The Tube

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic


Ronnie loved nothing more then sitting in front of the television.



He might just be the only one watching anything soon enough.

Submitted: July 30, 2018

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Submitted: July 30, 2018

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Ronnie Reynolds loved television. Almost a little too much. He loved spending his time sitting in front of the television, instead of doing stuff fun like other kids his age. His parent's thought it was unusual, but figured he was just going through a "phase".

 
From sun up...to sun down.
 
His birthday was just around the corner and he knew exactly what he wanted.
 
I'm sure you can guess it.
 
The new 10k pixel flat screen Andromida t.v. This was no normal television. It was voice activated, with 5 thousand channels, dvd compact, plus it saves energy.
 
Ronnie rode his bike everyday to the town square just to look through the display window. 
 
It was a beauty!
 
ONE DAY...
 
"MA! MA?!" Ronnie shouted to his mother, running into the kitchen, waving a newspaper.
 
His shouting startled her, "What-what?!"
 
"Look look!" Ronnie demanded, handing his mother the newspaper.
 
An advertisement in the paper read, "ENTER NOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE ANDROMIDA 10K!!!" 
 
"Can I-can I please?" 
 
"I don't know Ronnie, you spend enough time in front of the television. I don't think a better t.v. is such a good idea." 
 
"But-"
 
Ronnie's father entered the kitchen, carrying his briefcase. "Sorry sport. Why don't you play with the neighborhood kids? There's that cute girl Cindy next door." 
 
The look of disgust wore on Ronnie's parents. "She's nine dad. I don't date nine year olds." 
 
His mother grew a smirk from his remark.
 
"The answer is no. Sorry." she replied, patting Ronnie on the head as she left the room.
 
Ronnie was mad. He felt he deserved that television. 
 
After a moment, he looked behind him. His father was too busy reading the paper to notice. Ronnie devilishly tip-toed his way into the living-room, slipping out the front door.
 
Ronnie quickly and carefully ran around to the side of the house and grabbed his bicycle,jumping on and riding away.
 
He peddled as fast as he could to the town square. 
 
Ronnie could barely catch his breath, but he didn't allow that to slow him down. He peddled even faster until the sign for the appliance store was in his sights. 
 
He parked his bike behind the store, leaning it against the wall. Ronnie dashed to the front, barely avoiding crashing through the glass door as he fell to his knees. 
 
"I'm here..I'm here!" Ronnie announced, breathing heavily.
 
"Hello there." a woman slipped from behind a counter, wearing an elegant dress coated with silver streaks. Her hair tied in a bun, highlighting her rosy red cheeks to match her lipstick. "How may I help you?"
 
Ronnie lying on his knees, head buried in his gut exhausted, "I'm here for the t.v." with little strength, Ronnie raised his arm holding the advertisement from the paper to hand to the woman.
 
The woman carefully took it from him and looked it over.
 
"I see." she replied. "Right this way."
 
The woman ushered Ronnie to follow her. She had an eerie presence. Even though she had an easy approach, she also carried an oddly peculiar mood. There were many things odd about the town, but Ronnie knew she wasn't from around here. As if that wasn't enough, the store was dark and creepy. Shelves over flowing with books. The rug matted and ripped. Dust laid on top of everything in sight. It was as if this store hadn't had a customer in a very long time.
 
As the woman neared a cabinet, Ronnie noticed the woman's black heels with the toe curled up. 
 
"So..how long have you been here?" Ronnie uttered nervously.
 
"Here?" the woman asked.
 
"Yeah..this store."
 
"Oh. I--uh just opened."
 
Ronnie found her answer unlikely, considering the condition of the store.
 
"You from around here?" 
 
"Born and raised."
 
"I've never seen you before."
 
"I uh--just moved back. You see, this store is a sort of family business."
 
"What family?"
 
"The LaVieres."
 
"Like, the founding family?"
 
"You've heard of us?"
 
"Well yeah. This town is named after you. But--I thought the whole family died in a house fire?"
 
The woman stopped, raised an eyebrow at Ronnie's question.
 
"It was a lynching!" she answered mysteriously, shooting Ronnie an evil look. Ronnie backed off. The woman released a forced smile, lightening the mood. "This way."
 
"Here you are." the woman exclaimed, smirking happily as she grabbed a raffle ticket from the counter, placing it gently on Ronnie's palm. 
 
Ronnie was a little shaken by the whole thing. The woman, the dark ambiance of the shop, everything. 
 
Ronnie took the ticket and started reaching into every pocket, searching for something to write with.
 
"Oh come on. Not now." he whined.
 
"Here." the woman said, whipping a pen out of thin air.
 
Ronnie took a sec before he accepted it. "Thanks."
 
He began to write his name down. Ronnie wrote the first number to his house but then noticed the woman peeking over his shoulder. He thought fast on his feet and wrote a fake address down.
 
"5486 Pierce View"
 
He hurried as fast as he could. Practically scribbling the rest of the information on the raffle ticket.
 
"Okay. Done." Ronnie announced hurriedly, as if running a marathon.
 
The woman reached down to take the ticket. She glanced over it with a menacing expression as not to miss a thing. "Perfect, Ronnie."
 
"So when will I know if I won?" Ronnie asked.
 
"You'll know soon enough." the woman alluded, flicking the ticket with her finger.
 
LATER THAT NIGHT...
 
Ronnie was fast asleep in his bed. 
 
The window to his bedroom opened by itself. A large gust of wind blew through the window. Wind chimes echoed in the background.
 
Ronnie hadn't awoke. He tossed and turned unable to get comfortable. 
 
A leafless tree outside his bedroom window began to shake side to side. 
 
A shadow figure's hand crept through the bedroom window. The fingers boney and long, ran over the window sill, down onto the floor and up to the bottom of Ronnie's bed. As it made it's way closer, the hand expanded growing double it's size. Now covering Ronnie's entire body.
 
"Ronnie" a voice called out.
 
Ronnie sat up immediately. Sweat dripping from his forehead, breathing heavily.
 
He took a moment to catch his breath.
 
Ronnie threw the covers off to cool down. He went to his window to close it. Ronnie gasped. A figure stood in the shadows, watching him. He felt himself frozen. The eyes glowed icy blue. 
 
Ronnie fell to his butt to hide. His heart was beating faster then a speeding bullet. He couldn't bring himself to check if the figure was still there. Instead he noticed a small mirror lying on the table next to his bed. He crawled slowly, reaching up to grab it carefully. 
 
Ronnie raised the mirror in the air, not too high to get caught. He angled the mirror. Nothing was there. A sense of relief came over Ronnie.
 
"Ronnie!" a sinister voiced cackled.
 
He rose to his feet. Staring into the dark corner of his bedroom.
 
Ronnie was unable to make out the figure clearly.
 
"You will be mine. You WILL BE MINE!" the voiced demanded in a villaionous tone.
 
Ronnie threw himself against the wall. He dug his nails into the popcorn texture of the wall, gripping with all his might.
 
The figure began to grow rapidly, covering the entire ceiling. Before Ronnie knew it, he was completely engulfed. 
 
Ronnie shot up in bed breathing heavily. Sweat glistened from his forehead. 
 
"It was just a dream" Ronnie thought to himself. "Just a dream."
 
"RONNIE!" his mother shouted. "Come down here right this instance!"
 
Ronnie rushed downstairs. There sat a big box wrapped in a bright red bow with a card tucked underneath. 
 
"What is this young man?" his father asks with his arms folded and a scowl on his face.
 
Ronnie was too excited to answer. "It came it came!" 
 
"What came?" his mother asked.
 
By now Ronnie had ripped off the bow, broken the box open and riffled through the stuffing. His eyes widened as he took out the Andromida 10k t.v. A 32 inch plasma, with surround sound built in.
 
"I won I won!!" Ronnie shouted, jumping up and down in enjoyment.
 
"I thought I told you not to enter in that contest." 
 
"But...I won!" 
 
"I don't care young man. You disobeyed your mothers orders." his father scolded him. 
 
"But I won." Ronnie mentioned again.
 
"You're not getting the point Ronnie." his mother stated.
 
Ronnie threw a fit. "This isn't fair. I finally won something and my own parents want to take it away from me."
 
"We never said we were taking it from you. We want.." 
 
Ronnie interrupted. "So I can keep it?"
 
His parents turned to each other. It was clear they knew it would be useless to argue with Ronnie at this point.
 
His father sighed,"I suppose it wouldn't be a bad idea."
 
Ronnie interrupted again joyfully, "Alright!" Ronnie grabbed the television and bolted up to his room. His parents looking at one another and shrugging their shoulders.
 
THAT NIGHT...
 
Ronnie, sat in front of the television, smiling from ear to ear.
 
KNOCK! KNOCK!
 
Ronnie's father opened the door. He stood in the doorway, noticing Ronnie was completely oblivious to his presence.
 
"Hey sport."
 
Ronnie didn't respond. Instead he continued in his trance.
 
His father walked in-front of the television and turned it off.
 
"Hey! I was watching that." Ronnie angered.
 
"It's late kiddo, time to get ready for bed."
 
"Five more minutes?"
 
"It's already past your bedtime. Come on." his father ushered him to his bed.
 
Even though Ronnie didn't want to, he complied and crawled into bed anyways. His father flicked the light off. "Goodnight kiddo." Then his father shut the door.
 
Ronnie rested his head on his pillow waiting for the light under his door to turn off. 
 
There! The light's off. 
 
Ronnie jumped out of bed, sat in-front of the television and turned it on immediately. Ronnie turned the volume down so his parents wouldn't hear. A look of content shined through Ronnie's eyes.
 
LATER..
 
Ronnie had fallen fast asleep in-front of the television. He was suddenly awoken by the distinct and ominous sound of his name being called.
 
"Ronnie.."
 
He wiped the crud from his eyes. He then noticed the sun beamed brightly through his bedroom window. It suddenly occurred to him.
 
"Wait a minute.." Ronnie looked over at his alarm clock. 
 
8:55 A.M.
 
Ronnie jumped a foot in a panic.
 
"Oh man, I'm gonna be late!"
 
Ronnie hastefully made his way down the stairs; putting on a shirt and slipping his tennis shoes on. 
 
As he stumbled into the kitchen, he began to notice the lack of traffic through the house. No mom. And no dad. 
 
"Mom? Dad?" Ronnie called out, peeking around the corner, expecting for someone to respond. "Hello? Is anyone there?"
 
Ronnie scoured the house. He searched everywhere; his parent's bedroom, the bathroom, even the garage. Nothing. 
 
"Their cars are still here?" he thought to himself. 
 
Ronnie ran back inside the house, searching every room again. His parents were nowhere to be found. 
 
"Ronnie.." a voice called for him in the distance.
 
"Mom?" he asked, looking around baffled.
 
Ronnie headed upstairs where the voice seemed to be coming from. "Mom? Dad? Where are you guys?" 
 
"Over here sport." 
 
"Where?"
 
"Over here sweetheart."
 
The voices now sounded like they were coming from downstairs. Ronnie headed back that way. Still no one. He suddenly heard various voices speaking all at once. They resembled voices from kids in the neighborhood and other neighbors around there. Ronnie decided to check outside.
 
As he opened his door he immediately noticed cars stopped in the middle of the road. Clothes belonging to others sprawled all over the sidewalk and street. The chatter of the voices started to get louder. Ronnie covered his hears as the volume proved too much.
 
"Ronnie? Ronnie?" his mother called out. He knew something was different about his mother's voice this time. It sounded sincere. Not muffled or deceitful. He ran back inside to search the house again. 
 
"Mom? Dad?" Ronnie called out worriedly.
 
"Here! We're up here!" his father answered.
 
The sound seemed to be coming from his bedroom. Ronnie ran as fast as he could. Practically leaping up the stairs.
 
He slid into his room, looking for his parents.
 
"Where are you?" Ronnie asked impatiently.
 
"Over here." 
 
Ronnie looked but didn't see anyone. "Where?"
 
"Down here." 
 
Ronnie looked around and around. He still didn't see anyone. Then he noticed something different as he looked over at the television. His father and mother peeking through, waving to get his attention. 
 
"No way!" he expressed, his eyes widened in disbelief. 
 
His parents were trapped inside the television. 
 
"What are you guys doing in there?" Ronnie asked.
 
"I don't know. One minute I was making blueberry waffles, and the next...here we are." his mother answered.
 
"I don't believe this." 
 
"Oh believe it." that creepy old woman from the store expressed. She just stood there, huddled in the doorway of his bedroom, her head meticulously rested on her index finger.
 
"You!" Ronnie accused, pointing at the woman in shock. The feeling of this being a bad dream overloaded his thoughts. "You did this? Why?"
 
"I didn't do anything." she replied, strolling into the bedroom, taking a seat at the foot of his bed. "All I did was grant your wish."
 
"My wish?"
 
"Didn't you desperately want that television?"
 
"Well yeah but.."
 
"And didn't you desperately want to just sit in-front of the television and enjoy all five thousand channels?"
 
"Well yeah but.."

"Your wish, was my command."
 
"What are you, some sort of genie?" Ronnie joked.
 
The woman smirked. "Something like that."
 
"Okay well I want to make my second wish." 
 
"I said I was like a genie. Think of me as more of a fairy godmother."
 
"So what am I, Cinderella?" 
 
"Oh heaven's sake no. She wasn't a slob"
 
Ronnie looked around at the mess in his room. He shrugged as it didn't seem that terrible to him.
 
"Okay look. Take the television. I don't want it anymore." Ronnie pleaded.
 
"Sorry. I'm afraid there's a no refund policy." the woman remarked, uncrossing her arms and standing up to leave.
 
"But I want my parents back. Just take the t.v., please!" 
 
"No can do kiddo. I'm afraid all sales are final." the woman concluded, happily walking out of his room, closing the door. 
 
Ronnie rushed to catch the woman just before she left his house. "Wait!"
 
The woman turned to face him. 
 
Ronnie pleaded with her. "Please. Tell me what I can do, I'm begging you."
 
"Sorry. I'm afraid there's nothing you can do. I suggest you sit back, relax and enjoy your brand new t.v." she then shut the door. Ronnie ripped the door open not a second later, but there was no trace of her.
 
Ronnie slouched as he headed back up to his room. Each step felt as if he had rocks in his shoes. 
 
Ronnie sat down in-front of the television, letting out an exhausted sigh as he gazed at his parents looking around an empty room inside the screen, trying to find a way out.
 
"I'm so sorry mom and dad. I didn't want this. All I wanted was to watch five thousand channels on 10k. That's all. I wish I could take it all back." Ronnie muttered. He began to drift off to sleep as he repeated that same sentiment. "I wish I could take it all back-back-back.."
 
His father called out to him. "Sport? Sport? Wake up. Wake up!"
 
Ronnie sprung awake, gasping to catch his breath. Everything looked normal. The sun was up, shining through his windows. The television was off.
 
"You okay kiddo?" his father asked standing in the doorway. "You look flushed."
 
Ronnie's eye lit up. He made his way to his feet, slamming into his father practically tackling him.
 
"Whoa. This is pleasantly unexpected." his father said.
 
"I'm just...happy to see you." he replied, holding his grip around his father's waist. Then suddenly a thought occurred. "Mom!'
 
Ronnie ran down to the living-room looking around. "Mom?!" he shouted.
 
His mother ran into the room in a panic. "Honey is everything okay?"
 
Ronnie was relieved. He rushed over to hug his mom. She seemed to be a little taken back as she looked over at his father who had followed loosely behind him, they both shared a look of confusion.
 
"Everything okay?" his mother asked.
 
"Yeah--I just--missed you guys." Ronnie answered, alluding to his "dream".
 
"I'm telling you, all the time spent watching television is frying your brain son." his father preached, sipping his coffee and sitting down on the sofa bed.
 
The thought hadn't occurred to Ronnie until that moment. 
 
He peddled his bike as fast as he could. The television stuffed in his back-pack.
 
As Ronnie arrived to the store, there was a bright red and white sign hung on the front door.
 
"Closed"
 
"What?" Ronnie uttered. He looked through the window of the store. Something didn't make sense. The store was empty. Nothing. No shelves, or clutter on the floor. Nothing. 
 
Ronnie turned to grab the television. It was gone. Into thin air. That couldn't be. Or could it? Ronnie was baffled. He started to wonder who that woman was. Was it all a dream? Was he losing his mind? Or was she really...his fairy godmother?
 
Wind chimes sounded off, a gust of wind blew through Ronnie's bedroom window. A welcoming chuckle followed close after.
 
THE END


© Copyright 2018 Griff D. Con. All rights reserved.

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