Monday, November 16, 2020

Dr. Electro, Episode IX - Teatime on a Rainy Night

 Letters from Josh

  Gearing up for the Holidays 11/16/20                                                       Letter 32

  Howdy, folks!  Now this feels like November.  The trees have all but turned in for a long winter’s nap, and the fire of Autumn has simmered down to an ember of oak here, a flame of hickory there.  I’ve got some excellent news: a friend of mine named Josh just had a baby boy named Josh, which Joshes are fast taking over.  And we ain’t Joshin’ ya!  I can’t wait to meet him.  Nothing like a baby, right? 

Speaking of fun things, I’ve been hard at work in the shop building a tiny train set - a magical Christmas village that I’ll be bringing to the retirement home I work at to show the residents.  So far, it’s not quite magical yet - it’s mostly plywood, actually, but it’s getting there!  A bridge over a future skating pond has been fitted, and hopefully the mountains will be installed this week.  Did any of you have a train around the Christmas tree?  I just love that tradition!  And speaking of Christmas, I’ve been straining my brain on what to do during this upcoming holiday season.  It seems a worthy topic: how can we make the best of the times in these uncertain ones?  I don’t know.  But, I do know this: my favorite part of Christmas is the sparks of magic I see when people are kind to each other.  This gives me hope, inspiration, and the strength to carry on.  Yes, I love the songs, the smells, the gatherings, the hearty handshakes and santa babies, cookies and eggnog, and even the traffic.  Things will be different this year.  How can we find gold in the darkness?  Something gives me hope: any holiday celebrated in the season makes that a central message:  Salvation’s birth in midwinter, Light’s enduring hope...So, if we had to pick a day to make better in challenge, well, we would do well with Christmas or Hanukah.  Their point is one of hope at the darkest point.  What can we do about it?  For starters, I propose a Christmas card exchange.  Drop me a note, or send an early card, and say you’d like a Christmas card.  I’ll send you one!  I’ve got a giant box of ‘em at Walmart, and I’m READY, man.  Let’s do this!  Looking forward to corresponding! 

And now...Previously on Dr. Electro: Murphy, Rutherford, and Dr. E. meet Noah, head Arc Welder at a giant warehouse, while Mabel slinks and lurks in basements.  

Dr. Electro, Episode IX - Teatime on a Rainy Night 

  “That must be Mabel!” a voice enthused.  Her eyes adjusting to the candlelight, Mabel scanned the room, but was only greeted with a pair of...slippers where someone’s head should be.  “Yes yes, it really is!”  exclaimed the voice from near the floor.  Mabel dropped her gaze, and saw the source of the welcome.  Two bright eyes gleamed up from the gloom, as a wreath of gray hair fell the rest of the way to the flagstone.  Mabel’s gears were still jammed.  Suddenly, the owner of the voice sprung spryly off her bench, and right side up.  “I was doing headstands on this new piece of furniture my husband built for me!  Keeps my brain sharp!  Want some tea?”  “...Sure!”  A kettle bubbled cozily on a wood stove, and Bohemian tapestries graced the walls.  The smell of cookies and incense hovered, a bulwark against the gloom that pervaded the streets outside.  Mabel hung her coat by the door, and for the first time, realized it was heavy not just with the rain, but the weight of the World, too.  Much lighter, she sat down for tea with her mysterious hostess.  “I’m so glad you found the place” the old woman sparkled at Mabel, and they began to drink. 

Central City, Clocktower.  Henry was also having tea, although it was the smell of time and clock oil that danced in the air, not cookies.  He eased his massive frame into the small chair at the kitchen table, and absent-mindedly surveyed his calloused hands.  The escapement had needed work today, and the grime of years was still impressed upon his skin.  Now the giant hands reached across and picked up a copy of Pride and Prejudice.  Henry was, by nature, first mechanical, and then, closely second, inquisitive - a perfect temperament for a man tasked with keeping the city on time through a careful watch on gears.  The dutiful TICK TOCK of the five story clock was a heartbeat of his days, yet as the years marched on as surely as the cogs in the timepiece high overhead (and he made sure of that), he thought it might be nice to find a lady to share in a few of the ticks and the tocks.  Even a mantel clock can echo something fierce in an empty house. And so, he was broadening his horizons with Austen.  He’d always found that in clocks,  more could be understood if one just tried. Suddenly, the street lights went out.  To be continued….    

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