The return of the forgot.., p.1
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       The Return of the Forgotten Ornament, p.1
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           Leslie Lee
The Return of the Forgotten Ornament
The Return Forgotten Ornament

  Leslie R. Lee

 

  Copyright 2013 Leslie R. Lee

  The Mouse Supreme, his cloak whipping in the wind, his costume glowing in the darkness, his mask hiding his true identity, stared down his enemy. His enemy, an alien of viciousness unparalleled in the Mouse Supreme’s experience.

  “You will not succeed in destroying the Earth, alien,” the Mouse Supreme roared. “Return from whence you came.”

  He shook his mousey fist at the alien who merely laughed.

  “Ha ha ha!” he laughed. “Ha ha ha!”

  “I heard you the first time, you nasty alien,” the Mouse bellowed, puffing out his chest so his muscles rippled with their magnificence. “Now quit this place, I say. Quit this place before I eject you forcibly from our peaceful planet.”

  “Oh yeah?!?” yelled the alien, trying to form a fist with his tentacles. “You and whose army?”

  The Mouse Supreme tossed his head, his whiskers waving with warning. “My trusty sidekick and I are all that is needed to rid our wonderful world of wretches like you.”

  “Wait, you have a sidekick?” the alien frowned, as his millions of minions looked at each other, shrugging. “I don’t remember you having a sidekick.”

  “No one remembers my sidekick,” the Mouse Supreme sighed, as the bright blue Christmas bauble rolled up. “He’s the Forgotten Ornament.”

  “DADDY!” the little girl groaned at him. “You’re laughing at your own jokes again.”

  Her daddy snickered as he stopped reading the story from his iPad. “Yeah, it’s a joke see. No one remembers the side kick because he’s the Forgotten Ornament, get it? Like you would remember him if…”

  “Daddy!” She slapped both of her palms over her face and dragged them down. “If you have to explain your own joke, it’s not very good.”

  “It’s pretty good though,” he chortled to himself. He knew how to appreciate humor even if no one else did. Especially his own. “The Forgotten Ornament isn’t remembered see, so…”

  “Daddy, get on with the story would you?”

  “Oh yeah, right.”

  Every year he had to write his bright little daughter a Christmas story. He was glad he had one ready for her this time. Last year’s, The Forgotten Ornament, had been more difficult to write. This one had aliens and explosions and car chases. All the good stuff that made Christmas stories traditional as well as festive. Very festive.

  “And, daddy, you’ve got to give these people names.” She wagged her finger at him. “You never give anyone names. How do you expect me to remember them?”

  “Steffy, that is not true. Lots of my stories have names in them.”

  “They do not. Harry Potter has great names.”

  He sighed. On the one hand, her criticism cut him to his core, but on the other hand, she had compared him to J. K. Rowling so how great was that?

  “It’s a metaphysical commentary on the anonymous existentiality of our quintessential struggles on life and death.”

  “You’re just making that up, daddy.” She crossed her arms, rolled her eyes, and gave him the look that she only could have learned from her mother. “Those aren’t even words.”

  She really did look so much like her mom. Steffy. His daughter. In her little party dress bought especially for this Christmas dinner, all he could think of was how he would always remember her as this little girl. Like this. Exactly like this. No matter how much she grew up, she’d always be Steffy. Not Stephanie. And certainly not Stephanie who had married a fairly nice guy, and now they had children of their own. This was the “other” year Christmas so he was on his own. Even his so very beautiful wife was with them. He’d managed to avoid going over to the in-laws which everyone was relieved about. No more arguments over religion and politics. The emptiness cocooned him. A single blue ornament hung on a small tree shone dimly at him. Did his beautiful daughter remember him? Were they happy off with the other side? And here in this room devoid of the people he loved, he strained, listening for some memory of the heartbeats that were so very far away that made up his life. The little girl. All grown up. A beautiful and wise soul with her own family. Too far away.

  “Mommy!” the little girl yelled. “Now daddy is making himself cry.”

  “What? Again?” her mom shouted from the kitchen. “Dear, we don’t have time for that.”

  He swept the little girl up into his arms and hugged the squirming child tightly to him.

  “You won’t forget your poor old dad, will you, Steffy? Even when you have your own family and kids and everything and spend Christmas away from me? You’ll remember me?” he blubbered at her trying not to blubber on her but blubbering anyway.

  “Daddy! I’m not even five yet!” She struggled away from him so she could smooth out the wrinkles. “You’re crunching up my dress!”

  “I’m sorry, Steffy, but I miss you.”

  “Daddy! I’m right here.” She stomped away but found a couple of the alien children hiding behind a chair and dragged them out to go show them her room.

  He sighed. Their home had become nothing short of a madhouse. A very loud and very crowded madhouse.

  The aliens had landed earlier in the year causing what could only be described as complete chaos. An invasion to destroy our planet, everyone feared. Go to war, the nut cases shrieked. The President though had calmly invited the aliens to dinner to discuss their issues. To most everyone’s surprise, the aliens had accepted while asking with gentle diplomacy why would they destroy our planet when we were doing such a good job on that ourselves.

  Although everyone made a big deal about the issues to be discussed, no one really cared about those things. Not really. What they cared about was having a meal with the aliens. The other nations demanded the aliens come over and have dinner with them. Then everyone said why should the rich and powerful be the only ones dining with the aliens. Everyone wanted an alien to come to dinner. The aliens had to send for reinforcements just to fulfill even a small percentage of the invitations. The world’s nations set up lotteries. And somehow, against all odds, their family had been chosen to host one of the alien families.

  Like too many ideas, it sounded pretty good at the time.

  Now though… Everyone and their brother wanted to come over. And at Christmas. As if it weren’t crazy-busy enough at the end of the year. Secret Service, media, looky-loos crawled all over the neighborhood. Helicopters shook the house when they swooped over. News vans parked everywhere. A whirlwind of screaming children both alien and human tore through the little home. The youngsters moved with such speed he could hardly tell them apart anymore. Madness. Sheer madness. A posse of kids he didn’t recognize ran by stomping on his feet. They yelled out at him what could have been either “sorry” or “get out of the way.”

  Maybe a nice quiet Christmas all by himself wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all. A nice fire, a book, a hot toddy to take the edge of…

  “Dear,” his lovely wife called out. “Please inform everyone to take their seats. Dinner is ready.”

  “Sure,” he nodded to her. “ HEY EVERYONE! GRUB’S UP!”

  His beautiful and patient wife gave him that look she usually reserved for when he’d performed in some way not quite in keeping with her expectations.

  “What?” he shrugged. “They’re coming aren’t they?”

  The aliens towering above the people glided toward the dining room. They didn’t act very alien-ish in his view. They looked alien enough what with all the tentacles and weird compound eyes and stuff. They just didn’t do anything where he could yell out bring the rain!

  “This is ludicrous,” he whispered to
the mouse family. “Completely unrealistic. I mean aliens should act more, you know, different. This isn’t very believable.”

  The mouse squeaked at him and waved a tiny tankard of apple cider at him. The little rodent family was all decked out in their Christmas clothes as well. They looked perfectly content at the little table Steffy had put out for them.

  “Ridiculous,” he scowled. “Aliens just coming over to have a sit down meal. Does that sound very likely to you?”

  The little mouse laughed at him and patted his wife and children and old granddad who had somehow managed to make it to another Christmas. They did look very dignified in their finery. And Mrs. Mouse was resplendent in her Christmas gown and bonnet. Each mouse had a little blue pin to signify they were in the Order of the Forgotten Ornament. The kiddie mice bounced around excited to see the aliens as everyone else was. No accounting for taste, he decided.

  “Daddy,” Steffy said. She waved at the mouse family then held up her arms. “Don’t forget.”

  “Forget what?”

  She sighed and showed him the polishing cloth.

  “Oh yeah, right.” He hoisted her up and carried her to the Christmas tree. With him straining to hold her high, she reached up and started polishing the little blue Christmas ornament until it reflected, amplified, every light in the room.

  He gasped out relief as he put her back on the floor. He’d have to hit the gym more often. She gave him a big hug and peck on his cheek.

  “And don’t worry, daddy. I’ll always remember you even when it’s not Christmas.”

  She ran off to join the chaos at the dinner table. One of the alien children had saved her a seat.

  “Maybe one big laser blast would be a good thing,” he mused aloud.

  The mouse family squeaked and shook their heads. He sighed. Everyone’s a critic.

  “What’s the point of aliens if you can’t have at least one big explosion?” he grumbled to himself.

  The Forgotten Ornament chuckled as it watched him wander over to the table trying to find someplace, any place to sit.

  Christmas. And the Forgotten Ornament had again taken its spot on the tree along with so many other wishes and prayers, thanks and hopes. Tonight was good. Tomorrow might be better. But tonight and today all over the world, people dined with strangers who with a bit of luck might become friends. The Forgotten Ornament could only hope. It gathered itself together and with all its strength shone out its little message to everyone everywhere:

  Peace, Love, and Joy.

  ###

  About the Author:

  Leslie R. Lee writes fiction, takes photographs, and tries not to spend too much time on the Internet. You can contact him at:

  E-mail: LeslieRLee@iCloud.com

  Twitter: https://twitter.com/lrlee

  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeslieRLee

  Blog: https://leslierlee.typepad.com

 
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