2009 -- 2.1 (Fall) Fiction

A Very Merry Christmas

“This present is for Gordon,” I said as I handed my nephew his loosely wrapped present. “Be careful. Don’t shake it, you don’t want to hurt it.”

Gordon’s eyes lit up as he took the present and put it down on the floor to open it. Everyone was curious; what had I purchased for Gordon this year? Last year, I bought him a BB gun and he promptly shot out my mother-in-laws bird feeder. This year would be different. Since they refused to give the gun back, I decided it was time to get even for Gordon.

I never liked my in-laws and Gordon’s parents weren’t much better. Cathy, my wife, was completely different from her family. She wasn’t pretentious like her mother and sister. After all, who names a kid Gordon?

As Gordon ripped at the paper, his mother and grandmother took turns shooting me dirty looks. Everyone leaned close to see what it was.

“What is it Gordon?” His grandmother asked.

“I don’t know, it’s an empty cage!” Gordon said, trying to act excited.

“Why would you give him an empty cage?” Michelle asked me.

“It wasn’t empty last night when I went to bed,” I told her, faking an incredulous look. “Let me see that Gord,” I said, reaching my hand out. Gordon handed me the plastic enclosure. I reached under it and pulled out a small book. I had taped it there to make sure nobody saw it first.

“I think we have an escape artist on our hands folks.” I said as I hid what was on the cover of the book.

“I hope it wasn’t a mouse,” his grandmother said, a look of disgust on her face. Cathy had to fight to suppress the smile from her face; she was in on it with me. Gordon was in on it too. I had given him a hundred dollar bill earlier and explained what was going to happen.

I bit my lip as I held up the book for everyone to see. Gordon’s grandmother fainted instantly. His mother wasn’t far behind.

“Oh my God!” she screamed and then fainted, just like her mother. Tarantulas for Dummies turned out to be my new favorite book.