“Are you ready for a story?”
“Got my ears and eyes wide open. Let’s see what you got.”
“Are you challenging me?”
“Let’s just say I’m not an easy audience. It takes a lot to entertain me. Haven’t heard or read anything new, original, or interesting in quite some time.”
“I’ll do my best then. Here goes…”
Three nights after he was born, Jack Bokimble came home from the hospital. It was on this night that the Bokimble family would experience the first of many peculiar events – events that would begin bedeviling their lives on a daily basis. Mr.Bokimble rightly sensed something strange in the air as he carried his son homefrom St. Marks Maternity Ward. The wind was unusually gentle and the light from above silvered the streets.
“Lady Large Yet Lovely Nostrils,” Mr. Bokimble said to his wife, addressing her in his usual, unique way. “It’s a strange night. It’s so bright out, I feel like the moon is watching us,” he exclaimed, as he looked up at the white ball in the sky.
“It’sa beautiful night, Mr. Plentiful yet Perfectly Patterned Back Hair,” said Mrs.Bokimble happily, also addressing her husband in her own unique way. (The Bokimbles didn’t call each other “Honey” or “Sweetie” or “Baby” as other couples did – they felt that was too ordinary, lacking imagination – so they created their own specific pet names for each other, and never used the same name twice.)
“It’s the night our son comes home with us. It’s Jack Bokimble’s night. And that’shis moon.” Mrs. Bokimble pointed at the moon, trying to get her son Jack to look up. But Jack was sleeping. So she kissed her newborn son on the head andcontinued into their apartment building.
Mr.Bokimble remained outside for a moment. He couldn’t take his eyes off that moon, feeling hypnotized by the pearl in the sky. A cold chill ran through his spine. Once again, he sensed that something strange, something magical was going to happen.
Andhe was absolutely right.
Strangethings were afoot.
“What kind of things?”
“Otherworldly things – are you going to interrupt me while I tell my tale?”
“If I have something to say, I should have a voice too.”
“O.K., Please continue.”
Mr. Bokimble smiled at the moon as his beautiful young son slept, completely unaware of what those peculiar things would be. He entered the apartment with his wife, baby Jack, and somethingelse. Something quite extraordinary.
Laterthat night, Jack was awake and busy waving his tiny, wrinkled hands over his bald head, familiarizing himself with this new environment. He missed his mother’s womb – amniotic fluid smelled great and moisturized his skin wonderfully. But he didn’t mind his new home. I like it here; it doesn’t smell too bad, even though my skin is quite dry, he thought.
All seemed perfectly normal in the Bokimble’s New York apartment. The wind hovered outside the window, calm and breathless and bored. Strangely, Mr. Bokimble sensed something ominous and impending once again. It was at this moment that the first of many peculiar events that would begin plaguing their lives happened. Here it is: the new Hess toy truck on Jack’s bureau top, all the way across the room from the Bokimble family, moved forward as if a tiny mouse were behind the wheel taking the truck for a quick spin. CRASH! A loud BAM! broke the dead silence of the night. WHAM! BANG! Jack’s new toy truck fell off his dresser, crumpling in a fantastic heap of spinning wheels and shattered plastic.
Both Bokimble parents jumped straight up in the air in fright. Mr. Bokimble, apparently silly with panic, almost leapt clear out of his hideous yet expensive alligator boots.
“Tell me that was just the wind, Gentleman Giant Earlobes?” Mrs. Bokimble asked herhusband.
“Ithink it was the Bogey Man, Madame Mumbles a Lot,” joked Mr. Bokimble.
Butit wasn’t the pure, innocent wind. He was just a scapegoat. It wasn’t even that rapscallion we’re all familiar with, the Bogey Man (who’s real name was Hank Lovejoy, from Detroit, just in case you were wondering), like Mr. Bokimble joked. It wasn’t even a tiny mouse driving the truck. All the mice moved out recently when the Bokimbles moved in – they didn’t like the inadequate Bokimble cheese consumption or the sour stink of Mr. Bokimble’s left pinky toe hangnail.
Itwas something even more extraordinary than all those things. Little did anyone know, it was the Bokimble’s newborn son who had done it.
“Buthow could he have done it?”
“You’ll find out soon enough? BE PATIENT!”
“Fine. Get on with it.”
Yousee, even baby Jack didn’t know he had broken that truck. He was far too young to understand what he could do and how unbelievably fantastic, powerful, and peculiar his talent was.
So after that moment of initial fright, the Bokimbles went back to admiring their son with the enthusiasm of children on Christmas morning. While there would be many more unexplainable occurrences, they did not know that, and tonight was Jack’s first bright night home. Their son had arrived, and that was more important than anything else.