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'Twas the Night with the Papers

The characters of "R.O.D. the TV" were created by Hideyuki Kurata and other lovely people, and belong to Studio Orphee/Aniplex. This bit of fan fluff does not profit in the least from the use of their characters. This poem also obviously riffs off from Clement Clark Moore's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," which is done in good intention and should hopefully accepted as "fair use." Happy holidays to all!

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
We put up decorations (while Nenene groused).
Maggie was baking; I was present-wrapping
While singing along to Nenene's keyboard tapping.

Anita was grumbling and frowning a bit.
I smiled and said, "What's wrong, dear, what is it?"
She scowled and said, "Don't you think this is strange?
I mean, I know it's tradition, but... well, everything's changed!

"How can we do this when we know it's not true!
I know we're still sisters, but..." she trailed off, looking blue.
Before I could answer, there arose such a racket!
"It's on the roof!" Maggie said, while grabbing her jacket.

We ran up the stairs as fast as we could,
Nenene muttering, "This better be good.
I've got a chapter to go for the reading tomorrow,"
But she stopped short at a sight that filled us with sorrow.

A poor little old man, bearded and plump
Flat on the ground, fallen on his rump
And horrifically mangled was what once was a sleigh.
"What about my ROOF?" yelled Nenene.

"Hey Grandpa, what happened?" Anita asked of the man,
While Maggie pulled him up and helped him to stand.
The grandfatherly elf shook his head with a frown,
And said, "A huge paper airplane just knocked me down!"

And then from the wreckage, we heard an, "Oh dear,"
Followed by, "Well, I didn't expect to run into a reindeer."
From the rubble rose Yomiko, tattered and torn,
Followed by Junior and Nancy, both looking forlorn.

"I had just wanted to show Junior the sights,
Tokyo lit up with lovely holiday lights,
Now I've hit Father Christmas, oh what should I do?
I'm terribly sorry," she pled to you-know-who.

Santa took a breath, saying, "My reindeer have fled,
And it's going to take me some time to fix up my sled.
While I sort this out, you've got to cover Japan,
Or I won't get to the rest of the world, no I can't!"

"Three Sisters' Conference!" I shouted. "Who's going to help?
Who wants to become dear Santa's new elves?"
Everyone raised their hands, and Santa gave us a broad grin.
"Here's a list of the houses–now quickly, begin!"

With all the paper we could find, we started away:
Yomiko and I fashioned a great paper sleigh,
And Maggie performed her greatest feat yet–
Eight reindeer minions, who could fly fast as a jet!

We piled the sleigh high with the gifts that were spilled,
With hopes that the children's dreams still could be filled.
We boarded the sleigh, saving Christmas our aim!
Maggie took the reins, calling her minions by name:

"On Wai Lin and Flying Snow, on Tung, Ching, and Chat!
On Jackie, on Jet Li, and on Chow Yun Fat!"
From the roof to the skies, we never flew faster,
By the sheer determination of four Paper Masters!

We flew from building to building across the nation.
Nenene took charge of the navigation,
And Nancy and Junior were absolutely amazing!
Who needs a chimney with the power of phasing?

The journey itself was a breathtaking sight!
Who dreamed we would see all of Japan in one night?
We all worked together, while time seemed to slow down
And though we were tired, nobody frowned.

Nenene ticked off the last name, and home we did dash!
The roof was intact, no signs of the crash.
The clock was impossibly just a minute past midnight,
But on our kotatsu were some wonderous delights!

Anita ran to the table covered in presents;
All of us grinned at this turn of events.
Little Sis passed out the gifts, then opened hers with a scream:
A lovely hardbound copy of Anne's House of Dreams.

With a Harry Potter boxset, I was in heaven;
Nancy was delighted with her Glock 27.
Junior got a nice suit he said was delightfully normal.
I said he should ask Anita to the school's Formal.

After escaping Anita, I saw Nenene's smile
Over 40 yellow legal pads: "A gift most worthwhile."
Maggie cuddled in the corner, wearing a smile so droll,
With her signed first edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Hideyuki Kurata wrote Yomiko's new book;
I don't know who he is, but she promised I could look.
Anita tugged at my sleeve, and said she was sorry.
"I shouldn't have complained, there's no need to worry.

"We're all together, and I know that's enough."
I hugged her tight; "It's okay; this past year's been rough.
But at least we have something new to remember!
It'll always be a special time for us in December."

As we settled down with our gifts, snug and serene,
Maggie pointed out the window to a curious scene:
A tiny sleigh in the sky, from which we heard a warm greeting:
"Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good reading!"

Death Quaker's Realm All original creative materials © 2005 R. Pickard. Read or Die, R.O.D. the TV and all related concepts were created by Hideyuki Kurata and are ©2003 Aniplex/Studio Orphee.
Contact: mistress@deathquaker.org