Is He Real?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A Seasonal Flash Fiction story.

Submitted: December 22, 2017

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Submitted: December 22, 2017

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Is He Real?

Tommy was five years old, and a very curious child. Question after question flew from his lips, aimed towards his parents, his teachers, even his friends. One that had not been given any definite answer to was the one about Santa Claus. Was he real?

Of course he is, dear,” his mother had said.

His teacher had not answered directly but had kept on handing out Santa pictures to color, and reading stories with the big guy in them. He presumed she must be in agreement with his Mom, because schools taught the truth....didn’t they?

There was a clear division of opinion amongst his friends. Many had no doubts that Santa was real, and that you had to be ‘good’ to get any presents at all. And you had to go to sleep early on Christmas Eve night. Santa Claus would not call if anyone was awake; he could sense it. But the older of his friends had laughed at him.

Surely you don’t still believe in that old rubbish?” said Shane, who, at almost nine years of age was the oldest of Tommy’s friends. “You can behave however you like and you’ll still get stuff. Santa is a story – it’s all your parents.”

Who should he believe? Shane was pretty naughty, all year round, but he still got presents. How could he know that the reindeer and the big man didn’t exist? Tommy decided that if he really wanted to know he would have to find out for himself, but what if Santa really could sense if someone was awake? He’d think of something; perhaps if he pretended really hard it would work.

Christmas Eve night he got ready for bed without making the slightest bit of fuss. His parents didn’t question it though; he was just as excited as usual, just not for what they thought. He had a plan and all he had to do to put it into action was to wait for his Mom and Dad to go to bed.

Several times, Tommy found his eyes closing, and he was sure he actually stayed asleep for a while. He could hear the muffled noise of the television downstairs so they had not gone to bed yet. He heard footsteps on the stairs and got ready to pretend; he put his head on the pillow and gripped his torch safely in his hands, underneath the covers. His bedroom door creaked open a bit more then he heard his parents’ room door firmly shut.

Tommy decided to give them a while to go to sleep, then slipped out from under his covers. He had no need for his torch yet, the dull bulb was left on all night on the landing just in case he ever got scared. Very carefully, he inched open his door. He knew that if he moved it slowly enough it would not squeak or creak.

Tiptoeing down the stairs Tommy made his way to the kitchen. There on the table was a glass of milk and a mince pie. Oh, and there was a carrot for the reindeer too! That was good. At least he was not too late.

Switching on his torch he made his way in to the other room. The tree looked like a dark and looming shadow with the twinkling lights all turned off. Forcing himself to step nearer, Tommy saw that there were no presents under the tree yet either. He’d just need to settle down and wait.

The clock seemed to be moving so slowly. Just half an hour felt like ages. And then he heard something – a sound coming from the kitchen door, not the chimney. It made him jump so much, he forgot he was supposed to be asleep and dashed through the door. There was Suki, the cat, sitting just inside the cat flap and licking a paw.

The cat then jumped up and started drinking the milk from the glass left for Santa. Tommy watched until she had had enough then poured the remainder down the sink. It wouldn’t do to have Santa drink it after Suki!

Tommy went and carefully put the glass for washing up and removed another from the cupboard. He poured in some juice. Santa would like it and Suki wouldn’t. He was hungry so he ate up the mince pie and put out a Christmas cookie instead. The big guy was bound to like cookies, and was probably quite fed up with getting the same thing in every house he went to.

Back to the other room Tommy went, with Suki following him. The boy curled himself up on the sofa to wait and the cat curled up with him, delighted to have some extra night time attention. Suki purred and Tommy fought to keep his eyes from closing.

The next thing he knew, the sun was making it’s way through the gaps in the drapes. He’d fallen asleep. He picked up Suki, and walked to the tree. Wrapped presents now lay underneath it. Had Santa really been in the room with him, and not woken him up?

Groggily, he made his way into the kitchen. The glass of juice was empty and the Christmas cookie had gone, right down to the last crumb. Even the carrot seemed to have disappeared.

Tommy stood still, deep in thought. Did this answer his question? He had not seen the man in red, that was true, but when he had fallen asleep there were no presents, and now there were. The gifts left for Santa were gone too. What other possible explanations were there?

Tommy went back to his bedroom. He would spend the time he had waiting for his parents to get up to see if he could work something else out, but for now, it seemed to him, Santa Claus really did exist.

 


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