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8-Bit Christmas by Kevin Jakubowski

By Kevin Jakubowski

It’s 1980-something and all nine-year-old Jake Doyle desires for Christmas is a Nintendo leisure process. No Jose Canseco rookie card, no GI Joe hovercraft, no Teddy friggin’ Ruxpin—just Nintendo. but if a hyperactive Shih Tzu is by accident overwhelmed to demise via a forty-two- inch tv set and each guardian on the town blames Nintendo, it’s as much as Jake to take issues into his personal fingers. the result's a Christmas quest of tremendous Mario Bros. proportions, packed with flaming wreaths, dashing minivans, misplaced retainers, pretend Santas, scorching lecturers, snotty sisters, “Super Bowl Shuffles” and one very bare Cabbage Patch child. instructed from a nostalgic grownup point of view, 8-Bit Christmas is a hilarious and heartfelt glance again on the child popular culture of the Nineteen Eighties.

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All she wanted to do was sleep now. ” Rob sounded smug. “It’s dark outside. We’re going to dinner in an hour. ” Dormouse was the name Rob used to call Miranda when they were little, because she was always curled up somewhere in the house reading a book, unwilling to play basketball with him on the driveway or join some frenetic game of tag. “Whatever,” she said, sitting up and rubbing her eyes. Rob was standing in the doorway, flicking the light switch on and off to annoy her. The room was small, with black rafters striping the low white ceiling.

They said the red car must have flown through the stop sign. They said they were real sorry to tell her this, but the other girl in her car was dead. Miranda knew this even before they told her. She could see Jenna, small and squashed, upside down in the front seat, her fair hair illuminated by headlights. Jenna’s eyes were closed, and her mouth was open. She had been about to say something, Miranda wanted to tell them. They’d been singing along to the song on the radio, mainly to annoy Rob, and then Jenna was about to say something.

Is this what beggars looked like? ” Miranda whispered again, transfixed by the girl’s pale moon of a face. “I’ll show you,” said the girl, her high voice so faint that Miranda could barely hear her. ” Miranda asked. When she’d tried to brush the girl off, she’d felt nothing. Nothing but cold. Nothing but that intense, piercing cold. “The place,” the girl said. ” The word erupted from Miranda’s mouth. She was scared now — scared of this strange girl and her cold touch, scared of where she might be led.

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