Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Other · #804113
Writer's Cramp entry 1/20/04
Leaning over, I whispered in my wife’s ear, “Hon, I don’t think this was such a great idea. Maybe we should see if we could get them to leave.”
“Real good! It was your idea in the first place. Now when things just start getting interesting, you decide you’ve had enough and want to send them all packing! I don’t think that’s going to work at all. I mean, just look at them.”
Together, we let our eyes scan the scene in front of us. The table was strewn with curly cues from the party poppers and plates with half eaten cake. In the center was a large sheet cake with only the “Hap” and the “day” remaining from the Happy Birthday. A large 19th century dagger had been driven through the cake and into the table beneath it by one of our honored guests.
Our youngest, Phil, and General Lee were off in the corner playing war games on the computer. As near as we could tell, the General was handily beating him at Battle Warrior 3. It was good to know he hadn’t lost his edge after all these years.
A small thin man with a large forehead was busily rifling through the liquor cabinet. He kept muttering under his breath, “After all these years they still haven’t figured out where I’m buried! What morons! Do you folks happen to have any opium?” Mr. Poe directed the question to my wife. “No,” she said. We’re a drug free household!”
“What a pity, what a pity,” he muttered as he eyed up my twenty five year old scotch. “How’s a fellow suppose to celebrate his 197th birthday without the proper amenities?”
In the front hallway another figure was busily assisting Mary, our daughter, in drawing a landscape on the wall using an array of my wife’s lipsticks. “You must learn to let the colors blend, Mary. A true artist will paint, not for the world, but for himself. Tell me again why Impressionism is dead? And who is this Warhol character you speak so highly of? Just exactly what is a smiley face?”
It had all started out innocently enough. I had thought; wouldn’t it be a great idea to bring some historical figures from the past to the present to celebrate their birthdays? We had been working on the time machine for 25 years down at AckMee Labs for the Department of Defense and, so far, all we had used it for, was to learn the correct recipe for the President’s favorite hot dog chili sauce. I thought we could do better. Not the chili sauce, it was pretty good, I mean with using the time machine. So earlier this afternoon I showed up at home with Robert E. Lee, Edgar Allen Poe, and Paul Cézanne. After my wife had gotten over the initial shock she hurried off to the kitchen to bake a birthday cake and prepare supper. When Phil and Mary got home from school I made the introductions and got the usual respectful response from my well-mannered children.
“Yeah, right, Dad.” Said Phil. “And I suppose tomorrow you’re going to bring home Henry the Eighth, and Hagrid from Harry Potter. So who are these guys, really? Do they work for you? I have to admit their costumes are pretty good, especially the Civil War guy. I’ve seen pictures of him and this guy looks a lot like him.
Mary took the more direct approach. Marching up to Cézanne, she said, “If you’re a famous artist, then draw something.” Puzzled, Cézanne looked to me for advice. I merely shrugged my shoulders. Pulling a piece of charcoal from his pocket he began to draw the aforementioned landscape. “Understand” he said in French,” I could do much better if I had my palette with me.” With that Mary bounded up stairs in search of crayons or something that would allow him to draw in color. Hmmm, I never knew she could speak French.
They all eventually wandered into the kitchen where my wife was cooking. Poe and Lee marveled at the fact that the kitchen was inside the house and that the stove did not use coal or wood. Cézanne was particularly fond of the refrigerator and wondered if he might be able to take one back with him. He was certain it had to have been invented by a Frenchman.
Dinner was an unusual event. Mr. Lee politely asked if he might be excused to go out back and use the facilities and was amazed to find out he only had to go down the hall. He was quickly followed by Cézanne, who decided the toilet was better than the fridge and “could he take one of those with him also?” Poe merely scoffed at the two and as if to prove a point, strode into the neighbors yard to water her Lilac bush. It was when the lights went out to sing Happy Birthday and blow out the candles that things started to go awry. Phil, bless his evil little heart, let go with a popper and General Lee jumped to his feet yelling for his horse. “The Yankees are upon us! Fight, I urge you! Fight for the Confederacy!” A dagger flashed in the candlelight and the resounding thud as it embedded itself in the cake brought everyone to their feet. Mary yawned and flipped on the light switch. “General, hate to remind you, but the war is over. You lost. A muffled snicker was heard from Poe who had developed a sincere fondness for my twenty-five year old scotch.
As my wife and I surveyed the room we thought it might be a good idea if we sent them on their way. We had succeeded in gathering them up and were heading for the door when they all stopped dead (Yes, I know it's a pun) in their tracks. Phil, bless his evil little heart, had turned on the big screen TV……to the History channel no less.