Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Theme Story - No Room for Pokey

(Dedicated to Jennifer Billock - )

One fine summer's day, a friendly tornado was wandering the countryside. He blew to and fro, casting about aimlessly as he twirled his way, free. Suddenly, he heard a beckoning cry. The cry held a welcoming, warm tone - inviting him in. Smiling to itself at the prospect of a new friend, the tornado began to plow its way across the countryside in pursuit of the siren's song.

Matt, a nearby youth, heard a noise as well. The sirens going off indicated imminent danger. A quick glance at the TV showed a tornado headed right for their domicile. Shaking off his initial shock, he quickly gathered his wayward brother, Mark, and sister, Jen. Ushering them into the basement - the sanctity of safety he had been directed to by noble but absent parents - he made sure they all found their way underneath the only furniture piece with any stability, any chance of surviving the forthcoming maelstrom - their father's metal desk.

Huddled underneath, he noticed that Jen had brought a stuffed animal, a small brown-and-white dog named Pokey. This dog was no real character on its own, simply a bastion of commercialism arisen from a pointless series of children's stories. An author, trying to make a quick buck of the guilty parents of greedy children. He was prepared to dismiss it from his mind when he saw it - a strange red glow in the toy's beady eyes. It was pulsing, and with each pulse the roar of the wind outside grew louder. Matt blinked, but he couldn't dispel the strange glow - nor could he explain it! His brother Mark was staring off into the basement, nonchalantly awaiting his return to the game console he had been focusing on earlier, but his sister Jen seemed to be growing weary. Matt was baffled by this - it was a highly adrenaline-charged situation, and certainly a time of high energy like this shouldn't bring on drowsiness.

At that very moment, he saw the glow pulse in Pokey's eyes, and was surprised to see Jen's eyelids droop even farther. Coming to a quick conclusion, he knew he had to act fast. he reached out quickly, snatching the offending creature and tossing it to lie forlorn on the concrete of the basement floor. He was amazed at how quickly his sister recovered after this, her energy levels peaking quickly as she screamed and tried to dash out into the basement, heedless of the tornado danger. Trying only to keep her safe, Matt held her back as the glow in the stuffed dog's eyes faded to nothing. As the glow winked out, the wind around the house abruptly died down. The sirens stopped, and we felt safe to come out.

Red eyes fresh with tears, Jen clasped Matt's arm and desperately shrieked "Why? Why would you do that?!" She ran out to the basement floor and collapsed over Pokey, sobbing with grief.

Not knowing the words to comfort her, Matt simply shrugged and said "There's no room for Pokey."

The voice abruptly fell silent. Looking around in confusion, the Tornado was blinded by his own winds. He couldn't locate the direction he had been heading, nor the source of his potential friend. Defeated, he slowly retreated into the clouds - his spiraling ceasing as his dejectedness at the disappearance of the siren's song mounted. Little did he know that in turning aside at the last minute, he had spared a house its untimely demise at the hands of an evil, manipulative spirit inhabiting a stuffed animal.

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