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Areo and a Christmas Story



Areo is a character created by Al Waddell when taking a creative writing course.

Some time later, Al gave a physical form to Areo during a sculpture class.


A creature from Venus traveling in his space ship that accidentally landed on Earth, becoming then an observer of human nonsense behaviors.

Many interesting situations were brought up by the telepathic abilities of this outspace creature trying to understand life on Earth.

Then Al wrote a story for Christmas. It is a story that makes people meditate about a special treasure some of us have in our hands and sometimes we just seem not to be aware of it. Going to the past to rescue our feelings, or watching what will really be important in the future, could be the motivation we need to try to change our present for better.


A Christmas Gift

by Al Waddell - 1999

On a cold, rainy, windy morning, I boarded the Shallow Pond school bus. To my amazement, a creature, sitting behind the driver, greeted me as if he was the bus monitor. I noticed that the driver was not bothered that the creature was not human, and made out of metal. In fact the driver acted as if this was one of his regular bus driving mornings.

I just realized that a dialogue was going on telepathically between the two of us. At least in my mind, I thought this was happening. It dawned on me, at that moment, that maybe I am existing in my own world on this bus. Maybe, the creature is only visible to me. If this is so, I should keep my actions, mouth, and thoughts discreet. I'm not ready for a head shrinker and a straight jacket.

"What do you want for Christmas?" How can he send a question like that to my mind so clearly? "On my planet communicating to another being is done in this manner" I wish he had the power to solve the rift between my parents. They are drifting apart and a divorce is imminent. "So you want your parents to become loving parents; so they will never make a decision to leave each other?" Can he do that? Can he help my parents heal the wounds that are driving them apart? "The wounds are being caused by their inability to rejuvenate the marriage. I have a plan."

On Christmas Eve, two parents that were drifting apart as mates fell into a deep, deep sleep in separate bedrooms. Underneath each of their pillows an object was placed of the same value. This opened a door to the dream world for both to enter in the same dream room. At the beginning of their dream, they met together in a dream room. The rift that existed between the two in their waking life was carried to this room.

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas like the one I use to know" The Shallow Pond School bus, with the radio station on ocean 104, pulled into the dream room. The voice of crooner echoed throughout the bus.

While the two were standing there in the dream room, waiting for something to happen, a creature stepped off the Shallow Pond, after the doors opened. "I have brought you two together here in this room to visit other rooms, with your past, present, and future. We will travel from room to room on the Shallow Pond. Please come aboard."

The school bus driver was in the middle of a pre-trip to assure that the trip would not be met with unforeseen mishaps. He looked pretty strange; stopping to see underneath the bus, checking the tires, opening and closing doors, checking controls, and after all was checked, he strapped himself in.

Kids appeared on the bus rejecting the voice of the crooner, while asking the bus driver to put it on a station with too much noise. The bus driver rejected their request by telling them that he had it on that station for a reason.

On this journey to rooms, the streets had the same activity that a driver would see on a normal school bus driving day. A Raccoon, lying dead in the street, was intruded on by a Seagull. The Seagull's attention on its meal was distracted by the child running to cross the street. The Seagull was splattered and embedded in the dead Raccoon, as the Tractor trailer tires carried the imprint. At that moment, the bus driver's apprehension was relieved when he saw a women driving with her purse on top of her car. After he blew his horn and pointed his finger at her, the lady finally figured out that she hadn't run the bus stop sign.

A Drop off was about to take place at the first room housing their past. "Enter; this is the sweet past that brought you two together. Some people belong together; and you, two from the very beginning, knew that. Inside this part of the room, it is 1977; the year your husband, whom, was your boyfriend, at the time; stopped a whole line of cars honking their horns to buy flowers from a Hare Krishna. In this same year, she had a painting done inside a heart with the inscription: 'OUR LOVE IS FOREVER'.

All your good memories and beginnings are stored in this room of your past. View them and re-acquaint yourselves with the innocence that welded you together."

During the bus trip to the present, the couple was seen holding hands and glancing at each other with warm smiles. When the bus driver stopped in front of the room of the present, he encountered a behavior problem with one of the students on the bus. He was caught throwing paper and spitting on the seat in the back of him. While the bus driver was writing the student up, Areo escorted the couple toward the room of the present.

In this room was a lot of betrayal, insecurity, and lack of direction; clouding out the love that can be. Yes, they were able to view the pain they were both causing in their marriage and family composition. They saw that it was filtering down to their children.

On the way to the future, again, one of the students tested the bus driver with the same question asked earlier. The question was why he insisted on keeping the radio on Ocean 104. The bus driver responded by saying, "I'm planting seeds."

When the couple entered the room of the future, there were many paths extending from the past to the present. The couple saw many different futures for themselves, their children, and their grandchildren to come. The path of a future that impressed them the most is when they saw one son as a doctor, and the other one as a clergyman.

When the couple were driven back to their bedrooms on the night of Christmas Eve, Areo relieved them of the devices placed underneath their pillows. He left them with this thought telepathically "Listen to each other and value trust, loyalty, and discipline.

On Christmas morning, the whole family joined each other in the living room. That room was filled with joy. The two sons noticed a loving aura surrounding their parents. They, for the first time in many years, were showing genuine love for each other.

"He did it. He brought them back together."

"You and your brother work to keep this love and joy in your family. Always do your part."

As Areo was going towards the chimney, he was asked by the son for assistance to the door. He responded, "I'm taking the chimney. Don't worry; I don't have a sledge and reindeer waiting for me. It's just the Shallow Pond school bus. You, and the doctor, have a good Christmas."