"I've heard your mortals have learned a new trick with lamps recently," Anie said innocently. He just couldn't understand how Rayden's mortals knew more about lamps than his own. After all, he--Arnie--was the God of Lamps, and not Rayden. But that was not the only reason why Arnie had come to Earthrealm. Since he was no danger to Rayden's Realm, he was free to drop in whenever he wanted; and this time he wanted to spend some time in Earthrealm really badly--away from Juanita, his wife. It was the time for their annual break-up.
"What do you mean?" asked Rayden. The only reason he was being helpful was because he thought that once Arnie found out about the "new trick" he would leave the very same moment to introduce it to his own Realm. Co-operation seemed to be the best way to get rid of Arnie this time.
"I've heard they use lamps to produce living pictures," Arnie explained. "They call it laterna magica!"
"Ah--I see!" Rayden exclaimed, smirking. "Sorry, but you're a little bit late for that one. You should have come about hundred years ago." Rayden just couldn't stand the look on Arnie's face now. "It's okay, they have a new trick, an improvement on the laterna magica. They call it cinematography!"
"Cinema-what?" asked Arnie, strongly impressed by the hard word.
The word "cinema" caught Hichan's attention. She was listening while her father and Uncle Arnie were talking, and she found it funny that Uncle Arnie did not know what a cinema was. And that word Daddy had used for it was funny too. Why should one say such a hard word, when a simple one such as cinema would do?
"I want go and see it!" Arnie proclaimed. He might not be a very strong deity, but he was a pro. He knew when he'd found an opportunity to learn something new about his business. And, as the God of Lamps, it should be him who taught others about tricks related to lamps. Of course, his mortals didn't have to know that he had only picked up this new trick in Earthrealm.
"Wanna go to cinema too!" Hichan cried. She knew cinema was fun. And she was determined not to let Daddy and Uncle Arnie have all the fun for themselves.
Rayden sighed. He knew he wouldn't have any other choice than taking them both to the cinema. The sooner the better. So he changed both his and Hichan's robes into clothes like the ones his mortals wear in this era. Then he looked at Arnie, expectantly. "My mortals don't know about us," he explained.
"Oh, I see!" Arnie tried to change his robes the same way, but of course it didn't work. This was not his Realm, and clothes were not his business. Rayden sighed.
"Try to use a trick of the light!" he suggested. This worked much better--if there was anything Arnie was good at, then it was using illusions to disguise himself. His life depended on this; sometimes it was his only chance to sneak away from Juanita.
Rayden teleported them to a randomly selected theatre. Well, it was not completely randomly selected; he wanted to impress Arnie, so he had chosen one of the most modern ones--with all the latest sound and projecting equipment. He didn't pay any attention which movie was played at the theatre, all that mattered was that all the equipment was up to date. Secretly producing some bills he paid for the tickets.
"Popcorn!" Hichan squealed. "Wanna have popcorn!"
"Hey, how do you think I'm going to explain to your mother if you won't eat anything for dinner?"
"Will eat dinner too!" Hichan exclaimed, trying to sound convincing. For her, it was clear that she wouldn't miss dinner, as long as it wasn't vegetable soup. And, just in case, she would be full up with popcorn. She thought it was a good idea to make more clear what she wanted to have, so she started squealing again: "Popcorn! Popcorn!"
"Okay, okay!" Rayden gave in. "I guess you want some sweet popcorn..."
"Me too!" Arnie started to squeal. Everyone seemed to have popcorn, so maybe it was a crucial aspect to this whole cinema thing.
"Buttered or non-buttered?" Rayden asked with a sigh.
"Which one is better?"
"I'll get you some non-buttered," Rayden decided. He just couldn't make up his own mind, so he thought it was best if Hichan had buttered popcorn, and Arnie the non-. This way he could eat from both, if he placed Hichan on one side, and Arnie on the other.
The first thing that impressed Arnie deeply was the chandelier in the theatre. He almost panicked when it got dimmed, but somehow Rayden convinced him that this was the normal procedure, and that it would be lit again after the movie had finished. Arnie got very excited when the curtain opened.
"Wow! Look at this! Look at this!"
"That's just some commercials!"
Hichan didn't mind--she just started to sing along with some of the melodies she knew. Rayden wondered where she might have picked up those from, they didn't have a TV at the Temple of Light. TV sets were such fragile things, especially around a thunder god who sometimes lost his temper.
Finally, the feature presentation started. Arnie got even more excited, although this was hard to believe--but the movie was wide screen, and digital surround, and whatever, so it was even more impressive than the commercial spots. And Hichan obviously liked the movie a lot.
"TRICERATOPS!" she screamed, excitedly, and "BRACHIOSAURUS!"
When she screamed "VELOCIRAPTORS!" and "TYRANNOSAURUS REX!" the movie was suddenly over--there was the sound of a big bulb exploding from the projector room, and a deafening crackle was the only sound that could be heard from the speakers. Everything was suddenly dark, and there was a smell of burnt cables in the air. From the lobby came the smell of fresh popcorn, as the popcorn machines there exploded.
People panicked and started to scream. A T-Rex jumping off the screen couldn't have caused much more of a riot.
The movie that they had gone to see was "Jurassic Park V: The Raptors Strike Back!".
Rayden didn't like dinosaurs, and especially velociraptors, so Rayden's nerves were not the only things that blew a fuse or two--the electricity from his powers had unfortunately blown up all the expensive electronic equipment in the theatre.
If this story teaches us any lesson, it's that you have to choose movies more carefully, if you want to spend a nice time at the cinema.