Thomas’ Computer: a short story loosely based on real events
Chapter 5:"the package"
The thunder from the storm raging outside sounded like monsters trying to break into the house through the roof. Rain steadily beat against the windows threatening to break them in if they continued their resistance. The vibration from the central heater was felt through the floor as Thomas gentle turned the package over in his nervous hands.
Who could this possibly come from? Asked Thomas who was slowly turning into an anxious 12 year boy Christmas morning about to open his presents. His eyes turned a bright shade of green, like the color you would see on a plant in spring about to release its flower for the entire world to admire. As another shot of lightening temporarily dimmed the light of his average room he began to fumble delicately with the tape that barred his entrance into its mysterious chambers within.
As most boys his age, he began to pump his legs anxiously like a runner warming up before a race. “Why I am I so excited to see what’s in this box? “ Thomas remarked verbally. Reluctantly tuning down, he dropped the box on the ground and looked at it like it was a device trying to control his mind. As the thunder buffeted the house the groan of the bed was inaudible as he stood up and turned for the door leaving the package unopened and looking rather disappointed on the ground. Walking down the stairs that lead to the kitchen he could hear the hushed hurried voices of his parents at the kitchen table where his 2 year old sister was playing under the table with his old dump truck which had her Barbie doll elegantly seated on top commanding her loyal subjects (imaginary) with grace and beauty. “What are you guys talking about?” asked Thomas not trying to sound as sharp as it came out.
“We’re talking about the box you received earlier today,” replied his mother. He could see the faint streaks tears recently wiped away from the napkin she held in her hands.
“Yeah, who dropped it off by the way,” with his mother opening the subject Thomas felt free to pursue it. “I mean was it a messenger? Because I wasn’t expecting anything.” As Thomas opened the refrigerator he had to move half of its contents just to grab a Dr. Pepper.
His father replied, “We were hoping you might be able to enlighten us.”
“No, I haven’t opened it yet,” trying his best to cover his bright green eyes to conceal his anxious desire to find out what it is. “Do you want me to bring it down and we could open it together?”
His father, Richard Lighten, was reserved man prone to few words and even fewer facial expressions. He was a retired army Colonel that saw a lot of action in both desert storm and the current conflict. Currently he was trying his hand as an electrician making good money, but doing it mostly to keep himself busy. Richard loved his son and wanted him to know that but found it hard to show him in any way that Thomas would understand.
“Mom are you ok?”
“I’ll be fine hunny, just go up get the package and we’ll talk.”
When Thomas came back down the stairs he could hear very clearly his father.
“Alisha, we must, if we don’t… when will we.”
Sobbing openly by this time, “how…do you think he will react? Hunny put the tuck on the floor please.” Amanda had decided to make her presence finally known by driving the truck straight up her mothers leg.
When he hit the landing he did his best to hide his reaction from overhearing them.
“Are you guys sure everything is ok?” his eyes now turning dark brown showing his inner turmoil.
“It will be ok. Just open the package,” not used to the angry tone his father used; he robotically brought the package to the table and began to open it.
Once the tape was removed, Thomas opened the cardboard lid and peered down at a silvery rectangle with an apple symbol in the middle of the rectangle seeming to have a bite taken from its side. As if a physical weight was lifted off his parents they sighed in unison and leaned back in their chairs like they had just been running and were now taking a rest. It was a computer, actually it was Macbook pro. As if it were made out of egg shell and any jerky motion would destroy it, Thomas gently removed it from the box.
“Is this why you guys were freaking out?” he addressed his parents still having a look of amazement on his face.
“No, we thought it was something completely different love,” said Alisha clearly relieved.
When Thomas lifted the lid and moved to turn it on it turned on all by itself. A strange voice came from the device making it sound like it was possessed. Without Thomas knowing microsystems turned on and routines began to whir to life, a series of hypersonic messages were sent from the computer to the mind of and equally unknowing cowboy 2 miles away.
“Siiuurr, wii neeeded yous now.” The cowboy, thinking he had seen it all, passed out right on Main Street.
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