Spec the Halls!

This story is a part of the Spec the Halls contest for speculative winter holiday-themed fiction, artwork, and poetry. You may find guidelines and links to other entries at http://www.aswiebe.com/specthehalls.html

A Green Christmas

I had looked out the window and seen it, but the inevitable tint of the window didn’t do it justice, so I went through the arduous process of schlepping my whole suit on just to go outside and see it for myself.

And there it was. All around me. The ground, the sky, the buildings, and, yes, even collecting along the shoulders of my suit. It was snow, but it was green snow. They’d warned us about it long before we shipped out, but something as iconic as snow – which came to be represented by the simple iteration of the color ‘white’ back on earth – was a hard thing to get over. We’d been programmed to marvel at the rare appearance that the cold and friendly master of precipitation chose to grace us with on our home planet, begging for him to please, oh please, not bring his angry uncle Ice, because Ice just screwed everything up.

“No ice here,” Padnig said, pulling me from my reverie.

“This is as heavy as it gets?” I asked.

“That’s right,” Padnig said, his eyes staring up at the sky as all of the green snowflakes flittered down. “Weird, isn’t it?”

I nodded, but then remembered that nods weren’t exactly discernible inside the bulkiness of the suits. “Yes.”

“You don’t really get used to it, either. Maybe someday kids’ll grow up here and think white snow’s the weirdest thing they could ever imagine, but for us, man, this is just wrong.”

The snow was green because damn near everything on the planet was green. It had an abundance of chlorophyll – something like four hundred percent the amount found on earth (though, as the almost unending flurry of skeptics would point out, how the devil is someone supposed to measure that?) – which is what had sent NASA’s long-reaching grubby little fingers all the way out there. So much chlorophyll that even the water was forever tinted. Padnig had been there for three years and he was still marveling at it.

“So what’s Christmas like here?” I asked, still not entirely used to the way my voice echoed inside the suit when I talked.

“Nothing like home, I can tell you that right now. The first year of the mission here, we kept up a Christmas tree for a good portion of the year. I guess it was an attempt at making the place feel more like earth, but since then no one’s really tried.”

I had heard much the same during my training, but it didn’t make it any less depressing. My father was a minister for most of his adult life, and even though I didn’t identify myself as the most active Christian, Christmas still held something special for my family and I.

“Anyway, man, you won’t be missing Christmas too much once you see the Elves.”

I had heard of the Elves, too. “Those are real?”

“Real as my kidney stones five years back, man. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll meet them before too long.” Padnig grinned through his suit and motioned for me to follow him back to the bunker.

The reason we had to wear suits on the planet was that there was reportedly something living there, something living and breathing so much that the abundance of chlorophyll did nothing to make the atmosphere more livable for us humans. There was still, even after the green snow fell and did its best to alter everything’s color to more properly match its own, too much carbon dioxide in the environment. The mission had quickly learned, from a few unfortunate test subjects, that the carbon dioxide more or less poisoned your lungs.

I walked into the area we lovingly referred to as the “Detox Unit” that lie between the inner and outer doors to the bunker. It was designed to remove any chlorophyll poison that happened to remain on your suit, since scientists were still unsure of how exactly the chlorophyll here differed from that on earth.

As I shook myself out of my suit, the Corporal found me.

“Ferris, there you are. You got a message from earth. Popular man, already getting messages.” He walked past me and kept walking, shaking his head to himself and mumbling as he did so. I had heard from the other recruits that the Corporal had taken the inevitable loneliness of the planet a bit more to heart than the other men had.

I made my way through the mess hall and came to the Message Center, which was really just a big computer hooked up to a satellite. I clicked it on and punched in my ID. The computer alerted me that I had one new message, and that it was sent yesterday from my mother. I hit play.

“Hey honey,” my mother’s voice said, her picture joining it a moment later. She had as many wrinkles as I remembered, and her hair was just as gray as she hadn’t ever wanted it to be. “Hope everything’s okay up there. We’ve just gotten the Christmas tree up,” she moved out of the camera’s focus to show that behind her stood my family’s glorious and mighty Christmas tree, an object of envy from our neighbors for as long as I could remember. “We miss you. Anyway, I won’t get too sappy; I know you’re busy. Just wanted to say hi, and we all hope Santa’s good to you soldiers out there this year,” the picture faded a bit at that, and as I heard an eerie crackling version of my mother’s chuckle, the whole message went out.

“What the hell?” I said to the computer as ‘Error’ popped up on the screen.

I tried again but to no avail, and so I decided to make do with the bit of message from my homeland that I had received.

*

The next day I was awoken far too early and far too roughly.

“We’ve got a problem,” the Corporal said, his eyes making me wonder if we really did.

“What is it?” Sleep dripped from my voice, my whole body extremely apprehensive to be rid of it so prematurely.

“A rogue rover out on the Green Hills,” he said, and as I looked around I could see I wasn’t the only one he had roused awake. I also wasn’t the only one who was displeased with my measly two hours of sleep.

“Which are the Green Hills?” Padnig asked from the opposite side of the bunker. “Every hill’s green here, man.”

“Two miles north of this station,” the Corporal explained. “You boys need to take off soon, because without that rover we’re shit out of luck as far as collecting samples, not to mention being three mill down the drain.”

It was Smith, Padnig, Ibuse, and I who were chosen to go retrieve the lost scientific rover. The three of them had all come at the same time, all of them having lived in green for three years, and so I was the outsider. Even as accommodating as Padnig tried to be, I couldn’t help but drift back to my nostalgia for home.

The four of us, all suited up in coats thicker than a dog’s in winter, waddled over the bumpy terrain of the planet, a laser rifle slung over each of our right shoulders and Ibuse, Japan’s contribution to the mission three years ago, holding our contact log, which had the power to communicate with anything and everything on the planet, the rover hopefully being no exception.

“Hate it yet?” Smith asked, and since I was still unversed in the ways of nonverbal communication inside the suits, it took me a moment to realize he was addressing me.

“It’s not so bad.”

“Oh, come on, you don’t have to lie here. Place is a green parody of earth, and we all know it.”

“Ferris just misses Christmas,” Padnig put in.

“Christmas? Man, I miss Christmas. I miss New Year’s. Shit, I miss Chinese New Year’s, and I’ve never celebrated that in my life. I miss everything back on earth.” Smith’s voice barely betrayed that which his movements could never tell: that he was depressed.

“How long is your stay here?” Ibuse asked me, his Japanese accent thick.

“Just a year,” I said. “I’m a volunteer.”

“You volunteered for this place?” Smith motioned to the landscape with his bulky arm.

“Yeah, I did.”

We wound our path to avoid a steep hill and then, coming through the valley created by two rocky crevices (which were invariably covered in green moss), we spotted our rogue rover, just sitting there facing another green hill. It wasn’t moving and it wasn’t collecting, so naturally we all assumed it had run out of juice, worked its way into a corner, and died.

Ibuse was tapping all over the contact log to try and make a connection with the thing while Smith and Padnig walked up to the little robotic four-wheeler to see if they could distinguish anything obviously the matter with it. I stood by, helpless, not sure if helping out would be worse than doing nothing since I’d really just be in the way, so I decided to glance over the landscape, thinking to try and spot a fallen piece of the rover, if there were any, but in reality I just wanted to further take in the green hills that everyone seemed so hostile towards.

They really were beautiful. New Zealand, back on earth, is famous for its flowing hills and whatnot, but even New Zealand has got nothing on this planet. There’s so much green that you couldn’t help but think whoever made the place must have spent an outrageous fortune on green paint.

“Any luck?” Smith said to the other two.

“Can’t make a contact,” Ibuse said, fingers still maniacally tapping away at the contact log.

“It seems fine to me,” said Padnig, one hand feeling the axle underneath the rover while the other gently tugged at the microchips under the hood of the robot, but nothing gave way and nothing was missing.

“Well what’s wrong with it then?” Smith asked, standing up.

“Nothing,” Ibuse said, the bewilderment evident even in his radioed voice.

“We can’t just steer it back to base and figure it out there?” I asked the group.

They all looked at me, standing some ten feet away from them, and Smith said, “Thing weighs something like two tons. Unless you’ve got a forklift on you, it’s not going anywhere with a dead battery.”

“There’s no reason for its battery to have died,” Padnig butted in. “Its solar panels are fine, and God knows there’s enough sun here.”

It was true; the sun was practically unceasing. Nighttime was really just a cloudier version of the daytime, but then that would explain how the chlorophyll did so well.

I glanced back across the green hills and saw something that even my inexperience on the planet recognized as amiss. Something moved from behind a clump of rocks and darted out of sight. I continued to stare, thinking to spot it again, but it didn’t show its face. I told my companions, thinking one of them may have seen it too (my eyes have always been remarkably awful, a fact that I was sure would slow my enrollment into the space mission), but none did.

“An Elf?” Padnig asked.

“That’s what I’m thinking,” Ibuse said.

“Calm down, everyone,” Smith said, technically the highest ranking of the four of us. “If it was an Elf, they’re notoriously shy.”

“Weren’t shy three months ago,” Padnig muttered. Even muttering was enough to set off one of the suit mics, which people had repeatedly complained about. It made grumbling about your superiors a lot more difficult to get away with when you were out of the base.

“What happened three months ago?” I couldn’t help but ask.

“Had a bit of a scuffle,” Smith said calmly, though Padnig and Ibuse’s expressions seemed to add more urgency to the explanation.

“Why didn’t I hear about this?”

“You were probably just signing up, kid,” Smith said. “They’ve got a way with words when it comes to new recruits. A way of not using many, that is.”

“We should investigate what he saw,” Padnig said, coming out of his crouch.

“Will it attack us?” I asked.

“Probably. If it lives over there, it won’t much like us peeking in on it.” Smith unslung the rifle from his shoulder and started off at a slow waddle, the restricting material of the suit not allowing for much else in terms of walking.

“Well if we walk in there with our rifles out, then yeah, it’ll attack,” I said.

“And what do you suggest?”

“Well I didn’t know we use these guns very often. They told me the laser was mainly for mining, for drawing samples when the rovers don’t get the job done.”

“Yeah, they work for that, but they’re also great at blowing up alien heads,” Smith said. “Like I said, they’ve got a way with words.”

It wasn’t long before Ibuse and Padnig followed Smith, and so, with little choice left, I fell into line, the four of us walking along hesitantly, our guns leading the way, the safeties clicked off and no sound filling the air save the squishing of our boots along the moss on the rocky ground.

We stopped at the entrance to the makeshift cave where I said I had spotted whatever I’d spotted, and Smith turned to us and motioned for us to stay where we were. He crept forward, into the cave, and as much as Padnig obviously wanted to go with him, we were all a bit too petrified to move. Apparently three years’ time on the planet didn’t make the prospect of possibly hostile aliens any less frightening.

Smith walked out of sight and I couldn’t help but inch a few feet to the left in an attempt to spot him. A few minutes passed, and as much as we all tried, we couldn’t see anything.

“Smith?” Ibuse said into his mic.

There was no answer.

“We should go in there,” I said.

“I’ll lead,” Padnig said, desperate to somehow act out his fantasies of being the hero.

And so the three of us waddled into the cave, our guns shaking as much as our legs with each step we took.

“Gr-b-the-in,” mumbled Smith over his mic. The three of us stopped moving, cocking our heads this way and that in an attempt to hear what he was saying, but it was just too broken. Static continued into our ears for a few moments, but then a signal as clear as my family’s Christmas tree topper back on earth prevailed.

“I’ve got Charlie, we need to go!”

Padnig, Ibuse, and I darted out of the little bit of the dark cave that we had ventured into, and before we’d gotten five feet away from it, Smith was on our heels, a man in a badly discolored and dirty suit (by discolored, on this planet, I could only really mean that it was incredibly green) in his arms.

“Run!” He repeated, and the rest of us wasted no time in questioning his shouts. We took off so quickly that I, still getting used to the suit, fell flat on my face, the glass bowl that served as my head cover luckily breaking my fall but very unluckily cracking straight down the middle.

I screamed expletives into my mic, half-expecting for my lungs to start burning and mark for certain the end of all of my days of life, but no such thing happened. I could see even worse than normal, with cracks stretching all along my helmet like some malicious spider’s web.

“Just keep running,” Smith said, not looking back.

Padnig was next to me, and was yelling for me to take shallow breaths, to keep running and try to breathe as little as I possibly could.

Everyone was speaking at once, and I just kept running in the direction of the white blurs that I could see, knowing full well that in a world of chlorophyll, white blurs could be none other than my astronaut companions.

“He’s hurt bad,” Padnig said.

“Thought Charlie was dead,” Ibuse said.

“Keep going,” Smith’s voice was adamantine, cool as ice, and yet something about it showed that he certainly wouldn’t be participating in a full night’s sleep that night.

My throat started to burn, and before I knew it, speckles of green were on the inside of my helmet – a very bad sign. I continued to run, but my legs were starting to get tired, and the burning seemed to be growing (or was it just my paranoid imagination?). I couldn’t stop wondering who was Charlie, what happened in that cave, what was going to happen to me, what was my family doing back on earth?

I had calculated, on my way to the planet, just how the time dilation worked. We were a day and a half away from them, making it roughly December 23 there. They would be visiting the same terrible nativity scenes around my childhood home, looking at Christmas lights that the neighbors put up, and perhaps drinking eggnog by a fire. The little things, I began to think, that you don’t really appreciate, suddenly seem the most important things in the world when you’re running on an alien planet, your lungs burning from poisonous chlorophyll.

I stumbled and fell again, doing all that I could to avert my face, hoping for anything (a broken leg, a dislocated shoulder) other than to land on my helmet again and run the risk of fully cracking it. I succeeded, my wrist burning so magnificently as I slammed the green ground that it was a wonder it stayed attached.

“Shit!” I could hear Padnig yell.

“Why can’t he stay up?” Smith shouted irritably.

Suddenly I was being dragged across the ground, and while my wrist continued to throb with the anger of a thousand of the fiercest tornadoes to descend on Oklahoma, I was suddenly not moving anymore. I heard wheezing, began to panic that it was me and that I wasn’t even aware of it (which would have been a very bad sign), but then realized that it was the Detox Unit, and that I was quite alright – inside the bunker, even.

Ibuse and Padnig helped me from my suit, which took a few minutes longer than normal, and once I was again in my own body, I looked down at my wrist, which looked to be attached by only the vessels and skin, the bone having completely given up its job.

Ibuse stared at it and then looked at my face, where he undoubtedly saw my lips turning blue and my face covered in green.

“I’ll get the doctor,” he announced, taking off so quickly that my question (“How bad is it?”) was answered before I asked it.

Padnig just sat next to me, saying, “You’ll be alright, don’t worry,” but before too long the both of us couldn’t help but watch as Smith and the Corporal pulled Charlie from his suit, the man inside proving to be emaciated beyond just skinny, his whole body nearly glowing with a greenish tint. He was unconscious, though still breathing, and when the doctor finally arrived in the mess hall, he glanced from me to Charlie, not really knowing which to save first.

*

“Hey, Ferris, how you doing?” The Corporal asked as he made his way through the bunker on the next day.

“I’m okay, considering,” I said, holding up my wrist, in a cast and bandaged beyond recognition.

“Good, good,” he said, nodding emphatically. “Well, you’ve got another message from home. Popular man, you are.”

He kept walking (the Corporal always seemed to be walking somewhere), and I eased myself back onto my feet without the help of my injured arm – a feat that had taken some practicing since my injured arm happened to double as my writing arm – and I made my way again to the Message Center.

It announced that I had one new message, and that it was again from my mother. I thought it odd that she should be so eager to send me a message again, and wondered if this one would also be cut off, but, alas, it was the same message as before.

“We miss you. Anyway, I won’t get too sappy; I know you’re busy. Just wanted to say hi, and we all hope Santa’s good to you soldiers out there this year,” she said, just like last time, but then the message continued. “We hear he and his elves have been very busy lately, so we sure hope everyone there has a Merry Christmas!”

A chill ran down my spine at that.

“Bye, sweetie!” And, like that, and with another blown kiss, my mother was off of the screen and gone from my reality once more.

Her mentioning elves in relation to Santa had inevitably brought the Elves of this planet back to my mind, since they had, it had been decided, been the ones that had taken Charlie hostage those months before. He hadn’t yet come out of his coma, so no one knew the whole story, but that hadn’t stopped everyone from creating their own versions and spreading them like fact.

He was alive, and that alone was amazing for now, though certainly a score of questions deserved answers. Charlie had been the one to vanish in the scuffle they’d had with the Elves three months earlier, and since everyone had just thought him dead, finding him alive in a cave was the most exciting thing that could have happened. I had been okay, the chlorophyll having done little irreversible damage to my throat and lungs, though, the doctor said in a frighteningly no-nonsense tone, if I had stayed out there much longer, the chlorophyll would have “set up shop” inside my body and demanded that my major organs “convert or die.” He was a curious doctor.

I walked back to my new post – at least until my suit was either repaired or replaced – which was at a computer on the east side of the barracks. Some crews had been sent out earlier in the day to retrieve the rover, and once they got it back to the base on a forklift, the engineers had been frantically hooking it up to all of our computers so we might better figure out what happened to it.

I sat at my computer and looked through the results of the fifth scan of the day, which had, like all of its predecessors, pulled up nothing of interest. As far as our scans and computers were concerned, nothing was wrong or had been wrong with the rover.

At lunch I sat at one of the long tables with Padnig and Ibuse. I looked out the window and watched the green snow again falling on the green ground. It was so mystifying for us new recruits that you could just about look around the place and point out all of us just based on our reactions. The ones who had been there for some time would glance from time to time, but the magic of it (and perhaps the magic of the whole color green) had worn off for them.

“You heard? Charlie woke up,” Padnig said.

“Really? Is he talking?” Ibuse asked.

“No, not yet. Just opened his eyes and kind of smiled. I saw it, it was kind of eerie.”

“Do we know for sure it was Elves that took him?” I asked.

“Nothing else could have done it,” Padnig said. “Don’t be fooled by their name, Ferris. The Elves did a number on the base back when they hit. Ever wondered why part of the front outside is black and the rest red? The red’s the new stuff.”

I was being foolish, it was true. It was no fault of the Elves that their name should be so cuddly, so fantastical and reminiscent of the very time of year that I couldn’t remove my head from, and yet apparently they were capable of swooping in and kidnapping whoever they wanted whenever they wanted. We, all of us in the base, were living in constant fear of them, I came to realize. It was the truth of the mission that wasn’t commonly broadcast to earth, since if people there learned of the threat, the already outrageously high amount put to the funding of the whole project would be drastically decreased. Nobody wanted another war to erupt, especially not one on a planet of chlorophyll.

“Listen up, boys,” the Corporal said to everyone from the front of the mess hall. “We’ve got us a bit of a problem outside. Snow’s coming down heavy and we’ve got activity reported from the west and the north. I want everyone who can man up to man up and get outside quick.”

My spoonful of mashed potatoes (which tasted invariably worse than any I’d had on earth, sadly enough) didn’t quite make it to my mouth, my shock was so complete.

“Oh no,” Ibuse said, though next to him Padnig’s mouth had burst into a smile.

“Oh no? Are you kidding? This is what we’ve been waiting for! Finally they come out of hiding!” He took a last bite of his biscuit and left his food on the table, scurrying out of the mess hall so quickly that he bumped into two other men just as eager as he.

I remained at the table, sitting across from Ibuse, who looked far more fearful than any of the other men.

“I’ve seen them,” he said. “I know why they call them Elves.”

“Why?”

“You’d think Santa lives here, too,” was all he said before he put his own spoonful of potatoes into his mouth.

Ibuse didn’t seem to want to talk, and my curiosity had the best of me, even though I couldn’t suit up and go outside to join the others. I made my way to one of the large windows looking out over the seemingly endless flowing green hills. I could see twenty or so men, all of them in suits with rifles in their hands, eagerly waddling over to where little blurs of movement were barely visible.

I glanced around and saw the observation deck, which was on the second floor of the barracks, was vacant, so I made my way up the stairs. Once there I again pressed my face to the window, which proved to be a much more revealing observation point.

The tiny blurs looked like evil caricatures of Santa’s elves, it’s true. They were roughly two feet tall, armed with crude weapons (axes and knives, all clearly made from the mossy rocks), and were, of course, green. They seemed to constantly be grinning, something that made them seem more formidable even as they fell over dead with a smoking hole in their chest. I had heard that the first guy to call them Elves was just joking around, saying for sure we would find some space elves out amongst the green hills, but then, once everyone was thinking of them that way, the name just kind of stuck. They weren’t exact mock-ups of Santa’s helpers; they were more like spindly midgets bent on destroying everyone with their own green hands.

The human soldiers were running all over the place, their guns shooting down the creators of their childhood toys. The Elves, even as quickly as they fell over dead, were far too numerous for any of the soldiers to put an ultimate stop to them. The project on the planet was considerably small, more of a scientific one that inevitably led to military conflict, so even though the whole of the combat ready force was out there wading through green snow, they were simply no match for the Elves’ numbers.

I cannot describe how odd it was to see red blood spilled on that green ground. I had already gotten so used to seeing nothing but green when I looked out those windows that, when the red blood of my fallen allies spilled to mingle with the landscape, it was like the invention of color TV all over again.

Oddly enough, as the ground became more and more colored, it also appeared to resemble my home back on earth. The greens and reds joined forces to create the strangest and grimmest picture of Christmas that I’d ever seen, complete with Elves prancing from hill to hill. My eyes grew wider by the minute as I continued to watch pinkish laserbeams streak through the air to at long last still one Elf’s jumping only to see three more take its place.

There was a scramble along the stairs behind me, and so wrapped up in the battle outside was I that I nearly thought that it was an Elf who had somehow gotten into the base. My shocked expression must have appeared quite ridiculous to the Corporal as he ran over to join me at the window, though he said nothing about it.

“My God,” he said, taking in the greens and reds. “There’s too many.”

“What will we do?” I asked helplessly, somewhat glad that due to my wrist I wasn’t allowed into a suit.

“Ferris, there’s not much we can do.” The Corporal scanned the horizon that the window offered, his whole body seeming to move with his eyes, and after a moment he said, “You can go downstairs, to the Message Center, and send out a help to earth. Tell them we’re under attack.”

I nodded, glanced again at the window in all of its gory glory, and then took off down the stairs. Downstairs was still Elf-free, even if the windows there had been splattered with goo from alien and man alike. I tried my hardest to ignore the carnage and ran again to the Message Center, punching in my ID with trembling hands.

It announced that I had one new message. It was my mother again, not surprisingly the same message that I had heard twice now. In my frantic rush to send an SOS, I accidentally pushed for the message to play, and what was given to me was a heavily distorted, warped version of my mother’s voice, no video even attempted.

“We hear he and his elves have been very busy lately, so we sure hope everyone there has a Merry Christmas!”

Then it cut out. I glanced at the windows again across the hallway just in time to see them shatter inward, a horde of angry Elves stepping foot in the barracks some forty feet away from me, still standing stupefied at the Message Center.

Green snow drifted through the broken window and I could not for the life of me close my mouth. I began to wonder again just what my family back on earth was doing, since at that point it was probably Christmas Eve, the magic of the next day seeping into everything and the joy of the holiday having drifted over everyone, even the grumpiest of old men pausing to hold open the door for you at the local mall while you do your desperate last minute shopping.

But I was not there, and the Message Center, cutting in and out with its final recounting of my mother’s over-played message, was sure to remind me of it.

“We hear…elves have been very busy…”

The message kept chattering with static, but I was gone, my legs moving so quickly that even the Elves’ thrown axes skipped harmlessly along the tiled floor. I ran and ran, half-forgetting where it was that the escape pods were (a fact that the Corporal had very lackadaisically covered during the briefing when I’d first arrived), until at last I saw Padnig, his trigger-happy finger put to good use as he stood in front of the vault that was specifically made as a panic room for attacks on the base.

“Come on, Ferris!” He yelled, his laser beam launching right over my shoulder and causing an angry grunt of pain from something I cared not to look at behind me.

I stumbled into the vault, where Ibuse was calmly seated (amazing that the man could remain so composed while the base came down around us) along with a few other men.

“Glad you made it,” Ibuse said to me. “We should probably launch off soon.”

“To where?” I asked as I looked to the other men in there with us. They all appeared quite defeated, but a glimmer of hope still burned in each of their eyes, since all of us had made it to the vault and rescue lie but a pod’s launching away.

“Back to earth,” he said. “It’s the only place we can go, after all.”

Padnig frantically shot off a few more laserbeams and then backed into the vault himself, punching in a few numbers on the pad along the wall, causing the heavy door to seal itself shut, locking the growing mass of Elves into our own base.

The fifteen of us that were inside the vault looked around, half of us expecting for an Elf to appear from some hole that we didn’t know they could dig, but none came.

“Let’s get out of here,” Padnig said as he heaved in his effort to catch his breath.

“We just might make it in time for Christmas,” Ibuse said in his deadbeat manner.

“That sounds fantastic,” I said with a sigh.

*

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~ by Jon C. Forisha on December 16, 2009.

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