This story is by K.C. Bouy and was part of our 2017 Winter Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
Finally, it was the day Momma promised we could go. Only if I was a good girl though. I kept my eyes shut tight, and rolled until the sunlight shone through my eyelids. I took a deep breath and held on to Maisy-Bear. Momma was fixing breakfast downstairs. I could smell the pancakes from my bed. My eyes shot open and took in the fluffy white snow that was falling outside my window. Jumping from the bed, I ran over to the chilly window. I pressed my nose against the icy glass staring in wonder at the white blanket that covered everything. The window clouded up cutting off my vision of the winter wonderland. Momma said he’d come back when it was snowy again. Giving Maisy-Bear an excited squeeze, I ran out the bedroom and to the bathroom. The door was shut tight and the sink water was running. Hopping from foot to foot I waited for my sister, Addison to finish.
“We’re going today, Addy! He’s coming tonight! Hurry up, Santa leaves when the mall closes,” I laughed when she opened the door, still jumping I ran past her into the empty bathroom.
“Grow up, Katie. You’re too old to believe that. He’s not coming back. You’ll never make it anyways. Santa leaves like five hours from now,” Addison told me, her mouth trembling.
“Nu-uh. Momma told me if I wished real hard, he’d be here tonight while the snow fell. I just have to tell Santa my wish first,” I said, pushing the door shut behind me. Addy was just trying to be mean. He would be here, Momma promised.
* * *
“Momma, momma, momma,” I yelled coming down the stairs. “It’s snowing! He’s coming tonight. Can we go, please? Please please, please? I have to talk to Santa before he leaves for the north pole,” I begged bouncing in my chair. It squeezed each time I moved. Momma turned towards me with a small smile and a plate of pancakes. She set the syrup on the table, I’m a big girl so I can pour my own syrup.
“I don’t know, Katie-Kate. I’ll have to see. We have a lot to do around here before Santa comes tonight, and he leaves early today. It’s a big day for Santa. I’m sure if you wish real hard he will hear it. I don’t think we’ll be able to talk to him today. He’s only there for another four hours.” Momma said turning towards the stove. She poured more pancake juice in the pan for Addison.
“But Momma.” I cried, we had to go talk to him. How else would he know what to bring me? I had been a good girl. I helped out and everything. “I really need to talk to Santa, he’s the only one that can do it! Can Addison bring me? I promise I’ll be good. I won’t ask for any presents or treats.”
“Now don’t start whining. If you be a good girl and help me out around here, we’ll see. No promises, we have to finish in time. There will be a lot of people here tomorrow for your father.” Her eyes went shiny as she talked about Daddy. He was busy helping people after the big storm hit Disney World. I hoped Disney was ok. Now that it was cold I wanted to go visit Elsa. Daddy gave me Maisy-Bear before he left. Maisy-Bears shiny fur glittered in the sunbeams streaming through the kitchen window. When I spun her around she looked like she was dancing in a spotlight. Giggling, I shoveled the syrup coated pancakes in my mouth. I had a lot to do today. The only way to see Santa was to help Momma finish cleaning the house.
* * *
“I don’t know Caroline. They haven’t found any trace. I’m trying to keep the girls from having a nightmare of a Christmas. The last thing they need is to associate Christmas with the day their father…” Momma stopped talking when I rounded the corner. “Hey, sweetie, the floors all swept up?”
“Yes, ma’am. What’s next? How much time before he leaves?” I asked twirling around the kitchen island.
“You don’t have to do all this work, Katie. I can finish up if you want to go play in the snow. It’s so pretty.”
“I want to help, Momma. I need to talk to Santa. How much time?” I said hoping she’d say we were done and we were leaving.
“I need to go Caroline. My Katie-girl is insisting we finish cleaning up. It’s only three more hours, honey,” Momma laughed, shaking her head. I stuck my tongue out at her and went pick up the broom and dustpan. By the time I made it back to the kitchen, Momma was washing dishes and leaving them out for me to dry. I carefully picked up the glasses and wiped them slowly before setting them on the bar for Addison to put back in the cabinets. Addison looked sad in her jacket with the hat on her head. Music was coming from under her hat. I ran to the table where Maisy-Bear was sitting in the sunlight again and grabbed her.
“Addy. Addy!” I yelled trying to get her attention. She tried to ignore me until I pulled on her jacket.
“What?” She yelled her face getting red. Her face and eyes matched now.
“Here Addy. Take Maisy-Bear, she’ll make you happy again.” I said handing Maisy-Bear to her. “Daddy always said she had super special listening powers, and when you go to sleep she keeps you safe from the bad people.”
“Oh. Um…. Thanks, Katie.” She said taking Maisy-Bear and walking out of the room.
“Addy!” Momma yelled after her, “Katie, go get dressed. We will go see Santa now. We have to hurry though. He leaves two hours from now.”
“Yay!” I whooped running upstairs.
* * *
I tried to keep still like Momma asked while we waited our turn, but it was hard. The line took forever to move. Santa must have to talk to everyone. Once we were next in line, Momma asked me what I was going to ask for.
“It’s a secret, Momma. If I tell it won’t come true. How much time now, Momma?” I asked bouncing on my toes hoping the little boy on Santa’s lap would hurry. His momma kept trying to take pictures, but he wouldn’t say cheese. He just kept crying. I wish he would hurry up. Santa is going to leave before it’s my turn, and Daddy will never come home. Once she gave up and took him from Santa’s lap, I ran up and jumped in all by myself. I watched the camera and said Cheese like the elf asked.
“Soooo… What would a little girl like you want for Christmas?” Santa asked, his deep voice rumbling my ear. I stretched up and whispered my wish in his ear, trying not to say it too loud. If anyone else heard, it wouldn’t come true.
“I’ll try little one. I’ll certainly try. Ho-Ho-Ho Merry Christmas.” Santa said giving me a hard hug. Momma was right. Santa wasn’t scary at all. I don’t know why that boy kept crying.
“All done? I was expecting a longer list.” Momma laughed watching Santa whisper to the elf. Momma told me to stay still for a moment while she grabbed the picture. The elf handed her the picture and spoke quietly to her for a moment.
“Let’s go Katie-Kate.” She said, her eyes shining.
* * *
“It’s Christmas!” I yelled running down the stairs pulling Maisy-Bear behind me. Her furry head hitting each step on the way down. “Sorry, Maisy-Bear. You sit here while I open presents.”
“What’s that I hear? Did Santa come last night?” Momma called from the kitchen. I looked around the living room searching for my special wish to Santa. “Did he bring you what you wished for?” Momma asked walking into the living room. Addy on behind her, her eyes red and puffy.
“No.” I sat on the floor, a pout on my lips. My face grew hot as tears started to flow.
“Oh honey, what’s wrong? What did you wish for?” Momma said coming over to me. She stopped when the doorbell rang. “They’re early.”
I wrapped my arms around my legs and rocked, trying to be a big girl and not cry. Momma cried out after she answered the door, but got quiet. Footsteps came up behind me.
“I don’t want to open presents, Momma. Santa didn’t save him,” I cried putting my head down on my knees.
“But Katie-Kate, I hear you had a very special Christmas wish. Santa flew down to Florida bring me home for you,” I jumped up and threw my arms around Daddy. “We’ll need to go back and tell Santa thank you.”
“Daddy! He’s back at the North Pole, remember? Maybe we can write him a letter.”