King of Things, A Christmas Story
Mechanical bugs were crawling up my legs. I couldn’t move. Ants, spiders and robot roaches were at my toes. I tried to kick them away but the bed covers held them , escape was impossible and they began to crawl up my legs. I tried to kick them away, push them with my feet…move them away from my clawed toes…I tossed, tried to turn… “No!..No…stop!!”
The rustling noise woke me out of the dream, and my body broke out in a sweat as I lay there. I shivered and moved my toes. No bugs or robots were present. But…rustle...rustle…crinkle of paper. It was about 3:30 in the morning and I lay still to make sure that I wasn’t still dreaming.
Sssshhh. Crinkle…rustle, rustle..no… no dream. Someone was downstairs. Someone was messing with the Christmas presents. I slowly crawled out of bed, trying not to wake Sue and Simon. Rustle…crinkle.
“Sue?” I whispered. She turned but didn’t wake. “Sue..” But all she did was hug Si-Si harder. He wasn’t much help…he just molded his body closer to her and his paws rested on her nose and they snored in unison. I stared at them…”o.k….” Time to man up and be the Husband/Protector. Crap.
I adjusted my eyes to the darkness of our room and looked for something...anything I could use as a weapon. I moved slowly trying not to wake wife and min-pin, and my feet touched down on the boxes that Dave’s robot bugs had come in, all ten of them. It had been awhile since we had gotten…toys. Although Dave was 22, he was our nephew and he loved bugs, especially ones with AI. We had taken them out of the boxes and wrapped them in just the paper. Dave loved to figure things out. The varied shapes of the wrapped bug bodies would throw him. We had gone a little overboard. Sue and I had spent the night wrapping them, and I forgot we hadn’t cleaned up before we fell into bed. It took enough energy just to go downstairs and place them under the tree away from the manger …clean up would have to wait. I mumbled, “should have taken the time.”
Weapon. My mind raced and I remembered the scissors we had used to cut the wrapping paper. Not much of a weapon…but it would have to do. I bent down, feeling along the rug and found them. “ OW!”
I moved my hand from the points to the handle. They were about 6 inches long. I grabbed them and held them tightly. “O.k., I’m going down.”
I made my way across the room tip-toeing around boxes, wrapping paper, and tape dispensers . It was like walking through a landmine. I opened the door to the loft and peeked out. I could see the reflection of the Christmas Tree lights along the wall of the loft; Red, orange, yellow lights twinkled and shifted. It was pretty. I waited and watched, and then…rustle..rustle…crinkle.
And the the lights on the wall darkened as a thin shadow broke their glow and made it’s way across the wall…followed by…no…way!!
Crap! Crap!...What the ..??? Jeeezzzeee…”Jesus…Jesus….”
I bolted back into the room and shut the door. Sweat covered my body. I shook as I held onto the handle of the scissors. I looked over at Sue’s sleeping form. She was now under the covers and I could see Simon’s ears on the pillow next to her.
( Wake them. No. Yes…they have to know what’s happening. Then what…what can they do? No, I have to take care of this myself. I’m the man. I’m the protector. I’m the King of this House. This is my place..my home. I gripped the scissors tighter. I breathed deeply. I will not let..monsters…”.aaahhh!!!”)
I pulled open the door and made my way onto the loft. The lights danced along the wall. I gripped the scissors and began my way down the stairs. Rustle. Rustle. I stopped. The movement was coming from around the bottom of the stair case where the tree was. All the decorations…someone was at the tree. Shadows moved on the wall. I took a breath. Jesus. I moved down...down..down...bathed in multi-colored lights. I made it about halfway down when I saw movement. The shadows moved. I breathed deeply. God, help me. I listened. I stood on that step. Yellow, red and blue lights flashed around me. Time passed. Silence. Tick tock. Tick tock. Then. Rustle..Rustle…scurry!! I turned around and began to bolt up the stairs. Sue!
I stopped. Sue…Simon. My… family. Mine. I’m the King. I gripped the scissors harder. I turned around again. I took one step, then another. Step by step. Down..down..I stopped. Shadows now moved in the light; thin, pointy, followed by…giant..I know that…those. I KNOW.. they’re… what the..?
I made it to the last stair and raised the scissors. O.k… here I…
Bright white light flashed. It was the brightest light I’d ever seen. Not sun bright…brighter. Not yellow, White. The whitest White…ever. I covered my eyes with my right arm. The scissors fell.
I fell around the corner of the staircase into the light. Slowly I moved my arm away from my eyes and adjusted my vision. And there it was. I stared. There they were…and there He was. No way. My mind needed something else…something real. I scanned; Christmas wrapping paper was strewn around the base of the tree; ripped and torn pieces, the evidence of their emergence. That was Real.
My eyes went back to them… and Him. They were crowded around him. Robot ants, and spiders and roaches were…kneeling…bowed…supine…before Him; the baby Jesus laying in the manger. White light shone all around Him. I moved slowly. I looked at the Nativity scene; Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, the animals and now these…new additions; mechanical bugs with artificial intelligence. Then it hit me. A joy began to fill me...a realization about all of it. I knelt down , and then lay down before Him: The King. No matter how much we could advance in our technology, our intelligence, our making of things, it would all be artificial. It still would fall short of His Glory. Forever and ever He would be King of all creation: King of Kings, and King of All things… forever. Amen.
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Joseph Trance.
Published on e-Stories.org on 23.12.2010.