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Chapter Notes:

Written in response to a prompt about holiday gift-giving. Takes place on December 25th, 2158.

“It’s a spatula,” Doug said, as she unwrapped the little wooden article.


“Yes, I know,” Lili said. She pointed to the corner of the kitchen of their tiny apartment. There was a holder – it was actually an old, clean flower pot – filled with wooden utensils. At least half of them were spatulas of various sizes.


They stood there in silence as she turned the article over in her hands a couple of times. The clock on the wall scrolled past the time – 0700 hours – to the date – December 25th of 2158. The baby started to cry. She went into their bedroom and picked up their son. “Joss, honey,” Lili said, “Shh, I’ll make Christmas breakfast soon. With, uh, with my gift, I guess.” She was still holding the spatula.


Doug walked into the bedroom to join them. “Actually,” he said, “you should look at the paper that the spatula came in.” He had it in his hands, and traded it to her for the baby.


She turned on the overhead light and smoothed out the paper. There was a drawing on it, a bit of bluish writing on an off-white background. There were rectangles with measurements written on all of the sides, in handwriting that she recognized as belonging to Doug. “What is this?”


He leaned over and kissed the top of her head as he stood behind her. “See over on the right?”


“This part?” she pointed on the paper.


“You’ll spend most of your time there.”


“Huh? Now, Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett, I know that I’ve been awfully sleep-deprived since the young master arrived, but what are you talking about? I am totally not following you.”


“That rectangle – that’s where the kitchen will be. And over to the side will be a living room. And then a bathroom over to the left, and our bedroom will be in the back and Joss’s bedroom will be next door to ours. Plus an extra room for guests or, uh, if we have another.”


She dropped the spatula on the floor and it clattered. “What does this all mean?”


“I bought land, near the amplifier dishes, in the outskirts of Fep City. You’ll be close to work, to Reversal. And I’ll help the workmen build it. Lili, these are the plans for our house.”


“Oh, Doug.”


“Merry Christmas. I love you.”

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