This is the 24th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Santa’s Lost Sock, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 25th December 2012
Word count: 956
Theme: Christmas, children, wonder, adventure, santa claus
It was the night before Christmas, well you know the drill. Jolly Old Saint Nick was doing his international rounds, even with the special stop watch that let him stop time, every year it got harder and harder. Santa though never gave in, he would be doing this until the end of time.
He was currently flying Algeria, stopping at every home on his list, gaining entry by a multitude of means, but ideally through the chimney if one was present. He was the ultimate traditionalist after all, and the magic dust allowed him to squeeze down a chimney easily.
There weren’t many homes to visit in Algeria, there were rules to his job, set down since the very first Christmas eve he had set out, there had to be a believer in him, and God. Still, even here in Algeria the number of homes was increasing each year.
“I should take on a helper,” he shouted to his reindeer. Of course they couldn’t speak, but he found them to be great listeners. How else would they be so skilled it getting him around this great planet faster than even the quickest jets. During off season training he had once tried to race the space shuttle in orbit, but there were some races he couldn’t win, not without his trusty stop watch.
The night passed slowly, while humans slept, or went about their business oblivious to the labours of Jolly Old Saint Nick. It was how it was meant to be, of course there were slips sometimes, in his centuries of work, the occaisional child would slip past the magical guards and gawp, or an eagle eyed sky watcher might spy him for mere moments.
However on this night, the most unusual thing happened, he’d completed a turn of Europe and was crossing the channel into British Isles, he swung up North, and then swung down through Wales, and he was on his way through London. London wasn’t his favourite city, of course it could look beautiful, but metropolis were just so busy, and the stop watch can only do so much. Thankfully Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and this past century Rudolph were adapt at tight turns and made the best they could of the straights to get him where he needed to be.
In Croydon he was hard at work as always when he came to a house on Chisholm Road, the chimney was there as inviting as always, he gave himself a powdering of magic dust, and leapt in head first with a “Ho, ho, ho,” and down he went. What he didn’t notice was the telvision aerial had spun around at some point in high winds, as he slipped down the chimney he felt his boot and sock pulled off. It was jolly cold on his exposed foot. He landed in uncharacteristically bad form and had to pull himself up, and dust himself off.
“How unfortunate,” he said, and with customary dedication he laid out the brightly wrapped presents and partook of the cookies and milk someone had graciously left him, and then using his faithful magic dust flew up the chimney, being careful to avoid the aerial. On the roof he limped about looking for his boot and sock. He found the boot, but the sock was obstinately absent. Having no choice he got back in his sled and put his boot. It was very uncomfortable, but he did his best to ignore it, and carried on his world travels delivering the presents that people deserved.
The next morning little Craig awoke, and was about to go charging into his parents bedroom to wake them up so he could get to his presents sooner, when he looked out the window he got the surprise of his life. A great thick black sock was on the windowsill. There was only one person that could have left a sock there, he quickly opened the window and grabbed it. It was thick, but worn, with many extra stitches where the sock had been repaired. It was obvious, even to a boy of ten, that this sock was well loved. So he folded it up and put it in the bottom of his wardrobe, and charged off with unusual joy to awaken his parents.
A year later Jolly Old Saint Nick was doing his rounds again, with his customary diligence, and unequalled joy, a joy filled by the smiles of millions of children. He was once again upon the roof of a little house in Croydon, the aerial had been removed and he entered the home with ease. Once inside he was putting the presents under the tree, when he looked up and upon the mantel place he saw a curious sight, a folded up sock. Recollections of that night a year ago flooded back, and he smiled a gentle smile as he placed the sock in his pocket.
Needing to do more, he pulled a piece of paper from his pockets and wrote something, before folding it and putting it in place of the sock.
And just like that, he was gone again, to bring joy to the rest of the world once more.
Craig awoke, and then woke his parents. They all went down together and marvelled at the Christmas presents beneath the tree. Craig saw that the sock was gone, and smiled. Moments later his mother picked something up, “This is funny, did you do this?” she asked his father.
“Not I,” he said.
Craig jumped up and grabbed it, and read what was inside. It was just two words, but they were the most glorious two words Craig had ever seen, in careful and intricate calligraphy.
It’s very hard to write a truly original Christmas story, especially one that includes the most famous man in the West, (and plenty of places in the East I might add). There are so many permutations upon the theme, so many better writers that have covered every angle. So, I just went with a nice story, that I think anyone has that bit of Christmas spirit can enjoy.
So, I wish you a Merry Christmas, or happy holidays, whichever you feel most comfortable with. Have a good one 🙂