Subject: “Gaspard. Hey, Gaspard.”
Posted on: 2016-01-11 02:22:53 UTC

In response, the Spy snored gently in his chair. His arms were crossed over his chest and he was tilted precariously to the right in his seat. Harris, who was seated next to him, looked around the room at the other guests.

“It’s your turn, Gaspard. Wake up. “

Again, he snored. Harris leaned over and poked his colleague with a finger. “Hey, wake up.” No response. Harris got up and tapped Gaspard’s shoulder. “Come on, now...”

Gaspard started leaning more and more to the right. As the inevitable approached, Harris stepped back. “Well, that’s sure to wake him up,” he muttered as Gaspard fell to the floor with a crash.

“Argh.” Gaspard slowly got up and looked at Harris, who wordlessly pointed at the gift pile. He then noticed the entire auditorium staring at him. “O-oh! S-sorry, I, um, I…” He felt his cheeks burn with embarrassment. “I-it’s just th-that I had a, um, long day, er, days and I haven’t had m-much, er, time to… um… sleep, and I’ve not b-been having the best times recently, and, em…”

“Just grab your present, Gaspard,” said Harris as he regained his seat. “C’mon, keep it moving.”

“O-okay… Sorry…” Gaspard quickly made his way to the pile of gifts, staring at his shoes all the while. He selected the first thing that he saw—a medium-sized box—and quickly shuffled back to his seat.

Cheer up, he thought to himself. You should be happy that you got a present. You don’t want to look like an ingrate, do you? Smile. Remember to smile. Be normal. Smile, and be happy. Whatever is inside will make you happy. It’s going to make up for the awful day you’ve been having.

Still conscious that all eyes were on him, he slowly lifted the lid. It was weighted and seemed to be holding something down. A small wheeze escaped from inside the box. He swallowed nervously and opened the box. He was greeted by a Pandora’s Box of wailing, squealing rubber chickens. After the infernal noise died down, Gaspard was left looking at the box, lid still in his hands.

“Thank you,” he said quietly to whomever was the owner of his box and, for reasons he didn’t quite understand, dissolved into a giggling fit, pausing occasionally to draw breath and wipe tears from his eyes.

((Don't worry about him. He'll be all right after his fit.))

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