Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.
— Winston Churchill
I used to think that Santa was pretty smart at Christmas stuff but not so much with anything else.
I was wrong.
* * * * *
“Won’t the kid hear us? It’s only midnight.” I shook some soot off my boot back into the fireplace.
“No, she went to bed three hours ago,” he said absently, looking around the living room.
I stared at him. “How do you know that?”
“Just do.” He seemed distracted.
I looked him over. Knowing when kids went to bed was a pretty Santaish thing, after all.
* * * * *
I found him in the girl’s bedroom. He was staring at her sleeping form.
“What’re you doing in here?!” I hissed. “We have to go!”
Santa didn’t answer. I then noticed his shoulders were slumped, and as I went up to him, I saw the terribly sad look on his face.
Any angry rebuke I had in mind faded. “What is it?” I whispered softly.
“Her Christmas wish,” he said in a husky voice.
“What?” I glanced at the girl, then back at him. ” . . . What does she want for Christmas?”
“Something I can’t give her.”
He turned away and walked out of the room. I looked back at the sleeping little girl. It was then I noticed she was clutching a picture, still in its frame. I leaned closer to the bed, holding my breath so as not to make a single sound. Through the gloom of the dark room, I could make out two figures, one that looked like the girl, and the other was a woman with the same hair and eyes.
Suddenly it all made sense. The black curtains, the flowers, the smell of antiseptic, the dirty casserole dishes in the sink, the lone stocking on the fireplace . . .
I jerked back with a gasp, covering my mouth quickly as the girl stirred. She didn’t wake, though, even as I tiptoed out of her room. She just clutched the picture tighter.
So this is something new! Sort of. I wrote this in 2014 (in August, for some reason). I feel a little weird posting this, since it’s a little personal, totally random, and actually kinda sad. It was meant to be part of a bigger story, but I never got around to writing more than this little scene tidbit. The only change I made was to add some sort of context at the beginning. But basically, it’s just some human kid who teams up with Santa (because why not) to solve a problem (mystery?), and it involves helping deliver presents, I guess. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯