Martha Rea Baker: Desert Rhythms IX, 2017, encaustic, mixed media on panel, courtesy Owen Contemporary

It was on Christmas Eve when it all happened!

“Hey Luis!” said Bryan.

“Hey Bryan, wanna go to the wood shop!”

“Ok, let's go! Last one is a rotten egg!”

So they ran and ran until they reached the wood shop. It was so cold as if they were in a freezer.

“Hey lil’ kids, want to be friends?” said an old man sitting.

Luis and Bryan got so scared they went inside the wood shop!

“Bro, did you see that old man?” said Bryan

“Yea, I got scared!” said Luis

They wanted to see the toys, but Luis was scared that the old man was going to take him. They walked by the cashier and said, “Excuse me, do you know where the toy section is?”

“Yea, it's by the left corner.”

So they decided to go and see the toy section. Luis saw all the beautiful wooden toys. He saw a toy car and wanted that one so bad, but then he saw an elephant and he knew that Bryan love elephants so he told Bryan,.

“Look at this elephant, Bryan!”

“Look at this car!” said Bryan.

“Yea, I like the car!” said Luis

They looked at all of the wonderful toys. They totally forgot about that old man!

They didn’t have any money so they decided to go back home, but then they remembered that the old man was there so they started to run like chickens!

“Oh, OK, that didn't work out,” said the old man.

He decided to buy two gifts for Luis and Bryan. He went inside the wood shop and said, “Wow, that’s a lot of wood!” He got so surprised he forgot about the toys. He was looking around and around till he remembered the presents!

“Oh no, ummm, what should I get for those two kids?” he said.

He decided to get the toy car and an elephant! He spent all his money for these two toys and he thought to himself, “Oh I hope those two kids like it.”

When the kids went to the house they were so scared they told their parents about it.

“Mom, there was this guy who wanted to talk to us, and we got so scared that's why we’re here!” said Luis.

“Oh no, the good thing is that you kids are still OK. was he touching you or doing something to you?” said Luis' mom.

“NO! Why would he touch us?” said Bryan.

“Yea mom! He was only talking to us,” Luis said.

“Ok, it's just … that I'm scared!” said Luis’ mom

They kept talking and talking until Luis’ mom gave them money to buy the toys that they wanted.

“Thanks, mom!”

“No problem. Just don't spend the money on candy and give me the change, OK?”

“OK,” said Luis and Bryan at the same time.

They went running to the wood shop to buy the car and the elephant but then the light turned red so they had to wait and wait until the light finally turned green!

“Oh, finally!” said Luis.

They went running and running until another light turned red.

“OH, C’MON!” said Bryan.

They waited and waited until the light turned green. They ran and ran, but Luis slipped and he got hurt.

“Luis, are you OK, bro?” said Bryan.

“Yea, I'm OK, but we don't want to be late do we? Hurry, let's go!”

They finally reached the wood shop. Luis and Bryan saw the old man staring at Luis. Luis got so scared that he felt he wanted to cry, but the old man was grabbing something out behind his back and Luis thought that he had a gun!

“RUNNNN!” said Bryan.

Luis stayed there. He looked like he had zoned out and then he fell backwards, but the old man grabbed his hand and Luis fell in a pile of snow!

Luis started to wake up and saw the old man trying to talk to him. He was super scared and wanted to cry so bad!

“Hey, little kid, are you OK?” said the old man.

“Ye … a,” said Luis.

He tried to find Bryan but he was nowhere to be seen.

“Hey, I got a gift for you. Open it!” said the old man excited.

Luis was opening the gift carefully because he thought it has something dangerous! He saw a wheel and in his mind he knew what it was! He quickly opened the gift and saw it was a toy car!

“Hey, how did you get this?!”

“It's a secret!” he said happily.

Luis was so happy he hugged the old man saying, “Thank you!”

They sat together and watched the beautiful dawn. Finally they said that they’ll be friends forever!

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