Happy Holidays
From Storybird
Things are pretty busy these days at Storybird Headquarters. So when three giant robots appeared at our door nobody was surprised, because nobody noticed them. For several hours the robots stood a silent vigil. Their heads towered among the treetops. Their feet sank into the soft ground crushing unlucky bushes into oblivion. Still, the building before them remained unaware. Over the years the trio had elicited countless reactions, but never before had their appearance simply gone unnoticed.
The robots shared a glance. This wasn’t strictly necessary since they were in constant communication with one another, to the point where it could be hard to distinguish one robot’s thoughts from the others’. And yet, sometimes even an unnecessary glance is required. They were here to do a job, and so the job must be done. If they were to be forced to announce their presence, so be it. The lead robot prepared its speech circuitry and began:
“WE HAVE COME. WE ARE THE KEEPERS OF THE PAST, THE PRESENT, AND THE FUTURE. SHOW YOURSELVES AND BE HELD RESPONSIBLE.”
Although it had used the lowest setting possible, the robot’s voice shook the trees and sent wildlife scurrying for their burrows. As the echoes faded into silence a human head appeared from a second story window. She took in the scene with a glance and a blink, then acknowledged her enormous visitors with a resigned nod.
“Oh, hi guys.”
The window closed and the head disappeared back inside. Although the robots’ speech boomed with tremendous volume, their hearing was sensitive enough to hear her shout even through the closed window.
“Hey, the accounting guys are here, everyone gather up your year-end reports!”
The window reopened. The head reappeared.
“Wait, is it really the end of the year already?”
“YES. THE ENDING HAS COME.”
“Yikes! How time flies. We haven’t even written a holiday story yet! But hey, we’ll send those reports over to you ASAP.”
“THANK YOU.”
The window closed. The robots departed.
“Alright everyone, we’ve got work to do.”
Inside the building a hasty meeting was convened.
“Simmer down, simmer down everyone, let’s get started. I know we’ve all been busy lately, but it’s come to my attention that it’s December already, and you all know what that means.”
Silence filled the room. After a short pause, a small voice in the back ventured a guess, “It’s Chocolate Month?”
“Well, yes, but no. We’ve been over this. Every month is Chocolate Month, but that’s not what I was getting at. It’s the end of the year, and what do we traditionally do at the end of the year?”
More silence.
“It’s time for us to find a way to thank everyone who makes Storybird such a wonderful place! Doesn’t anybody remember this from the last several years?”
That did it. Knowing glances filled the room. Several of the more veteran team members absently rubbed scars. Binky managed to look slightly ashamed (which is no small feat for a cat) as he began to groom his tail. The shipping department started muttering something about flying pigs. A few members of the party planning committee absently twirled their calligraphy pens while staring off into the distance.
“Ok, yes, I know we’ve had some...issues...in the past, but let’s try to put that all behind us and really focus this year. So! Brainstorming time. I want to hear some ideas. Go!”
The room started buzzing instantly. What we may lack in practicality, we more than make up in crazy ideas.
“Hippo marching band!”
“Zepplin acrobatics!”
“Origami spaceships!”
“Tiny hats for everyone!”
“A popcorn cannon!”
“Cat ballet!”
“Parachuting mimes!”
Morning turned to afternoon and the ideas kept flowing. Notes and enthusiastic sketches filled every available whiteboard and scrap of paper. The accounting robots even returned and contributed a few great ones. To be fair, some ideas were more practical than others. Ok, fine, so none of them were even remotely practical. Eventually it became clear that we had enough ideas and it was time to take action. This was because someone said,
“Alright, we have enough ideas, it’s time to take action. Which one are we going to do?”
“ALL OF THEM!” the room unanimously cried. Or at least it seemed unanimous. It was hard to tell over the robots’ booming shouts.
“Oh brother. Well, clearly we can’t do all of them. You see that, right?” (A resigned sigh from the room) “I wonder though...maybe we can’t do all of them, but could we write all these stories down and share them with the world? No, no, there’s just no time, we have so much to do, there’s just no way. Unless! Yes, that’s it! Let’s get our wonderful, brilliant, talented, splendiferous community to help us!”
The room exploded with cheers – and popcorn. (While they were waiting for us, the robots had already built a semi-working popcorn cannon prototype, which they all agreed was much more fun than year-end reports.) Hugs were shared, backs were slapped. General feelings of congratulations flowed like melted chocolate, and the room quickly emptied. Except for a lone voice.
“Hey, hey you out there, yeah you, the one reading this right now. Go and write your stories and share them with the world. Inspire others and let them know when they inspire you. In other words, keep doing what you’re doing!”
From all of us at Storybird, Happy Holidays and thanks for yet another wonderful year of stories. May they never end.
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