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Nate's Magical Christmas Story
|There is usually a quiet, undisturbed breeze blowing on Orange Avenue; however the male voices of three excited people had temporarily interrupted the silence of the lazy Monday afternoon.
Ryan pulled the large Christmas tree off the bed of the truck while Dustin and Ty unloaded some of the gifts that they had just finished buying at the large department store which was down the street from Dustin�s house.
�Dustin, does this tree seem big enough for you? It looks kinda small, don�t you think so?� Ryan asked Dustin, while he was scanning the whole length of the tree from the stump to the top. Dustin had just grabbed two plastic bags worth of groceries, when he stopped in his tracks and looked up to the large ebony muscle boy with a wide grin on his face.
�Oh, Ryan! The tree is big enough for us, trust me. Besides, everything must look small to you! If I were as big as you, then I would probably have thought the same thing. But the tree is just right for us. Do you want to help us decorate it?� Dustin asked.
�Of course I do! That is the one thing I have really been looking forward to! This will be my very first Christmas with you, Ty and Peter, and I can hardly wait for the day to come.� Ryan answered, while walking in the house with the Christmas tree in his left hand. �Now where do I put the tree?�
�Ryan! Come here with the tree. Here�s the stand for it�� Ty said, while kneeling on the floor. Ty was holding the stand in the corner while he was waiting for Ryan to gently lower the tree into it, so that the tree stump would fit between the four large, metal screws. �Easy does it, Ryan. Good, hold it right there!� Ty instructed, while he carefully made sure that the stump fit in the center of the stand. Ty began to tighten the screw which would hold the tree in its place.
While Ryan and Ty were busy taking care of the Christmas tree, Dustin was unpacking the groceries and looking through all the things he had purchased. He hoped that he had enough for everyone, for he was planning a big dinner on Christmas Eve and he was expecting about two-dozen people to come over. Not only did he have to take the guests into account, but he had to make sure he had enough food for Ryan as well. The big muscle boy had a healthy appetite, and one serving of anything was never enough for the twenty-foot muscular titan.
When Dustin was done, he remembered not seeing Peter at home and was about to ask Ty and Ryan if they had seen him. Just a she was about to leave the kitchen, he noticed Peter�s handwriting on the small whiteboard which was hanging on the kitchen wall besides the refrigerator. The writing spelled out �Peter has swim practice today: 4-7PM at school� and right away Dustin knew where he was. It was only 5:30 in the afternoon.
For the outside pedestrian it appeared that there was every indication that the holiday spirit reigned in full force at the house on number 4 Orange Avenue in Orlando. The three young men had their hands full while preparing the ingredients for a large family dinner, decorating the tree with ornaments and Christmas lights, wrapping presents with several different rolls of gift wrapping paper, and decorating the furniture and light fixtures with ornaments as well. It was apparent that this would be the worst possible time for an unexpected visitor to show up. However, a mysterious light, which was unseen by the three young men inside, was shining on the mailbox in front of the house.
What at first seemed like the light that was reflected by the moon, now increased in luminosity, as a circular tunnel materialized right before the front lawn of the house.
�He�s not home right now! He�s at school. Are you sure this is the best time to show up?� the young boy asked the woman.
�Yes, this is the best time. Go on; run down the tunnel of time. Ring the doorbell and introduce yourself. And please behave yourself, Nate. You have four days here, I will come get you at noon on the fourth day� the woman instructed the boy, while she bent down and straightened the collar on his polo shirt.
�Thank you, mom. I�m gonna miss you!� the boy said sadly, while he tried his hardest to fight back the tears. The woman gently rested her hands on the young boy�s shoulders.
�I love you, Nate� the woman whispered, as she gently embraced the boy. This would be the first time that the boy would go somewhere without having his mother with him.
The woman and the boy embraced each other for only a minute, but the time felt like an eternity. Both the adult and the child were fighting losing battles with tears, when they finally struggled to let go. The intensity of the light was fading, and the woman was the first to take note if that with great alarm.
�The portal will close in a few seconds. Run, Nate! Get going. RUN. NOW!� the woman said, as she noticed the hesitation on the boy�s teary-covered face.
The boy fastened a blue backpack around his back and turned towards the tunnel. The portal only appeared to be about ten yards in length, and it had a steep, downward slope which ended exactly at the edge of the paved driveway which was in front of Dustin�s house.
The child ran and ran, with his heart beating faster for every step he made. When he got within a yard from the end, he stopped and turned around one last time. He slowly waved back at the tall, slender woman, who was now only visible to him as a black silhouette with a very bright, white light as her background.
�Mom� Momma�� the boy whispered.
�GO, Nate! Go on! I must leave� Have a great time. Please say hi to your father. Merry Christmas, my son� the woman said with her soft voice. The boy could tell that she was crying. It was very hard for her to not enjoy the company of her only son for the duration of those four days.
The final yard seemed the hardest. For a split second, the boy was overcome by fear. But as soon as his foot touched the lawn, he knew that he had crossed the line. He was beyond the point of no return. As he turned around to face the tunnel one last time, he could just catch a glimpse of the end of the circular, white tunnel.
�I love you, Nate�� the soft female voice said. And then the tunnel disappeared. At the very spot where the time tunnel reached the grassy lawn there were now only impressions in the grass of Nate�s first footprints.
The boy turned around and analyzed the large domestic structure before him. It was Dustin�s three-story house! The bright afternoon sun exposed the boy�s hair for the first time. The street, the city and the area were all very familiar. But the time was the only difference. The boy had returned to the past, although it was not his past. He had not even been born yet, he was not to be alive for another twenty years. But the boy was on a mission, and he would not leave this point in time without accomplishing his goal.
Nate�s short, straight, red hair had felt the rays of the sun for the very first time. The boy was skinny and short. He was only ten years old and about 4 foot 6 inches tall. He wore a navy blue basketball jersey and blue shorts underneath, and white basketball shoes. He wore baggy sweat pants and a baggy sweater over his basketball jersey.
He had big, blue eyes, a short, pointy nose, and light freckles on his cheeks. He was not athletic or muscular, but he looked like an average neighborhood kid. He could have passed up as any ordinary Orange County elementary school student, but there was one major difference.
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