The Nativity was all there, though a bit beat up. Joseph’s face was smashed in, and it Mary well, there was an odor I preferred not to think about the origin of. I couldn’t take the whole bunch in one go, since it was just me. The garage door was like any modern garage door with a motor on it, and it would be audible anywhere in the house, so I had to go out the side. I tucked Baby Jesus into an arm and moved out the side door. I took my time, trying to blend into the night as I walked back to my car. Parking so far away had seemed like a good idea then, but now it seemed too far, and it was. I wouldn’t be able to hoof it back and forth for each piece.
I tossed the baby into the passenger seat and started my engine, keeping the lights off. I crept the car up on the house, pulling up in front of their driveway. From there I started loading each piece into the car, trying to figure out a good way to cram them all in. The wise men were too bulky. My back seat was already piled full of Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, and a couple of sheep.
I shoved them roughly into the trunk, knowing I was on borrowed time. All it would take is one of them checking the garage to know what I had done, and I couldn’t believe they were just going to leave the things in a heap. They had to be doing some kind of symbolic sacrifice, otherwise, what was the point of taking them?
The last wise man wouldn’t fit, and I had to throw him into the front seat with Jesus.
Just then, the garage door started moving. I jumped, and ran around my car to get in, but I saw one of them. He looked seventeen with ripped jeans and a black tee shirt. His hair had been gelled into spikes, impervious to gravity.
He snarled at me, and I saw some sort of red flash in his eyes and mouth. Then he lunged into a run, heavy boots crashing into the driveway—
The office door banged as someone knocked, and Jessie let out a yelp and fell out of her chair.
“I’m okay!” she jumped back up, cheeks flushing with embarrassment.
“I suppose our meal has arrived,” Nikki eased back in her chair, her crossed leg bobbing as she kicked it idly in mild irritation.
“Don’t worry, I’ll keep going between bites.