you every have one of those days when everything goes wrong? You get out of the wrong side of the bed in the middle of the night and step on to something wet and cold. Perhaps it’s a wet facecloth that escaped from the bathroom in a bid for freedom. It could happen. Couldn’t it? As you stand there trying desperately to ignore your expanding bladder you distinctly remember the retching noises your cat made that you chose to ignore as you were getting into bed. The midnight fairies won’t clean THAT up!

So you hobble into the bathroom trying desperately not to touch the floor, that beautiful hardwood that you spent thousands installing. (You see a hardwood refinisher in your future.) But you make it, curse Mother Nature for fitting your body with a function that no one wants to talk about in polite company. Noxious liquids dealt with, you envision a quick jaunt back to your oh, so comfortable bed. Unless . . . you have pets.

“Free to a good home!” “Unconditional love!” “The best companion anyone could ever want!” “Never be alone again!” Truth in advertising? Absolutely. But I’ll bet you never read the fine print. That’s a whole different truth.

When you have a small child (of the human variety) you expect to get little sleep. It can take months, even years for them to reach a point where they sleep through the night to allow you to sleep through yours. A few years of midnight bliss and then they’re teenagers and it starts all over again.

 

So instead of a human child you decide to get one of a feline or canine variety. Did you not read the fine print? When they are very young they often have trouble sleeping alone. Curled up in your armpit, hair or chest is often preferable. Which means you don’t sleep terribly well either. You’re midnight forays will now provide you with a traveling companion. You will never be alone again. Oh and that afternoon nap you love to take. They don’t. You are fair game. Fine print!

So finally you rethink this companion thing. You’re young, strong, intelligent. You don’t need to be cuddled by a non-sentient fleabag. You want to eat when you want to eat! You want to stay out as long as you want! You don’t need to be needed! And then it happens.

You come home from a rough day. You’re sad and you don’t know why. You sit down on the couch wondering why you ever took this job and your cat jumps onto your lap. You look down at this intrusion and a stray paw taps your hand, big brown eyes turn to look into yours with such . . .

And there my friend is why you will move mountains to accommodate your animal companion. They are gentle souls who need you. I think.