Sim days flew by and Rory got his first promotion. He was now a ‘Junior Tinkerer’. One day when he came into work he was charged with gathering as many collectibles as he could find. Seemed the lab was experiencing a shortage of some kind. Rory got right to it and did rather well, he even watered and harvested the plants, too, while he was at it. On a whim, he worked on the space craft in the lab — at least he thought it may be a space craft. Mostly it was oddly shaped parts in a couple of crates. Like a puzzle, he had to decide how these parts fit together. Almost instinctive, as if his alien blood understood what he was looking at, and before too long, he had the bottom of a craft welded together.
James, also, was growing like a weed. Rory was so busy down at the lab, he wondered when the child began to walk, let alone talk and take himself to the bathroom. The boy was bright and very sociable. Rory found a way to make use of Jaylen’s old room. No one had occupied it since he was imprisoned for murder. Somehow, the room seemed cursed. Again, thinking like a scientist, he decided this was nonsense. A room was just a room. There was nothing evil about it. He went about his inspection. The paneling on the wall was still in good shape, no need to replace it or repaint. So, he watched for sales and before long purchased a junior bed, night stand, dresser, with a matching bookcase. He also made sure the tyke had his own mini-lab station, so he could ‘pretend’ to be just like Daddy.
One evening, after James had been put to bed the adults decided to spend the evening playing “Don’t Wake the Llama!” upstairs. What had been the dance room, had been re-purposed as the Game Room. Good lighting over the table, a nice rug underneath, the room was cozy and set just the right atmosphere for competition. The game was underway when James came racing into the room all hysterical.
“Come, on! Come see! Daddy? Mommy? Somebody?” The adults seemed rather wrapped up in their game. James held his breath.
Rory was in the midst of pulling a rod out of the puzzle. “Jimmy, please,” he said, letting out a sigh with his successful move.
“But, Daddy. There’s something under my bed! I think it’s a monster!”
“Jimmy, I can assure you, there’s nothing but a rug under your bed. Or maybe a toy rolled underneath it.”
“It has tentacles and everything — it’s really creepy.”
“Jimmy, it’s well passed your bedtime and you have your first day of school tomorrow. Go back to bed,” Ericka said.
“Grandpa, you believe me, don’t you?”
“I believe you’re scared,” Joseph said. “I think you woke up from a dream. There’s no monster in that room. Once upon a time, maybe, but no longer.”
“Dad,” Rory said. “This is just a delaying tactic. Don’t encourage him. Now, Jimmy, you go to bed.”
“I’m not asking for a drink of water. I just want somebody to check under my bed! Scare that monster away. Please. Somebody. Anybody.”
“All right,” Rory said, getting up from his chair. “I’ll come take a look.” He took the boy by the hand, and turning to Joseph, Ericka and Gramps said, “No cheating while I’m gone.”
Rory switched on the light, but of course there was nothing there. He got on the floor and looked under the bed. Again, nothing. He stood up again, thinking. “Please, Daddy, please. Tell it to go away and leave me alone!”
“Hm,” Rory tapped his lip, deep in thought. “I tell you what. I have a very special, very Top Secret Monster spray that we developed at the lab. I’ll just go get it.” Rory left the room briefly and returned with a spray bottle full of something. He sprayed under the bed and around the room. “There, that ought to do it,” he said. “Now, you, young man, get back into bed and go to sleep.”
“Oh, all right,” the boy said. James crept over to his bed, glanced warily under it, and then crawled under the covers. “But, if it comes back …”
“I know, I know, you’ll come hollering. But, it won’t come back. This stuff is very, very powerful. Okay?”
“Okay.” Rory kissed the boy’s forehead and pulled his covers tight, tucking them in.