The Kingdom

“Chad!  Time for dinner!”  His mother yelled from the bottom of the stairs.

His father turned off the television and walked over.  No sounds of movement made their way down from the second floor.  “Maybe he didn’t hear you?”

“Oh, he heard me.  He’s just ignoring me.”

“Probably playing that video game of his.”

“I wish we’d never gotten it for him.  Can you go get him?  I need to get dinner on the table so we can eat.”

He sighed.  “Okay.  We’ll be right down.”

As he began to climb the stairs, she went back to the kitchen.  She had just taken the casserole out of the oven when he yelled her name.  Frustrated that her husband couldn’t handle this himself, she set the dish down and took off her oven mitts.

“What is it?” she yelled, again at the bottom of the stairs.

“He isn’t up here.”

“What?”  Quickly, she went up the stairs and entered her son’s room.  “Where is he?”

“He came home from school, right?”

“Of course.  Then he came up here like he always does.”

“And he didn’t go back out before I got home from work?”

She glared at him.  “No.”

“Then where did he go?”

“I don’t know.”

They looked around the room for some clue that would tell them where their son had gone.  Movement on the computer screen caught her attention.  His video game was still on.  The small animated person on the screen seemed to be waving at her.  She looked closely at it, then reached out to touch her husband’s arm.  “Does that look like Chad?”

Putting on his glasses, he moved closer to the screen.  “Yes, it does.”

The person on the screen smiled, blew a kiss, and turned to walk away.  The screen went black.  Words appeared in white:  ANOTHER CITIZEN HAS ENTERED THE KINGDOM.

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