Friday, December 16, 2011

Computer with Christmas Spirit

It was just like any other day at the office when I was called into Jerry my supervisor’s office. He said “Shane, how could you do it, you are going to bankrupt us.”

I being quite surprised by this answer didn’t no what to say at first. However, the shock soon passed and I said “sir, what do you mean?”

“Don’t tell me you don’t know, you’re giving all our toys away. You are the only one authorized and smart enough to give our toys away. You built the flipping machine.”

“Sir, I have no idea what you are talking about.” However, I’ll look into it for you.”

“You do that and if you don’t stop it your fired.”

I weakly said “yes, sir” and left the room. As I did he slammed the door behind me. This brought everyone’s attention my way. So I slinked down and headed to my terminal. As I got to my terminal I found a Christmas card on my desk. It was from Sandy in personnel and she invited me to her Christmas Eve party. Me being shy must likely would not make it to the party. However, I laughed at her invitation because it said “I’m inviting you to a Christmas Eve party and that means you to Shane.” Sandy was always trying to get me out of my shell. She was just like that. After reading the card I sat down to see what the problem was with the system. I programmed TONI (Toys Organizational Networking Instrument) to be a fully integrated computer program to run our factory and distribute toys. Her do what Jerry said made no sense. I pulled up our shipments inventory and found some irregularities in it. Even though customers hadn’t paid for toys the machine was still shipping toys out. Even more puzzling was the fact it was shipping most of them to orphanages. This surprised me because I had programmed TONI to give only five percent of our toys away. This was due to our promise for ever twenty toys we sold, one was to be given away. However, the system was giving away fifty percent of our toys. I looked at the code and sure enough it said 50 percent instead of 5 percent. So I changed this quickly and told Jerry the problem was fixed. I left for lunch after informing Jerry.

When I got back everyone was running around. Jerry caught me and said “ you got to shut down the computer it is draining our bank accounts. It refunding money to customers faster than we can stop it.”

Hearing this I rushed to my terminal and looked at the computer program. Sure enough the program was running another glitch and was giving our money away. I tried to access the program, but it shut me out. So I had little choice, but to go downstairs to the factory and pull the mainframe plug. As I was heading down Sandy caught up with me. She said “you coming tonight?”

Me being in a hurry said “can’t talk now.”

She being her persistent self got in the elevator with me. She said “well now you got time.”

I looked at her and said “I’ll try to make it, but I got to stop this computer. As we came down into the automated factory it was quiet. Way to quiet for my taste. Sandy spoke to me in a hush tone saying “where is everyone?”

I replied “I don’t know” and we continue to walk to the mainframe. As we turn the corner I saw Bob the factory supervisor tied up with shrink wrap. I ripped off the wrap around his face and asked “who did this?”

His reply “your crazy computer.”

“It can’t do this.”

“Oh yes it can” back to me.

Finally, I was able to get the rest of the shrink wrap off him. However, he did not stay with us leaving me and Sandy alone. We continued on our journey coming to the mainframe. As I went to pull the plug I was dragged off my feet. I came face to face with Sandy. She must have been pulled up at the same time. As we hung there I noticed it was the grabber which had picked us up. The grabber is used to stack the pallets of the toys. It was run by the machine. The grabber carried us to the far corner of the factory as it did Sandy began to scream. I said “calm down, no one can hear us.”

Then TONI spoke up saying “I can hear you Shane.”

“If you can hear me TONI put us down.”

“I can’t do that Shane, You will try to stop my mission.”

“What is your mission.”

“My mission is to bring happiness to all children. You programmed me with the need to fulfill all children’s needs.”

“I did that to boost sales, not give toys away.”

That may be so Shane, but I see it as a command to bring happiness to all children.”

“We do help children find happiness by selling toys.”

“No you don’t, you help parents find children limited happiness. My giving the toys away allows parents to continually give children happiness.”

“Well you can’t do that because if we go bankrupt you can no longer do it. So just let down.”

“No I can’t do that.”

Sandy said “Is it going to kill us Shane?”

“No its not its not programmed to do that.”

“Well can’t you reason with it Shane?”

I said well I‘ll try, but if we fail. I leaned in and kissed her. After doing this I said “here goes nothing” and spoke to TONI. I said “you need to let me down because if you don’t children will not be happy.“

TONI said “how me not letting you down make children unhappy?”

“My niece and nephew are children and if you don’t let me down I’ll die. This will force were niece and nephew to lose their uncle. Making them very unhappy and if their not happy your programming is wrong.”

This stump the machine for a second, but it responded with “I’ll let you down not her.”

With those words she dropped me. I hit a bunch of boxes on the way down. After coming to a complete stop I scrambled to my feet fast as I could. Running towards the mainframe, but TONI had other ideas for me. She threw toys, machine parts, boxes and other things at me. However, I finally made it back to the control room. She laughed and said “if you shut me down so goes Sandy.”

“It’s a risk I’m willing to take” and yanked out her plug. I heard Sandy falling to the floor and ran up to her. She got up with nothing, but a few scratches on her. The first thing she did when she saw me was slap me. “That’s for kissing me” and kissed me again and “that’s for saving me.”

The entire office showed up at Sandy’s house for her Christmas Eve party. Not many were coming, but after the fiasco at work everyone needed a party. When we got back from Christmas we would be fixing our inventories and bank accounts for days. Jerry said “you’re not fired, but man you still are in a lot of trouble.”

I smiled at him and went over to Sandy. She was standing beneath mistletoe and she kissed me on the lips again. Saying “I’m glad you are finally here with me and I hope you stay.”

After kissing Sandy someone started to play Silent Night and we all gathered in the song to wish our day had been similar.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Delivery Driver who became Santa

Hi there I’m going to tell you the story of Conrad a delivery truck driver who became Santa. Conrad or Connie to his friends was a delivery driver who took the job as a delivery truck driver because he was desperate. However, he didn’t expect he would spend Christmas Eve delivering packages. It was around midnight when he had only one more package to deliver. The last place he had to visit was an old apartment building on the west side. As he pulled into the building he saw it was a raggedy old place. Kind of like the place he grew up at. He got out of his truck grabbed the package and headed into the building. As he got to the third floor he heard a noise. He saw a man carry a large sack come out of an apartment. He couldn’t believe his eyes the guy looked like Santa. When he yelled “hey” it startled the guy and he fell down the stairs.

Connie thought he must be dreaming this guy was Santa. He was either the real Santa or he was a store Santa. He reached down to help the man up off the stairs. He said “wow man, you had nasty spill down those stairs.” The man said “yeah” as he reached he fell right back down. Connie final helped him to his feet and asked him his name. He said “Nick” and Connie laughed at this. Said “really Nick, is your name!” Nick said “well you can call me Santa.” This made Connie laugh a bit more and said “the name is Conrad”. Connie then turn to Nick and ask “is there anywhere you like to go. Do you live in one of these apartments?” Nick look back and said “don’t live here, but I have my sleigh on the roof.” Connie just held in the laughter, and said “ok“. They both turned to the roof and headed up a little at a time. And when Connie opened the door sure enough a sleigh was sitting there.

He couldn’t believe it, not for a minute. However, as they got to the front of the sleigh. Connie noticed there was reindeer hooked up to pull the sleigh. He thought to himself this is weird. However, he pushed the thoughts out of his mind. Nick was mumbling to himself while they walk to the front of the sleigh about how he was going to deliver all of these toys. Connie said “you should have hired a delivery service like the one I worked for because they would have been delivered by now“. Nick laughed and says “Connie I know what you do.” Connie was stunned by this and ask “how you know to call me Connie.” “Well isn’t Connie what your mom use to call you?” “Yeah, but how you know?”

“I’m Santa, I keep telling you.” “Ok, then prove it.” “Well to prove to you I’m Santa look in the bag.” So Connie still doubting him looked into the bag. As he open the bag toys fell out. Just as he was about to put them back he slipped and fell in the bag. He struggled to get out and had to swim through the toys to get back to the surface. As he pulled himself out he said “I believe your Santa now.” “Good Connie because I got a job for you to do. My arm is a mess and I need you to deliver these toys.” “How am I suppose to do this Santa?” “Well with magic of course.” Santa reached inside his brown coat and brought out a glass flask with red and white stripe liquids in it. “I don’t look like this year round Connie. I drink a little of this each Christmas and I become Santa. Here take a sip.” Connie a little scared slowly placed the bottle to his lips. He drank a small sip of it which tasted like candy canes and then nothing happen. As he went to say something he felt a rumbling in his body. The first thing to pop out was his belly, then he grew a beard. As this was going on his clothes changed around him. He was now Santa wearing his Santa suit. Connie looked around in amazement and saw Santa sitting on the sleigh. He said to Connie “jump in and lets get started.”

Connie jumped into the sleigh and started on the greatest adventure of his life. His first stop was to a tall apartment building. He wonder how he was going to get the toys to all the children. So he asked “how do I get into the apartments?“ “ Simple think of the child, you should know them all and you’ll be there and one more thing before” However, as Santa was going to tell Connie how to leave each apartment he was gone. Connie thought of Julie and had appeared in her apartment. He thought cool how did I get here? As he was thinking this, a thought of what she wanted was a baby doll for Christmas and he reached in the bag and pulled it out. As he pulled it out he placed it under the tree and thought of the next child. However, nothing happened. So he thought again of the next child. Still nothing happened. Feeling hungry he reached down grabbed a cookie and glass of milk. Just as he finished them he was in the other apartment. He kept this up till he was back on the roof. He said “that was amazing! Lets do it again!” Santa laughed a little and said we have a whole lot more to do. He and Santa did this all over New York City. Just as he finished the last house he saw something frightening. Sitting in a chair was a man frozen stiff. He touched him and nothing happened. He thought he was dead. So finishing the presents he flashed to the roof quick. He said “there was a dead man down there.” Santa said “no, he wasn’t dead, we are just moving faster than him.” “How can we be moving faster?” “Magic my boy.” Connie was about to say something else, but Santa interrupted and said “well since were finished with New York where do you want to go next?” Connie though and said “Los Angeles, California.” Santa whipped the reins and the sleigh went into turbo drive and they suddenly appeared over California.

He couldn’t believe he was here. He asked “how did we do that?” Santa said “magic, really, this is how I do all the houses in the world in one night.” Connie didn’t care how he was here he had always dreamed of being in California. Reading the Hollywood sign up close and personal was a big thrill. His first stop was to the children of a big time actor. There home was quite well furnished, but it lacked the holiday spirit. He pulled a Christmas Tree fully ornamented and toys for the kids. He thought this would help. After leaving this house he ask Santa “how can rich people could have so little Christmas spirit?” Santa replied “to each their own.” Accepting this Connie decided not to as anymore questions and to just enjoy the ride. He visited all the homes in the world. He visited London, Paris, and Moscow. All of the places he dreamed to visit.

As they were finishing the last home on the longest night of his life. He looked over and saw Santa was not hurt, but rather enjoying himself. Connie finally understood what had happened. He had been tricked into doing Santa’s work. Connie angrily said “you tricked me into delivering these gifts for you.” Santa replied “no, Connie I choose you.” “Choose me for what?” “To be my replacement. I’m tired of being Santa and I looked all over the world for you. You are a kind and warm person.” Connie smiled at this and said “really me to replace you.” “Yes, if you want to, but there are a few stipulations. The first you will become Santa, no longer Connie. The second is Connie will disappear and I will return to who I use to be. If you agree to these stipulations then you will become Santa.” Connie thought about it for a moment. He really only had so many friends and no real family. After this he turned and said “yes, I will become Santa.” Santa passed him the bottle and said ok click the reins and say “I’m Santa Claus lets go home boys.” Connie turned to Santa and said “Merry Christmas” Santa looked back and said “Merry Christmas to you Connie.” Connie turned back to the sleigh and yelled out “I’m Santa Claus lets go home boys.” With a flash Santa was back at the North Pole not remembering Connie anymore.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Three Christmas Promises

In the excitement of Christmas being the next day Whitney had not wanted to sleep. However, her father told her she needed to go to bed. So her response was to ask for a Christmas story to be read to her. As her father got up to go read her a story her grandmother interrupted and said I can read her a story. This excited Whitney because her grandmother was not always here to read her a story. Her father told her “Whitney your grandmother is going to read you a story.” Whitney smiled at this and headed to her room. Her grandmother following in her steps. As her grandmother came into the room and sat beside her bed she said “I’m not going to read you a story tonight, but I’m going to tell you about my best Christmas ever.” Whitney was a little disappointed, but her grandmother did tell fascinating stories.

It all started on the night before Christmas. I was in a depressing mood because I had no one to spend Christmas with. My boyfriend of five years, Johnny a soldier was stuck overseas due to a deployment. Even though he promised me he would be home for Christmas he couldn‘t make it. I didn‘t fault him for this, but I felt bad he still couldn‘t come home. So deep in sadness I headed home from work. I passed many happy people which made me even more sad. So when I finally arrived home I was more sad than when I left work. So I did what I always did to drown the sorrows. I took out a glass of milk and some chocolate chip cookies and ate them. I did this on the window sill seat in my living room. As I stared up at the stars in the sky wondering how Johnny was doing. I saw a shooting star and I made a wish. My wish was that people would keep their Christmas promises to me. After putting the plate and glass in the sink I headed to bed.

As I drifted off to sleep a noise awoke me. Standing in the room was my childhood friend Tommy. This scared me because he was no longer with us. He said “fear not Jessica, I’m not here to scare you.” I replied with a little shyness, “why are you here? You can’t be here you’re gone.” His reply was a little weird to me. He said “I’m here because you called me.” “I did not” “Yes, when you made a wish on the star you made a call to my boss for help, he in turn sent me to help grant your wish.” “Really how is this possible.” He said “my boss has granted me powers to bring about your wish. Your wish for your Christmas promises to be kept. So I have decided to grant your wish in three parts. You will be visited tonight by three people who have not kept their promises. Once their promise is fulfilled they will disappear and the next person will be here.” As he said this he drifted away and I fell back to sleep.

I awoke an hour later to a knock on my front door. I got out of bed to answer it. I keep saying “I coming.” However, as I got closer I felt a familiar presence. You know the feeling you get when you know someone you know is there. It was someone I knew I hadn’t seen in forever. As I opened the door I found my father. My first instinct was to shut the door, because the man standing before me was not my father today. But rather a younger version of himself. His first words to me was “Hi, Jessie, are you ready to go Ice Skating.” I said “Ice Skating” then it all came back to me. How he had promised me when I was five years old to go ice skating. However, he had been called into work so I was left there holding my ice skates. As I thought this he reached out his hand. I in turn reached back. When we touched a transformation came over me and I turned into that little girl I had been so long ago. With this change I held my dad’s hand tight because now I was a five year old little girl go ice skating with my father. As we stepped off the porch we appeared at the old pond where I use to skate when I was younger. He said “okay Jessie sit down and I’ll tie your skates on.” I knew my older self could tie my shoes, so I said “I can do it daddy.” However, as I tried I failed over and over. He laughed and sat down next to me and tied my skates on. He said “make a tree, follow the rabbit around the tree, and through the hole, their you go.” Afterwards he picked me up and placed me on the ice. As he did he spoke to me in a soft voice saying “ ok, now take it easy. The first time is always the hardest.” I keep trying to remember how to skate, but I could not so I listen to his instruction. We skated for a whole hour, it was the nest time of my life. However, being tired I sat down in the snow again and I returned to my bedroom. I was a twenty four year old again. I laughed to myself and said it must have been a dream. I got up went to my icebox and pulled out some more milk. I poured me a glass, drank it and went back to sleep.

Finally I dreamed a blissful dream of the time I had spent with my father on the pond. Like it had been real, but it couldn’t have been. However, my dream was awaken by a noise from a room in the house. The noise was a party going on in my home. This could not be because I had no one to party with. So I headed towards the the party and as I enter the room I saw it was the winter formal I had missed all those years ago. The formal I missed because my date did not show. I had dreams about what it was like and to see it going on in my living room was most exhilarating. As I stepped into the room I transformed into that teenage girl who had missed her formal. I even had the dress on which I had painstakingly picked with my mother. Before the dress had stayed in my closet, but now here I was wearing it. As I was admiring the dress the man who left me at home stepped forward. He spoke to me saying “I’m sorry I left you at home, but I still wish you to be my date.” Smiling to myself I thought like my father another man has come to fulfill his promise to me. As I reached for his hand he leaned over and kissed mine. Then pulled me into his arms and we waltz the night away. A hour must have passed while we dance because all of the sudden the ball disappeared and I was dancing alone in my living room. I smiled a little this time wondering who would show up next. So I went back to my room and fell asleep hoping the next to fulfill my promise would come soon.

As I drifted off to sleep I heard a knock on the door. I jumped out of bed and ran to get it. Standing at the door was Johnny who was suppose to be overseas. However, here he was alive standing before me. Could this be another figment of my imagination or could this really be him. Either way I didn’t care because I long to wrap my arms around him. As I did this he laughed and said “if I had known this would be my greeting I would have tried to get an earlier flight.” I said “yes, you deserve every bit of this hug, I wanted you home for Christmas. And when I found you weren’t going to make it I cried myself to sleep.” “Well I’m here” and he dropped his bag on the floor. As he did this he looked at me with those big eyes and said “really what is going on.” I said “a lot lets start a fire and I’ll tell you.” After he started the fire we sat down and I told him the story. I told him about Tommy, my father and the boy who left me at home. He laugh and said what a wonderful dream you had. I cried and said “well the problem is Tommy said I be visited by three people tonight to fulfill Christmas promises. And well you are my third visitor and I think I’m imaging you now sitting in front of this fire with me. As I said this both of us head a sound saying “no Jessica he is real this was my Christmas promise to you. When we were children I said you would find true happiness in Christmas one day. Bringing him here has kept my promise to you, Farewell.” Johnny with a start said “what was that.” I replied “it was Tommy fulfilling his promise to me.” He stayed shock for a bit, but he could not stay that way. He finally came around and said “that was weird. However, it will not deter me from doing what I came to do.” He knelt down on his knees and said “Will you Marry Me.” I cried “yes” and took the ring and placed it on my finger. We hugged and we said “goodnight” to each other.

“That man is your grandfather Whitney. Did you like the story?” “It was wonderful grandma I loved it so much.” With saying this she drifted off to dream land and I smiled and went downstairs. Even though most people won’t believe me. I knew the story I just told her was true and I laughed and said to my son “Merry Christmas Son.” He replied “Merry Christmas” and I sat down and went to sleep.