Monday, December 23, 2013

A Dream of Christmas

A Dream for Christmas

Once upon a time there were two young cousins named Molly and Hudson, and their dog, a beagle named Daisy.

One day they were playing in the backyard as snow fell around them. They wore their warmest coats, green for Hudson and purple for Molly.

On this day they were joined by their friends Stephen the Gnome and Amelia the Fairy both as high as Molly‘s knees. Stephen wore is fancy hat with the feather in it and a red and white scarf. Amelia wore a fancy pink coat, which matched her wings, with fluffy white fur around the wrists, neck, and wing slots.

The five friends ran and played, building snowmen, winter forts, and riding sleds. They drank cups of hot chocolate and ate bright shinny fruits, and a big bowl of water for Daisy.

As the day grew late and sky got dark Amelia saw Molly wave to a little boy sitting at a window.

“Who’s that?” asked Amelia.

“That’s Morgan,” answered Molly, “He’s been sick.”

“That’s a shame,” said Stephen. “But he will get better soon.”

“Not soon enough,” said Hudson.

“What do you mean?” Asked Amelia?

“His mommy was going to take him to see Santa today,” said Molly.

“But because he’s sick, he can’t go now,” said Hudson.

“Woof,” said Daisy.

Stephen gasped, since gnomes speak perfect dog, “He hasn’t told Santa what he wants for Christmas. Are you sure daisy?”

“Woof.” answered Daisy.

“Oh no,” said Stephen.

“That’s terrible,” said Amelia.

“I wish there was something we could do,” said Molly, who was very kind.

“I wish we could call Santa,” said Hudson, who is very clever.

“Woof,” said Daisy, who is very loyal.

Stephen became very excited. “Daisy that just might work.” Stephen grabbed Amelia’s wrist, “Come, we have much to do if we should be ready in time.” Stephen and Amelia waved to their three friends and ran off into the enchanted woods behind the house.

*  *  *

That night, Hudson and Daisy were sleeping over at Molly’s house. They had gotten pizza for dinner and watched their favorite cartoons. Though all through the night they wondered where their friends had gone off in such a hurry.

After a long day of playing outside, they were tired and fell asleep as soon as their heads touched the pillows.

That night the three friends dreamed. In their dreams they saw wonders: skies filled with rainbows, pirate ships and forgotten islands, mighty princesses and their valiant quests, and large bones buried beneath the earth.

As they dreamed they saw a shadow approach from inside a field of beautiful wildflowers. It was Amelia and when she saw them she became excited and cried out, “I found them! There over here!”

A moment later three more people joined them in the field. The first was Stephen who burrowed up from the ground on the back of a mole. He jumped off and thanked the mole for its help. It squeaked and went back into its hole.

The second was a tall man with a plump belly and a fancy beard in multi-colored pajamas. They were covered in shapes and pictures that flowed and moved. They constantly changed from dinosaurs to motorcycles to ponies to unicorns. He carried a heavy pillow case full of sand.

The forth was a slender fairy as tall as Molly. She wore pretty pink dress that shimmered and glowed. Sparkling wings fluttered behind her and with each flap they changed color, first red then orange then yellow then green, blue, purple, and back to red. Little bubbles danced in the air around her, like balls of sparkling light.

Stephen and Amelia began dancing in a circle with cries of, “it worked. It worked. Hooray.”

“Woof,” barked Daisy.

Stephen and Amelia stopped dancing and faced the three. “Of course, you’re right Daisy, we have little time,” said Stephen.

“Who are your friends?” asked Hudson, who is very curious.

“Hello,” said Molly to the newcomers, because she is very polite.

“Yes, we must make introductions,” said Amelia.

“Certainly,” said Stephen. He removed his hat and bowed to Molly, Hudson, and Daisy, “allow me to introduce the Sandman,” Stephen once again bowed, this time with a grand flourish, “bringer of sleep and dreams.”

The Sandman smiled at the children and said, “You may call me Kevin.”

“Hello,” said Hudson, reaching out and shaking Kevin’s hand.

“Woof,” said Daisy, offering a paw to shake Kevin‘s hand.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” said Molly giving a slight curtsy.

Amelia giggled and whispered to Stephen, “I taught her that.” She then turned to the fairy that was with them. Amelia then clapped her hands together and separated them streaming a long rainbow that stretched out over the fairy. Amelia then said, “This is the Sugarplum Fairy, she guides children through dreams and away from nightmares.”

The Sugarplum Fairy curtseyed, “You may call me Terri.”

“Woof,” said Daisy, lowering her front legs and bowing her head.

“Charmed,” said Molly returning the curtsy.

“Hello,” said Hudson, taking the Terri’s hand and kissing her knuckle.

Stephen leaned to Amelia, “I taught him that.”

Amelia sighed.

“Well,” said Kevin, “we have a busy night ahead, and must hurry if we are to complete our task.”

“What are we doing?” asked Hudson.

“We’re taking Morgan to see Santa Claus,” said Amelia.

“How?” asked Molly.

“The only way you can get there,” said Stephen, “in dreams. First, we must find Morgan. Do you think you can find him Daisy?”

“Woof,” said Daisy, who had an excellent sense of smell. Daisy sniffed the air and off she ran. Daisy stopped every so often, looked back, and barked while everyone caught up.

“Yes,” said Stephen at one break, “we are slower then you, but you must remember we only have two legs.”

After that Daisy ran slower and everyone else was able to keep up with her. It wasn’t long before they found Morgan battling evil troopers in space using a sword made of light.

They quickly explained where they were going and who everyone was. When they were all friends, Kevin asked everyone to join hands and nodded to Terri. Terri waved her wand and bright sparkling bubbles flowed out of the tip. The bubbles floated and bounced about the group. When one touched someone it popped leaving the sweet smell of sugarplums.

More and more bubbles flowed out of the wands tip and surrounded the group some began to flow beneath their feet. As more bubbles gathered everyone began to rise up off the ground and soon they were off, flying over the land and headed towards the North Pole.

They passed over sprawling cities with twinkling lights and ancient forests with snowcapped trees. Soon the land went away and only the sea was left. They saw whales and dolphins and sea monsters as big as houses.

They flew over islands filled with pirates and Indians, dinosaurs and explorers, dragons and knights.

Soon the horizon was filled with bright lights flowing through the sky. The ocean turned to ice and they saw polar bears and penguins and seals. As they grew closer to the North Pole they saw forests made of peppermint trees. They saw the fields of the cookie farms where cookies grew on chocolate chip vines and oatmeal raisin trees.

Then they saw it. The workshop they had all dreamed of. Tall spires wound with lights, massive arches hanging with wreaths, and a rooftop runway.

The group landed on the runway where they were immediately surrounded by elves. Each one a few inches taller than Molly, Hudson, and Morgan. The elves all wore greens and reds and had pointy hats with bobbles on the end, their long slender ears sticking out of the sides. The elves brought them hot chocolate and cookies, and wrapped blankets around them.

Kevin knelt down and spoke quietly with one of the elves, and they pointed at the group and gestured towards the workshop. After a few moments the elf exclaimed, “He hasn’t told him what he wants?”

Kevin shook his head and the elf ran towards Morgan. He took Morgan’s hand, “Hello Morgan, my name is Shawn. If you would follow me please?” Shawn led Morgan away and the rest of the group followed. They entered a door and went across walkway. From there they could see the entire workshop; it was filled with every color of wrapping paper, miles of ribbons, mountains of bows, and colorful tissue paper mounds. Elves ran from section to section putting the finishing touches on toys and presents.

They group hustled past the room into a large stable filled with reindeer. Each reindeer stood in its own paddock, filled with everything a reindeer could need. They had all the carrots they could eat, piles of straw and hay to keep them warm, cable TV to watch all their favorite shows.

After that they entered a long hall way filled with letters, postcards, and computers with email, tweets, and video messages showing what different children wanted for Christmas. Busy elves read letters, double checked delivery instructions, and made last minute corrections.

They entered another room with dark eyed somber elves sitting in front of rows of monitors showing children around the world. Some were playing, some were asleep. There were children at school and home. A cry went out, “We have broken dishes in Colorado.”

Another elf shouted, “Put it on the main screen.”

Everyone grew quiet and Shawn stopped moving to watch. Molly began to ask a question when Terri quietly said, “shhh.”

A large view screen on the wall lit up showing a little girl standing next to a broken plate. A woman’s voice could be heard from the next room, “Mary is everything okay?”

The elves all leaned forward waiting for the little girls reply. “I broke a dish Mommy. I’m sorry.”

The woman entered the room, “Are you okay?”

“Yes, Mommy, but I broke the plate.”

“We can get more plates.”

The two of them hugged and then they both started cleaning up the pieces of plate. The head elf cried out, “We have a sincerer apology. She stays on the Nice List.” The elves cheered, and pieces of paper were thrown into the air.

Hudson tugged on Kevin’s pant leg, “Aren’t the papers going to be out of order now?”

Kevin shook his head, “No. Those are the throwing papers, for when something good happens.”

Shawn quickly moved everyone along, a wide smile on his face.

They moved through more halls and more rooms. They finally found their way to a long grey hallway with dirty white carpet. At the end of the hall was an old wood door, faded by the years. Shawn walked to the door and knocked gently.

“Come in Shawn, and bring your friends,” called a voice from behind the door.

Shawn opened the door and the group entered. The room beyond was bright and warm, red and green furniture was laid out about the room. The walls were decked in multi-colored lights blinking in time to the happy sound of Christmas Carols. A trio of elves tended to plates of cookies, mugs of hot chocolate, and a fancy shinning digital camera. Smiles winked across their faces as the children entered the room. In the center of shinny festive Yule greetings, atop a small platform for all to see, sat a frozen throne, carved of ice and filled with a welcoming glow. Resting upon a pair of thrones, cloaked in crimson cloth and trimmed in cloud like fur sat Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Ho. Ho. Ho. Laughed Santa as he looked down at the children and smiled. “Hello Molly.”

“Hello Santa,” said Molly.

“Hello Hudson,” said Santa.

“Hello Santa,” said Hudson.

“Hello Daisy,” said Santa.

“Woof,” said Daisy.

“Hello Morgan,” said Santa, “I understand you have something you need to tell me.”

Morgan smiled, “Hello Santa.”

Santa reached down and lifted Morgan up and placed him on his knee. “Tell me Morgan, have you been a good boy this year?”

“Yes,” said Morgan.

“Do you help your Mommy and Daddy around the house?”

“Yes,” said Morgan.

“That’s good. Why don’t you tell me what you’d like to get for Christmas?”

Morgan spoke softly as he told Santa what he wanted for Christmas. When he was done Santa hugged him and one of the elves took their picture. Santa lifted Morgan to the ground and when he stood next to Molly and Hudson they both cheered and hugged him.

Ho. Ho. Ho. Laughed Santa. “Is there anything else?”

“Woof,” said Daisy.

“That’s right, I haven’t heard from you either,” said Santa.

Daisy jumped up on Santa’s lap and woofed at Santa. When she was done the elf took their picture and Daisy jumped back to the ground. “Woof,” said Daisy.

Santa smiled at the children, “well, as you may know I have a very busy night. So I’m afraid it’s time for you all to wake up.” Ho. Ho. Ho.

*  *  *

A few days later the friends woke up on Christmas morning. Each found the thing they wanted most under the tree. Everything they asked for. Molly got a Princess, Hudson got giants, Morgan got a saber made of light, Daisy got a big chew toy, Amelia got paint brushes, and Stephen got a new hat with an even fancier feather.  Finally, after all was done, two pictures were found on the trees of their homes, one each of Daisy and Morgan with Santa Claus, and to this day none of the friends has told where they came from.

And now I say to you as has been said to me, Merry Christmas, good night, and may you have wonderful dreams.

The End

Well folks, as I said last year, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Festive Kwanzaa, and to any one I missed I am deeply sorry and all I can say is Happy Holidays.  Be well, sleep long, and enjoy a good tickle.

If you wish to see more of my holiday stories click here to read the first one.  Tell me what you and your little ones think, you can find me on Facebook and Twitter, or leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you have to say.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The continuing adventures of J P Nussbaum 17

The last week has been odd, we’ve not stayed anywhere more than two nights. We switch cars as often as possible. We try to use cash whenever possible. We using a series of internet café’s and dead drops to communicate with family and friends. Even I’m not sure where we are anymore.

Last night we drove from our hotel sometime after midnight. I think we may have left Ohio, or maybe not. In all my travels I have learned that the Midwest looks surprisingly similar no matter which part you are in.

There is some good news, I spoke at length with Jeeves, the Nussbaum family butler. He served with my grandfather during World War II. We spent some time telling each other stories about him.

In all of this, in all our precautions we were still attacked by two men just yesterday. Jeeves dispatched them, but we still are unsure how they found us. Jeeves has told us that getting supplies will be a bit of a hardship, since he’s unsure of how secure the families usual contacts are.

We sat talking for a long moment and finally narrowed it down to a few things we would need. Keith joked, “So all we need is: lawyers, guns, and money.”

Which gave Mark a rather good idea. I’ll not say what here, as we’re no longer certain who is reading. Hopefully, Marks idea will work.

If I never post this and someone finds it. Whoever you are, I ask you a favor, please tell my family I love them. Tell them I’m sorry.

To Stephen Mayne,

I hope these messages are reaching you. I hope they’re reaching someone.

We have hiked through the jungle for the past few days. The trip has been harsh and unforgiving. We’ve crossed rivers, climbed a small mountain, and faced wild beasts in the night. A few days ago a search plane started doing circles over our area. We haven’t tried to signal it, because we simply do not know who is flying the damn thing.

Perhaps we’re just stricken with paranoia, but I fear it may simply just be caution.

A few days ago we had a small amount of luck. We found a outpost manned by smugglers. We’ve watched them since then and seen no amount of unsavory dealings: drugs, guns, and this morning they brought in children.

We’ve decide we can wait no longer. We’re going in. This may be the last time I ever contact you. If it is, thank you for all you’ve done.

God help us.
Your friend
J.P. Nussbaum

Let me know what you think, I'm always interested in the opinions of the reader, good or bad. You can either leave a comment below or on facebook. You can also follow me on twitter.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The continuing adventures of J P Nussbaum 16

I’m afraid. The wheels have fallen off and we’ve jumped the rails. There is no longer any doubt our lives are in danger. With everything that’s been happening I was worried that we were in over our heads, and now…I’m worried I won’t see tomorrow. Yesterday everything came to a head.

This week was mostly quiet, nothing out of the ordinary had happened until yesterday afternoon. I was at home when the door burst in and, let’s say, a more experienced English gentleman entered. He was cracked and scarred, dressed all in black. He had a damp patch on his side, I would later learn was blood, his blood. He carried a sig in one hand and a bloody knife in the other. He yelled at me to grab what I needed and get moving.

I was stunned at first. I wasn’t sure what to do. He yelled again, and Started grabbing some things from my desk. He told me we didn’t have much time and we needed to get moving. I just started following him, I’m not sure why. I think it was because he exuded so much confidence and control. I grabbed a few things, some clothes and my laptop. I started to pick up my cell phone and he grabbed it from me and smashed it against the wall.

When we ran outside there were a dozen men, dead men, on my lawn. I was hustled into a van, and we left for safer places. We spent the rest of the day gathering my friends and our families. Our families were moved to safer places, scattered for their own protection, even I don’t know where they are. The lot of us: myself, Keith, Mike, Mark, and Jeeves, the mysterious gentleman, are headed out of town. We’re driving now, as I write this. I’ll post it as soon as we get near an internet hub. If I get a chance.

If I never post this and someone finds it. Whoever you are, I ask you a favor, please tell my family I love them. Tell them I’m sorry.

To Stephen Mayne,

I’ll be fast, we’re lost. We hired a small dual engine and flew for Spain. The pilot, betrayed us. I’m not sure when or how he was hired, but as we slept he changed course. We didn’t know, and at some point the bailed out of the plane. I was woken by Beth, shaking everyone. We weren’t sure how long the pilot had been gone.

We were low on fuel and flying over a jungle. Christina managed to land the plane on fumes and prayers. Thankfully, she had spent five months flying with the Blue Angels in the States. We’re down now and trying to find a way home. Our satellite phone isn’t receiving, I’m not even sure it’s transmitting at this point. Our GPS is shot, we can’t call for help, and have very little idea of where we are.

I’m attempting to transmit this in hopes you get it.

God help us.

Your friend
J.P. Nussbaum

Let me know what you think, I'm always interested in the opinions of the reader, good or bad. You can either leave a comment below or on facebook. You can also follow me on twitter.