#5 Jacob

| November 6, 2010 | 0 Comments

“Jacob I’ve asked you a hundred times, please stop pulling on Mommy’s apron when she’s making dinner.” Jacob’s mother declared, not turning away from the stove top where she was concocting her famous macaroni and cheese — Jacob’s favorite.

“But Mom I want a cookie! I’m starving!” Jacob whined, while tugging on his mother’s floral printed apron.

“Absolutely not. You’ll ruin your appetite. Now Jacob, go outside and play. Mommy has to finish up in here.” Jacob’s mother still had not broken eye contact with the vat of yellow goop. “Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes.”

“But Mom!” Wailed Jacob as he swung his torso to and fro in an act of frustration.

Jacob’s mother’s shoulders slowly lulled up and down with an exasperated sigh.

“Enough.” She raised an arm and extended a long slender finger toward the door. “Outside.” It was only now that she turned her head slightly and looked over at Jacob, who’s head hung low and arms dangled beneath. “And don’t you even think of going near Daddy’s work shed.” Jacob drew in as dramatic a breath he ever could, and let it out with audible intent as he shuffled out into the yard.

The sky was an unending grey cloud, touching horizon to horizon without a sign of any sort of color. The tree’s branches yawned toward the flat expanse, yearning for some hidden incalescence underneath the ashen canvas to thaw their bony bark. Toys were strewn about the bristly crabgrass just as Jacob had left them, despite the countless scoldings to the contrary. Jacob placed his hands on on his hips and assessed the mundane scene.

“There’s never anything to do out here.” Jacob whined to himself, the futility escaping his mind of eight years. Off to the side, tucked away between stacks of firewood beneath blue tarp and the tall, ornate fence was his father’s shed. His father had told Jacob ad nauseum to stay out of that place, that it was dangerous and not for little boys. It was always sealed, a dense padlock standing sentinel … except for this day, when the padlock was missing and the shed door ajar.

Jacob weighed his options. He was bored, yes, but dinner would be done in ten minutes now. However, ten minutes is more than enough time to peek inside the shed and see what all the fuss was about. How could he be injured by just looking? What a silly thought, Jacob reasoned.

Jacob shoved the door open and pulled his shoulders up to his ears, bracing himself for a loud creak. When the door had finished wailing and settled against an old lawnmower, he took a single step inside. With a yank of a suspended white cord, the shed was illuminated.

Jacob gasped in amazement.

Standing before him was a fellow of metal made, larger than any man Jacob had ever known, even his father. An amalgamation of brass and gears, pipes and pistons that was as intimidating as it was fantastic. To the right of the metal-man was a great lever, matching Jacob’s height. Above it was a sign. It read, “IGNITION.”

Jacob scurried to the lever, and grasping it with both hands yanked down on it with all of his might. Once it had reached its apex, the lever sprang back to default, sending Jacob to the shed’s entryway. On the metal-man, gears began to crank and pistons pump. With a lurching inertial push, its brassy cranium rose and eyes glowed a magnificent emerald. With a scan of the room, its gaze fell on Jacob and head cocked slightly.

“HOW MAY I FACILITATE YOU, SIR?” Its voice was tinny and emanated from its ribcage.

Jacob collected himself and thought pensively. After a moment, he turned to face the doorway of the shed. He grinned with one corner of his mouth and lifted his hand, pointing back at the kitchen with conviction.

“To the cookie jar,” he commanded.


Category: Humor, Scifi

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